I couldn’t resist but to share this story. My son, after consuming almost three and a half pounds of crab legs all on his own…. decided he was STILL hungry, and decided to dig in to a jello cup. After a bit he brought it to me and said “Here Mommy. I done. You have it.” To which I responded with, “No thankyou, Matthew. Thats yours.” His respose?? “But there no my boogers in it, Mommy!” I busted out laughing. For some reason that leads me to believe that perhaps there is a chance there may be!!!
Happy Turkey Day! May yours be..boogerless..as well!!
The Hastings Mom
Well, it is Thanksgiving week and things sure seem to come alive this time of year! My son is no exception! This weekend we tried to stay down at the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino. They have a pool, bowling, etc for the kids. In the past this has been a great venture. This weekend? Not so much.. Yes.. My son was in “ripe” form. It was a disaster! Next time, I am going alone!!! I did get a little bit of mommy time in the hot tub, though!
The post below this one is this week’s column that will run in the Hastings Star Gazette. I titled it “giving thanks” as it is my holiday column. I hope you take the time to read it and enjoy it!
I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving. See you again soon!
Posted by Amy Peterson | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-11-2009
Well welcome back, moms! It is sure great to have you here! I want to wish you and your families a joyous Thanksgiving and I hope that you are finding yourselves feeling ever so blessed.
This time of year it always seems somewhat unfortunate that while we are spending our time refecting on that which we are thankful for, we have a whole years worth to consider, as we neglect to do so the rest of the year. And each of us is guilty of it. When was the last time that you, or me, or anyone you know has taken the time to give thanks for the blessings in their lives or things they are thankful for? And why do we do that? Is it because we are so unappreciative of the good things or that we take them for granted, or do they simply escape us and we forget to take time to remember when things go well? I know each of us is certinaly good at recognizing when things don’t go our way or when the, ahem, crap hits the fan. But what is it about the turkey, and mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce that brings out that thankfulness in each of us? The answer to that is as far from my grasp as it likely is yours.And while that is a reminder that we really need to spread the thanksgiving through out the year (perhaps not the food, though, or we would all be morbidly obese), the intent is not to take away from the thanksgiving in our hearts that we are feeling now. And so while you all ponder your answers to the infamous question “What are you thankful for”, before you turn on the Thanksgiving Day Parade or cut in to your bird, here are a few things I will be giving thanks for.
First and foremost my kids. I am thankful for their joy that they bring in to my life and the colorfulness as well. I am thankful that only one of them grossly misbehaved while on our weekend venture to Treasure Island this past weekend, and that that is usually the case.I am thankful they are small enough to hold, but not so small that they can’t interact and play with each other. I am glad they are getting bigger, but that they haven’t out grown my lap. I am thankful they drive play cars, but not yet sit behind the wheel and drive a real one. I am thankful my son is working on being potty trained, but not for the “training” part. I am thankful that my daughter is making progress in terms of her gross motor development, and yet glad that she isn’t running yet so she can’t sneak out of her window and run away from home. I am thankful my son is able go to school, albeit it Sunday school, and more thankful that he’s not yet to college where I’d have to say good bye.I am thankful they are both good poopers, for that means they are both good eaters. I am thankful my house is littered with toys, as it means children live here.I am thankful for “Good Night Moon” and”Seak and find” books, as they mean my kids are showing an interest in reading. I am thankful for the occasional crayon mark on the wall or marker streak on the couch as it means my children are able to express their creativity. I am thankful for their quiet snores when they are both fast asleep as it means I get a break, and I am thankful when I hear my daughter singing from her crib in the mornings when she awakes as I know she made it through the night. I am thankful my kids do so well in daycare, as it means I made a good choice in providers for them. I am thankful when I see them interacting with other kids as it means they are developing social skills.I am thankful when my son tells me “You make me angry, mommy!” as he is starting to learn to express his feelings. I am thankful when I hear them say “please” and “thankyou” as I know I have taught them good manners.And I am thankful when I hear how beautiful my kids are, as it means that of course, they take after me!
