Friday, September 29, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
"Yes", I answered. "Remember we did the dishes together last night?"
"Oh, good", he replied enthusiastically. "Then my cutter is clean!"
Confused at this point, I said "Your....what?!" as he opened the knives-and-all-other-sharp-objects drawer.
He triumphantly held up an ancient pastry cutter, one with a fluted wheel at one end and an orange plastic handle at the other. To be honest, I'm not even sure where it came from, but of late, it is Dylan's kitchen utensil of choice.
He sat back down and with a few spins of the wheel created some artistic little pieces of cheese.
Need I mention that Food Network is one of his favorite TV stations?
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
This morning the kids and I made these super easy, super cool crayons, using varying shades of yellows, oranges, and reds. Once they were set, we collected some leaves from the backyard and created these colorful leaf rubbings.
What a great way to spend the morning!
Monday, September 25, 2006
It was quite unpleasant, let me tell you.
So instead of enjoying my typical Sunday afternoon nap, the one I've really come to rely on before going in to work, I found myself instead performing one of my least favorite household tasks: window duty.
I knew a good airing out was in order and so with myself on the inside and Darren on the outside of our house, we made our way from window to window, tightening screens, sweeping away cobwebs, wiping out tracks, and cleaning the glass. With our ceiling fans on high and new Glade Plug-Ins adorning every accessible outlet, it wasn't long before our home was restored to its usual pleasant self.
And I was never as happy to have done the dreaded deed as I was today, when our trusty old air conditioner decided to call it quits. We may be nearing the end of September, but here in the Land of Enchantment it still gets dreadfully hot during the day (at one point this afternoon reaching 88 degrees in our living room).
We've had those windows wide open all day long today, with fans working overtime. But really, I have to say: despite the heat, there was something quite comfortable about having those nice clean windows open to the fresh autumn air outside. So much so, in fact, that when Darren offered to call and arrange for someone to come out tomorrow morning for a look at the problem, I asked him to wait instead until Thursday, when he'll be home from his business trip.
I only hope that by tomorrow evening, I won't be regretting that decision!
Dylan: Because, Mommy. You keep pushing that button. You're supposed to push this button.
Me: Oh. (Of course!)
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Today we made some beautiful "stained glass" leaves, (we hung ours above the kids bean plants in the kitchen window), baked some yummy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and tonight after Mass we'll be enjoying our first green chile stew of the season.
I wonder...could it really get much better than this?
Friday, September 22, 2006
Thursday, September 21, 2006
You became a big brother for the second time.
You sat on Santa's lap at Mommy's work and you weren't even scared!
You learned how to read, how to write, and how to draw an amazing Buzz Lightyear.
You got your first bike, your first swingset, and you learned how to swim.
You bravely tried some really amazing big boy rides when we went to Wonderland in Amarillo.
You enjoyed every minute of your first experience at the theater when you went to see the movie "Cars" with Daddy.
You discovered the internet and would spend many happy hours online, if only Mommy didn't set such stingy time limits.
You brought boundless love and cheer to every single day of the past year.
Happy birthday, my precious son. I can hardly wait to see what this new year has in store for you!
Saturday, September 16, 2006
But then I read these inspiring words by Melissa Wiley, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. She says, in part:
There's no need to rush into early academics; in fact, I think it's a downright bad idea. Childhood is being shortened and children are being pushed into scholarly performance at ages ever more tender: six years old, five, four, even three. A Newsweek cover article asked recently, "Are kids getting pushed too fast, too soon?" The answer for many children in this country is emphatically yes. They're being pushed into Reading, Writing, and 'Rithmetic when they ought to be playing Red Rover. A young child's "curriculum" should be mud, paint, acorns, and dough.
Yes! This is exactly what I've been needing to hear! No longer will I worry if every day does not find us sitting down in a tidy, dedicated learning area with straightforward, uninterrupted lessons. Instead of waiting for Meghan's morning nap and hoping and praying that she actually stays asleep long enough for me to work on some meaningful lessons with Dylan, I think we'll instead continue with what we were doing best all along: snuggling on the sofa with our Bob books; writing stories in which Dylan asks more often than not, "Mom, how do we spell _____?" ; building thinking skills by playing games such as Candyland, Briarpatch card games, and the maze workbooks Dylan so enjoys; and enjoying learning in the context that every new day presents us.
Maybe next year will find us ready to dive into structure. But for now, it's all fun and games.
Friday, September 15, 2006
Trust me, sweetie...Daddy's eggplant parmesan is always the best!
(And tonight's was no exception!)
Dylan cherishes a Buzz Lightyear Pull-Up.
