September 22, 2009

Perfect Playdate Pal

If you ever see me, be sure to compliment my biceps. They are huge.
My workout strategy:

  • Carry an extra 30 pound weight every where I go (little Bear)
  • Do at least 100 squats with this 30 pound weight every day (picking him up and down from the floor)
  • Do at least 200 lunges every day with the 30 pound weight (carrying him up and down the stairs)
  • Keep muscles flexed at all times in anticipation of unexpected body flinging and other spastic muscle movements.
Of course, I still eat enough chocolate doughnuts to make sure that only the biceps reap the benefits of this workout.

My workout strategy will have to change a bit now that Bear will have a new set of wheels.

We got together with another little guy for a "playdate" as they each tried out their new chairs. It was a crack up to see them wheeling around together. Bear kept wheeling over to him and giving his chair a push with his feet. Finally the other boy pushed Bear's chair right back.

When they finally found their rhythm in their new chairs they proceeded to play "follow the leader" - right out of the room. The most precious sight was two little toddlers wheeling down the hallway together.

I couldn't be more amazed at the large spirit inside this little body. He has to tackle and overcome so much at such a tender age. Though his body appears weak, if we knew his full strength, both body and spirit, I think that we would all stand in awe. My hopes for him are the same as they were for my other children when they were his age. Explore. Satisfy curiosities. Make messes. I think that he will tackle all three with his new wheels.

And soon, my biceps will match the rest of me. Very tired and horribly out of shape.

September 16, 2009

Bear Pause

That is the name of our little escape from suburbia, which is now finally complete. You can't help to "pause" when your there; to slow down and take a deep breath of life. And for the "bear" part of that title -- well, that is what we saw running across the driveway last week. So I am watching the children a little closer now and have nicknamed the older ones, "Bear Bait #1, #2, and #3" - references which make them a little nervous.

There has been several requests for pictures, so here you go:

The front, complete with a buck-shaped tire swing:

The front porch where we have our quick-draw shoot-outs. March forward 10 paces, turn and fire. Our choice of ammunition - marshmallows.

Sadie often turns from cowboy to gangster and shoots her dad point blank:

The Great Room:
The girls relaxing in the master bathroom tub:

One of the bedrooms:

The entrance to the master bedroom, fittingly named after Alan:

The arena for killer chess tournaments:
For all of the cooking I am still not doing (I always declare kitchen amnesty for the first 3 months postpartum):

Star gazing - it looks just a little different out there:
The cutest little cub on our side of the mountain:

The other bathroom:

The Fishin' Hole:

We mounted a steering wheel for Bridger on the front porch. He drove the cabin for over an hour last week:

The kids cuddled up watching a Herbie movie in the Turkey Roost:

Getting around:

If we are ever MIA for an extended period of time, this is where we are. Come on out and join us, our door is always open (except for those times the kids finally shut it after being told for the billionth time that they are letting the skeeters in).

September 08, 2009

History Schmistory

I am a proud Virginian.

That pride really came to the surface when we moved to Arizona my senior year of high school, and as part of the graduation requirements, I had to take Arizona history. I'm sure that some valuable tidbits of Arizona's origins were taught. However, all that I remember is sitting there and learning about the saguaro cactus and how to kick it over to access the water in it to survive if needed. I remember sitting there in my class of three (all seniors recently transplanted from different states that all had this requirement to meet, somewhat bitter that we all moved during our senior year) and thinking -- I am sitting in a history class learning about cacti. Virginia history is so rich and deep that it fills textbooks.

I want my kids to appreciate all this history that surrounds them. I still take a great portion of it for granted. So to fill some final hours of summer I took them to Sully Plantation last week.

We were the only people on the tour so I felt relieved in the beginning to tell the tour guide that we needed the "early childhood education" version of the tour. The elderly volunteer tour guide then proceeded into her well prepared speech suitable for hobbyist historians. After it took us 30 minutes to get through the first room I asked the kids some elementary questions about what they saw in the room. I hoped that she would see the level that I was speaking to them on and bring her presentation down a couple notches (and shorten it as well).

I had Eliza in the front carrier and had a squirming and screeching Bridger on my hip. She kept on going. . . and going. . . and going. . . Three floors and an hour later I told her that we need to wrap it up. She said she would but just wanted to tell them about one more thing, which lead to another and another. Obviously she is a proud Virginian too. Much more prideful than I. At this point I was in a full sweat from my full upperbody work-out negotiating Bridger and the baby. I thanked her for our special tour she gave us and we escaped through the back door as the tour guide was still hollering to us the geneology lines of each of the homeowners as we walked down the path. She was a sweet lady.

We all needed a little treat after that so we walked to the gift shop and everyone choose a candy stick which we ate as we relaxed in the lawn of the plantation.

As we sat there I asked each of the kids what they learned and what was their favorite part:

What they learned:

Sadie: "I forgot"
Me: Hmm, can you really forget what you didn't hear to begin with?

Eva: "How wool from sheep is cleaned"
Me: "How?"
Eva: "I forgot"

Lance: "Well, we have a lot of things that they didn't back then so if we all put our heads together now then we can think of some things for later that we don't have now"
Me: Not your traditional regurgitated fact, but an acceptable answer.

Favorite Part:

Sadie: "The candy"
Eva: "The candy"
Lance: "The candy"

There are moments in motherhood when you think, "Well, that went over like mud". This was one of them. I will make proud Virginians out of them yet, I will just be more selective of my venue next time. We went home and had our annual ice cream dinner to celebrate the end of summer. As we begin school I am especially grateful for all of the history teachers out there that can supplement my woeful attempts.

** No offense intended to any Arizona natives out there. I love your cactus, really.