Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sick days

Sometimes I think that getting sick is God's way of getting me to slow down a little and notice my children more. Last night I came down with a nasty head cold. I'm achy and tired and runny-nosed. And so we didn't go anywhere today (although the plans had included errands and library and park). We stayed home and took life easy.

This morning I lay on their bedroom floor and read to the boys. One of the books was Mayday! Mayday! A Coast Guard Rescue. It has beautiful art, slightly forced rhyming text, and the ability to utterly inspire my sons. Jonathan spent quiet time hand-drawing the Jayhawk helicopter, copying it from the pictures in the book. We created rescue baskets with paper and string, attaching them to toy helicopters and flying them to rescue Imaginext people and Duplo cats.

I found a great coloring page online, and since the printer isn't currently working Jonathan spent some time coloring it in the Paint program. Didn't it turn out nicely? Later, Jonathan and Thomas decided that they wanted to be pilots, complete with headset and microphone. We made those out of coat hanger wire and black beads. (Jonathan has declared it "the best kind of project day!") As I'm writing, all three boys are in their bedroom, enacting a complicated rescue, complete with pilot, mechanic, and diver.

If we had done all our typical Wednesday activities, the day probably would have been just fine. But today has been lovely in an entirely different way, and I can't really say that I'm sorry I'm sick.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Beautiful things

Every now and then I spend a few minutes browsing Etsy for pretty things. Usually this happens when I sell something and go to the site to handle that, then am captivated by something on the front page treasury, and, well, I don't know how it happens but I find all kinds of things that I love! :)

Today I thought I'd share some of them with you. Pause a moment and just appreciate the beauty. (You can click on the photo to get to the appropriate shop, if you're interested in purchasing something.)

There, wasn't that relaxing?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Courageous birth

Most of us who are "into birth" got there via some kind of activism. We're pushing for change and we tend to focus on unnecessary interventions and coerced cesareans and birth assault. In our zeal for a better birth culture, sometimes we can come across as, well, zealots. Sometimes we think that we have all the answers and sometimes we may sound like there is only one right way to have a baby. Sometimes we don't seem very loving.

This author? She has noticed, and beautifully written, a very important truth:
" matter how educated or uneducated, coerced or informed the choice that woman on the operating table made or didn't make, whether that cesarean was elective or emergency, necessary or unnecessary - it takes a lot of courage to get there. Our birth culture may be saturated in fear-based decisions, but behind every cesarean and "unnecesarean" is a woman of courage."
Read the rest here.

H/T to Jen for the link.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Newly minted 4 year old!

Can you believe that our Thomas is FOUR??

Note the gum in his mouth. In our family, four-year-olds get to chew gum. He's been chewing NON-STOP since the magic day.

Thomas' birthday dinner request was "strawberry cake with strawberries on top", along with Green Mac 'n Cheese. We realized at dinner that we'd inadvertently created a green dinner and a red dessert. The boys thought that was awesome.

Yes, there are five candles on this cake. When I was little we always had an extra candle "to grow on" and I thought it would be fun to re-instate the tradition. Now if I can just remember it next birthday...!

I used this recipe for the cake, substituting whole wheat pastry flour (sifted, minus 2T per cup) and evaporated cane juice for the sugar. Did you know that you can make powdered sugar in a vitamix? The cake was delicious. I think we could have quite happily eaten the whole thing that night. (We did display some self control - we only ate half of it.) :)

Two special gifts, from Grandmommy and Granddad: a fighter plane piloted by...Woody. He's having a blast with his new toys!

Happy Birthday, Thomas! We sure do love you!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Parenting boys?

Auntie Leila's counsel is not to be missed. Today she's offering her 10 rules for mothering a 13 year old boy. Even if your boys are still quite young, as mine are, Leila's suggestions are worth reading and tucking away for later use.

While you're there, browse through her archives. They're full of wisdom, humor, and lovely photos.

Friday, February 04, 2011


A couple of days ago, I purchased a box of assorted buttons at a craft store. I didn't have anything specific in mind for them, other than that they'd be a fun manipulative for the kids (and for me!) to play with. Besides, they're pretty. :)

Jonathan and Thomas have enjoyed sorting through them, finding their favorites, and arguing over possession. They've strung beads on thread,

turned them into a bracelet,

and learned how to sew them onto a piece of felt.

They're having a good time.

Josiah, now...Josiah is in love with the buttons. In love. He wants to touch them, play with them, (eat them!) let them slip and slide through his fingers and fall on the floor. He sorts them, sometimes by color but usually by some method invisible to me. He pours them back and forth between cups and bowls and measuring cups.

This afternoon he spent a full hour doing this. Life went on around him, but he was utterly oblivious to it. About 30 minutes into this activity, Thomas' attempt to take some buttons was met with cries of outrage - but once Thomas was removed from the scene Josiah went right back to pouring buttons. Sixty-five minutes after starting, he put all the buttons back into their box and asked for lunch. Whatever he'd been working on was apparently finished.

Reading about educational theories and child development is interesting...watching it play out in your very own child simply fascinating.