Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Table 2015

The kids and I completed our Thanksgiving table this afternoon and we had a blast. The crafts started with a paper cup turkey, then avalanched from there. Once they each took a turn with the glue gun, their craft switch was turned to can'tstopwon'tstop.

A special turkey with "100 googly eyes" was made for crazy Uncle Joseph. They're so excited and proud of their trickery. 

After completing 8 tiny turkeys, Burl and Fern were begging for more crafts. Naturally, I was quick to respond, "ok guys, go outside and collect eight different kinds of leaves. I've got an idea for name tags."

Between our yard and Miss Ruth's yard, we found a fun variety. I assembled the name tags, Burl wrote the names (ohmygosh the day has arrived of kindergarten scribble and it's the best part of the table!!!), and Fern cut paper turkey feathers for Burl and me. 

That's our thanksgiving table this year-a budding tradition that I do "for the kids."

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

BattleFIELD Fun

When the natives get restless (and that's not limited to the children), John takes us to a field to burn off energy. 

A direct quote from John: "I think you like it here more than the kids because you can yell and hear your voice reverberate across the field." He wasn't not right. It's fun to be outside, acting like crazy people. 

We explored a tower, fields, canons, hay bails, and a log cabin that the kids have renamed "that old jail."

It's fun when John takes his crazies out to burn some energy.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Post Drop-Off Hike

We're three months into this Burl's-at-kindergarten thing and we finally had the kind of morning that I had envisioned. 

After drop off Fern, Ridge and I went on a little morning adventure. We stopped by my current favorite coffee spot, then went on a simple little hike on the side of Lookout Mountain. 

Ridge got his morning nap snuggled up in the Ergo and didn't budge at any of the 1,000 kisses I gave the top of his head. 

I always know that Fern's having a good time and feeling safe when she lets out her deep, big girl voice. She talked to me the entire hike and told me all the things. When she lets out a celebratory dance move, I know she's really having a wonderful time. 

We found a patch of leaves between some boulders and camped out for a bit. Like most hikes, she spotted ferns and grabbed a few leaves. My earrings seemed to be the logical place to put them.

We took turns taking pictures, snuggling Ridge, and answering all her toddler-world questions.

After three hours of boulder climbing, waterfall chasing, leaf collecting, and a couple of visits to natures restroom, I packed it up and broke Fern's heart because we needed to get home. She could have stayed much longer, but I was getting that nursing-mother's hangry. 

I can't wait for our next morning when we can sneak off for a tiny adventure!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Halloween 2015

I want to take this opportunity to thank all the neighbors out there who are kind, gracious, and understanding when it comes to shy children who can't say trick or treat. I was not one of those neighbors for the first few years. I required the minimal "trick or treat" before I would give any candy. Then I had my own daughter, who has an incredibly difficult time finding the courage for such a brave act as knocking on a stranger's door, saying a cute phrase, and lifting a plastic bucket. 

I am broken in many ways, so naturally I'm not going to push my sweet Fern on several issues. This year, I didn't make her do any of the work. I even had to lift her bucket to people so they could drop the candy in the hole. I can help her along in so many things but this was not one of them and I don't even care. She's so cute, people were giving her EXTRA CANDY for being cute and shy. 

Of course, in Mama Meg fashion, we talked about it at bedtime that night. Fern, did you feel shy? Is feeling shy a bad thing? Nope. It's certainly not. Everyone feels shy. 

Burl, on the other hand, got the system. He was a mixture of trick or treat/thank you/wrestle Uncle Joseph in between houses. He was the typical kid, having fun and working the system, and it was exciting to relive my own childhood Halloween through his enthusiasm. 

Fern was not shy, however, once we returned home. She changed out of her costume and took over the candy responsibilities. She waited by the door for more kids, went outside alone, and monitored with authority. "Only one piece!" 

Maybe next year will be the year that Fern can talk. Maybe in won't. We'll still have fun and eat lots of candy and talk to all our friends in the street. 

Speaking of friends, we joined Big Boy Pierce in his first time out. How adorable is his costume? It's the Old Man from the Movie Up. Nailed it!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Fern's 4th Birthday

Our sweet daughter turned four this week. Fern is such a gift, and there's nothing like a birthday to stir up all the love and feelings that parents have for their children. This year my sweet girl GOT the birthday thing. Back in the spring she announced that she wanted a huge party with girls and boys and all the families. She wanted a bonfire and movie outside. That's what I planned. (What a change from last year!) In true Meg-fashion, that's not the only thing I planned. (I often wonder how long I keep up the birthday/week festivities-can I maintain the precedent I've set?) To keep things organized: here are the pictures in three parts:

Part One: Cupcakes at school. We sent cupcakes to school for Fern's birthday. She was proud and excited. I'm thankful for her sweet teachers who sent pictures of Fern enjoying the attention. She posed with each kid in class and enjoyed her birthday song. This is a whole new side to Fern! I'm glad for a safe, nurturing school where Fern gets to spread her social wings. 

Part two: We had a special grandparents dinner for Fern. She got a special table, candles, decorations, and complete attention from her biggest fans. 

Unfortunately the candles and birthday song were too much for her. She hung her head, then burst into tears. The spotlight isn't for everyone. 

We turned things around with presents and the attentive help of her older brother. He helped her open a few of the presents, then she warmed up and poked her head eagerly out of her shell and raged on. 

Ridge had both his grandmothers at his beck and call. I offered to cut him in half, old testament style, but they were ok with this arrangement. 

Fern got fun presents-Barbies, girl legos, and monogrammed scrubs with doctor tools. She was very happy. The next day I enjoyed building a horse pen for her barbies with Dr. Fern. 

Part three: (I know it's a lot, but that's the only gear I know) We threw the party that Fern was planning. We cancelled the outdoor movie and bonfire due to threat of thunderstorm, but the rain held off the entire time (go figure). We had chili and cake, and kept our front door swinging with the inside-outside shuffle. The kids were thoroughly entertained with glow sticks and running in the front yard. (Fern didn't even want to stop for cake.)

There was no birthday song, no candles, and no special attention on Fern. It was everything that she needed it to be. 

That night I crawled in bed with Fern for extra birthday snuggles and some extra time to gush about her party. She closed her eyes, looked up, and said excitedly, "I've never been four before!" She giggled and smiled and kept telling me, "I can't stop smiling!" That was the only time that she let me sing happy birthday to her. We were both completely full of happiness.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Girly Scones

This kindergarten adjustment has reached its hands into each of our lives. Recently John and I talked about Fern and how it's probably hit her the hardest. While Burl is off at school working hard and flourishing, Fern has lost her best friend and closest playmate. 

Most mornings after drop off, we come back home and enjoy time together while Ridge naps. It's a collection of activities. She plays on her own while I do chores; we play house on the den floor; we paint; or we do something special. 

This morning we made scones, and had treats on the front stoop. We took the camera and took turns taking pictures and cutting off the top half of each other's faces. 

She refers to these times as girl time or we're girls together. Beyond the special one-on-one time with a child, I deeply enjoy connecting to my daughter. I'm becoming more aware of how much she looks to me for what a girl is, and I love creating simple moments where we can be together. 


Baking is not my favorite thing, but these scones were easy and delicious.