Saturday, January 31, 2009

A weekend with brilliant children

This weekend was not super easy. But looking back it may be one we remember for a long time. The day of the chocolate chip pancakes was a big one for me. Alex taking on a job like that and actually doing it start to finish felt like a small triumph for me and my education process. It feels like he is starting to learn how to be a self motivator, or at the very least, learning to respect himself again.

Don't get me wrong... I don't think that it is all fixed and perfect just like that... just this afternoon it took him 4 hours to finish two sheets and read one book. BUT... things are going in the right direction. And quickly, with momentum. That feels really good.

Speaking of the pancake incident... he finally made them. With eggs. lol! But he made them all by himself and yesterday morning we woke up to this:

And this:

I have myself a regular little food artist here. :) He was SO crazy proud of himself! Mine wasn't quite done, but Don's was perfect so we finished it together and discreetly disposed of the other.

Soon after we had our wonderful breakfast in bed served to us by the most loving of hands (complete with drinks and bill stating that for this service we should give him an hour of free video game time... good luck with that one buddy.) Cyan noticed a 'new bird' in our backyard. I consider myself rather knowledgeable now, since I have the Audubon Society in my backyard and all, but on this one I am stumped. Anyone else know what this beautiful little thing is?

Today started off with Cyan's dance class. She enjoys it so much! They are rehearsing for her first recital in May and she has never been so happy! She says she is a little nervous about wearing flippers on stage (and I have no idea what that is about, so I just sympathize) but that more than anything she wants me and her friends to be there to watch her dance.

It makes me very happy that I can so easily fill one of her dreams.

This afternoon Cyan's little friend Autumn had a birthday party. So Cyan and I put our heads together and made this:

It goes with this book:

Fairy Houses Everywhere

I hope it goes over well with the birthday girl. I know that Cyan and I had a BLAST making it and will be making more soon for our own yard for the fairies to dance and play in.

And last but not least, I got home from dropping Cyan's things off so she could spend the night with the rest of the party girls and this is what I found on my couch. I have to admit it is just about the sweetest picture I have ever taken.

And Logan is drooling. ;)


Friday, January 30, 2009

On the road again...

For a long time now I have slowly been cutting things that could be cut out of my life. I have been pulling in, and slimming down the things on my to-do list... and last month I started to realise that the things I had been getting rid of to make my life easier were the things I was doing on my own... The things that didn't have anything to do with kids, family, etc.

I would spend time taking pictures, I would garden, I would play my guitar, I worked for a farm that had standards I believe in, I would work with wood, fabric, and paper and make beautiful things, I had chickens (in the city), I cooked good food everyday and took pictures and bragged about it all right here.

Slowly, oh so slowly, I got very overwhelmed. While I was doing all of these things, life happened. My kids started doing badly in school, I got pregnant, Don got a job that he had to commute too... so I adjusted. I pulled Cyan out of public school, had a baby, pulled Alex out of public school... and all of a sudden I was drowning in things I couldn't do right... because I didn't have time to do anything all the way. I hated where I was going with my life. Felt like I was in the middle of the ocean perched on a very precarious rock and I would either fall to one side (rage) or fall to the other (despair). I fell both ways a couple times before I realised it wasn't working.

When we decided to move, I thought that this would be my opportunity to get rid of a few 'extras'. I let things I believed in go... not for lesser things... but for different things. Things that I couldn't necessarily control. I got rid of the chickens. I let my beautiful garden move on to another persons hands. I haven't opened my guitar case since we moved...

Some things ended that were completely out of my control: Logan broke my camera lens. My farm work ended because the season was over. You can't be mad about it... you can't hold on to it... but one day, I looked up and every activity I had done 'just for myself' was gone.

Some of it makes me very sad. But some of it is a relief. And a lot of the time, I can't figure out which is what. I loved doing all of it... but if I wasn't doing any of it well, what should I pick back up now that my slate of things I do in my ten minutes of spare time has been wiped clean?

I want to be successful. I want to have self worth that isn't wrapped up in other peoples achievements. My husband, my kids... I want to have just a little something of my own. Wrong time of year for most of my hobbies... but something I was thinking about tonight.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

with a dash of chocolate chips...

Last night when Don and I retired, we found a note on our door that said "Notes on your end tables." We followed the notes to our end tables and on there were two little notes that said

"I will make breakfast. Sleap in. Love Alex" (Yes, the typo is authentic.)

