Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It's how it is...and I loooooove it.

I haven't lived the most exciting life.  I'm not super adventurous and am only semi-spontaneous.  Both of those qualities have kept me from doing things that I could scratch of most people's bucket lists but I'm ok with that.  I went to college at age 17, fresh out of high school.  I graduated in 4 years, earning a 4.0 my entire senior year.  I am proud of that because I worked very hard for it.  I stayed for one more complete year and got my teaching credential.  I got a job right away and taught for the next 7 years until I had Drew.  I think I'm kinda smart.  I love to read, even though I don't make time for that these days.  I love to write, although this is the extent of it anymore.  I proofread most things for most of the people I know.  My brain is capable of lots of things even though you really wouldn't know it these days.  My job, my life, requires very little intellect.  It requires a shitload of patience, a tremendous amount of love, an abundance of kisses.  But not much else.  You don't have to have 5 years of college education to fold a thousand pieces of freakin' laundry a week.  Or to load a dishwasher twice a day.  And when I start to reflect and think about all I've accomplished and all I've seemingly lost, 2 minutes of this snaps me back to reality.  I'm the luckiest God damn woman alive.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Monday, December 28, 2009

How to raise grateful children who aren't bratty

The title of this blog should be a question rather than a statement.  I'm going to start by saying that I am obviously by no means an authority on this issue.  I am in the same boat as the rest of you who have young children.  All we want to do is raise kind, educated, productive citizens.  Right?  I'm also going to start by saying that I have a very narrow view of how things should be.  That goes for how the dishes should be loaded in the dishwasher, how the laundry should be sorted, how wedding ceremonies should be conducted, and how children should be raised.  I'm learning in my old age and experience with every new little person I birth that people who don't do things the way I do things are not wrong, it's just what works for them.  So I guess I should say that I have a very narrow view (or way of doing things) that works for me.  I'd like to say I'm easy and flexible but I guess I'm really not.  The clock runs our house.  That works for me.  My kids are banned to their rooms for an hour in the afternoons for quiet time.  That works for me.  They go to bed at 7:30pm so that I can shower before the good shows start at 8pm.  That works for me.  The people who let their kids stay up until midnight or those who do the Macarena at their wedding aren't wrong.  It just wouldn't work for me.

I began thinking about how to ensure I'm raising grateful/non-bratty children about 2 minutes into them opening their stockings on Christmas.  First of all, the stockings were overflowing which was ridiculous.  They would have been happy with just a couple things and that's what I'm doing from now on.  I mean Santa.  I need to send him a memo that stockings don't need to weigh 15 pounds.  The kids opened something, hardly looked at it, tossed the wrapping paper over their shoulder like Rachel Ray throws salt and moved on to the next present.  They repeated this until I stopped them.  And if you're thinking to yourself, "God, Ashley, they're only kids!" I know this.  I know.  I know they are only three and four years old but if they aren't taught now, then when?  I stopped them and said, "Wait!  What is that?  That's so awesome!  When you fall and scrape your knee you can use one of those.  Santa must have known that you love Spiderman!  Isn't that nice he knew that about you?  Where should we keep those?" and a whole lot of other bullshit like that.  I didn't beat to death each gift but I wanted to give them pause for each and at least let them see me express a little something regarding their presents.  I did the same for my own.  I think at this age modeling is probably the best example.  William is uber observant and I know nothing is lost on him.  I'm hoping Drew will just get used to hearing such things and will copy us. 

They kids weren't completely dismissive of all their gifts and I certainly don't expect them to ooze gratitude but it was important to me that they knew who bought them what before they opened a gift.  And tonight when William put on his contstuction vehicle pajamas I reminded him that Lauren picked those out just for him.  He said, "Oh, that was so nice of her."  Why yes, yes it was.

