So we got a dog. It's funny how it seems like Riley has been here all along. He's very sweet, smart, and kind of a tricky trickster. This dog is in need of a few manners but he's got a very dear quality about him. I've been walking around with a deer in the headlights look for the last 24 hours. You were right guys, this is going to be a lot of work. I feel like I'm on day 3 of postpartum when you feel totally overwhelmed and wonder how you are ever going to keep this baby alive. Except now I have 2 babies.
By 9:30am yesterday, Lucy, Lyra and I were already on a retrieval mission in the neighborhood because Riley figured out the weak spots in our fence. Jorge is knee deep in dog books written by whisperers and monks. Josiah has been my gentle sage reminding me we can all do this together. Lucy is all about being in charge. She might be the best dog trainer in the family.
"We now have seven people in our family mom!" Jack said as we drove away from picking Riley up from the rescue group. It's so true. It's a good thing, I think...
Calling all dog people: Did you do obedience classes? Tell me what kind of dog you have and give me the scoop on your first few days.
He just realized he had a loose tooth, we discovered two actually. This is how things go with Jack, he's too busy noticing what is happening in the moment to realize something small has been going on all along. It's a beautiful gift really.
He was convinced he should eat an apple to help the tooth break free. He doesn't even like apples that much but it's a small sacrifice for tooth fairy riches. The tooth was barely hanging on, but it was time to drop him off at school. We aren't sure but I think somewhere between the car and his classroom, the tooth was gone. This brought up so many concerns.
What happens now?
Does the tooth fairy still come?
How do we handle this with her?
Does she still deliver?
How will she know where the tooth is?
Josiah assured Jack that he probably isn't the first kid to ever loose a tooth, literally. He explained all he had to do was write her a note and he was sure she'd understand.
Dear tooth fairy,
I lost my tooth and that was my first one. Could I please have more money? because that was my first tooth and I was very excited.
"You should say 'your friend, Jack'. " Josiah advised.
"Nah, she doesn't even know me, it's good, write just 'Jack'." Jack said.
It's a good thing I know the tooth fairy. I have a hunch Josiah is right, she will understand.
Do you do the whole tooth fairy thing? How much money goes under the pillow at your house?
It's been a week of babies around here. Two separate friends welcomed tiny people into their families and lives. Jorge and I went to deliver a meal and chat with the new parents. The mom looked so tired and little wrecked. I had this wave of compassion come over me.
How is she doing it? It's so hard in the beginning. You are so exhausted, you did such a big thing and now you are keeping someone else alive.
I had similar feelings when I went on a getaway with a friend who has two under two. Then I saw my very pregnant sister this weekend and wondered how she managed to pull a birthday party off so close to the end. I was in awe and had total respect for each of these women.
I'm not sure why but I was so struck by my observation. The funny part is, I have done this myself, like four months ago. It barely occurred to me I have stood in those places before. When you are there, you just press on because that's what we do as parents. We keep going, loving, living. You have no idea how remarkable it truly is until there is some distance. I sometimes scoff at the idea that parenting is the hardest job in the world but in the world but in many ways it is. So pull out the old baby pictures or look at the one you are holding today, remind yourself how amazing you both are.
What do you remember about the early days of parenting? Tell me in the comments.
Oh, there are so many questions that I'd like to ask, but i'm going to keep it simple tonight. You are all very creative and crafty and i'm wondering if you have any great ideas for some fun winter crafts.
Well Christa, I don't know how crafty we are but we sure are required to get crafty in the dead of winter. Or maybe we get a little crazy?
Here is one simple idea of craft fun with some things you probably already have in your pantry somewhere.
All you need are some marshmallows, big or little will do.
and some toothpicks, my kids like the colored kind.
The boys went straight to building structures, while Lucy stuck with making a very long snake.
General joy follows as it always does when marshmallows are involved.
You know what is good for parents in the dead of winter? a long soak. Check out today's
very excellent giveaway.
