Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hey, little bluebird.

Duke and I talked it through and decided the time has come to cut out super-heroing. I think it was a combination of scratches on siblings and attacks on defenseless babies that pushed me over the edge of permissiveness and rationalization about boys being boys.

There's a reason that some shows are rated for age 7 and up. Not because they are bad, per-say, but more because of the lack of understanding young children have about the consequences of reckless machoness.

You know what, though? There are so many games to play! So we decided to axe the whole "punch daddy mercilessly in the head" game (which started out innocently enough, as most fighting games do). The plan is to discover a few better games.

Here's our baby bluebird game:
You will need a blanket and as many socks as there are kids playing.
Build a nest.
Throw the socks about pretending they're worms. Designate a "momma-bird."
Whichever of the babies chirps the loudest wins the worm.

Enjoy:

I'd love to hear about some of the simple games that either you grew up playing or that you've adopted with your little birds. Share, if you care. :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

glamor and ghosts

Our front porch is now haunted.

To say nothing of the creepy "others" that are living inside the house.

How many Halloween costumes will you wear this week?

I'm predicting at least three more.

I'll use any excuse to dress up.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My bugs.

November first marks a mass upload of glorious children in fantastic costumes, just as we all lose our zest for Halloween and turn our minds to the coming Holiday feast.

So we took a few pictures during our dress rehearsal.

I am an advocate of thrift and resourcefulness, preferring in costumes the character and quirk of scrounged and home-fashioned accessories.

(It might have been different had I birthed a diva.)

Hope your Halloween is shaping up, whichever way you play it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Awake to life.

My tired head bobbed with each bump on the icy, Idaho roads. I'd noticed that the shuttle driver for this night run seemed a bit reckless, but I'd talked myself calm, assuring my worried side that I'd be home to my children when I awoke.

Out of a foggy rest I started, now incredibly alert, with an intense feeling that the end of my life had come. That I should say my goodbyes. I prayed then, amidst the sleeping passengers, in complete panic.

I selfishly pleaded my potential as a mother. I promised I was of more worth alive than as a memory, or that I would become a more valuable instrument in the hands of God. The moments passed in very personal (and frightening) thoughts and communion until abruptly I felt peace in a prayer answered. I knew then more than ever that my life is a gift not to be taken for granted.

I calmed just as all the other passengers woke up gasping and shrieking, falling to the side as the driver whipped around a breaking car that he had been following too closely, a semi-truck nearly grazing the tail-left (where I was sitting) of the van. Horns honking, he accelerated over the winter highway, finally resettling at a safe pace and distance from other vehicles.

Some wide-eyed acquaintances exchanged words of fright and anger. I cried a little as I dozed, whispering gratitude, in a small chorus with a few others, I suppose.

The fox-holes of life are nearly always accompanied by promises to be better, no?

Maybe it is because when our hearts become aware of the frailty, value, and beauty of our own lives, the next step is to do something with that knowledge.

Yesterday I nearly crashed my bike into a concrete wall at the bottom of a steep hill, toting a precious load. Having promised the library, I thanked my Heavenly Father that it happened near a cozy, used-book-store (aka, the new library), and a cafe with peanut-butter cookies.

I ruined my shoes trying to stop us. And you really don't want to see my toe.

But I cannot deny that my life is rich and good, and that the Lord is with me when I pray. That there are great wonders all around us to be appreciated and savored.

And today is the time to live life-dreams. Maybe even the last time.

I'm going to learn how to draw.... Thank you, bookstore....Starting with the basic requests of boys: Boats, Cars, Trains, Dinosaurs, and Spider-man.

Warning: Do not try this at home. Near-death experiences are not required for greater awakening and life appreciation.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Group dating.

For maximum fun I'd suggest you go on a group date with...

Teenagers who hardly know each other...

A head-over-heels-dating couple...

Very-newly weds...

And old-farts with kids at home. (Thanks be to Grandpa and Grandma!)

Once you have kids I think it's pretty easy to start hanging out only with people who are in the same stage of life. While these people may get you, a more varied posse will teach you, remind you, and learn from you. I highly recommend spicing it up.

Football Season.

There is just something really magical about freezing your buns off as a family.

And chasing the kids down before they make it onto the field, creating a sort-of game of our own.

The players' parents in the crowd laugh at us and clap when we catch our sons in the nick-of-time. They tell us stories of when their boys were young and we can see the longing in their faces for those sweet, fleeting days of young-parenthood.

Any frustration we might have felt with our boys resolves into pure adoration.

Hey, presto.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ride an elivator up and down.

Hard to beat this kind of free entertainment.

Everyone should see their home-town from the top of a tall building, I say.

Highly endorsed adventure!

old. new. borrowed. blue.

When was the first time you heard The Beatles? In 5th grade my friends and I discovered them, promptly counting ourselves fanatics. Now I chuckle to myself as I imagine informing my parents of this music sensation.

