Thursday, April 3, 2014

Weekly Happenings Post #261 (March 24-30)-- Getting Outside of My Comfort Zone (or Hard Places, Powerful Cities, and Forgotten Neighborhoods)

How cute is Mr. Chipmunk in my lap?

Monday turned out to be a good day. Graves was still asleep after Peyton left, which is always awesome. He got up around eight and had breakfast and then I actually woke AP up because I knew she'd be disappointed if she missed watching cartoons with him. After that, I got busy. I changed the kitty litter, made up the couch/bed, straightened a little and sent a text to my brother in a law about a package that went to our house in Mississippi. I got my bath and then I folded a bunch of laundry in the kids' room while they played. We read our Five in a Row book and I then had lunch. I put up dishes from the night before and got Graves down. I read some, uploaded pictures, got on Facebook, and ate my lunch. Annie and I practiced some reading/writing and did a few math pages. I also went through some of Graves's Spring/Summer clothes. Someone came to fix our bathroom sink and then Graves got up. 
Annie decided about a week ago that they are "Baby Kitty's" parents. It's an ongoing thing literally all day. She'll say things like "Daddy will get your bottle" and then Graves will run and fetch something they pretend is a bottle. She told me "I call this a family hug". 

We took some laundry to the basement and then the kids did some coloring sheets while I scrubbed a pan and did more dishes. 
Annie's sweet Sunday school teacher back home sent her (and Graves) these little lessons from Sunday school with coloring pages on the back. Tuesday was going to be full of things outside my comfort zone and this was actually just what *I* needed to hear.

We changed over the laundry and I folded some and played with them. After we got the laundry, I made up AP's bed (I had washed her sheets) and the kids ate supper. I got them ready for bed and read to them.
Such intensity. Feeding her baby peas. Do you see that devotion in her face?

Then I got on the computer and ate supper.
I used to dream of having a "Jenny" wedding myself. I ended up a little (alot) more traditional in my old age (twenty three). Anyway, I can't wait to see how Cookie rocks this. I also can't wait to see the flower girl in her tiny hippie dress and the shaggy ring bearer in whatever she finds for him. It's going to be perfect.

 Peyton got home and we talked some and I finished a blog post and then stayed up too late watching TV.

Tuesday was BUSY. We got up early and got ready and caught the train to go volunteer in the South Bronx. It's actually about an hour and a half trip there and another hour and a half back, but we felt this huge tug toward this ministry. Anyway, it was AMAZING. 
Peyton and I found out about, and felt this huge tug, toward this ministry. By many standards, it's the most impoverished area in the United States and I've got to be real here- I was terrified. Mostly for my children's safety, because I've heard it described as " a third world country", a war zone", and worse. We went for the first time and y'all. It was amazing. It reminded me so much of MDO days- something I've longed for since the day I quit. But different, because mommas weren't doing much needed grocery shopping or going to doctor's appointments sans little ones; they were in a nearby room attending a parenting class on positive discipline. One little boy spent a good chunk of the time in my lap. He was missing his momma so bad. Peyton kept trying to distract him and at first I did, too. But then I started just pulling him closer and promising him over and over again that his momma would be back for him. I'm wary of telling other people's stories, but I found out later that he's had some major disruptions in his tiny life. I knew my words had been perfect for him. I'm serious when I say I've never really had a moment like that. I just felt the Spirit moving in such a powerful way. I would have been more than content to never leave my vanilla life of suburbia in the 'sip, even for a temporary adventure. I'm so thankful God gave me someone who never could be. And I'm so proud of him when I saw the way the little boys gravitated toward him when they saw a man in the room and then stuck like glue to him while he read stories and played with animal figures. Maybe the best day yet! Peyton, thank you for forcing us into hard places, powerful cities, and forgotten neighborhoods. So glad to be living your our dream together. (And sorry I've you've read this five times on Facebook and IG and the NYC blog. But it was kind of amazing.)

On the way home, we stopped at The Met. We probably only spent forty five minutes there, but since we were going right by it on the subway and we have a membership, it made sense. Plus, Annie's going to get more out of it in small chunks than if we try to make it a three hour thing. 
Joke's on me. Playgroup in the South Bronx will wear a fella out. 

We came home and Peyton literally turned right around and ran out to pick up pizza and grab some baby shampoo. When he got home, I scarfed down my supper and headed out again. 
Part two of my adventures in being uncomfortable (I'll share part one later). Taking the public transit, going to something alone, going to something where everyone there could potentially be very different from me- all outside my comfort zone. But I'm trying to seize the opportunity and do things I won't have a chance to back in Mississippi. And I'm SO excited about getting to attend this *free* screening of a film about the Lovings, whose landmark Supreme Court decision legalized interracial marriage. 

I got home around nine and was so tired. Peyton and I talked some and I got on the computer for a couple of minutes and then we went to bed.

Wednesday was nice. I fixed Graves breakfast (he actually snuggled with me for a bit first) when Peyton left for work and then he and Annie watched cartoons. I got them a snack and then they played while I folded up sheets and got the couch fixed and straightened things from the day/night before (the stroller was still out in the middle of the hallway- ha!). I took my bath and then we cleaned up their room and I fixed them lunch and did a bunch of dishes. 