The thing I struggle with the absolute most is the amount of "special" things my kids get on a daily basis.  When I was growing up, going out to dinner was such a treat.  Getting ice cream on the way home from being out somewhere on a Saturday?  You hit the mf'ing motherload.  Getting to go to an amusement parky kind of place?  It was either your birthday or a friend's birthday.  Getting a big toy that walked and blinked and sang songs to you?  It was obviously Christmas and Santa had fulfilled your one request for the year.  Today, for my kids, that's a Tuesday.  Or a Saturday.  And I'm ashamed of that.  They DO NOT need, and more importantly, they DO NOT deserve lemonade every time we go to Costco.  My shut-up-and-eat-this-icee-so-I-can-shop-in-peace everytime I got to Target has to go, too.  The merry-go-round at the mall?  Maybe a couple times a year.  I think all of these things add up and give my kids the message that they deserve all the "special" things that are out there.  They've always received them so it's just how it should be.  I don't agree.  "Special" is really become something with little value.  That's the scariest thing about all of it.  When Drew said about her chicken nuggets, "I don't want these" I wanted to go into the whole, "When I was your age if my mom had taken me to McDonald's on just a plain ol' Monday for the hell of it and I complained..." you know where I'm going with this.  Now it's just stopping, or cutting back.  I need to make sure that "special" has value again.  I think the biggest lesson is that just because you can doesn't mean you should. 

My kids aren't completely without lessons in appreciation and gratitude.  Not only do Chris and I model them, we did the food bank at Christmas, we shopped for and dontated toys at Christmas, and we acknowledge throughout the year all the little things we're so lucky to have.  I point out how lucky Drew is to go to bed with a stack of books in her bed and how lucky William is to have his favorite train that has batteries in it that work.  It's all I can do.  Acknowledge, model, and soon expect it to ooze from them.  The gratitude I mean.  Bratty kids aren't gracious.  I expect my kids to be gracious.  And if they're not, I'll blame Costco for selling lemonade and consider suing Target for selling Icees. 

The end.  


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wanna get serious, but just can't do it today

I have a couple topics I wanted to write about for this next blog but I'm just not feeling in the thinking mood.  The main thing I want to write about/explore/process/get feedback about is how to ensure I'm raising grateful children.  That topic today, however, is WAY beyond what my brain is capable of.  Today I don't care if they are grateful or ungrateful, dressed or naked, fed or hungry.  I just want them quiet.  QWIIII EEETTTT.

Our Christmas was lovely.  We had mom, Chris's parents, and Chris's brother visit with us for the last few days and now that the house is empty, the sick little children are sleeping, and I've bought a million dollar new charger for my laptop, it's time to get pictures onto the computer (and my blog) and then return the million dollar charger to Best Buy where I bought it a few hours ago and buy a cheaper one online.  Savvy consumer am I, no?

You're lucky you can't catch germs through the computer because if you could, you would all get an ear infection, strep throat, the flu, pink eye, and probably even William's asthma just through the next set of pictures.  No more blabbering.  Here is our Christmas in pictures.

We wrote Santa a letter a few days before and had Hello deliver it to him.  If you don't know who Hello is, click here.

William, Daddy, and Uncle Cory.  Can you say - scholarship?!

Grandma (Chris's mom) and the kids making Santa's house.  Thanks Auntie Amy and Uncle Brandon!

Nana (my mom) and William making cookies for Santa.  I reminded William that Santa likes LOTS of frosting. Lots.

The kids and I were just checking to see where Santa was... 

This would be a.m. - the beginning of stockings

Yeah for stockings!  Next year Santa won't fill them so full.  Too many things led to complete disinterest by the end.

Nothing like getting a gift that says, "Here, when you fall and bleed, you can use me!"

William was excited to go up and wish Lauren a Merry 1st Christmas.

See the sick eyes?  She's still a pretty little package, doncha think?

IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!  William opened the present Drew had chosen for William (Batman fruit snacks from Raley's) and he LOVED them.  And her.  In that moment.

Santa knew that this little 9 month old is ready to walk, she just needs a tiny bit of help.  Here she's getting it from her Uncle Cory and from Mr. Lion.

Brothers playing Wii.  Thanks, Bill and Ellen - a great gift!

