Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Simple Pace Of Blueberries

Harvesting was never a part of my childhood. Besides that one time that Lauren and I picked blackberries on the side of the road and her grandmother made us a pie, I have zero experience with picking and plucking. 

For years (even without the kids), we have been picking blueberries in July at my in-laws'. It's almost tranquil. Being out there in sporadic conversation, bucket sharing, searching and picking, and a chorus of insects make me extremely nostalgic for my childhood. 

The slowness of it reminds me of summers as a child. We watched a lot of TV, but I still remember a quietness that was in childhood. Maybe it's the difference between being a growing person and a grown person-I'm thinking about more things these days. I'm sure it's the difference of what's coming on TV and let's watch a DVD or Netflx or YouTube or videos I made on my phone. I'm not cynical enough to think that it's *just* a change in times. 

When I get right down to it: Picking really delicious blueberries outside with my children and family is utopia. Food + family + outside = few of my favorite things. Simplicity is shift in pace that has stood the test of time-we've always craved it. 

Plus, there's this precious picture of Ridge. His fine motor skills and focus are captivating. 

We only picked blueberries once or twice this year, but that's another part of the blueberry buses that's special. We can't do it anytime we want, we have to wait. Until next year, we will eat frozen blueberries and anticipate late July 2017. 

Muddy Mess & My Current Parenting Trend

I'm still blogging. It's been infrequent over the year, but I still enjoy it. It's been my megaphone since Burl was three months old and I've always enjoyed talking about myself. Go figure. If there are any readers out there besides my dad and my mother-in-law (hey you two!), then please know that I want to continue posting here-as for now I have no goals of setting it aside. Now, onto blogging...

On our next to last day of summer, we did nothing special at all. The kids watched TV, Ridge walked around, and I was a mix of chores and squeezing my babies. Days like that are my favorite, because we're all together, side by side, living in our home together. The only thing on the agenda was our front yard water park. 

I adore how excited they get over our four foot baby pool and the broken sprinkler. Every.single.time. They made mud pies, filled their pond, and got kid-messy. The best mess. I'm often the run through the sprinkler mom, but this time I was front porch/don't get me wet/yes I saw that and it was awesome mom. Being pregnant again sits me down on my bottom more often than usual, but beyond that, I've been pulling back a little. 

My current trend of parenting is wondering if I'm guilty of over-parenting. I love to get into their worlds and be a part of make-believe, but I'm not as good at it as I thought I was. Pulling back and taking my 35-year-old imagination out of the scenario has made for some better times for my kids. Watching Burl and Fern, 6 and 4, take charge of their own play has been more meaningful for me lately. (And watching Ridge (1) keep up is just precious!)

I remember thinking that it was one of our fleeting days of summer and I let the kids watch a big dose of TV and didn't run through the sprinkler with them and wondering if it felt right to me? Part of it didn't feel right to me, but part of me loved overhearing them take turns with their shows, spring into make-believe, and watch them run around TOGETHER in the front yard. 

This has been the shortest summer of my life, and I've been dreading the school hustle. I love school for so many reasons, but I miss them and the schedule is not my favorite. (Burl in 1st grade, Fern goes two days a week at fake school.) However, with 1 1/2 weeks into the school year, I've fallen in love with school all over again. I am amazed at what school does for them-I don't know how to describe it besides saying that school makes them better versions of themselves. They're better at articulating their thoughts and questions, they're more playful, they're more kid-like, they're worldview is more realistic. The transformation is great. The point of life isn't to be a better version of ourselves, but I do appreciate the changes that have taken place and I pray that school is always a good influence on them even when it's not easy. When I have them home with me, sometimes I'll wrestle all day and build forts and sometimes I'll be an observer. Last week on this muddy day, I remember loving my place in life and fully appreciating the privilege to be a stay at home mom.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Summer Tea Party

A few weeks ago, Fern asked to have a real tea party with her girlfriends. One request is the only spark that I need to go ALL IN. I love kids, I love parties, and I love having fun celebrations with my children. A girls tea part just for fun? RIGHT UP MY ALLEY. I don't need a special occasion to make a special occasion. 

We had a blast! We hit up the dollar store for decorations and prizes, and we made dainty sandwiches and treats. It was perfect! They jumped right in to the girly games-barbies and dolls. Fern made sure everyone had a Barbie to play with. 

I talked to Fern about being a good hostess, which is something I would like to develop better in each of my children. She did pretty great as she generated conversations like "how old is everyone?" and "what's your favorite princess?" and showing people where the bathroom was. 

I hope she was welcoming and not too bossy. One thing was for sure, she thoroughly enjoyed it! She came alive and was fully out of her shell. I love when she gets that way because I know that she feels happy and safe. 

Ridge was the only boy allowed at the party and he was a happy observer-enjoying all the action and snacks that came his way. 

I hope this is the first of many not-special but very special occasions that we have in our home for our children. Parties on the reg!

Monday, July 11, 2016

One Year Old Legos

With older siblings, Ridge has plenty of access to Legos. He knows how to open the cabinet and dump the box over on the floor-which is half the fun!

He has his favorites and can find them in the pile. It's adorable to watch him work on them, because his focus is intense and quiet. 

Despite the few mouth sweeps for small pieces, this is a perfect activity for him and John is convinced that it's connecting extra wires in his developing mind. 

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