Wednesday, May 7, 2014

New habits

After last year's "Great Big Biffed It" episode Tommy wanted exactly nothing to do with his "cool new bike". So he reverted back to the tricycle.

The vain part of me wants to claim I handled that well by just letting him choose when he gained interest again, but the honest part of me just didn't know what to do yet and hadn't gotten around to taking a stab at it. 

But a few weeks ago Tommy asked if he would need stitches if he rode the bike again, and I explained that the conditions in our new neighborhood are much more favorable for learning to ride a bike. With some reassurance he strapped on his helmet (which he doesn't see as a big help since he was wearing it last time when his chin guts fell out...) and pedaled slowly around the driveway. We talked a lot about braking and practiced a lot of times. "pedal pedal pedal BRAKE!" then "pedal pedal pedal pedal pedal BRAKE!" and then he dared pedal "hundreds of times!"

Now that Tommy loves his bike again, Little John has rediscovered the wiggle car and it is apparently impossible to get out of the vehicle and go inside before riding the bikes off into the sunset. Every day we get home from work and I try to chase them inside and they run for the bikes and get as far away from me as they can before I set down my purse and chase them down the street.

I can't tell you how maddening this ritual is - because at the end of the day as much as I'd love to go for a long leisurely bike ride/walk around the block, I have to make dinner and get them bathed and ready for bed before the stars come out.

Also I can't tell you how much I love this ritual. There's something about my kids loving to be outside that strokes my parental ego. As if my children wanting to ride bikes means I have somehow taught them something good.

I posted this picture on instragram and my Aunt (Hi Sharon!) so kindly reminded me to chase them down with helmets. This was the first time Tommy got on the bike again and I hadn't pulled out the helmets yet - and honestly I probably wouldn't have for a while if I hadn't been reminded. Do you put a helmet on a kid riding a wiggle car? I do now, because if Tommy has one of something John needs one too. Obviously.

The most expensive part of the wiggle car is that Little John brakes with his toes. Which means he's run totally through the toes of 2 pair of shoes in as many months. Before I find him another pair I'm making him "bike" in these ones, on the wrong feet, so he wears out the outside edge too.

I really love that these boys love their bikes, and I hope they (Little John) learn to be a little more cautious as they bike up and down our sidewalk, but mostly I'm just really glad for a flat neighborhood on a quiet road where they can reasonably bike up and down the street. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Day of the Tulips

Sometimes my family gets these really great idea.

"Let's go see the tulips!" they say
"It'll be a nice lovely stroll in the garden!" they think
"and a picnic lunch! Such peace, such reverence, such joy!" they claim

Lies. All lies. Except the parts which were true.

It was the last day of the tulip festival, which apparently means that every resident of the entire state must migrate to the garden. (Were you one of them? Hi Marianne! We saw you walking through the parking lot.)

After eating lunch at our park, which was crowded with the only 75 people who weren't at Thanksgiving Point, we headed for the garden. But when we got there ALL of the parking lots were full. And the line to be allowed the privilege of paying had filled the foyer, and was out the door and around the culdesac. I immediately declared that it seemed like a great day for a pony ride and ran for farm country.

Where we had a fabulous (and only a little crowded) time.

The kids were red faced before we even started because it dang hot outside.

Ryann, Lucy, Tommy, John and Ian

The kids were unreasonably excited about the whole thing. They couldn't wait to see the animals. Ryann was especially excited about seeing the baby chicks, and taught us about the egg tooth. Tommy saw I was taking a picture of the girls and cheese-ball photobombed. I love that kid.
Tommy, Lucy, Ryann, Grandma Fugal
 After riding ponies we wandered to the bird cages.
This peacock wouldn't stop showing off - which was SO cool.
I love this boy - and snapping a picture where he's not doing the cheesy smile is rare these days.
Little John ran around like a crazy kid, then finally stopped to stare at the rabbits. He is rockin' the crazy blue eyes which I was certain would be long gone by now.
Little John
In "jail" we told the kids to make their bad-guy-est faces. The kid on the left wasn't with us, but he was in jail with us, and I suppose nothing bonds people like sharing a cell. 
Random kid, Ryann, Tommy
 Ian's eyes didn't stop sparkling the whole time we were there, and somehow I captured only 1 of 2 possible seconds he wasn't grinning from ear to ear.
"Baby" Ian
 Lucy got on the wagon and just giggled and giggled, she was so excited!
Lucy, Tommy, Ryann