Drew wrote some of the cards on the presents.  Here are grandma and grandpa's.

Nana with sweet Lauren

I hope you had a lovely Christmas as well and that your memories and traditions will stay strong.  Thanks to our parents for respecting our own new family traditions and being patient while we had a little time alone in the morning with our children. 


Monday, December 21, 2009

How does yours rate?

By now all of us, or most of us, have sent out the annual Christmas card.  If you read my blog you know that it is ridiculously high on my priority list come November every year.  Like, too high.  On a typical November evening Chris is in his office laboring over Quicken charts and our property taxes and our expenditures for the business and whatever other important things go on in that Godforsaken place while I sit in the cozy livingroom on my laptop laboring over pictures and formats.  I know, I totally win in the who-has-the-most-important task. Oh!  And this year, I composed a letter.  Yep, I totally win.  Ok, so now that it's established that Chris wastes his time on financial family matters while I compose the Family Letter, we can get on with this.  

How did your Christmas card rate according to Swistle's rating system?  If you don't know what I'm talking about, you must click here.   

I think the 8 people who read this blog all received our Christmas card and oh!  The Family Letter as well, but I'll leave you with our family greeting.  And excuse my tackiness if I just happen to mention that this was taken 4 months after I had baby number three and I have lost 19.5 pounds since this picture was taken.  Yes, the .5 matter and yes, I think I'll give myself an extra 2 points for it.

Merry Merry!!

photos were taken by Kia Gregory

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Update and stuff

Drew's surgery went amazing well.  I knew it would and you knew it would but until it was over I had to hold my breath a little.  We went to bed the night before and I said to Chris, "Are you worried?"  He said, "About what?"  OMG.  Please.  "About Drew, dumbass."  I didn't say the dumbass part but I thought it.  He said, "Not one little bit."  Chris is the KING of making everything notabigdeal but I trust him completely and this put me at ease quite a bit.

We arrived at 6:30am on Friday morning and she was immediately called back. Chris went with her and I walked Lauren around the hospital halls.  He came out at 7:15am and she was already put under.  He said she never cried and never appeared scared.  She put on her hospital gown, laid on the table and took a deep breath from the mask and was out.  She's an amazingly tough little girl.  She's just like her daddy.  Chris and I sat and played with Lauren for maybe 20 minutes when the nurse came out and said, "Mrs. Peters, she'll be waking up soon, would you like to come back?"  Here's where my Mother of the Year behavior begins.  I said, "Um, no.  He'll go."  I have such an intese fear of throw up that I just couldn't go back until I knew she was going to wake without getting sick.  I know nobody likes it (hear, see, smell) but I have a FEAR of it.  It's called emetophobia and it's real.  I sweat, my heart races, I get tunnel vision.  With Chris being a firefighter and gone for 24 to 48 hour shifts, my biggest fear is not him being injured, it's that one of the kids will throw up while he's gone.  Ok, getting off topic.  So, as Mother of the Year I sat in the waiting room but told Chris to come get me as soon as she was awake and it was sure she wasn't going to be sick.  He came to get me a few minutes later.  I walked back and she was sitting in a cozy bed with her own little TV on a swivel arm watching Curious George's Christmas Special.  She saw me and BURST into tears.  She had been eating a cherry popsicle that fell to her lap when she saw me.  The nurse got us a big recliner and got her out of bed and I just held her while she cried for nearly 30 minutes.  She just kept cupping her mouth saying that it hurt.  The nurse assured me it was completely numb and that what "hurt" was probably just the weird feeling of it being numb.  I kind of don't think so.  The way Drew was behaving I know she was in pain.  Within an hour of waking up from surgery we were in the car on the way home.  She cried all the way home and I twisted myself into a pretzel to be able to reach back and hold her hand all the way home.  She needed it.  She needed me.  She hasn't needed me in a very, very long time.  When she does need someone it's always daddy.  I even said to Chris, "I hope it doesn't hurt your feelings that she wants ME today."  He replied that he was just glad that finally some of my Drew needs were being met.  And they were.  Unfortunately it took surgery to get her to need her mommy.  We got home and Drew laid on me for over an hour while we watched some horrid Dora Christmas thing on TV.  I thought for sure she'd fall asleep but she never did.  She popped up and went about her day as if nothing had happened.  It was CRAZY.  Surgery at 7:20am, home at 9:00am and up riding her bike at 11:00am.  Her eating hasn't been effected and aside from a crooked, swollen smile she's exactly as she was before. 