This morning, blissfully, after a day of cramps and total uncomfortableness yesterday, I wasn't woken up until 9am. And then, it was because Alex said he couldn't find the eggs. I told him there weren't any... and he went back out. About 10 minutes later he came back, baring a eggless pancake recipe fresh from the printer. See, Alex could not find a pancake recipe that did not include eggs in any of my cookbooks and was dedicated to making pancakes. So he used the all knowing Google to find one. Thought that was pretty ingenious myself. :) BUT... the recipe he found was all wrong. Eventually, by the time I dragged my lazy butt out of bed, Alex and Don had made bagels and hot tea because the pancake batter looked like milk with flour in it. Which sadly, is about what it was.

To honor Alex's effort I had him save his pancake batter and decided to see what I could do to help fix it this afternoon, (after I had gone to get eggs.) We added two eggs to that recipe, and a cup of WW flour. Then Alex cooked them on a hot griddle with some butter to keep them from sticking and added little bits of semisweet mini chocolate chips here and there... making them into all the fun shapes that made him so dedicated to pancakes in the first place. Little kitties for Cyan, tiny griddle cakes for me, and even a x wing fighter from Star Wars for Don.

They were SO good.

It was so sweet and cute... and he did it, start to finish, himself. Follow through isn't his strong suit. Usually he has me hold his hand the whole way through something. It really showed me that homeschool has been really great for his confidence... which is why I pulled him out of public school. Anyway you slice it though, today my son was learning to be a kick ass husband.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Spontaneous Gratitude for today

I had a hard evening. Logan is still very upset about it... so I thought that I would post my gratitude for the day.

A sunny morning.

A hot cup of tea.

From the new tea shelf.

A beautiful, and very normal, two year old.
(saying "CHEESE")

A new cookbook to play with.

My favorite Goodwill candle.

Veggies, frozen from a time of plenty...
added to a mix of red and brown rice to make fried rice (recipe).

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Logan's Owl Party

The party was great! You really can't get a perfect capture of a nighttime party in Jan... unless you have a pretty darn amazing camera and a lot of patience (and time!). I tried to get as good a pictures as I could with my camera and very little time so most of them are fuzzy... but the party was so much better than the pictures. A little scattered because of some technical kitchen difficulties, but all in all I think it turned out so wonderful!

The kids LOVED the twilight treasure hunt! I had put candles at each station (Alex helped a LOT with this set up) so they could tell where they were going and the stations were spread all over my yard. 

Each little spot had a treat to pick up... all night time bird themed stuff too.  All picked up and put in these cute little bags I made from Trader Joe's bags and embellished with flowers and brads and owl name tags.

It was great and they had so much fun! I really enjoyed watching them run around the yard yelling at their parents, who were following with the candles, "Hey mama! Look at what I found over here!" and "There's another one!!" So cute!

Cricket Clickers, gummy worms and frogs, chocolate coated sunflower seeds, bubbles (ok, I stretched, but the kids loved them!), LED flashlights (for pure toddler pleasure), a set of three 'eggs' (speckled candy rocks), and a bracelet I made with bells on it that I thought they would like. 

These sweet treasures got tucked away as the favors.

After the treasure hunt we had a "make your own pizza" dinner.  Kids adore making their own pizzas!

Then of course was cake!  I put out a few owl friends out and about.  

 Gifts and playing came after that.

All in all, it was a huge success and not one meltdown, which is pretty darn amazing for a party of toddlers!  Fun party!


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Logan is TWO!!!

Birthday Dutchman is a tradition in my house and was in the house where I grew up. Logan just got introduced to that today, and he was SO excited! We decided, since he was going to have his party tomorrow that he should practice blowing out candles. When he actually blew the candle out, he was completely shocked... He looked at it for a minute, and then quickly wanted to do it again. It was adorable!

Happy Birthday to you little man!

After breakfast we quickly moved to the giving of gifts.

At Christmas time he was still kind of confused about gift opening. He had never opened gifts before. He was 11 mos at his first Christmas, and then his first birthday where he really didn't care about anything but the cupcake he devoured.

This time though... he had it down. He kept saying "Mama help!" and I would tear off a corner, and he would say "Mine" impatient to get it back and be able to rip the paper off. Which he did, strip by strip, crumbling my thoughts of keeping the adorable wrapping paper and making a huge pile on the floor of microscopic strips of paper... but he was so proud that I made a very fast recovery and let him do it his own way.

