Friday, April 29, 2011

friday book review: where the sidewalk ends

where the sidewalk ends
by shel silverstein
suggested reading level: ages 5-12

where the sidewalk ends is a collection of 130 silly children's poems about topics ranging from "dancing pants", "dirtiest man in the world", hug wars, and hippopotamus sandwiches. silverstein has a funny way of reaching kids with silly words and simple pen-and-ink drawings. each of the 130 poems are touching in a different way. some may be a bit disgusting or joke about naughtiness, but they are all subjects children can relate to. since the release in 1974 four and a half million copies have been sold, making it the bestselling children's poetry book ever.

i'm sure this is a book that will take us back to 2nd or 4th grade!
i remember very well sitting in my 2nd grade and listening to Ms. Martin read this book.
i must admit that "hug-o-war" was my favorite,
and it has always stuck in my head.
i'm sure we've all heard about how important poetry is for children to assist with learning about rhyming, expanding the imagination, and how it is an important first step in learning how to read.
we introduced this book into our family about 1 year ago with a fun tradition.
sam was very sick,
like in bed with a high fever sick,
and i found myself laying with him often for comfort.
i pulled out this book for something different to entertain him.
i wondered if he was too young,
but he loved it!
now whenever anyone is sick,
they get to lay in my bed, snuggle, and read where the sidewalk ends.
sam was recently sick again,
so out the book came.
it was so entertaining that will joined us,
and the book has had to stay out.
it is their book of choice every night at story time.
they each pick 4 poems,
and they want more after.
i recently checked out the cd at the library,
and they like listening to it in bed as they fall asleep.
they think these poems are hilarious.
let's face it,
what's not funny about captain hook picking his nose,
or getting buried with spaghetti instead of confetti,
or hector the junk collector,
or getting eaten by a boa constrictor,
or losing your head and not being able to find it even if you are sitting on it?
this book has most certainly opened sam and will's imagination,
and it has been a pleasant reminder of my childhood memories.
get the book,
if you don't already own it.
if you own it,
then pull it out again.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

another thing...

another thing that makes maggie cry,
we discovered,
is a ruptured ear drum.
poor baby.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

remember this moment

every 1-2 months pete and i like to take the boys one-on-one for a date night.
tonight was my privilege to take sam.
he wanted his date to be a trip to ikea for dinner and an easel.
that may seem random,
but sam is a kid who loves to paint.
every night at our ritual talking about things he always includes that he would like to paint a picture the next day.
he has been dying for an easel.
he wants to paint a picture of the earth,
and a large piece of paper on a stand was just what he was dreaming of.
i was excited to assist him with this dream.
what happened from here i hope to always freeze in my memory.
i want to not forget a thing about sam in this moment in time...
how he loves rhyming, it started with just made up words, but now his rhymes make sense,
he rhymed to whole way to ikea.
his originals are... don't tell your dad or he will be mad, anything that rhymes with poo or pee.
he passes his time in the car by counting signs or identifying letters on street signs or making contraptions out of rubber bands and sticks or drawing in a notebook that he always has with him so he won't get car sick,
he still loves to hold my hand wherever we go,
he is such a good eater,
and i love watching when he is given the choice to have whatever he wants.
tonight it was chicken strips, french fries, mashed potatoes & gravy, 2 chocolate milks, & a chocolate bar for dessert.
he's like a little grown-up talking about how there weren't many people there or about how they must all be downstairs or about how delicious the gravy was or about how wonderful the date was going.
he is very task oriented,
he spends his time focusing on the task without being easily distracted,
like loading the easel into the cart before we could do anything else.
then he was free to crawl through the display tunnels and play at the game kiosks.
i want to freeze in my brain his blond, long, textured hair,
his serious blue eyes,
how tall he is getting and how he loves to always measure how much more he has to grow to be as tall as me. (he comes to the top of my chest already!)
i also want to freeze what happened once we got home.
the easel got set up immediately,
and he went straight to work.
he created his first masterpiece of the solar system,
the earth with mexico, california, and hollywood all included.
as well as outer space, the stars, the sun, and pluto, saturn, mars, and neptune.
he wants to send it to a museum.
he wants to roll it up, put it in a tube, and mail it.
i hope it gets displayed.
then we will always remember this day and how it all began.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

the only thing

i'm learning that the only thing that makes maggie cry is getting her 2 lateral incisor teeth.
this is about the fussiest she has been so far in her life.