We got lots of well wishes, cards in the mail and ecards.  Thank you for all of them.  I kinda feel silly for being somewhat worried now that I know it was such a minor thing.  Here are a couple pics of that day, and a few others.

Here's her new frenulum.  Sorry if it's a little graphic. 

 Drew, eating animal crackers and drinking apple juice just a few hours after.

I love this one.  William got home from school and Drew was anxious to show him her stitches.

Playing outside that afternoon.

Other stuff:

William didn't have a Christmas party at school on Friday.  He had a birthday party for Jesus.  This is how he came home from school.  He's still wearing his hat during the day.  Love it.

The kids' Christmas program from last week.  This was William's first time doing this sort of thing.  He was a superstar.  A superstar who is desperately searching for mommy and daddy in the crowd.

Drew, in the back row, singing like an angel.

Lauren was a champ during the performance.  Here she is, loving her daddy.

Lastly, our house has been hit with pink eye (all three kids, six eyes total), an ear infection for Drew in addition to her surgery, and two new teeth and a cold for Lauren.  Have you ever seen such a sad picture?

We're all on the mend as of today and we're looking forward to Santa visiting us in just a couple days.  I am looking forward to a quiet Christmas and enjoying it with my children and husband, as well as our parents and Uncle Cory who will be visiting for just a few days. 

And another HUGE thanks to Tracy for taking William at 5:45am on Friday so both Chris and I could be with Drew.  She's a lifesaver.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's ok to make mountains out of molehills sometimes

I don't like to make mountains out of molehills. Chris would disagree with that statement 110% but that doesn't matter. He's a guy and I think typically they like to make molehills out of mountains. Am I right? Anyway, I am a person who doesn't stress, doesn't worry much, and I steer clear of drama. Don't ask Chris's opinion about this. He's a completely unreliable source. But this situation we have coming up on Friday is a mountain. Some have tried to convince me it's just a molehill but it's not.

Drew is having a frenulectomy. Your frenulum is the string (as Drew calls it) that connects your upper lip to your gum. Go ahead, stick your tongue up there and feel it. Feel it? Yeah, that's your frenulum. Drew's connects right at the top of her two front teeth. It hasn't caused any speech issues for her, thankfully. Right now it's a dental issue. Her two front teeth will soon begin to spread. And spread, and spread. We're preventing that from happening by having her frenulum snipped so that it connects where yours does, up higher on the gum.

I've been told this is only a molehill because thousands of children have had this surgery. And because her recovery will be only 7 days. And she'll be home 6 hours after the procedure. I disagree. This is a mountain because it's surgery. Because she'll be put under. Because she's only 4. And because I'm her mommy.

Good healing thoughts on Friday sent our way would be appreciated. Thanks.

*A huge thank you to Tracy for caring for William so both Chris and I can be with Drew on Friday!

Monday, December 14, 2009


'Tis the season.  FOR WRAPPING.  I'm not one to do gift bags.  I like pretty paper and even prettier ribbon.  I think presents should be presented and wrapped in a lovingly way.  Some people (my husband) think it doesn't matter one bit what it looks like and the fact that I don't just throw a present into some tissue paper and slap some tape on it is ridiculous.  I disagree and will always give gifts that I have spent the time to wrap and make pretty.  Last night I hauled down some of the gifts and some of my Christmas wrapping stuff.  Chris was sitting on the couch and sighed and said, "Thank God you're the woman."  *He's not sexist, really, he's not.*  As I was putting the wrapping stuff away I was thinking of how much prettier, how much easier, and how much MORE I would enjoy this labor of love if I had one of these:

A gift wrapping room!  Wouldn't that be terrific?  I can hear the laughter already at just the thought of even mentioning that something like this could exist in our house.  Chris would offer to buy me some tissue paper, some gift bags, and he may clear the kitchen counter off for me.  He'd say, "Here's your gift wrapping room, dear!"  Oh, well.  A girl can dream.  For now, the kitchen counter will suffice.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I think traditions are extrememly important, no matter how small.  This year we are beginning a couple new traditions during the holiday season.  I wanted to start them earlier but the kids were just too young.  This year is the year.  I will protect these traditions and try and instill the importance of them in my children.  And if that means making them partake when they are teenages then so-be-it.  Traditions or die!  No, I'm kidding.  Kind of.  Anyway,  I'm thrilled that Drew was finally old enough for our first annual Nutcracker trip.  Nana  took the day off from school to come stay with William and Lauren while Chris and I took Drew to San Francisco.  We got dressed up, had a nice lunch, got on Jennie's Train (BART), and arrived - like magic - in the city.  We had a subzero walk from the BART station to the War Memorial Opera House which was made much less painful by Drew's observations along the way.  Huge American flag flying overhead, pigeons everywhere, gold paint on that building over there, etc.  We arrived and walked into a gorgeous lobby filled with excited kids and anxious parents everywhere.  Every mom looked like I felt; I'm here with my daughter!!  Everything was beautiful, from the decorated old building to the little girls in their sparkly dresses and the little boys in their Christmas sweaters.  It was awesome.  We sat and had sparkling cider and gingerbread cookies before the show.  Our seats were fabulous.  We were only 6 rows behind the orchestra and Chris took Drew to watch them warm up a bit before it started.  The bell chimed and we took our seats.  It was magical from the beginning.  Drew sat on Chris's lap for much of the first half.  He whispered to her when she had questions about what was happening.  We have read the story, she's seen some of the movie, and she spent the morning watching clips of the Nutcracker on YouTube so she was more familiar than some I'm sure, but she still had a few questions.  She sat mesmorized for the first half.  At intermission we were served cookies and juice and then went back for the second half.  I'm not going to lie, with about
10 minutes left Drew let out an audible SIGH which in words meant, "Seriously, how much longer??"  I wasn't surprised and was very impressed with her attentiveness until that point.  It ended 10 minutes later and we gathered our things to head out.  As we exited the building Drew was daaaaaancing her way to the street corner.  She did that throughout the night.  She hummed the music on the train on the way home.  She came home and told Nana all about it.  She read the program in her bed.  It was a great day.  And a great beginning of just one of our new holiday traditions.  Next year Chris and I will have a cute little boy in a beautiful Christmas sweater with us.  Can't wait. 

Drew, watching YouTube clips in the morning

Drew and me before we left.  Good closed-eye shot.

Chris and Drew walking to the train

Waiting patiently

I soooo wanted to trade places with her

An hour train ride is a long time


She owns the joint
and inappropriate Nutcracker Cleavage

If he only knew his fate

Who is this fancy girl??

Our view from our seats

She REEE FUUSED to take a picture with her excited mommy

Dancing as we walked out

More dancing on the streets of San Francisco

Sharing the story with Nana

Here's hoping your traditions are meaningful and stay strong.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The only obstacles keeping me from being the perfect parent are my children.

I read the following article a few years ago and kept it because I loved it.  I need to start a file entitled, "Things I didn't write but wish I had."  This article would have gone in that file.  I don't have the author or the source to credit properly, I wish I did.  If you have kids I think you probably will be able to relate to this article.  

Some days I pretty much have it together.  The kids behave (or are quickly corrected if they don't), their clothes match, their hair is brushed, their tummies are full.  Other days, well... not so much.  Those days are rare but they happen.  And because I'm so stellar on all the other days I'm ok to say to myself, "F*** it.  They're FINE."   

