Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Day of Yes

I find that as a parent I'm sometimes quick to say no. I don't even fully listen to the question before I'm distractedly shutting the idea down. That's not how I want to be as a parent and that's certainly not how I want my kids to remember their childhood.

Kendall had her 8th birthday the other day. She was so sweet, she told me that she wanted a family day. After swim lessons the girls and I headed to our local art museum. It worked our perfectly because they were having their Springfest that day with free snow cones, and a TON of activities for kids.
Once the girls heard that snow cones were being offered they were on a mission to find them. The grounds were gorgeous, Kendall kept saying, "I can't believe this used to be someones house!!"

We attempted a little Georgia O'Keefe painting. Our museum has a great children's program. The second Saturday of every month you take a little box (that they supply) and they will stock it with new art supplies, mark that you attended that month and have various art projects for them to do. Love it!

Art Cars were also there so the girls constructed cars out of cardboard boxes. The other kids were all painting theirs but we had dinner plans following the museum and in two seconds Kate's car had already blown against one of her hair buns (big orange hair) so we opted to just paint them at home.
Kendall's motorcycle

We left the museum and soon passed a big park, of course the girls begged to stop...I said yes. I admit that my goal is usually to get from point A to point B but it was the "Day of Yes" so we turned around and found the parking lot and I am SO glad we did. The girls didn't even want to swing they wanted to run and cartwheel and explore the various paths, bridges and waterfalls. We had so much fun.

I was always in the rear, trying to catch up.
We crossed this little rock path. It doesn't look very scary in the picture but it was, I assure you. That last step (closest in the picture) was actually pretty far and I was holding my new camera, yikes!

From the park we met the boys at Kendall's restaurant of choice (Outback, it's ALWAYS Outback) where we said yes to dinner and dessert. She ended dinner with her head on the table. I was all smiling and proud of myself for completely wearing her out until.....she came home and got sick. Not a great ending to the day but until that point it was the perfect day. A day of yes.

This girl...
This girl is a sweet one. 
The worrier. The other day when we thought Kate had a bean stuck up her nose (don't ask, just don't even ask) Kendall was WAY more worried than Kate. 
The shadow. She wants to be right next to wherever I am. Right next to me and talking. She will turn down play dates if it means she can hang out with me. The other day Kate went to our friends house and Kendall sat next to me, sewed, and talked NON STOP about the house on HGTV. She's my girl, that one.
The compassionate one. If anyone is hurt she is the one checking on them. The other day we were talking about an area of the world that didn't know about Jesus. She got so excited and immediately said, "We can teach them!!!"

I love her and can't wait to see what's in store for her.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Little Stuff

Tonight the three kids and I spent some time in my office. While I worked on getting some stuff organized Kendall and Kate sprawled out on the floor with old scrapbooks and laughed at pictures and read funny stories or cute quotes from the days of their babyhood. Gosh it has me sentimental, I get so caught up in living life with three kids that I fear I've dropped the ball on recording our life with three kids and I seriously cherish having all those moments stored. I found a page with the words of an old blog post on it,

It cracks me up how our two girls just will not walk anywhere. Kate runs and Kendall gallops. Even getting into bed tonight, Kendall went over to her closet to hang something on the doorknob and then gallops back to bed. Wouldn't we all look ridiculous if we did that now? I think the next time I get groceries I'm going to gallop down the aisles. When does that stop? One day out of the blue I'll realize that they are walking and it will make me sad. I want to bottle up every little moment because I don't know which one will be it's last, the last time she gallops to bed, the last time she says "bless yous" instead of 'sneezes,' the last time Kate goes to throw her dirty clothes in the hamper before bath time but forgets to take off her socks (hilarious I tell you, she does it almostevery single time, do you know how funny it is to see a little two year old streaking through your house with her socks on?!). Here's that word again: balance. I'm having a hard time between not wanting them to get another day older and not being able to wait until they are able to experience all that comes with growing up...that first 2 wheeler bike ride, that first lost tooth, that freedom from driving the first time...). I want both to bottle them up and watch them experience life, I think that is why I work so hard to preserve each memory by either blogging about it or taking a picture or making a scrapbook page about it. So that when they are grown and on their own I can relive these days. No matter how much I strive to enjoy the moment I know that I'll have regrets, don't all moms? I'll wish I hadn't cleaned this or that, wish I hadn't stopped to blog about something but instead just spent that time sniffing their sweet little girl hair smells and stealing their little girl snuggles. You just have to find that balance I guess, that ever elusive balance.

Gosh that hits home. Here we sit, just two short years later and both girls are riding a two wheeler, Kendall has lost four of her tiny baby teeth and we have another little one in the house. Just as I predicted the mommy regret has already creeped in. Do I spend enough time, am I already forgetting too much, are we doing it right, what will they remember? Will it be me sitting on the floor and playing Sleeping Queens, Brian spending a Saturday morning with them running errands and picking out special treats or are they going to remember those times that I regret: my distracted, "uh huh" to their chatter or his business dinners and trips that takes him away.

That's another advantage to this blog and the pages holding our memories, it makes ME remember. Not just the time that has passed but also remember the times I want to create now. I want time spent looking into their big eyes while they share the little stuff because when they know I listen to the little stuff they'll come to me with the big stuff. I'm reminded that one day I want to look back at this time of my life and know that I made those moments count. Because it's only been two years but Kendall doesn't gallop home from the bus stop like she once galloped to her bed at night and Kate never forgets to take off her socks before getting into the bath at night. It's gone. Those days are passed. But they're still there, on the blog page and clear in my memory. Instead now I'll cherish the joy one little girl gets from creating play-doh cakes, and a bigger girl's stories of what is happening at school. Now I have Jack to supply more memories, like his begging for, "hot nummies" (hot yummy food) or his invitation for me to come to his house (the space under the stairs). You better believe that I accept those invitations, I duck my head and I crawl into an awkward position and soak it in because one day I'll turn around and realize that he doesn't play under the stair anymore and I'll miss it.