I only wish I were kidding.
He hasn't even worn a Pull-Up since he was three years old, but he has managed to hold on to this last remaining one for over a year. It periodically gets shoved to the back of his underwear drawer, only to surface, much to my chagrin, at the most unexpected times. He's been carrying it around, tattered and worn, for the past week, and when I try to discreetly "put it away", he protests, "But Mom, I love Buzz Lightyear!"
Today, though, I witnessed the most perfect example of totally selfless love:
Recognizing that Meghan needed a diaper change, I laid her down and asked Dylan if he would please be a big boy and bring me a diaper and wipes for his baby sister. I left the room for a second to get some Desitin and when I came back in, he had set his Buzz Lightyear Pull-Up beside her and said, "Here, Mom, I thought Meghan could use this because I know how much she loves Buzz Lightyear, too".
Tears stung my eyes as I answered, "Thanks, sweetie, but I think she's still just a little too small for Buzz yet...why don't you hold on to him for just a little while longer?"
All I wanted to do when I got home from work this morning was sleep, but since that wasn't entirely feasible (okay, it wasn't at all feasible, seeing as how Darren was on his way out the door to work practically the moment I walked in), I decided the best way to keep from falling fast asleep was to stay busy.
It's only 1:30, and so far I've managed to vacuum the entire house (stopping periodically to dismantle the hose which becomes completely clogged with carpet fuzz--I love my new carpet, but really, how long will I have to do this?!); wash all the closet doors (mirrors, covered top to bottom with smudgy little handprints); reorganize Meghan's chest of drawers (no small feat, considering the fact that there were still some size 0-3 month clothes hiding in there, which is just downright embarrassing since she will be 9 months old in two days...and not to mention all the little burp cloths, receiving blankets, and cute hooded towels she hasn't used in months that for some reason I just couldn't bring myself to pack away until today). And I even prepared a gourmet lunch for the kids and I. (Well, I guess that would only be true if you consider PB&J "gourmet").
Now I'm off to bake some cookies with the kids, and hopefully... hopefully...they'll be ready for a nap by the time we're done.
I know I will be.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Playing with the "wrinkly", stretchy belly skin exposed between the hem of Mommy's shirt and the waistband of her jeans.
It's nice to know that those unsightly folds are so appreciated by the sources of their origin!
But I have to say...I will draw the line at removing Darren's shoes for him when he comes home from work.
Friday, September 08, 2006
Thursday, September 07, 2006
I don't mind saying this, because from the time they were born, Dylan and Caitlyn have been entirely devoted to Darren. (Well, almost entirely.)
But not my Meghan. Oh, no. This is a girl who will practically lunge out of Darren's arms when she sees me walk into a room, her entire body wiggling with delight, eyes alight with absolute adoration. It's a real sight to behold!
I love it.
Unlike Dylan and Caitlyn's infancies, during which time I was working three twelve hour night shifts a week and sleeping for long portions of the day, I have been here with Meghan every minute of every day. I savor every smile, every coo, every drooly "kiss". I celebrate every milestone ahievement as though she's the most brilliant baby in the world.
So it was with stunned silence that Darren and I stared at each other last night when Meghan proudly spoke her first word:
(And then, of course, we laughed and applauded, because really, she just may well be the most brilliant baby in the world.)
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Monday, September 04, 2006
Yesterday I was thrilled to spend some time with my best friend, who lives about an hour away and who I haven't seen in a couple of months. We enjoyed a delicious lunch, lively, uninterrupted conversation, some frivolous shopping, and dessert and coffee at Starbucks. What better way to spend a gray dreary day?
This rain, though, is relentless...and by the time yesterday evening rolled around, my mood was beginning to reflect the melancholy gray that's been surrounding us all weekend. I put on a happy face, went to work, and was actually having a perfectly splendid time until my attention was brought to the tragic death of the "Crocodile Hunter", Steve Irwin. I was shocked and dismayed to learn of the loss of this man who always seemed, to me, larger than life; I grieved for his wife and two small children, who are now facing the rest of their lives without him.
Those grays will be lingering for just a while longer this morning.
Friday, September 01, 2006
September is here at last!
I feel those long hot days of summer winding down, and with joyful anticipation I'm looking ahead to everything good that's just around the corner...local festivals that we enjoy every year, Dylan's birthday later this month, Caitlyn's birthday and Halloween in October, Thanksgiving in November, and finally, December, when we'll celebrate Meghan's first birthday, our wedding anniversary, my mom's birthday, and Christmas!
Life is so good.
I did a happy dance in the kitchen this morning as I turned the calandar page!