I used to be a perfect parent.

I had strong opinions about the best way to raise a happy, healthy, well-mannered child. I vowed that my children would appear well groomed and clean at all times. They would be disciplined by firm, fair, and consistent parenting techniques and they would always, always, be well behaved in a restaurant. And when they were older, I would instill a sense of self-confidence and mutual respect by showing them that I valued their opinions and by treating them as equals. My ideas were so straightforward and simple that I couldn't understand why other parents couldn't be as perfect as I was.

Then I had children.

I used to think that any mother whose child was dressed in mismatched clothes and had Kool-Aid stains around his lips before eleven o'clock in the morning was obviously an unfit parent who spends all day talking on the phone and serves Froot Loops and Popsicles for breakfast. My opinion changed when my daughter turned 2 and decided that she no longer wanted to wear clothing in public.

One minute she would be fully dressed, innocently sucking on a pacifier in her stroller. The next, she'd be waving at strangers wearing only a diaper and a pair of red patent leather shoes. The first few times this happened I put her clothes back on—only to have them flung at me again two seconds later. After several days of struggling to keep her fully dressed, I finally decided that it would be less stressful and much faster if she just started out naked when we left the house.

I also used to think that parents who let their children watch cartoons instead of doing enriching activities together like reading lacked self-discipline and motivation. This was before I began daydreaming about how great it would be if my 4-year-old son stopped making big messes around the house and did nothing but watch TV.

I could picture the peacefulness of it all. There would be no toys to pick up, no Play-Doh to peel out of the carpet, and no crayons to remove from nostrils. Besides, I figured if he got really hooked on a few afternoon PBS programs, I might even have time to do things like put on a real pair of shoes with laces or finish a complete thought.

Before I had children I was going to be a good, health-conscious parent. My family would only eat organic produce and dairy products, fresh fruit, yeast-free bread, and unmedicated free-range turkey. Sugar would never, ever touch their lips.

I changed my mind when I brought my daughter to the grocery store for the first time by myself, and she refused to bend her legs so she could fit into the front seat of the shopping cart. "If you get in the cart Mommy will give you part of the nice candy bar she has in her purse," I whispered desperately in her ear.

This tactic worked well until she had eaten all of the candy. Then she decided the trip would be much more interesting if she got out of the cart and flung all of the food off of the shelves as she ran down the aisles. So I did what any other modern, educated mother would do: I desperately started tossing junk food into the cart. She ate the box of mini donuts in the dairy aisle and munched on fistfuls of caramel corn in the produce section. The Tootsie Pop sucker gave me just enough time to get through the register, out the door, and back to my car.

As I loaded bags full of empty boxes and wrappers into my trunk, it occurred to me that the only obstacles keeping me from being a perfect parent were my children.

I once vowed that my son would never play with toy weapons. That didn't seem to stop him from turning just about everything into a gun. One day my son made a gun out of a banana and shot the cat. He was deeply disappointed when the cat didn't stop what it was doing, clutch its chest, and fall down on the floor.

And how was I supposed to know, when I vowed to never lie to my children, that my 5-year-old daughter would begin asking me questions about the reproductive process long before I was ready to tell her?

I finally compromised by discussing a few key facts, using the animal kingdom as an example. I thought I handled the subject honestly and tactfully—until she began to walk up to everyone who came to our home and ask, "Do you have a uterus?" If they unwittingly answered yes, she'd demand to know what size it was, where it came from, and if she could take a look at it.

Now, when my children and I go out in public, I want to stop people and let them know I am really a good parent. I want to tell them that my son is eating a Popsicle for breakfast because he is going through a phase where he will only eat blue food, and I'm running out of options. He has a dirty dishtowel tucked into the back of his shirt because he thinks it's a cape and today he wants to be Batman. I want to explain that my daughter is wearing her bathing suit with a pair of cowboy boots because she thinks the leather tassels go great with the pink netting on her skirt.