Monday, April 25, 2011

easter in review

i love easter,
and apparently my kids do, too.
a few of the highlights...

norma's annual easter egg hunt:

the boys have done it enough times they are starting to memorize their favorite spots:

this was maggie's 1st real hunt. she surprisingly knew just what to do. she picked the egg up and plopped it right in her basket. it didn't take her long to discover the candy either. she now scavenges for it, and i now find chocolate bars in her mouth wrapper included:
it is funny helping will find easter eggs. if you say look up, then he looks down. he eventually spots them, but it is quite entertaining watching him.
there's nothing fancy about the way we dye easter eggs.
we just need some color, crayons, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes.
easter morning was better than christmas morning for my children.
they woke at 6 to see if they the easter bunny ate the carrots they left,
and thankfully he did eat it and leave them jelly bean "poop".

i believe it easter outfits.

and i believe in family traditions like cousin egg hunts and egg drops especially when our egg doesn't break and sam wins the $5 golden egg.
and i believe in really cute easter pics.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

a thing i love most...

i love that children have a tendency to do whatever is in their heart.
nothing seems to stop them.
especially things like 50 degree weather.
summer is in my boys' hearts,
and rainy, chilly days aren't enough to take that out of their heart.
that is exactly why they put on their swimsuits and used a sprinkler under the trampoline to make a slip-n-slide.
they played like that for at least an hour today.
and that is one reason i love them so much.
they do what is in their heart.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

friday book review: that's not my princess

that's not my princess
by fiona watt
suggested reading level: baby-preschool

this is one of many of the usbourne touchy feely board books. it is a delightful story with a simple and repetitive storyline. the illustrations are bright and cheery, and each illustration has a textured item to make it fun for little hands. on each page you discover all things princess. however, her fan is too fluffy, dress is too thick, and sash too velvety to be the reader's princess. it isn't until the end you learn what makes the princess just right.

it is about time i start thinking about books for maggie.
she received this book for her birthday,
and it has been the 1st book that she wants to read and look at.
i leave it on the floor most of the day because she will always flip through it every time it is near.
her favorite page is definitely the thick dress page.
she loves it so much she tries to tote it with her wherever she goes;
no matter if she is crawling or walking the book is almost always in tow.
even my boys like hearing it.
they have already memorized it and can be found reading it to maggie.
if princess is not your theme,
there are many others with the same story line and textures about teddy bears, kittens, bunnies, puppies, and dragons.
the best baby board books i can recall seeing in quite awhile.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

what are you going to be

i had a conversation with sam that sparked a very pleasant memory.
the conversation took me back to the day when i was around 9 years old.
i had written in a school journal about what i wanted to be when i grew up.
thank goodness for a mother who saved it for me!
what i wrote has been a treasure to me in my professional years.
i wrote that "i want to be a hairdresser because i'm good at it i think".
funny how life can have a way of delivering you what is in your childhood heart.
that childhood dream has landed me in the art of hairdressing for the last 11 years.
flash forward to my conversation with sam.
he asked me who the "job giver" is and when they give you your job.
i smiled as i tried to explain to him that the job giver is yourself and you get to decide what you do.
this opened his mind in a whole new way of thinking.
he was excitedly planning what job he would choose.
he first said "a teacher like dad",
but quickly changed that.
he changed it to something much more fitting to him.
he wants to be a car inventor.
he wants to invent a car that can transform into a helicopter.
(we should patent the idea for him now.)
i was touched to see the imagination running wild on every detail of his design.
after much planning,
he concluded that if that didn't work he would be a "cash registerer".
that would work, too.
whatever it is he dreams up
i hope he finds much enjoyment and satisfaction.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

it takes all kinds

every tuesday sam and will go to a playgroup in our neighborhood.
every 4 weeks i have the privilege of hosting about 7-9 kids here for this group.
today was that day.
many of these kids have been coming to this playgroup for the last 3 years.
in my silent observation today i caught a really special glimpse of how they have all grown.
the most touching part that glimpse was recognizing that growing is different than changing.
they are all still the same kids that we started with 3 years ago.
sure, their behaviors have changed...
thankfully they are all using the toilet now
and playing together without constant supervision and involvement
and not crying every time we leave them.
but who they are is the same.
some are builders,
some are inventors,
some are just players,
some are loud,
and some are quiet.
some make me laugh
and others don't make a peep.
some connect with me and have always enjoyed following me around, helping with lunch, and chatting the whole time
and for some it is enough for them to just feel safe and welcome.
and they have always been this way;
it's who they are.
as i was making this observation i was incredibly grateful for each one of them.
they all have something big and amazing to offer this world,
and for each one it will be different.
i'm very aware of how lucky i am to watch these futures unfolding before me.