This lovely recipe box for relaxation from Philosophy could be yours. Leave a comment telling me your favorite hot drink,(chai latte anyone?) and one lucky person will be announced the winner tomorrow.
Yesterday's winners of the 4 videos were Danyelle, Kari, Ann and Katrina. And remember that every day you leave a comment you get a chance to win that awesome Graco Sweetpeace or the HP Wireless Printer.
Every morning since the new year, I have had this catchy little song in my head. Things, for some reason, really feel brand new. This newness seems to be catching on to other areas of our lives. Everyone in the family has decided to try something new.
Lyra is rolling.
Lucy is potty training.
Jack is taking a tree climbing class.
Josiah took up pottery.
I started photography.
Jorge just had his first guitar lesson last night.
"Papa got an electric guitar? That is so cool!" Josiah said last night with a rockstar light in his eyes. They sat on the couch playing with the guitar while Lucy turned the knobs of the amplifier.
Jack has been scaling doorways "practicing" for the next class while I take pictures of anything and everything. Lucy changes oufits and underwear at least 352 times a day. I can't decide if she will ever potty train or if it's just about her future career in fashion design.
And Lyra rolls and rolls and rolls. And everyone cheers. Every single time.
All of these new experiences from young and old bring a certain energy to the house. I'm realizing we expect the kids to try new things but I decided it's good for them to see us following our creative dreams too.
It's all very Electric! Speaking of electric, today's giveaway is an awesome t-shirt from the favorite show of everybody's childhood, The Electric Company.
This t-shirt could be yours. Leave a comment telling me what new thing you would like to try if you could. It's a new day, anything is possible.
The fabulous winners of the Super Why videos and activity books are Selfish Mom, Leanne, Anna, Wife and Mommy and The Bearded Lady.
"I wish that groundhog hadn't seen his shadow." Jack said. "I want Spring."
"I wish we could go sledding." Josiah chimed in.
Everyone wishes Winter would shower us with her white goodness instead of just being bitterly cold. Hats and mittens are no fun without snowballs. The stir crazy cabin fever is raging and wishes are all we have.
Here are my Winter wishes:
1. I gotta go with Josiah, snow would be lovely.
2. I wish the gym accepted babies under 6 months in their childcare.
3. I wish we didn't have to go out to school, errands, and do life so much.
A fun idea for winter wishes with kids: Write all your wishes (in words or pictures) on a piece of paper with markers or bright crayons. Tell your kids to close their eyes, make one more secret wish and kiss the paper. Then fold and cut into snowflakes to hang from a window. Use the scraps for snow play in doll houses and hot wheel tracks.
Do you wish you had a cookie right now? Maybe this guy or his friend Barney will magically bring you some? Leave a comment telling me your winter wish and 2 lucky winners will win one of these plush little guys along with some PBS stickers and other fun swag.
And don't forget that leaving a comment enters you into our kicking grand prize drawing for a Graco SweetPeace or an HP Wireless Printer.
Who are our lucky winners from yesterday who love preschool just as much as their children? Congrats to Sky and Johannah B for being our lucky winners!
"I had the best dream last night, I came outside to the backyard and there was a dog!" he said. You might guess this was one of my children, but no, it was my husband. The dog talk has been building the last few weeks but it came to a head after the dream. Everyone (well, everyone except me) was convinced it must be a sign.
Before I knew it, Jorge and the kids had talked me into going to look at a dog. My criteria- I would like a dog that watches television. Or maybe a dog like this one?
One facebook update later, the debate started. Get this breed, don't get this breed, or my favorite, "Are you crazy, you just had a baby?". The true blue pet lovers were all about it while all the mothers on my friends list said to wait awhile. It turns out we needed to fill out an application and the dog we were interested in wasn't there so we came home empty handed. So the dog debate continues.
This brings me to our Super Valentine's Giveaway for today. Does a medium sized, very mellow, kind of low maintenance, good with kids kind of dog exist? Do you think we should get a dog or not? Tell me your opinion in the comments to enter into our random drawing for your very own Wordgirl t-shirt.
