Friday, May 29, 2015

He's a helper!

Kathy's comment on my last post is the license I need to brag about my little helper guy. 

I'll say having young toddlers participate in the everyday is very, very normal to me. I have 17 first cousins and my mom and two aunts did foster care for most of my life taking kids ages 0-5 primarily. There were always jobs tuned to everybody. For example our dryer had a broken buzzer and would keep beeping until the door was opened. All of the kiddos raced to be the one to open the door. The littlest pulled socks, a bit bigger folded washcloths, etc. 

Montessori appealed to me because it is what seems normal to me. I've always seen how happy and proud children are when they're part of the team. 

We've been giving Andrew jobs since he was really little. Like when he was old enough to grasp toys and release I would hold him and let him grab toys and take him to the toybox to drop it. I think Michael was skeptical at first but as he saw how much he was capable of and how proud it made him, he was sold too. 

His current helper activities include:

Pulling laundry out of the dryer and diapers off the clothes line. Then together we push the laundry basket into my bedroom. 

Washing veggies
Helping M feed princess
Passing us the silverware to be put away

Running things to the recycling bin or trash. 

He's awesome! He isn't always in the mood for these and that's ok. We are currently working on a few everyday musts. Like teeth and laundry in the basket. 

Cooking dinner together is 1000x more joyful because he knows his jobs and gets truly occupied. We have a lot of fun measuring and tasting spices. He gets a little full of himself and wants to take over and we aren't comfortable yet putting him in charge of our seasoning levels. 

His jobs have a double benefit for us too. He used to be VERY interested in the trash can but now since it isn't off limits it also is much less interesting. 

There is always a struggle, at least with us, to balance giving him things that are appropriate, giving him the time he needs to figure it out and living life on a schedule. But I truly can't imagine any other way. He may be the nuttiest member but he is definitely on the team!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

It makes perfect sense to him: #1

I think I'll start a series of interesting things my son does that I don't get but he seems to have a deliberate plan around.

Today we explore his current method of book organization. 

He takes this very seriously. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Hello Mudda,

This weekend I left my family and went to sleep away ymca camp. 

With my sister and two oldest nephews. It was a family camp and our first time scoping it out. 

I designed us matching shirts. The best acronym I could come up with from our initials was HALM (also, happily, age order). So I went the over used Churchill quote route.  

With our initial on the back to clarify 

They were a hit. With the nephs and other campers. One mom said "you had those made just for this." To which I thought "I have a silhouette, I'll making matching shirts for anything."

Camp was fun. We did all the classic things. Archery, boating, walks on the sound looking at tide pools. 

There was a campfire each night with silly songs and skits. S'mores one night. 

We spent our free time playing badminton. And evenings we played games in our cabin. 

The food was pretty decent and plentiful. 

The only downside to my experience was that the brothers in our cabin (my nephews) fought like dogs. They are often at each other's throats but maybe we were hoping that this new shared experience would lead to camaraderie. Not so much. 

I would definitely go again. It would be perfect for a pre-built family reunion or friends (with kids-adults were slightly second class citizens, only getting to do the big activities after the children and time permitting) retreat. 

It was good to have the time with the big boys and big sis. I did get homesick though. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Too sweet

When I was a kid (hell, when I was in my 20s) I used to be baffled by people describing dessert as “too rich” or “too sweet.” Who the hell thinks that?! Isn't that the point of dessert?!?

But I guess I’m getting old.

I had this for lunch (what can I say, I’m a health nut) from cupcake royale:

Holy crap it was SOOO GOOD. But it was so thick and indulgent and rich. I couldn’t even process the deliciousness after the first three bites.

I mean, I powered through. I am a glutton after all.

But man, that was too rich.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015


We have had some seriously bizarro weeks the past month or so. But it's cool.

We managed to also blow lots of giant bubbles.

Celebrate Mother's Day.

Andrew became an Olympian.

This picture is a lie

He is not that great at the nine piece jigsaw yet. But enjoys working on it.

We have made many Popsicles.

And another haircut.

There's more but it probably deserves dedicated posts.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Party time!

Andrew attended his first birthday party for a non-related, non- parent nudged, friend this weekend. And it was the most precious thing I’ve ever seen. I should have prefaced this by saying I am sort of a grump and wasn’t super jazzed about the idea. I think babies care very little about such events and would have equally as much fun and learning at home. I see the real benefit as establishing a community for the parents. But since we don’t live anywhere near where Andrew’s social circle is (Seattle daycare) that benefit is slim. While we haven’t been peppered with invites I have just not made it a priority to go to any thus far.

But this one was for his most special friend. His little daycare buddy. He is three months older and started at our daycare just after Andrew did. They’ve been buds since. I would get reports that they would touch hands through the pack and play during nap time and of them being trying to hide in the same corner, up to no good. When A was almost one and had just started sitting at the table for meals and snacks they would say how he and R would be the last ones at the table chatting and laughing. Just yesterday they were laughing hysterically with each other when I got there to pick A up.

So we couldn’t miss R’s 2nd birthday. It was at a Little Gym franchise in Seattle. All of my sister’s four kids have had their first birthdays at one so I knew the general gist- barely controlled chaos. R and his sister share a birthday so this was a 5 year old/2 year old party. I thought A was going to be WAY out classed. I prepared by wearing pants and readying myself to do all the goofy stuff to keep him engaged. But to my very pleasant surprise he was an excellent student! He LOVED the open gym free time but when it was time to line up at the wall he did, he sat and listened to the teacher for parts and- best of all- he was having the time of his life. After the gym part ended he sat at the party table eating pizza and chatting with 5 year olds. His current obsession is the Happy Birthday song and he was SO excited to see it live with candles. He ate his red velvet cake (in a white shirt) really nicely, sitting there until only he and his buddy were left at the table.

I still think babies don’t need to do a lot of extracurriculars- but the lesson here is that Andrew is not a baby anymore.

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