Sunday, June 28, 2009

RIP Crabapple

I love our trees. We have planted 19 trees around our yard (2 crabapple, 2 flowering cherry, 2 paperbark maple, 2 zelcova, 2 magnolia, sycamore, nectarine, pluot, peach, cherry, autumn blaze maple, apricot, apple, ginkgo- in case you were wondering!). This weekend we were able to plant a new tree. Although we love planting trees, this was a bittersweet planting. For the last two year we have treated our little Bechtel crabapple for Fire Blight- a really sad tree disease. We hoped it would pull through (two other trees that we also treated are doing a lot better). Unfortunately, this summer it became apparent that the crabapple was losing the battle. So yesterday we went tree shopping and decided to get a Linden. We look forward to the shade this tree will offer our front yard!
This week we also celebrated Joseph's 1/2 birthday. When I asked what kind of cake Joseph wanted, he said "Be creative! How about something like an eagle swooping down catching a rabbit." Ummm yeah. We settled on a tiger.
Last of all I wanted to give a shout out to my cute nephew Ethan who was seen sporting the same outfit as Nathan! It is fun to have matching cousins even if they live so very far apart. And while we are pointing out similarities, both Nathan and Ethan were born on the 19th (one in May, one in June) and both boys have one brother and four sisters!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Reasoning with a two year old

The other day Paul watched as I tried to reason with Katie. Katie had found the shirt that she wanted to wear and she wanted to wear it NOW. I was trying to convince her to stay in her pajamas for breakfast.

"Katie, wait to get dressed because you don't want to get your clothes dirty at breakfast. If you get dressed now, your pretty shirt will be all dirty and you won't be able to wear it today."

Paul laughed and said "Hmmm, reasoning with a two year old?"

I know it is pointless. Two year olds are not capable of much reason (10 year olds are not capable of much reason). I still try- maybe just once the two year old will look up at me and say "Oh, Mom, that makes so much sense! I think I will stop throwing a fit and go sit quietly and eat my lunch."

Everyday I relearn that children are . . . well, they are children. They don't think like us, they don't do things the way we think or would like them to do. The fact that they are children is what makes them so challenging and also so wonderful.

Here are a few case studies I have experienced in the last week.

*This morning Katie came to find me with something pinched in her fingers that she wanted to give to me. I held out my hand and she dropped a spider in it. I don't mind spiders, but there is something about having one (slightly smashed but still moving) dropped in your hand.

*The child (who will remain nameless) that forgot to wear underwear one day last week.

*As we stood in the rain at the Children's Parade, Rachel turned to me and said "Why are all the raindrops only falling on me?!!!"

Even with daily examples that children are in their own little world, I still find myself frequently asking them: "Why would you do that?"

They always just look up at me with a blank stare. So much for reasoning with a two year old!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

We really enjoyed the little creative gifts the children made for Paul this Father's Day.
This is a Father's Day Dragon from Skye. We don't know why Father's Day is associated with dragons- but it is a nice art project.
Joseph made Paul a name plate for his office (thanks to a Mom who can use a compound miter saw). This fulfilled the Webelos Craftsman activity badge requirement 2.
Skye made this card. It reads: "Happy Fathers Day Roses are red Violets are blue and they smell like you" Although we are not sure what that means, we are still laughing.

And our favorite- the little card that Katie brought home from Nursery. She colored it herself. We laughed at the cute picture and then laughed even harder when we read the words inside:
"I'm so glad when Daddy comes home . . ."

Yep. That is one happy child.

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful Fathers in our life!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Strawberry Days

One of the best parts about living in Pleasant Grove is Strawberry Days. For a week each summer, PG has a big celebration for the city. This celebration started in the early 1900's when PG was mostly farmland. Most of that farmland was strawberry fields. Now the strawberry fields are filled with houses, but we still celebrate Strawberry Days! As a note we do have a nice patch of strawberries out back and the kids picked the first ones this week.

This year we are only attending a few of the Strawberry Days events. We are missing the rodeo, the fair downtown, and many other events. We did make it to the children's parade and the Grand Parade this morning. A huge difference this summer is that it has been raining everyday. So the kids marched in the rain on Wednesday and we watched the parade in the rain today. They were still both really fun. The kids especially enjoyed the parade this morning- they got lots and lots of candy.
Waiting for candy.

Skye really raked in the free handouts. Maybe it was her cute smile!
Skye waiting for candy- next to the gutters full of rain water.
Katie watching the parade in the rain.
Marching in the Children's Parade.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

That's What Makes the World go Round

That's What Makes the World go Round
From "The Sword in the Stone"
Composed by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman

Left and right
Like day and night
That's what makes the world go round
In and out
Thin and stout
That's what makes the world go round

For every up there is a down
For every square there is a round
For every high there is a low
For every to there is a fro
To and fro
Stop and go
That's what makes the world go round

In one of my college classes we talked about interactions between parents and children. The basic premise of the discussion was that for every negative interaction you have with a
child, you would need a certain number of positive interactions to balance out the impact of the negative. The professor made the point that negative interactions are so powerful that it takes multiple positive interactions to compensate. I thought I would apply this concept to my day today.

A trip to Walmart with six kids.

Now for the balance:

Skye is my little mother. She will sit next to Nathan and wait for him to wake up. Then she will pick him up and love him. I love her caring heart.
I love my new shoes! They are so comfortable and I couldn't resist the orange.
Baby Nathan always tips the scale on the happiness side.
This rose just bloomed in my back yard.
Katie's hair always makes me smile. I love her curls!

PS In all fairness to my children, you must know that they were remarkably well behaved at Walmart. It is just the sheer effort of moving six bodies through the store that causes my brain to shut down. Moving them through Stuff Mart is torture because there are so many things that I need to say no about (no, we can't ride the horse, no we can't get that toy, no, you can't go play on the handheld games in the electronic department, no, we are not buying baby food for Nathan, no, you can't ride in the cart, no you don't need a new toothbrush, etc).

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Body Space

One of the aspects of motherhood that I did not consider before I embarked on the adventure was the total loss of body space. I remember the first few months after Joseph was born I had to adjust to the constant contact with another little person. It was not a bad adjustment- there is nothing sweeter than a little baby curled up on your shoulder. I think I assumed that as the children got older, I would regain my space and privacy. However, instead of just one baby on my lap or two small children following me, I find myself with one baby on my lap and five other children camped out very close. I am flattered with my celebrity status in our family. I know it will pass and soon the children may not want to follow me constantly around the house. So even though the lack of personal space can be overwhelming at times, I really do treasure this time. A typical morning for me looks a lot like this:
Note: These pictures were taken while the older three were in school- now I usually have at least two more children in the mix!
Katie and Adrie get ready to help with Nathan's bath.
Next we all need to watch the baby get dressed!
It is a good thing I have a footstool for everyone to sit on while I rock the baby;-)