Isn't it cute?
And remember that every day you comment, you are giving yourself another shot at the brand new HP Wireless Printer and the Graco SweetPeace grand prizes we will give away on Valentine's Day!!
Our winners of the awesome Sid the Science Kid Expert Sets from yesterday are...drum roll please... Jen and Bec!!!! Congrats!
I've had a few big family doubts lately. Will we be able to give everyone the attention they deserve and need? Will someone get lost in the shuffle? I'm so grouchy, would I be more patient and kind if I had 2 children? The parenting doubt and guilt seems to be very much alive no matter the number, the circumstance or situation. Can we ever be everything we want to be to our children? No, probably not. Then we remember if we could be, it would probably ruin them. This brings me to the great roll watch of 2009.
Everyday Lyra gets closer and closer to rolling over. "Lead with your head!", I told her. Whoever is watching her at the moment yells when she is making a rolling attempt. Everyone else runs in like it's some amazing replay in the Superbowl or something. And then they stare and cheer her on.
"Who is the best roller in the family?" Jack says in 3 octaves higher than his regular voice.
"You can do it baby!" Josiah believes.
"Come on mamacita!" Lucy insists.
The good news is that for every time she cries a little too long waiting for someone to pick her up, there are moments like these. Moments when she is the entire world.
She finally did it today, our rolling girl. Lucy caught it before anyone else. I watched as she showed me. It was big news on the car ride home from pick-up. They gathered around to show Jorge when he got home from work. These little happenings keep me going until the next time I am sure this is all too much and we are not enough. We are enough, we are all okay.
What little bit of parent guilt are you carrying around today? Do share in the comments, I'm pretty sure we'll all feel better if you do.
It's been brought to my attention that my life appears to be, well, dreamy, chock full of meaningful art moments and conversation. There's something you should know my friends. The truth is for every dreamy moment there are 3 in which someone is complaining, crying, arguing and I wonder why I even suggested such a project in the first place. Remember this?
So here are the tips I've learned in squeezing out the moments in life and cultivating opportunities for connection.
1. Let your children lead. Projects always go better when the kids decide what and how we are going to do something. Ownership makes everyone responsible and creates space for everyone to contribute.
2. Start with a question. Ask your kids what they think about a particular topic or how they can approach a task. You can offer options after to guide the process.
Ex. I have a problem, can you guys help me? What do you think we should do about...?
How should we celebrate...?
3. Let it be. If everyone has a horrible time on your kindness mission, or they fight over color choices for your group art project, it's okay. Not every experience will be perfect or lovely. These are opportunities to navigate group dynamics, personal growth, or just be in a family funk together. Don't give up, keep trying.
4.Leave some space. Some of the best moments just happen on their own. It's the beauty of letting life unfold before you.
What are your tricks for creating family togetherness or meaningful moments? Tell us dear ones in the comments.
"So what do you guys want to do to celebrate Martin Luther King day guys?" I asked.
"How about we paint stuff and write words on it like peace and dream, yeah dream, because Dr. King had A LOT of dreams." Jack said.
"You mean like make a sculpture?" I said.
"Yeah, and it has to say 'treat everyone the same'. " and with that he was off to gather supplies for our peace sculpture.
Lucy insisted the felt tiger be added, maybe he is the protector of peace, I do not know.
Josiah wanted flowers, I added the dove, everything about it was pure and lovely. Each person making their own contribution. All I could think about was how much I wanted to see Dr. King's dreams come true, in the flesh, the next day.The idea seemed almost impossible, like my very own dream.
We left to eat lunch with Jorge and by the time we got there I knew we had to go. 3 hours and 4 train tickets later, I gathered my crew and we were off to Washington D.C..It was completely crazy, so spontaneous, the perfect way to end a day held to honor a man who believed anything is possible.
Where are you watching the events today? and with who? Tell us in the comments.