When I yell things like "Because I'm the Mommy and I said so!" I want people to know that what I really mean is "I can understand your desire, but it is my duty as a concerned mother to constantly look out for your best interest."

Sometimes I wonder how it would feel to appear in public with two orderly, quiet children with immaculate faces and clean clothes. I could shop without anyone repeating "Can I have a big pretzel now, Mommy?" every three seconds like some sort of hypnotic mantra. Maybe I could even stop to look at something—or enter a store, get only what I actually need, then leave! But I have a feeling my life wouldn't be nearly as exciting.

Now, when I see a mother whose child is happily meandering behind her, eating a Twinkie and wearing wrinkled dinosaur pajamas and a pair of swim fins, I no longer think she's an unfit parent. I know she's just doing the best she can.

Here is evidence of my perfect parenting.  Lauren is a cruiser and a climber and she was practicing climbing up on the chair there and she ate it, face first.  Instead of helping her I took a picture.  She looked up smiling, wish I'd caught that picture instead.  It would have made me look like much less of a terrible mom.

Monday, December 7, 2009

What a way to wake up!

If you've read my blog before you know that I'm pretty strict when it comes to the morning schedule.  This morning William came down at 6:30am and asked if he could turn his light on to read his books.  I said yes and shoo'd him back upstairs and told him I didn't want to see him until his clock said 7:00.  He went running out of my room saying, "I know, mommy!"  Then 10 minutes later I heard him plodding down the stairs again.  I had my large SIGH prepared with a little lecture about how he needs to follow the rules, blah, blah, blah.  Before I could SIGH he blurted out, "MOMMY!  Something is falling from the sky and it's bigger than rain!"  The weatherman had said the night before that snow was a possibility and since it was the all-knowing William who was telling me I jumped out of bed knowing that it had to be snow.  And it was.  It was awesome.  We ran upstairs to get Drew and then spent the next 30 minutes in the backyard.  Well, William stayed inside and looked out the window but Drew and I were outside.  I know this has been the huge topic here in the central valley and those on the east coast must be all like, "OMG!  So what?  It snows all the time here!"  You have to understand, though, that when we live 6 months of the year in a GD oven, something like this is very exciting.  And it hasn't dusted snow here since 2002 so it's pretty rare.  Here's a look at the backyard at 6:45am:


Here's my all-weather loving kid. 

Tonight is supposed to be 26* but the skies will be clear.  I think the snow may be gone for another handful of years.  That's ok.  It was fun while it lasted.  And maybe the next time it snows, teenage William will be tough enough to brave the cold.  Ummm, I won't hold my breath for that.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lie-berry time!

Do you utilize your local library?  I do, but not often enough.  The kids love books and always have so it's a very comfortable place for them.  Aside from the fact that William is absolutely incapable of whispering and I spend much of the time reminding that sweet child to shut his goldfish-hole, we have a great time there.  I've found that it's helpful if on the way there we discuss what kinds of books we're going to look for.  It often goes like this:

Me:  "What kinds of books do you want to look for today?"
William: "I want to find some books about alligators."
Drew: "Alligators are dumb."
William: "No, they're NOT!"
Drew: "I want to find books about castles."
William:  "Castles aren't real."

Drew: "YES they ARE!"
...and so on and so on.  I'm learning to control a bit more of what we look for, kind of like when you do a themed unit in the classroom.  We find and check out books all about one main topic, something I know they'll both enjoy and learn from while being relevant to whatever is going on.  When I was pregnant with Lauren we checked out books about new babies and there were a few that were for toddlers about a pregnant mommy.  Tomorrow we'll go and check out books about Christmas related things.  I'm hoping to find books about not only the holiday but also about how the trees are grown and harvested, reindeer, and maybe a kiddie cookbook with Christmas recipes in it.  

The whole purpose of this post is twofold.  First, take your kids to the library if you don't already.  Don't assume they are too young.  They aren't.  And secondly, this website is AWESOME at sharing ideas and making you feel inadequate in the creative-mom department.   Check it out: 

My all-time favorite Christmas book

Happy reading.



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