Mishy investigates the roots

When we arrived in Old Greenwich, CT, we had just missed a major storm that hit the town a week earlier. The house we were staying in was one of the casualties. A large tree just outside the front door fell down. It fell onto the road and to a neighbor’s property on the other side of the road. Luckily, it fell down that way. Otherwise, our dear friend would of had a hole in her roof and we wouldn’t have had a place to stay at. Mishy found the evidence of the disaster intriguing and loved to be told the story of the tree that fell down. Babba made a song for her, which she has memorized: The wind was blowing. The rain was pouring. The storm was raging. And a big wind came and blew the tree down and the tree went – boom!

Kitty among the roots

Kitty enjoying the sun and falling petals

When we went on our trip around the world, Mishy missed our cat, Kitty. This time, we promised her we would take her with us. Kitty ensured the mice would stay away. For a ten year old cat, she still has the fight in her. A neighbor’s cat, whom Mishy and Babba named, Grey Cat, was incredibly territorial about our friend’s house. Once in a while, we hear our cat yelling. Luckily, we know when she is yelling, she isn’t hurt and calling for back-up. Mishy loved having Kitty’s back.

Investigating a petal.

Spring blooms

Babba giving Mishy a ride.

We loved having a front yard. A whole space to ourselves. In Santa Monica, where we are based, we share the back yard space and it really is a privilege to be able to go out into the yard whenever you feel like it and also have such easy access to it. I hope one day we can have this on a continual basis.

Flossing Babba's teeth.

Giving Babba a mission to blow bubbles and then on to her own business.

The house is a rustic late 19th century house – three bedrooms, three bathrooms, on two floors. It was so different having so much space to ourselves. We normally live in a one bedroom. At first, it was daunting and then we appreciated the luxury of space. It certainly was comfortable. Too bad it wasn’t closer to the city.

At the park behind the abandoned City Hall

Another problem with Old Greenwich, if you have children, is that it is really difficult finding a park with a playground that has swings in it. We finally found one behind the former City Hall. It turns out in Old Greenwich, everyone has their own swing set and trampoline in their back yard. Most days, we had the playground to ourselves. Actually, all the days I went with Mishy, we had the playground to ourselves. She didn’t mind.

On her horse and Babba standing guard

Running the trail of cushions

There were a couple of days where Mishy and I didn’t venture out. That’s when we decided to use all the cushions and pillows from the sofas to have a jumping, running, crawling, rolling, and anything you can think of trail. In Santa Monica, our furniture is in the modernist style which means not comfortable. The furniture in the house in Old Greenwich, you can sleep on and have a good night’s rest. When Babba came home, he joined us.

Preparing for the path of jumps

Mishy telling Babba about her day.

Babba and Mishy chillin'

Looking at New York on the other side

One of our favorite places to relax at is at the Greenwich Point. It is located in Old Greenwich, CT. We were in Old Greenwich for a few weeks while we looked for housing in New York City. We are very fortunate to have a friend who has a house in Old Greenwich. She let us rent her place while we searched. We have often stayed in Old Greenwich during our time in the East Coast since it is only an hour ride into Manhattan on the Metro North commuter line. What I love about being back on the East Coast now as a mother? Showing Mishy all the things I enjoy doing as well as finding new places together.

Crab holes

Local schools come to Greenwich Point to study the ecology. There are parts where it is foresty, an area for docked boats, the beach, and a great jogging trail which goes around the point. They also have places for picnics and barbeques. In my former days, I would jog around the point. Now, my husband does the jogging for both of us. I long to return to regular exercise.

Enjoying the bench

Momma and Mishy on the bench

Mishy and Momma walking through the trees

The map of the point

Finding seashells

Babba and Mishy walking in the Atlantic Ocean

On a Sunday, our friends, Carrie, Sid, and their son, Arthur, joined Mishy, Babba, me, and my mother, who was visiting from Toronto for a walk along the beach. The water is the Atlantic Ocean. It is filled with so many delicious sealife that one can fish in certain areas at the point.

With friends

Sitting on the sand

Looking at the barnacles on the rock

At the canteen where they have a full menu

We were starved and so happy to find the Canteen open. Surprisingly, the sandwiches there were delicious.

Mishy enjoying her water

We rarely get to have too many photos of the three of us together. Excuse us if it is slightly corney.

Mishy twirling her dress.

Details:

http://www.greenwichct.org/ParksAndRec/prBeaches.asp

There is some controversy about parking if you are not a resident of Old Greenwich. Technically, it is a public beach/park, though parking passes are necessary to enter. We got there when it was still free and open to everyone. Come spring, it gets dicey.

http://www.helium.com/items/1451140-greenwich-point-fishing-swimming-vacation-spots – a more detailed page on what to do at the point.

Using the giraffe ears to help the flow of empathy - giraffe's have the biggest heart

Now that I am back to blogging, I will be posting posts that have been accumulating in my draft box. Though they are about a month old, I think the information is still enjoyable and relevant.

As part of my volunteer work with the yahoo group I co-moderate, Natural Parenting LA, I organized a talk by Bill Stierle, a Non Violent Communication educator, at the end of March. NVC, for short, is inline with Ghandi and Martin Luther King. It is about utilizing change in a non violent way and communicating your observations, your feelings your needs, and your request as empathically as possible. Some argue since this way of communicating was used/started  politically, it can be artificial and overwhelming for children and in everyday life. There are many ways to express NVC and it is important to be age appropriate in using any parenting tools. Since there are 7 ways of non-verbal communication, NVC for infants would look like Attachment Parenting.  For toddlers, you can introduce feelings and needs, in a simple, general way Рto what feels comfortable. For adults who have mutually agreed on the language of NVC, it can an incredibly effective way of communicating and resolving past issues as well as helping ensure small arguments not spin into something much larger. For our purposes, Bill agreed to have the children present and made it into a living workshop. When issues arose during the discussion, he attempted to resolve them and help the parents facilitate their own awareness of how they can be peacefully handled in the future.

The children participated in the discussion too and were fascinated by him. Mishy adores him and even has a Koala bear she calls Bill.

A child playing while a question is asked about needs.

During the workshop, when two children were fighting over food, Bill became the middle man by holding on to the food and letting the children take turns eating from the container. Sometimes, it can be that simple and effective. In the heat of the moment, it is often hard to come up with those ways of resolution since we, as parents, sometimes take things personally and feel uneasy that their child is not sharing. Developmentally, children don’t have a concept of sharing until, some experts say, they are seven or eight years old.

A living workshop

After the event. Mishy wanted me to take a picture of him solo to remember him while we're away in NYC.

Details:

Bill Stierle

http://www.billstierle.com

11500 W. Olympic Blvd suite 400
Los Angeles CA 90064
310.433.8380
888 STIERLE
888.316.8383 fax

williamstierle@gmail.com