I am thankful that I have a car to drive, and that gas is under three dollars a gallon. I am thankful that while I lost one job, I still have this one. I am thankful I get to start school in a couple months to pursue a degree I can take pride in. I am thankful that in spite of everything, my kids have a roof over their head, clothes on their back and food in their stomachs. I am thankful for diet coke. And olives. I love olives. I am thankful for twinkle lights and jingle bells. I am thankful that there are people following my lead in putting up their holiday decor and that everyone isn’t as “Bah humbug” about the impending holiday season as some I have experienced the past few days. I am thankful for friends who have stuck around and feel badly for those who abandoned ship – you are missing out. I am thankful for the opportunity to teach confirmation at my church. I am thankful for community support and county support programs that are there for people in need. I am thankful for a caring and commited therapist, Barb, and for Peter Schill, my primary doctor who has gone above and beyond for me in such a way I will be eternally greatful for. I am thankful for Skip-Bo and Yahtzee and for having people brave enough to play against me in them. I am thankful Brett Favre came to the MN Vikings, if only to sport a purple Favre jersey in front of my ever loving Greenbay Packer fan of a husband. I am thankful for my extended family. I am thankful my grandma has “faught like a girl” and is doing quite well even as cancer has invaded her body. I am thankful I have a faith, and a God that will never leave me. I am thankful for Cipro, when my kidneys get infected as they did this past week, and for all the other meds that have worked to keep me healthy. I am thankful for crab legs, for they are the one meal that keeps my son perched at the table.Santa Clause, so I can con my son in to being a good listener. Marathons, so when my legs are better I can run one. And mostly, you fine moms out there, that give me this place to come on a weekly basis.
While non-inclisive, I hope my list inspires you to come up with your own lists of things you are greatful for. As usual, feel free to share them with me and other readers on my blog which is www.hastingsmomchronicles.blogspot.com With in the next couple months the blog will be developing a new look, as I am working with a webdesigner to add more features and better designs to it. Stay tuned.
In the mean time, I hope you and your families have a truly blessed Thanksgiving. See you next week!
Hi, Moms! I hope you are enjoying my columns and the blog. I have gotten some fantastic feedback. Thank you! I hope you enjoy the picture of the kids. They are my inspiration! I hope you enjoy it! As for the blog.. I am working to make it better and even more helpful for you. Please let me know anything you would like to see added or featured. I hope to improve the blogs appearance and offer more by way of resources, indeas, etc. Please bear with me during this time as the site is “under construction”. It will remain fully up and functional, hopefully just improve visually and contentually.
Have a fabulous weekend!
The Chronicles Mom
After a couple weeks of being away, I am back.I didn’t forget about you, and hope you didn’t forget about me! I have updated the blog to include the last 3 weeks of columns. As always, I hope you take the time to read them and post comments.
Thanks to all of you for your continued support through this column. I have gotten some tremendous feedback as of late and deeply appreciate it.
I hope you will continue to visit the site!
Posted by Amy Peterson | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-11-2009
The Mom Chronicles: Something to Believe in
Welcome back for another rendition of the Mom Chronicles.A special shout out to Trish, my biggest fan.It always warms ones heart to hear they are appreciated, and apparently at least to her, my work here is.So thank you, Trish!
So this week I find myself breaking all the rules and joining the Hallmarks and commercial businesses out there and decking the halls even before the Thanksgiving turkey is served. Yes, this year, I am one of THOSE people.To those of you wanting to shake your fingers at me and say shame on me for giving in to the commercialism and breaking out the holiday lights and displays too early, to you I say I know. Really, it is too early. But at least I don’t have a tree up yet.
You see, traditionlly, the holiday season like for so many others, is my favorite time of the year. I can’t wait to twirl in the magic of the newly fallen snow amid the wet falling flakes, and hang up my twinkle lights for all to see. I embark on the venture of choosing a tree with great seriousness and purpose. There is, after all, only one kind of “right” tree and each year I am in search of the perfect one. I decorate it carefully, selecting each ornament and placing it with care in the perfect location. Then there is of course,the Department 56 snow village I construct with all the people and lights and buildings.There is the garland, and animated snowmen and other holiday figures, which entertain my kids for hours, and the snow globes that line my shelf. The stalkings are hung on the wall with care, and the smell of pine christens the air. Needless to say with the last couple months I’ve been having, this has been exactly what the doctor’s ordered.