Monday, April 11, 2011

a return home

we spent the end of spring break last week in st. george.
and had a wonderful time, i might add.
it was atypical weather...
cold and rainy,
but we didn't let it slow us down.
we reminded ourselves that attitude is everything,
so we pulled out our umbrellas and bought sweatshirts and pretended we live in the pacific northwest.
we still hiked in snow canyon and played in the sand dunes (in the hail, actually).
nothing like being sandy, wet, and cold.
we saw hop the movie.
cove fort.
what a reminder that i was born in the wrong generation!
dinosaur museum.
lots of swimming in the indoor pool.
and lots of screaming and playing with cousins.
and lots of laughing with the grown-ups.
thanks, sarah, for "losing" jade.
i don't think we will ever forget that!
a trip through zions.
and then home again.
i LOVE vacations;
it's what i would spend all my extra money on,
but i love the way it feels to come home.
if i could just hold onto that carefree feeling once i'm here.

Monday, April 4, 2011

maggie's party

dear mom,
thank you for throwing me such a terrific party for my first year.
the whole evening was just fitting for me...
all of my favorite things were included.
the pink, yellow, and silver glittery things were just perfect for me.
the party hats and wands were fun even though i didn't want much to do with them;
i'm glad they were there for the other kids.

i felt like i was sitting in style with my special seat.
oh, and i must mention the hand-stitched blanket you made me for my gift.
i will always treasure it.

and you certainly didn't go wrong with the food.
i could eat fruit and cupcakes all day!
now that i mention it, i could've devoured a few more cupcakes.
auntie made a delicious raspberry lemonade cupcake.
i enjoyed every bite.

and i was really spoiled with the gifts...
a piano playstation from weema,
new pacifiers from will,
a pink ring from sam,
cute & sassy clothes from my aunties,
dolls & bunnies,
stacking blocks,
animal magnets,
bug pop beads.
i really loved them all,
and i have played with every one.

almost all of my favorite people were there...
both of my grandmas,
all my auntie's except for dawn dawn and nellie,
and all my cousins except a few who have moved away (walker girls & jeffs boys).
the best part of having them all there was how helpful they were in getting my presents open.
i really did love it all,
even the frilly white dress.
it was quite fitting, wasn't it?

thanks again, mom, for making my day all about me.


Friday, April 1, 2011

she's got a way about her

all day my memory has been returning to an experience i had in august 2009.
i was anxiously waiting to learn if there would be a positive or negative pregnancy test.
in this particular moment i just so happened to be driving alone in the car.
the song "she's got a way" by billy joel came on.
i began kind of humming along,
but the lyrics began to almost entangle me.

"she's got a way about her
i don't know what it is,
but i know that i can't live without her....
she's got a smile that heals me
i don't know what it is
but i have to laugh when she reveals me...
she comes to me when i'm feelin' down
inspires me without a sound
she touches me and i get turned around
she's got a way of showin'
how i make her feel
and i find the strength to keep on goin'
she's got a light around her
and everywhere she goes
a million dreams of love surround her

hearing this song in the exact way i did put my curiosity to rest.
i knew i was pregnant,
and i knew i was pregnant with maggie,
and i was quite certain our relationship would be like the one described in this song.
and it has been.
this baby already has such a special way about her.
her smile can always heal me and just about everyone else who sees her.
she's got a light around her,
and i know a million dreams of love surround her everywhere she goes.

this has always been her theme song.
it's one i sing to her often and have since the day i heard it in the car.
my continual birthday wish for this baby of mine is that this song will always be so fitting,
that she will always have that light in her eye
and the ability to lift others.
i know i don't want to ever have to live without her.

happy birthday, maggie.

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