And finally, the wrapping paper that started it all.

Tomorrow you will see exactly what 'it all' is.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sunny day and a bit of crafting

What a beautiful day it was! The days lately have started out with THICK fog that make it hard to drive and then open up into this blindingly bright afternoon of sun, until of course, the sun goes down around 4:30. lol! But while it lasts... it is so exciting just to see the sky!

Logan's birthday party gift bags. Recycled out of Trader Joe's bags from before I got in the habit of taking my own bags again when we first moved.

I sewed them on my sewing machine with bright green thread and added a felt flower and a little woodland animal brad to hold the flowers on. I thought they turned out especially cute.

Once I got the hang of sewing with paper, they were surprisingly easy. It does take a bit of planning, and so I had two trial runs before I got it right, but when I did, the construction was simple and the rest of the gift bags went pretty quickly.

And of course, I found these cute little brads! They match perfectly with his owl and nighttime animal theme we have going for this party of 8 toddlers.

It should be adorable!


Monday, January 19, 2009

Menu Monday

Menu Monday.

This week on the menu are the things that I do for birthdays as it is Logan's second birthday on Thursday! Dutchman for a celebratory breakfast and pizza for his party are both included. The rest of course, will move around at will. ;)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Taking a deep breath and putting it out there.

From the first moment you contort yourself to dip your elbow in 3 inches of water at the bottom of the tub, you try to figure out how to make this world gentler for your children.

I still find myself trying to save my oldest from the world... and then other times feeling like flinging him into the path of fate for him to make his own mistakes so I don't have to be the bitch anymore by telling him "No"...

NO, Don't take all of the cheese and eat it and forget to put it on the list when fajitas are on the menu. NO, don't hit the window with sticks. NO! Don't lock your little sister in the Yard Waste bin. And you start hearing yourself say unthinkable things. Mostly to yourself... things that make your husband say things like "Why don't you go get a cup of coffee by yourself this morning" as he tries to use camouflage to blend into the wallpaper. Flinching like you just hollered, as you say "Hell yeah. That's a great idea." Which of course just makes you think bad thoughts about him too.

At this point, I would take just a tiny bit of anything... a bit of joy, a bit of gratitude, a bit of even reluctance before the nasty words blurt out of my spawns mouth. He gives me looks that would make me want to punch a perfect stranger... but I know that this is my baby. My FIRST baby... and I know that I can't hurt him. But for a split second I know that I am mad enough right this second to not feel bad today... I would feel bad tomorrow.

They learn these looks. Probably from me. The "what did you just say?" looks where I heard what they asked, but I want them to say it nicely and so, (gracefully) I am hoping they get the hint without pointing out their mistake. But they use it wrong. They use it when they just knocked over their sisters castle of blocks... acting like they didn't notice what they were doing.

They learn these looks. Probably from me. The "how dare you!" look. The look I use when I walk outside to find my 7 year old stuck in the yard waste bin, crying. But they use it wrong! They use it when I say "I am so sorry it has gotten dark and you messed around today... you still have to get the jobs on the list done outside before dinner."

Then I realise that they have stuffed macaroni down my drain while 'doing the dishes' this morning and it has expanded because no one told me about it and no amount of plunging will save me from calling the plumber. And when I ask him about it, I get the 'what did you just say' look.

And I sit very still, and breathe very deep.

Thus is the life with a teenager. God, I hope we both survive.

Glorious Sun

The sun is out today.

What a beautiful thing.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Spontaneous Gratitude

This is a game I made up with the kids two months ago. I shout "Spontaneous Gratitude" and we all have to pick things we are grateful for... on the spot. At first, the kids came up with the most boring and vague things they could think of. "I am grateful for shelter", "I am grateful for nourishment" (thank you Alex)... but after a while, they were really being very sweet and cute about it, thinking of the details of life and having gratitude for those things.

"I am grateful for soda pop!" Alex shouts on the way to the airport last month, and Cyan pipes in with "I am grateful for straws to drink it!"

It has turned into a very sweet game and even when we don't have the whinnies, we will sometimes pop up with spontaneous gratitude of some sort.

So here is my Spontaneous Gratitude for today:

A blank pack of Moleskine book covers (that were being played with).

My favorite (and very well loved) sweatshirt.

A new book.

A new (and not electric) hair color.

An inspiring picture (in the perfect frame picked by yours truly).

This baby.

This girl.

This boy.


Blogger Template Created by pipdig