And so, instead of spending our evenings making the traditional post day-care pick up drive looking for other peoples “ho-ho lights”, as my son calls them, we put up our own. I am happy to see others are following our lead and doing the same.Instead of looking at bare spaces where the Halloween decorations just came and went, we filled them with all the Christmas decorations we could muster from the garage.We pulled out the holiday CD’s and they now are our driving entertainment. And tonight I sit back, and look around at the wonder we created (minus the tree, I am not that over zealous) I think what a gift I have given myself, and my kids.
You see, while for many the holiday season feels like a time of hustle bustle and business, when I sit amid my atmosphere of garland, and primitive holiday decor, with soft white lights and holiday music, while drinking hot cocoa in my favorite flannel pajamas, life slows down. The kids faces light up and their innocence shines through. There is of course talk of Santa Clause, and as I parent I love it because it is the perfect trick for getting the kids to listen for a month out of the year (can’t tell you how many times I have already used the line- “You better behave because Santa Clause is watching!”). In these past few weeks, this is exactly what I have needed.And so albeit it a bit early, even I could not resist the temptation to invite Christmas to come a bit early this year. It’s not like I have money to splurge on the kids on fantastic gifts- though I am certain I will find a way, I always do- and while life is far from great or even good right now, to me it’s about more then that. It’s about believing in something or someone greater then ourselves.It is about believng in something or someone that represents what we fight our whole lives to become. It is about being and belonging.It is about coming together and celebrating a season far more magical then any of us realize.And perhaps that is what I have needed lately- something to believe in.We all need something to believe in from time to time, don’t we?
And so not only have I invited the holidays to come early, but I am encompassing myself with them. One of my favorite ventures as of late has been to Menards of all places, and no,it’s not to pick up a fine looking man in the hardware isle.Instead I go and visit their enchanted holiday display. For those of you who don’t know about it, it is in the center of the store and is something they do every year. They put up dozens of trees, decorating them with dozens of lights and ornaments, and set up other displays of figurines and lighted objects, etc. The lights are dim and there is holiday music playing overhead. It is so easy to wander through it and get lost. I have found that while there, every thing else seems to disappear.I am not sure if it is the lights, or the sounds, or just the wonder of it all, but it is an escape, there, in the middle of Menards of all places. And for you Chronicle moms out there needing a break, I strongly suggest you go meander through. I even brought the kids. They loved looking at all the lights and displays. And of course, there is a toy section close if the light display isn’t enough for them. And it’s not like that is the only store that has such a thing. I spend my days these days, visiting the various local stores wandering through their holiday displays. I have my usual suspects, and each year I pay visits to each one.I do not feel the need to buy things or spend money, simply to be and take in all the things that the season has to offer.And in the evenings, when the kids get restless we get in the car and drive around finding local light displays and getting excited about the new ones we find.To that end I say, get up your holiday lights!! There are seriously too many dark streets in Hastings with out a single one! Now, to those of you who are already sporting the decked out tree in the front window, I applaud you, for you have more holiday spirit then even I! But to those of you who are struggling to find it with in you to even take down the Halloween pumpkins (no it doesn’t mean you have to get rid of the candy!- Just change he bowl you store it in!) I strongly encourage you to do some soul searching and discover what this holiday season means for you. When you find it, embrace it, and use it to surround yourself in whatever it is that helps you remember it.
For me, this holiday season is about having faith.Having faith that things will be better, having faith in myself to overcome the adversity in my life, having faith in God to guide me to where I am supposed to go. It’s also about believing.I have always had a child like faith.I have always held on to the mythical figures of Santa Clause and the Easter bunny, not for what they bring but for what they represent, primary of which is selfless giving. And as I teach my kids about such figures and they develop their own beliefs I also intend to teach them about what this season is really about.