I put Graves down and he didn't sleep long. I ate my lunch and got on the computer and then took a short nap myself. Graves got up and the kids played and I straightened some piles in the kitchen and safety pinned the curtains that go behind our other curtains in the living room (I'll explain when I finally put up pictures of the apartment). I hung up some clothes, folded some more and did a few other things and then it was time for supper. The kids ate and I read to them and put them to bed. I read blogs and started a post. Peyton got home and we ate leftover pizza and watched SVU and then I finished my post. 

I woke up with a headache on Thursday and it didn't fully go away until about nine o'clock that night. 
Still hope she's wrong....

Peyton wasn't working until four and we did stuff around the apartment all morning. We searched and searched for my keys, which were lost and I took a bath and swept in the living room and put up some clothes. Peyton ran to Trader Joe's while the kids ate lunch and I did dishes. He got home and took them to the neighborhood grocery store. I had taken their monthly pictures, so I uploaded those and read blogs. When they got home, I put Graves down. He never fell asleep, so I let AP go in their room, too. I edited pictures and organized them and read a few more blogs. I ate my lunch and laid down for a bit. When they got up, we picked up their room and read some and then I started supper. They colored and then ate and I got them ready for bed. I put them down and watched The West Wing. Peyton got home and we ate dinner and watched a show and then I wrote Annie's letter for this month

I woke up feeling much better on Friday. It was raining and we had a slow morning. I got my bath and Peyton cooked breakfast. We ate and got ready and ran some errands (the hardware store and two banks). Then we went to the park and had a little picnic. 

It was raining again, but since Papa was off and it was over forty degrees, we had a picnic at the park!

Tiny tight rope walker and her brave partner.

We got home and put Graves down and Peyton took a nap, too, because he was working overnight. I got on the computer and had a snack and then I did my Bible study and read. Graves woke up and I went through a box of Summer shoes in the kids' room. Peyton got ready and left and then we cleaned up the kids' room and I let them help me cook supper (scrambled eggs and oatmeal). They ate and I bathed them and read to them and put them to bed. I got on the computer and wrote Graves's letter and uploaded pictures to Flikr. I ate my supper and watched some Bruce Springsteen YouTube videos and then watched The West Wing and fell asleep.

The kids actually slept late on Saturday. I'm convinced they knew the fun parent was not on the premises. Anyway, they slept until almost nine! (Actually, Graves woke up around six, but he settled right back down after I covered him back up with his blanket). We had breakfast and watched cartoons and Peyton got home and went to bed. My parents Facetimed us and we visited with them awhile and then I got my bath. It was almost time for lunch by then, so we picked up the kids room and then they ate. I put Graves down and Peyton got up. He and AP ran an errand and I got a box ready to mail and uploaded pictures from my phone and then went through a big stack of papers in a folder on the desk (it was actually a stack that I hadn't had time to go through completely before the move). 

Peyton and Annie got back and we got Graves up (he never did fall asleep). We put on a Charlie Brown Easter video and I started laundry and cooked fish for the kids. They ate and then we played a little. We put the kids down and I changed over my laundry. I got on the computer for a bit and cooked our fish. I straightened up some papers in the kitchen and got the laundry and Peyton and I ate and watched the news. I got back on the computer and then we watched the first episode of How I Met Your Mother. I called my mom and did dishes and we went to bed. 

I had decided the night before we probably wouldn't go to church because it was going to be raining all day. I discussed it with Peyton and I really felt this huge guilt over it. It's funny because I was able to give myself some grace at first, but now that I knew I could do it, I felt awful not doing it. But Graves has no rain gear (not even a raincoat, let alone boots) and while the walking part is relatively short, I didn't want to deal with waiting for a bus at stops that might not be covered. I decided to set my alarm and if it was pouring we couldn't go, but if it was light rain we would. Well, I forgot to set my alarm. 

The kids slept a bit later than usual, but when I woke up and saw it wasn't raining I realized we still could make it if I hustled. They were playing in their room really well and I checked the weather. It said it wasn't going to rain until that afternoon. I even got my bus fare together in case there wasn't enough left on my Metro card. That's when I realized that Peyton had the one set of keys (we've been looking for mine all week and it's not as simple as just getting one made here- we have to go through our landlady). Anyway, I was pretty discouraged and irritated but there was a peace knowing I had really given it my best shot.  

We ended up having a super lazy morning and it was really nice. The kids actually played a bit longer and then they ate breakfast and watched their little shows. They helped me fold up the sheets and push back in the couch. I didn't even take my bath until around eleven. We picked up their room and had lunch and then just read and played because our landlady was (finally!) coming over to give me the key to the storage unit and she needed to show it to me so I was planning to keep Graves up. She was supposed to be here between two and three and she got here at three thirty. We went down and saw it and Graves got a late nap. I had to wake him up around six. He was so cranky and I probably just should have skipped it, but I really needed a break. When I put him in there he actually dug in his dirty diaper AND teeteed on the floor. AHHH. Anyway, he finally fell asleep and I did a few things on the computer. When he got up, the kids played and colored and I folded laundry and then they had supper and I got them ready for bed. I watched The West Wing and worked on a blog post until Peyton got home and then we talked for a bit. I uploaded pictures and finished the post and we watched How I Met Your Mother. He went to bed and I worked on lesson plans until pretty late. 

Well, this week is over half over and it's been pretty good so far. This weekend is going to be BUSY and fun! 

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