Thursday, January 26, 2012

Donuts With Dad

Andy's preschool celebrated Dads last week with a much-anticipated event: Donuts with Dad. Andy counted down for at least 10 days, asking every morning"how many wake ups left until Dad has donuts with me??" I forgot that time moves at a snail's pace when you are only five years old.
 At last, the big day arrived and they posed on the porch for a pic. 
 Not only did the pre-schoolers eat their weight in donut holes, there was also a mystery craft. Home Depot even included complementary orange aprons.
Ta Da! The finished project. It's a bird house, in case you couldn't tell. Andy wanted it painted, furnished, stocked with bird food and hung in a tree the instant it came home. I deferred to Steve because we have a lot of trees and a lot of birds but I don't know if any of them are looking for a new residence.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Topic? Awake. Five Minutes. Let's Discuss.

Gypsy Mama conducts Five Minute Fridays on her blog, you guessed it, every Friday. It means stop drop and write for five minutes simply for the joy of writing. Hopefully without any editing and (fingers crossed) no interruptions. The topic of the day: Awake. 
I was awake at 6:04am this morning. Not because I wanted to be, mind you. I was summoned from my sweet slumber by a sweet little 5 year old whispering, "Hey. Hey, mom. It's me. A-N-D-Y. Where's dad?" He was awake and wanted some company. Usually the eldest child is awake by now and they normally begin a quiet yet mysterious game in one of their rooms known as the Cars 2 Thing. But Luke was not awake yet and Andy couldn't find the next early riser, so he was bold enough to try and wake me up. I do not like to wake up. In my ideal world, everyone would sleep until 7. That seems to be the magic hour in which I rise and sort of shine. I tried to distract him and sent him on a mission to find his dad. Unbeknownst to me, Andy already woke him up much, much earlier with a wet bed. I think it is an unwritten rule in our parenting playbook that if you got up once in the middle of the night to help with a wet bed, then you are immediately off the hook and the other parent has to get up with the early riser(s). We've never discussed this but I'm fairly certain this is how it works. Andy knew I did not want to get out of bed, so he began to wiggle incessantly. Thus I abandoned all hope of going back to sleep and stumbled out of bed, stifling my growls and shuffled after him to make breakfast. Half awake, whether I liked it or not. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Goal For This Here Hive

One of my favorite bloggers the nester is wildly successful in blog land with her tag line of: "it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful". Today she is encouraging her readers to develop goals for their homes and then broadcast those goals by posting a link on her blog. Now I am all about goals. There are all kinds of objectives and aspirations ruminating in my noggin. But when it comes to accomplishing anything pertaining to our living quarters, I cower in the corner with great trepidation.
You see, I have issues. From my irrational perspective, it must be perfect. All of it. The first time. Nine years of marriage, 1 apartment, and now house # 4 and it is safe to say I have struggled with contentment regarding home decor in every dwelling. This is sad and unfortunate. Sure, I've painted my share of walls, tossed a few throw pillows around and we even purchased new living room furniture recently. But I agonize over where to hang picture frames and sweat profusely over what to put inside the frames. What will people think of me, of us, if it isn't Just Right. It's all getting a bit ridiculous.
So this year, I vow to make a change. We are thankful for this house, this hive in which to keep our little bees. Instead of being a slave to my insecurities and pouting over what I don't have, I want to throw caution to the wind and open our home to others without worry or fear. I want to extend the same hospitality to others that has been so generously extended to us since we moved here. While I long for this porch to look like something from the pages of Southern Living, I will accept that I am a mother of young children and the perfect porch is not on their radar. But building friendships and having play dates and feeling connected in the community is valuable and I want our family to live that out in 2012.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Is There An App For That?

Upon hearing the Ten Commandments recited by the congregation on Sunday morning, a certain boy who remains nameless touched the eraser of his pencil to his chin. As this is the universal sign for pondering a deep thought, I felt my pulse quicken and braced myself. Please, I thought. Don't ask me about THAT one.
"Mom?" he asked in his very best exaggerated whisper (most likely heard three rows away), "what's adultery?"
Yup. That's the one.
My face flushed a little, my stomach muscles tightened and I looked around for a hasty exit. Just an hour earlier, I attended the first session of a 7 week series of Sunday school classes about thriving, not just surviving, the parenting journey. How appropriate. I was definitely in survival mode. Maybe I could stall, tell him his Dad would explain it at lunch. I didn't think that would satisfy his curiosity. I considered playing the 'I'll explain when you're older' card but assumed that would also lead to a litany of questions in a much louder tone of voice.
Is there an app for this particular stage of our journey? A quick and easy script for when I have absolutely no idea what to say? Or what not to say, in this case. As with the rest of life these days, perhaps the sheer volume of information provided would be far greater than necessary. He is mostly unaware of the birds and the bees. Graphics, diagrams, even stick figures are out of the question.
So I took a deep breath or three, hoped for the best and wrote him a note. A very brief explanation printed on his sketch pad. Right there next to his drawings of epic battles and dueling light sabers:
Having more than one wife, I wrote. His eyes got big and round.
Wishing your friend's girlfriend was your girlfriend instead, I wrote again. His eyes got even bigger and he shook his head slowly.
"I do NOT know what you are talking about," he whispered.
Well, good. Let's keep it that way. Mission accomplished.
I guess I didn't need that app after all.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Who Wants Wrestle Time?

This one is slightly more patient and somewhat distracted by his mental to-do list: Lego time, dinner,'s a busy life being a 2nd grader. He also knows how much his Dad looks forward to their evening shenanigans and simply bides his time until the Nerf gun battles begin. 
 But this one. Well, patience is not his strong suit. He launches his campaign moments after Steve walks in the door. He even addresses all the possible negative outcomes that might interfere with his plan: "Dad? After you hang up your coat, after you eat your dinner, after Luke does his homework, canwepleasepleasepleasehavesomewrestletime??" How he dreads the remote possibility that Steve might say no. He absolutely loves wrestle time. I think he's part tiger cub. He craves physical play. I have to avert my eyes. I can't watch because I just don't get it and my cringing and gasping and yelling, "careful!" seems to put a damper on the fun. He will participate in the occasional Nerf gun battle but would much prefer wrestling.
 And this one. He recently acquired his own Nerf gun but isn't quite interested in using it yet. He scampers across the battlefield, shouting with glee and occasionally dodging a bullet (or taking a direct shot, which is probably the more likely scenario. As I mentioned, I really can't watch). This waltzing around with all of his prized possessions is a new development. I don't know if he's afraid someone is going to take them or he just really, really likes them. But he can be found clutching pacifiers, his buddy and as many cars as his little hands can hold.
And really, who can resist a request for play time from a face as sweet as this one? He is the life of the party in a house full of introverts.