As I write this I am reminded of my favorite holiday movie, “Miracle on 34th Street”. I am fairly certain most of you are familiar with it so I will skip the synopsis.Ultimately, though, the movie is about having faith in someting and believing in something that exists even if it is not something tangable or that you can touch.For me, my belief this year is needing to extend far beyond Santa Clause.While an adult, I still have a belief in the spirit of him; however, what I am talking about extends quite far beyond that. And so be it a bit early, I do have my holday lights and displays up not for commercial reasons, but as reminders in this difficult time, that there is still some magic out there.That life still is something I can believe in and that my kids can believe in. I don’t know about you, but I will trade pumpkins for that any day, even if the turkeys have not yet been defrosted
Posted by Amy Peterson | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-11-2009
The Mom Chronicles: Seeking Knots
In light of last week’s column, I would like to start by saying that the thrill of the Halloween candy has finally left the Peterson household and my daughter’s days of crawling around with not just one but two suckers sticking out of her mouth are over. At least for this year.
Unfortunately, life in the Peterson household this past week was replaced by things not so sweet. Frankly, I rather be dealing with candy bars and sticky floors then what we got this week. Let’s just say, it was someone’s idea of a BAD trick, a whole lot of BAD tricks, that I would seriously like to trade in for buckets upon buckets of candy. If only it were that easy.
I would like to believe that this column is place for you all to come for support and familiarity, to get an occasional laugh and place to relate. I hope over time you have been able to get something out of it. Periodically, though, the weeks come that instead of pouring out to you, I find the need to reach out and seek to pull in. This is one of those weeks, and I really hope that you can help.
I recently have come out of fourteen days in the hospital, not consecutive but two separate hospitalizations totaling fourteen days. Halloween, ironically, was my first day out, but also the first day of what has been a tremendous series of events. Since then, I found out I am losing my job (my primary one, not this one), have lost my insurance – which means I am unable to start the intensive treatment program I was supposed to be in, am soon to be loosing my apartment, my childcare assistence due to not working- which means we are going to ultimately loose our most fabulous child care provider as I can’t swing twelve hundred bucks a month with out a job, and my short term disability came to an end. This all happened with in four days. Needless to say, I have been left feeling rather numb. I have tried to put on a brave face for the kids who are too little to know the difference, but as their mom I wonder how I am going to provide for them. How I am going to keep a roof over their head. How I am going to put out all of these fires that have started in my life. Like I said, someone played a bad trick on us, and part of me is waiting for someone to knock on my door and be like, just kidding! Instead you won the lottery! Woo hoo! Unfortunately, that is not going to happen.
Needless to say, this chronicle Mom has found herself for the first time in her life with out hope. It has lead me to question my ability as a mom, and to thoughts of my children being better off with out me with someone who can care for them better. And unfortunately, I have started to really believe this to a point I was off the end of my rope and started out the door. And just then, of all people, my daughter tied me a knot. I was in the living room in the middle of the night in a very bad situation and I heard her crying out in her sleep. There was a lot of mumbling but then clear as day, “Mommy! Mommy!” And she was back to sleep. At the moment I didn’t have a knot to hold on to, she gave me one. I realized she needed me. And so I held on, and here I am.
I find myself in quite a predicament. All my life I have been stoic. I have been my kids primary care taker, I have been their rock and their constant. Now I am relying on them to be mine, and you as well. I am reaching out to you, my Chronicle Moms, to tie me knots in a time I can’t tie them on my own. Yes, I have contacted the county, and am seeking out those kinds of support, but they are just things. They are not the things that bring meaning or purpose. And so I reach out to you to share your stories of times you have over come life at the bottem. To share about the times when as a mom you felt like you failed your kids but found a way through it. That is what I am seeking from you today.
The sun shines through the window as I write this offering warmth and brightness, two things I am not feeling so much of right now. But I think it’s a sign. It has to be, of better, brighter days to come.
