Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fingerpaint attempt:

Not a major success, but not a total wash. It's better to make it about an hour before use, rather than the night before.

Oh, and there is the issue of my kids not really wanting messy fingerpainty hands.

But they like the colors and they enjoyed being outside at 7AM.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Finger paint

Here's what I'm preparing for tomorrow:

Homemade finger paint. I'll let you know if my time might be better spent on homemade muffins instead.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Big news!! It's a...

New home! Of our very own!

We've been living with my parents since Thanksgiving of 2009, and how thankful we have been, every single day and every step of the way. Without their unwavering support and amazing generosity, we would have never been in the position to wait for the right job (or something like it), for the right house, and the right time in general.

The right time as a concept was itself changing and evolving. For those keeping score at home, we are leaving my parents' house with one more boy than we had when we left the house in New Jersey. And when we discovered that we would be blessed with another sweetheart, we knew that our aspirations of being in our own space would have to wait. And isn't he just the icing on the cake! So sweet and good-natured, such fun at the table, and ever so eager to get in on the fun with his big brothers.

Thankfully with lots of saving and lots of help, we are here. We've come full circle. Acquiring our own home is a sign of victory and survival, in so many ways.

We have a bit of work to do, and to have done, but we will get it. Windows, floors, painting of course. Cleaning, naturally. And a variety of planning things, most of which fall to me as the person who will be spending the time there getting the work done and working with our contractor.

Even the kids are excited! They like the place. They like getting to pick colors and posters and furniture.

I am just thrilled as anything.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Decent human beings

Today, Little Bear decided that he wanted to make a mess. He had a hot dog and threw it on the floor. When asked to pick it up, he said, "I broke the hot dog" and rip it into more pieces. I told him several times that we can't do anything else until his mess us cleaned. No dice.

In his usual patient and loving manner, Daddy asked Little Bear to pick the pieces up and put them in his hand. Which he did a bit and then got bored. Even so, snaps to Daddy for the patience and the impression given to the children that their parents want the same thing.

But then, the most amazing thing happened. With no prompting at all, The Boy got up out of his chair and said "I'll clean it up." And he did.

What a great kid.

Not that Little Bear is not a great kid but let's be honest: in many ways, the 2/almost 3 year old is an uncivilized creature. All the brains in the world with none of the impulse control.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


I'm proud of my children.

We went on a weekend excursion to the state of Michigan, following last weekend's excursion to Maryland. Any sort of vacation with children involves a large amount of routine disruption for them and very little actual vacation for their grownups.

We have really worked hard to help the kids feel good about going to bed and just being responsive to us in general, and it has paid off handsomely. That's why last weekend, Little Bear was able to go to sleep with the disruption of the rest of his family in the room, with only a little reminding. Quite a change from the last few times we stayed in a hotel together. This weekend was similar. And even The Boy slept well.

When we returned home today after a long day, they were cranky. Really cranky. But the older ones were saying that they were tired and wanted to rest. Rather than fighting with us and being completely defiant (beyond their crankiness, that is), they did their bedtime things and went to bed, happy to be home.

I'm so glad that we have put our emotional connection with the kids at the forefront. We usually know why they are doing what they do (even if the reason is "because he is 2") and we have a good handle on pumpkin time. You know what that is, if you know kids. It's when the fairy tale ends for the afternoon/evening and you just get them out of there before they turn back into pumpkins.

We have boys. We love them. They're awesome. But they are WORK at this age. It's an investment, though. Mamas with boys--you do all this work now so that the teenage years are easier.