Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hippity Hoppity

The Easter bunny came, and brought with him enough candy to make little boys squeal and little girls puke.  Yes, it was another wonderful Easter!  Olive is not just walking, but full blown toddle-sprinting, which is just plain adorable in Easter attire.  As cute as she may have been, there was no actual egg hunting.  As soon as that girl hits the outdoors, the only thing she wants to do it high tail it across the driveway to see the goats and chickens!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ivey's Easter Party!

It was a very big day at Play Pals today.  Ivey had her first Easter Egg Hunt, or at least the first one where she really hunted!  She pigged out on a big ol' cupcake (okay, so she ate the frosting off the top), ran around gathering eggs, and finished off all of her candy in our driveway!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Scarier than a Meat-a-saurus.

A couple weeks ago, we rented Jurassic Park for the boys.  For the week preceeding the movie watching event, Papa made sure to get the boys really excited about it.  There was an entire week of growling, denying he was growling, and Asa saying they thought it was Papa doing it (but silently wondering if it was in their heads).  Once the big night came, Dr. Hammond delivered.  The boys were on the edge of their seats.  I had almost forgotten what a good movie it is!

Once the movie was over and the lights were back on, their was no question as to the scariest part of the movie for the boys.  The most disturbing, frightening scene of the entire movie was not when the lawyer was plucked up and eaten off of the port-a-potty.  It was not the T-Rex chasing the Jeep, or even the raptures stalking the kids in the kitchen.  It was when the lawyer bolted out of the Jeep, deserting the two children inside.  They were all three sitting there, and when things got scary, he up and ran.  Both Asa and Addison were truly upset that this grown up would jump out and leave the kids behind.  Asa, in particular, was terrified almost to the point of tears.  Why?  Because it's just not supposed to happen.  That's why.

We spend so much time trying to decide what color crib bedding to register for, which bottles are least likely to create gas, and what multiplication cd has the catchiest songs.  We worry about the right age to start going to the dentist, whether or not our 24 hours a day is enough one-on-one time for everyone, if we are being strict enough to get through the 2's and have a decent human being on the other side, and if our kids are watching too much of the Human Planet Series on Discovery.  We stress.  We fret.  We worry.

When it comes down to it, the single most important factor, the only thing truly important to our children, is that we are there.  We are supposed to be there.  We are their constant.  We are their rock.  We are their solid, stable foundation.  Our rules, our punishments, our love, our presence, is stable.  We create their ability to trust, to love, to rely on others.  If we have no cribs or coordinated bedding or video monitor or all natural organic maple syrup, or hormone free milk, or advanced math curriculum, or television.... our kids would be far better off than if they had all of these things, but lacked adults in their life that they could count on to stay in that Jeep.

At around three or four years old, kids start to realize that their parents provide them with all of their needs.  Clingyness, nightmares, and social anxiety are all normal and pop up out of the blue.  For my boys, they would wake up in tears, unaware that their nightmare was just a dream.  9 times out of 10, they did not wake up because they were scared of a monster, or a witch, or an injury... They were scared that something had either happened to one of us, or that for some reason we didn't give them food.  Why?  Because their little subconscious brains began to realize that their very existence depended on the certainty, the trustworthiness, of their parents. To new parents, this should be comforting.  Children love you when you are strict, or when you put the diaper on backwards, or when you don't drive the newest car in the neighborhood.  They love you because you love them.  They develop the ability to trust because they can trust in you.  They form healthy relationships because you show them healthy relationships.

I am incredibly thankful that my boys were able to watch the "blood sucking lawyer" abandon those kids when danger came... and find it unacceptably frightening. What is really scary would be to have a child that expected such a reaction; that witnessed that behavior and have it fail to shock them. Whatever else happens, at least my kids know that they will never be left behind to fight a T-Rex... and a T-Rex takes on many forms.  A bad grade.  A broken heart.  A failed attempt.  A crisis.  All of those things that are etched in our memories from our own childhood and adolescence.  When that dinosaur comes crashing in, no matter how old they are, I hope that our constancy now will help them always remember...

we'll be in that backseat with them the entire ride.

Olive's Milestones

The last month has been a busy time for Ms. Olive.  She is truly walking now.... no more falling down and just crawling since she's already on her hands and knees.  She pops back up and keeps on toddling.  She's even picking up some speed!

She also has six words that she uses!  Mama, more, "da" for dada, ah-oh, goat, and chicken.  Of course, our kids would have "goat" and "chicken" as some of their first words!

Friday, April 15, 2011

[(love of physics + mechanical inclination) + need for action] - fear

I believe Asa has found a sport that fits him like a glove... or fits him like a baseball glove didn't.  That boy can ride a bike.  Now, Jeff and I weren't exactly parents of the year and didn't have him out there super early, coaching him on how to ride without training wheels.  We were too busy teaching him how to fix his own cereal and use a floor sander.  But, he did indeed learn to ride.  And, within the first few weeks of riding a "big" bike, he was going down Grandmomma and Granddaddy's driveway, standing up on the seat.