Thanks for listening, and for any knots you are able to tie on to my rope that I
Posted by Amy Peterson | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-11-2009
The Mom Chronicles: Repeat Offender
Happy Post-Halloween, Chronicle Moms! By now we are wishing we never brought the kids out trick or treating to begin with as we are riding their, and our own, rollar coaster coated by chocolate and sugar and things that gew. Each year we do it. We vow not to raid the kids candy bowls and then in a moment of weakness when we’ve “had it to here” we cave, and oh, how much we love the cave. Unfortunately, the satisfication we get from it doesn’t last and we start the roller coaster of satisfaction, followed by guilt, inevitably followed by pouting or irritation in ourselves, and ultmately another splurge. We already ruined todays diet, after all. Then next year we could start our own version of Oprah’s “How did I let it happen again?” story, the one she wrote last winter about how she let herself go to put on so much weight again.
Like you, I am here. Only I haven’t done so much of the splurge this year. Perhaps that is because I am so busy unwrapping my kid’s candy at such an alarming rate that I dont’ have time to sneak one in myself! Ok, so that is so a joke, but even at three and one and a half my kids have no shortage of a sweet tooth. Both of them raid the candy bowl at any cause. Of course to each piece I stand on my feet and put my hands on my hips and say, “this is the last one!”. Unfortunately by now my kids have learned the only thing less scary then me is a puppy chasing a butterfly so evem my most growly stance is less then intimidation. So I set the table for dinner. It’s gummy worms for an appetizer (they are green and kind of resemble a salad), followed by a snickers bar (which resembles a steak), M& M’s (mixed vegetables) and a rice krispie bar (a baked potato). For dessert it is anything that dips well in whipped cream. Sound rediculous? Yeah- kind of is. But isn’t that how it feels?
I admit I have been weak when it has come to the Halloween candy and setting limits with myself and my kids. Perhaps it is out of guilt as I have spent two of the last three weeks hospitalized and away from my kids. Or could it be because I have intentions on cutting them off but Halloween inconveniently fell on the end of day lights savings weekend and my kids are so crabby from non adjustment to the time change that it (caving on the Halloween candy) proves to be my only minutes of respite? If only I knew for sure so that next year I really can do better. So that next year I can have self control and teach my kids self control and get through Halloween season with no rotted teeth or tummy aches or added poundage. That is my hope. For now, I am but a repeat offender.I have given in to the candy bowl. I am not proud, AND at least I am not as bad as my daughter.
Insert Peterson family story. So we, my kids and I, are hanging out this evening. They and myself are adjusting to my being back home after so much time away, and we are attempting to enjoy a night together. Being the pro-active mom I am, I stopped at the grocery store today and got and abundance of fruit and healthy snacks (perhaps guilt was setting in). We get home and get settled in and of course the kids are starving, so I get them settled into their fruit, which they eagerly inhale. We eat supper, and are sitting around looking at books. All of a sudden my daughter crawls down off the couch, around the corner in to the kitchen, and comes back with a full sized Snickers bar, to which she insisted I not only open all the way, but take completely out of the wrapping. At first I resisted, but I figured she would never eat it so I opened it. To my dismay, she stuck an end of it into her mouth grabbed her blankie and stuffed horsey she sleeps with at night, and lays down on the floor with them, Snicker bar still sticking out of her mouth. Seriously?! I mean, REALLY? Was I seeing what I thought I was? Indeed it was true. My daughter has become a chocolate monster. There she laid on the living room floor snuggling with her blanket and horsey and chocolate bar sticking out of her mouth. What have I done?!! So I take it from her mouth, to which she strongly protested, and to which my son stepped in for her and said, “That’s my Ella’s chocolate mommy!” (Ella is “My Ella” to Matthew now). I was stunned. The sugar monsters have set in. Who are these children? Certainly they are not mine! They left here on Halloween as an adorable, sweet kitty and brave fireman. They’ve come back monsters, scary and vicious foaming at the mouth.
This evening the candy bowl is safetely hidden in the cupbord. My children are sleeping peacefully, perhaps with dreams of sugar plums dancing in their heads. But there is no chocolate dripping from their mouths and their fingers are clean of caramel and crumbs. In all visible ways, the sugar monsters that possessed my kids a few hours ago have left to go and torment some one else’s family. Beware. They may be at your house next.
For the Peterson house the only thing scarier then the Dr.Schill family haunted garage (which my son was too scared to enter) was my kids, sugar posessed. I have been brave. I have tamed the beasts that were and vow that next year, I will not be a repeat offender. Will you?
