Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New School Year

On Monday, we started a new school year.  We took pictures by the boxwood out front, as usual.

My kindergartener!


Fourth grader!



I've changed things up this year.  Previously, I'd been more lax with our routine.  But I think I've discovered that my son does better with a more strict schedule.  He thrives on knowing what to expect, and when, and for how long.  Our school day is longer this year, partly because I have two kids to teach, and partly because fourth grade requires more work.  To help ease that reality, I've added more games into each morning.

After our first day, both kids were completely exhausted!  I'm talking droopy eyelids and sluggish movements, and they fell asleep before 7:30.  Last night they both slept 12 hours.  I guess the brain uses up a lot of energy.    

Some days are busier than others.  Yesterday, we did 3 hours of school, went to the store to buy tap shoes, went to playgroup at the park, left my son there with friends while I took my daughter to dance class, came back and got my son, then came home to meet with our writing tutor.  Today, we will do 3 hours of school, and then bake banana bread and stay home to play and read. 

I'm so very happy spending this time with my children!  The feeling I get when one of them understands a new concept, or enjoys an activity I planned, I can't quite explain the way it fills up my heart.  I am also glad to be back into the more structured life that fall brings.  I feel a fresh sense of purpose and almost giddy with my goals.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Yep, he has long hair

So, my son has long hair. 

It's true.

When he was little, I kept his hair pretty short.  It was easy to wash and comb, and for a kid who hated to have his head touched or to get any water on his face, that was important.

He's 5 in this picture.

When he was 6, he asked to grow his hair out, so that he could stay warm the following winter.  We said, "Sure."





It grew.

It got about this long:

7.5 years old.

Then he wanted it cut.

Age 8, with dear Alice.

Then we started reading Harry Potter, and he wanted to grow in out like Dumbledore and Sirius Black.  So he grew it again.  More than half of his friends have long hair, so he probably didn't deliberate long over his decision. 

So now it's long.


Sometimes he combs it:





Sometimes he doesn't:



Sometimes he is mistaken for a girl.  He does not mind at all.  He says, "Well, I know I'm a boy, so why does it matter what they think?"   I love that attitude. 

He recently got an inch trimmed off, then went back yesterday and had another inch cut off.  He was having trouble with tangles, so he wanted it to be easier to manage.  (If he's going to have long hair, it's his job to care for it.) 

What I love is that he was so inspired and moved by the characters in his books, that he wanted to emulate them in appearance.   

Hair fashions change all the time, I love that he's just doing what he feels like doing.

The woman who cut his hair yesterday told him he was lucky that I let him have long hair, because she sees many little boys in the chair crying while she buzzes their hair off, because their moms won't let them have it long.  She looked at me and said, "You pick your battles, am I right?" 

Well, she's right, I do try to pick only the battles that are very important to me.  But his choice to have long hair was never a battle in our house. 

(Maybe other moms choose the hair battle for a good reason, and I don't begrudge them that at all.  They probably give me the side-eye when I tell my kids they can't do something they allow.)



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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tipi

We did a fun thing. 

We went camping in a primitive tipi!  (That's how the ranch spelled it, so that's how I'm spelling it.)


It was 20 feet in diameter at the bottom.




It felt really surreal and different.  We did a lot of pretending that we were in a tribe.  It was so fun!  But you guys, when you're the grown-up, camping is hard.  It really made me thankful for all the comforts back at home.   We didn't mind the rain, because we liked the sound it made when it hit the tipi.  But it was cold.  So cold. 








We kept the fire going all night, which was a dream of mine:  to sleep right by a campfire.  


Here I am reading in the firelight.  I slept in my jacket.  We didn't get warm for two days after we got home.




It was a wonderful life experience and I'm so glad we did it. My memories are already adding a little shine to the actual experience. 



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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Simple

I never, ever tire of simple days spent at home with my family.  Today we logged another cool, gray, and rainy spring day.  So we stayed inside.

At bedtime yesterday, Bee was quite upset that he hadn't done all the fun things he hoped he would during the day.  So when he woke up today, he made what he called a schedule.

His list looked like this:

-Read sister a book
-Play a computer game with dad
-Play mancala with mama
-Watch tv
- Take a shower
-Play with the guinea pigs
-Legos

His sister thought this list-making was a great idea, so she had me write one for her.  Here is what she  told me to put on it:

-Read books in the bed
-Play in the bed
-Playdough
-Watch Rapunzel
-Read more books with mama
-Lay in the bed with daddy

We did all of those things, and also more things, or course.

My guy went and got groceries and we put them away together and kissed in the kitchen.  I made some no-bake cookies, and while the kids and I were patiently waiting for them to harden, my guy ate two of them with a spoon.  I did the thing where I cleaned the kitchen, then used it and made it a mess, so I cleaned it again, and messed it again, and so on.

Really, it was my kind of peaceful hermit day.  I never even put on a bra, but I did put on mascara.  I guess if I made a "schedule" that is what it would say.  Read books to my girl, play a game with my boy, kiss my man,  bake cookies, read a book, put on mascara, and don't wear a bra.

Perfect.






Thursday, March 14, 2013

Piano Feet

The time my guy spends with our kids is so precious.  The other day, he and our daughter played the piano after dinner.

She's so tiny next to him!

His big hands, her tiny hands!  Squee!

Things got a little silly, as they always do when he's involved.  




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Monday, March 11, 2013

Pictures Don't Tell All the Words

Last week was a very rough week for my family.  My son is going through some struggles, and we've  spent a lot of time at home just trying to make it through.  I love him so much, and it's hard not being able to help, or fix things.  I had the idea that maybe getting out of town and doing something really fun would be just the ticket.  Maybe it would reset things, give us all a breather.

We went the the Children's Museum in Indianapolis.

Here are some pictures from that day, last Thursday.







Looks fun, right?  Uh, no.  It wasn't fun.  The pictures do not accurately represent the day.  When I snapped each picture, that particular moment was fine.  Good even.  But those moments only lasted for a minute, tops.  It just wasn't the right time to go there.  It was a good idea, I think, but it didn't have the effect I hoped for.  After barely hanging on through the day, I brought us home where I could cry and my son could go to his room for some peace, and my daughter could have some space to play happily.

When I told my mom about this day, she gave me the gift of a break.  She and Papaw came down to our house on Saturday and took my kids to a hotel in town.  They swam, went to a movie, bought toys at a store, went out to dinner, went to Wonderlab, and so on.  She went all out, and kept them for 26 hours. 

My husband and I wrung every bit of peace and relaxation out of those 26 hours.  We went to the movies too.  Took naps, ate food, spent time together.  It was perfect.  Just what I needed.

My mom came back exhausted, and we were ready to take over, fully recharged.

So no, the pictures do not tell the whole story.  But they do show something to me when I see them.  I see my persistence, my willingness to make myself vulnerable for my children.  I see the way I do not give up.  I see children who I love, doing their very best.  I see my life.


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Monday, March 4, 2013

Hope and Life

March is such a hopeful month for me.  It will contain at least one day when the weather will be nice enough to go to the zoo.  There will probably be one more snow, but I just know that we will have a sunny 60 degree day too.  I will wear flipflops at some point this month, and if that's not hope, I don't know what is.

Our wedding anniversary is in March.  That's uncommon, I think.  But I like March because those first amazing days of spring feel so renewing and joyful. 

We had rather a rough winter, figuring out how to best help our son with his various challenges, illnesses, gray weather.  Just like everyone else, I am more than ready for spring. 









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