How often a part of the world opens to us, presenting itself as new and exciting, but in reality the region was there before us, and before our fathers.

We laugh about "reinventing the wheel" as an ultimate inefficiency. How about rediscovering sunrise? If we aren't the first to recognize beauty, truth, or love is it a waste to even try? Of course not.

Sometimes when I stand in an older part of town, I look down at my feet and wonder how many souls have wandered over that exact spot. I imagine them in the prime of their lives, walking swiftly with purpose. I imagine that if they had been still for a moment, they might have felt me there, too.

Before we were married, Duke and I romanced about this town in a flurry of youth. Now I smile as my children introduce me to familiar architecture, landmarks, and secret walk-ways.

I have a feeling now, more than ever, that all the generations of mankind are connected.

Maybe we couldn't all rave about our love for The Beatles. But certainly we could speak of changing seasons. I wouldn't mind traveling time to sit aside a brother or sister watching the ocean waves.

What a rich collective history of morning dew, fireside storytelling, and tender kisses we humans have. I'm glad to have a piece of that pie.

play.

As much as I love to go to the park with other moms and sit around on the benches while the kids run around, I'm actually glad that I've had the opportunity, since moving here, to spend more park time as a lone mother.

For one thing, I actually play with the kids. As a child I recall my dad playing a game he called "Gollum" (after the Lord of the Rings creature). He would have a playground of strangers joining in the fun of chasing one another and working as teams. I liked that... And now I'm like that... Imagine if he had always told me to "just go play" while he grownuped.

Alright, I know it's sort-of cliche to say things like "studies have shown..." and go on to make some sort of point so I'll just skip that part (but I really did learn this in a recreation course at college).

Women, in general, have less fun that men. What? I know! Let me tell you why...

1. They are typically more self-conscious, hindering their willingness to try new things with a good attitude in fear they might look stupid.
2. Being more prone to planning, they become easily disgruntled when everything doesn't pan out the way they were imagining. Basically, they have a harder time going with the flow when the unexpected happens.

So, one thing that helps me is that I make very, very flexible outing plans, developing only a theme and letting circumstance guide the rest. For example; "Let's walk around downtown with five dollars." NOT "Let's go to the bakery on Center and get a bagel, then go to the capital and take the tour, then be back to the car at 4:15."

Another thing that helps me is having practically no shame, but that's just a family trait.

When we were kids, play came naturally. Now that we're older, we have to work at it a little, but its importance has not left our lives.

I advise practice. I mean it. Go play.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sneak-Peek on Halloween.

Well, they want to be bugs. So here we have some home-made dragonfly wings....

And the start of a super-hero-lady-bug...

I'd love to hear what your planning for your kiddos!

Oh, and last year I posted a couple of Halloween decor tutorials if you're up for ideas:
Spooky Bats
Vampire Family Photos

Enjoy!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fair Love.

I can hardly articulate the thoughts playing in my head.

Seeming the concepts together into any sort of solid process of analysis is proving difficult so perhaps I will simply state said thoughts which happen to be centralized in favoritism among family members.

1. Coming from what I consider a very fair family, each time I post about a specific child I feel the immediate need to post about my other children.

2. I do not believe that love can be measured, quantified and compared. When I catch myself attempting to count up and balance each quality I love in each of my children, I feel forced, fake and frustrated with my own relationships. When I think of them as very separate individuals and focus instead on cultivating love for each of them in whatever way they need, I feel the peace of true equality.

3. Lately I have been pondering the practice of labeling children "mamma's boy" "daddy's girl" or any combination of these. I am wondering if it can't be harmful in some ways, perhaps implying favoritism not only on the part of the child. People actually ask my quite often if whichever boy happens to be feeling clingy at the time is a mamma's boy (don't think for a second that I'm not tempted to braggingly reply that they are). Each time my mind recalls similar moments when the boys cannot be pried from their father. Could these labels be self-fulfilling prophesy?

4. This may be weird but sometimes when I catch glimpses in my sons of the men they are slowly becoming, I feel like they are my friends- but different- something more like brothers. Is it weird that I would love them like brothers?

5. Maybe being fair with love means to simply put the same amount of effort into cultivating relationships with each of them. The method chosen to strengthen the bonds may be so different that they may, when taken out of context, seem unfair. Each child feels love differently, so should we show love differently? I seem to be getting along ok using the shot-gun method, telling them I love them in any way I can think of; quality time, spoken words, serving them, making gifts. But if you do something for one of your children must you always do that same something for all?

6. Why, the mighty-morphin-power-rangers do make me happy! Especially when you pretend to be one, young Sparky. I am proud of you.

Ehk, it feels good to get all those thoughts out of my brain, sending them spiraling into space. Maybe one of you can do something productive with them.

Candidly speaking, I adore this blog for the endlessness of its invitation to write.

Dear reader, I hope you have a lovely weekend adorned with deep and fulfilling thoughts.

Megan Marie