Posted by Amy Peterson | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-11-2009
October 22nd 09
The Mom Chronicles: Learning To Walk
Firsts. As humans we experience them every day.As moms we get the joy of experiencing them two fold, between ourselves and our children.There are all kinds of firsts. Firsts words.First haircut.First tooth.First date.First kiss. This past week my daughter experienced a first. Her first steps alone.
Ella is 18 months.She suffers from some gross motor delays which stem in part from being a premie and also due to some physical deformities, for lack of a better word.Her hip does not rotate exactly as it should, her tibias are torked, her feet out toed, meaning they point outwords.Due to this, she has been unable to walk or stand as her ankles and feet which are incredibly flexible due to her prematurity and issues at birth, as well as due to the forementioned issues, have made it quite difficult. So after consulting with our primary doctor, he referred us to the Gillette System in St.Paul.The thing is that as a child, I had the same issues.In fact, it was my mother whom noticed the severity of Ellaâ€™s legs, as she recognized it as something that I, too dealt with.For me it meant multiple braces, specialized shoes and the like.For Ella it has meant braces on her feet and physical therapy.The hope is that her legs will straighten out in time.If not, we will surgically have to help them out. Additionally, Ella will always require foot correction of some kind.This in mind, up to this point, Ella has not walked.
Ella has watched her friends run circles around her.The little girls at the park that used to be content to sit and play with her have since learned to walk themselves and no longer have had the desire to sit stationary with Ella. This is heartbreaking to me. That is, itâ€™s been heartbreaking to me, until this week.
While sitting in the doctors office waiting for my own appointment, I got a text message from my husband who had just picked up the kids for me. Ella had walked.She had taken her first steps, and I missed it. She did it for him and her day care provider.My heart sank.Donâ€™t get me wrong, I was suddenly filled with joy in her new success and what it means for her in terms of her independence and socialization, but in a most selfish way, I wished it didnâ€™t happen.Not with out me.Afterall, I am the one who is there for her.Who has taken her to her appointments.Who has worked with her incessantly. And I am the one she didnâ€™t perform for first.
That evening, Ella did show me a couple steps.She was like a baby calf or horse you would see on a farm, legs wobbling and not so sure of herself.Regardless, though, she stepped. I was so thrilled she decided to share that with me.
While I was sad and disappointed her first steps were not in front of me, the joy is in the fact that Ella found her steps to begin with. She is not walking all over yet or even making a tremendous amounts of attempts at steps, but she has made progress.Finally.And to watch that, has been quite the process.
My daughter learning to walk has come at a time that I am learning new skills, too.Itâ€™s funny how that always seems to happen- my daughter and I learning parallelly. What that means is that my legs, too feel a bit shaky at times. I do not always feel sure of my next step, nor do I want to let go of a secure hand or finger. I am learning things that will hopefully improve my quality of lifein terms and that will carry me many more days in my life. The same is true for my daughter.
This brings me back to how this column started: with firsts. Each of us experiences them. This past week, my daughter had a big one. One that gives me a tremendous hope that we are making progress and that she will be all right. My first was that during the same time I hit an all time low in my life, and for the first time l lost my hope. I like Ellaâ€™s first, better. Fortunately, I have a doctor, I have people in my life who care a tremendous amount about me.Enough to recognize this first in me, and to know that I needed morefingers to hold on to. I thank them for that. I thank him for that.This week, as I strive to take steps out of the darkness of depression that has plagued my life for the past several months, I will celebrate with my daughter as she learns to take the physical steps that will carry her through the rest of her life. That is exciting for both of us.
This week, I encourage you to reflect on your and your childrenâ€™s firsts. Are you or your kids experiencing some firsts? How are you celebrating them or marking them?Ellaâ€™s first steps will be recorded in her baby book as having taken place at exactly 18 months of age to the day. There are many things in life that go uncrecorded. Perhaps this should not be the case. Perhaps instead we should celebrate and rejoice in all of them, as we do our kids. I for one am celebrating. Not celebrating that my first was as painful as it was, but that I am loved enough that it was noticed.
See you next week.