Finally we were exhausted so we went to get ice cream, where we waited in line for a long long time. After ice cream, I still really wanted to see the tulips, so we headed to the garden to see if the line was still insane. It wasn't, and the air was cooler and there was a magic cloud cover which made the walking around much more pleasant. It was a beautiful evening. 

Since Katy watches my kids 2-3 times/week these kids know and love each other so well. I don't get to see them all interact that often, so it's especially fun for me to watch them be bestbuds.

Tommy, Ryann & Lucy open their arms and invite Little John to join them.

And then he does.
 Lulu posed by every flower for the first 15 minutes before she got bored of being "so beautiful". I wonder what it's like living with such a girly girl. :)
I know Grandma's don't have favorites, but I feel a little confident that if they did Little John would be in  her top 12 grandsons.
Gramma offers a "bump it" to Little John

Little John accepts

Grandma explodes - sounds effects and all
 I'm not sure why, but there were some bouncy houses available. The old ones (me and grandma and grandpa) were bored and concerned that the kids thought the giant blow up slides were cooler than the beautiful flowers.
Tommy eventually got brave enough to jump and bounce down the slide. 
 It looks like we were there in the dead of winter, but the whole place was blooming, just not behind the "royalty bench".
Ryry, Lulu, T
 Somebody somewhere taught all of these kids that hills are for rolling down. Most of them aren't great at it (I mean really, look at Little John's form here....) but they all giggle uncontrollably the whole way down. So....
Lucy running, Ryann standing over Tommy and Little John "rolling" with both feet and head in the air while only his hip maintains contact with the ground.
 But seriously, the flowers were breathtaking.
pink tulips - so many pink tulips

Friday, May 2, 2014

What my babies love

My boys love me. Consistently, wholly, and beautifully.

I headed to Arizona for the weekend to help with a conference that a good friend mine puts on. I left Wednesday morning and got back late Sunday night. I got back just a minute or 2 before Josh and the boys returned from the family Easter party with the Burrastons. I was standing in the car port in all my road trip glory (read: dirty yoga pants, oversized t-shirt, road trip hair, and probably chocolate on my face - because, road trip.) and as Josh pulled in I saw Tommy unbuckle and get ready to open the van door. As soon as he could the door opened and he fell into my arms saying "mom! you're here! I've missed you!" and I scooped him up and kissed him and told him I missed him too.

He's lovely that little one. And really there's nothing like being missed when you're gone.

Little John would have been excited to see me too - but it was late and he was asleep, so I didn't love on him until the next morning.

But that night, Tommy and I stayed up for another hour talking while he told me about all the things I'd missed.

His first friend birthday party: It was all about frozen and it was Ella's birthday (she's from his preschool) and they were tryin and trying to put that nose back on Olaf and Mom! I did it! (pin the tail on the donkey I assume) And Ella's mom said if I want I could try it again but I didn't want and that's ok. And I did gived her a birthday present about coloring and I did had so much fun.

The Burraston Easter party: I will show you all my eggs. one by one and we did have candy over there mom! really. we did. (insert most serious 4 year old face you've ever seen) and gramma gave us all these eggs!

And a bunch of other intensely exciting things like church and preschool and riding bikes and snoozin.

Here's the thing about living with littles, they drive you crazy because they're high maintenance, but you leave and miss them anyway. Then you come home and wonder why you ever thought you needed a break. Then they prove to you exactly why you needed a break and it only takes a second or 2.

Lately I'm really loving motherhood.
Share |