I told him about racing a while back, and he was interested.  Well, for some reason it came up again and I realized how well it fit with him.  I had to get him to that track.  I found him a bike on Craigslist.  A little RedLine mini that fits him very well.  We got him a helmet, that almost cost as much as the bike.  Then, we hit the track.  I thought it could have gone one of two ways.  The first way was that he would look out at all of those berms and jumps and that starting gate and totally change him mind.  Asa has a funny thing about thinking he isn't good enough at something... even when he isn't yet supposed to be good at it.  Well, Asa went with my second way... he ate it up, was bouncing around and totally ready to get out there.  So, out he went.

Now, I have ridden this track.  Not well, mind you, but I did it.  So, I am able to appreciate the basic level of "umph" it takes just to get up and around everything you have to... without crashing.  Asa was great.  The first time we took him, he didn't raise his bottom off of the seat, but he did ride the whole track, which is awesome.  The next time we went, I had him up off the seat a little, and by the time we had to leave, he was off the seat the entire way around... over and over again.

What I love is an exhausted kid, an injured kid, who is limping around holding his knees and asking me when he can go back at the same time.  That is success right there.  So, I'm sure we will have more posts regarding Asa's blossoming new sport.  A sport that I love, that I spent my entire childhood watching at the track, watching Scoot and Pete at the practice track in the backyard of Gram's house, and even jumping in the big van on crazy trips for Nationals.  I looked up to my uncles and I knew they were great at racing, and I loved to watch them do it... and I loved just to be the niece who came along.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Room Mates

For the past two nights, the girls have successfully shared a room!  I knew I wanted them to, and now that Ivey is not really taking naps (but still has to have "room time" so that we can do school and have an Ivey break), I can alternate Ivey's once a day room need and Olive's twice a day nap schedule.  Things looked as good as they'd ever get, so I decided to give it a try.

The first night, I put Olive to bed, let her fall asleep, and then brought Ivey in.  I explained that she needed to be super quiet, and she did an excellent job (except for one loud rendition of "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" which thankfully Olive slept through!).  Olive woke up twice that night, but just to get her paci back in.  Ivey never woke up.  In the morning, Olive woke up first, and Ivey crawled out of bed an hour and a half later.  Pretty good.

Last night, I decided to try things a little differently.  I took both girls in to their room, changed them into pajamas, brushed their teeth, Jeff and I rocked them both, and then we put them to bed.  Much to my surprise, we closed the door and never heard a peep.  It probably helped that Ivey had skipped a nap and went to play in the sun at the park instead, so she was beat.  Olive only woke up once (again, not affecting Ivey) and then Olive woke up for good at 6:30, but Ivey slept in until 8:45.

I know tonight could be a nightmare, but so far, so good!  I'm hoping this will help some bonding go on.  The boys always spent so much time together in their room talking, playing, singing, making each other laugh, gagging themselves with their own finger to make the other laugh, and generally forming a great relationship!  Now, it's the girls' turn!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The reason for door locks

Ivey has discovered that she can open doors.  Drat.  For the most part, normal doorknobs are still a little tricky, but can be done with enough work.  The front door here has a level type handle, which is simple as pie for that little girl.  We have to put a lock on it, but haven't found the right one just yet.

The other day, I had given both girls baths downstairs.  I dressed Olive, but I didn't have a diaper or clothes for Ivey.  I wrapped her in a towel, set her on the couch, and went upstairs to quickly grab the clothes.  When I flew back down the stairs, the only thing on the couch was an empty towel.  I yelled around looking for her, then I saw the door was cracked.  I didn't see her out there.  In a tiny panic, I went around to the back of the house.  There, standing in all of her stark whiteness, was a very naked Ivey.  It had been raining, and she informed me that she was "jumping in puddles" because it makes her "warm".  .

Yeah.  Doubt that.

Recent Addisonisms

Out of the blue from the back of the van:
      "You know what would be helpful?  If you were a bad guy and you spoke a language that no one else 
       spoke.  Then, no one would understand your plan."

When talking about our broody hen, who is setting on a clutch of eggs:
       "So, are we gonna let her raise them up chicken style?"

We were at the park.  Addison was sitting on the ground, reading a book, beside Ellen.  A young girl walked up and asked if she could do a video survey.  Ellen agreed, and the girl asked her a question about a restaurant name.  When the girl left, Addison looked up and said, "Well, that was awkward."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Timmies

A few weeks ago, a very nice woman saw my post on Craigslist looking for a white leghorn rooster.  She had a young one, and I met her to pick him up.  The white leghorns are smaller than our others, and very sweet and tame.  Addison named this little guy "Timmy".  Well, although Timmy seemed happy as can be, he must have been bullied by the others.  On the first night, he "flew the coop" and we never saw him again.  The next day, the kids spent hours out looking for Timmy.  I half thought we would find him hiding in the barn... but, no such luck.

I called the woman that gave us Timmy, and she did have two more.  I told her we would take both of them.  So, after a chicken deal in the parking lot of Haverties, we took the new little guys home.  This time, we kept them caged for a while.  Addison began referring to them as... "The Timmies".  So, now we have to "put up the Timmies" and make sure to feed "The Timmies".  They are super sweet and friendly.  I know we won't need two leghorn roosters, but for now, the kids are enjoying playing with the friendliest chickens in the yard.