Monday, August 31, 2009

School re-think...

Dear Coley,
Kindergarten started for you just weeks ago. And though you feel great anger within you that I didn't start you in all day Kindergarten it was only partly because of my selfishness to keep you home as long as possible... the other part of me just thinks that 5 years old is WAY too young to be gone from your mother all day. WAY WAY too young! I did it for your own good.
However, since that time you have asked me nearly 6 trillion times "is it time to leave for school yet?". You like to start the day out the same time as your siblings. I know that when we drop them off in the morning the look in your eyes, that want and yearning to leave your mother, is much greater than I ever anticipated... but its just not going to happen this year. So basically what I'm trying to say is, get over it already... K-den. And when we get home it is time for breakfast, not school! And 5 minutes after breakfast is over it is still not time to leave for school. And still, 5 min after that and 5 min after that and 5 min after that, it is still not time. You can count on 5 min after you eat your lunch that we will fill your water bottle, zip your back pack and head out the door. So don't worry. When I say "4 hours" that is a long time... Like enough time for you to eat 2 meals because you were hungry for them both which means there was digestion in between. So don't ask for breakfast and lunch 10 min apart thinking that it will get you to kindergarten one minute faster. So much to learn young one...
I have plenty to still teach you and I thoroughly enjoy your company. Please don't tell me one more time that, "if you really loved me you would have sent me to all day kindergarten". It makes me cry. Though I am thrilled that you and your sister share the same enthusiasm over public education, you should try to be a little more understanding that your mother definitely knows best... not your teacher. And further, she will never love you as much as I do. In addition to that, recess is over- rated and lunch at school comes from a package. And if you go to all day kindergarten then your water bottle gets hot and you have to drink out of those fountains that the water tastes like irrigation. Just ask McKay! He will tell you strait up... staying home as long as you can has its perks... He and I have daily discussions over home-school.
As this next week is on the horizon, I encourage you to come to an understanding that half day kindergarten is where it is at. Make some friends! Get their phone numbers AND their names and we will have morning recess at our house with them from 8-12 when you go to school. All is well, my young son.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A dinner tale.

So... tell me what it is about food on mom's plate? (that is a question... because if I had been talking a live person my eye brows would be up with question and my intonations would have left you feeling like you must answer...)

I spent the morning at that amazing farmers market down town drooling over beautiful veggies. I had visions of salsa made with heirloom and yellow tomatoes for the kids after school snack, and stir fry dreams for tonight's supper. The veggies were incredible. And I bought a lot of them! So I had to use them.

I made this delightful dinner tonight, (which, I might add, did not just whip up in 20 min since slicing and peeling veggies takes a ridiculous amount of time) And just as it was finishing up and the timer was hollering that the rice was done, the children came running with wonderful expressions on their faces! "what smells so good?" they inquired as they turned the corner to the kitchen. With high hopes, the taller ones opened the pan to get a sneak peek. Coley stood high on his tipsy toes trying to get a good look. And then, "oh." and silence that seemed to scream, "YUCK!". And those faces dropped like a barbell on your naked toe.

Child 1: "I don't think I'll be eating tonight". Child 2: "May I make a sandwich, you know I don't like that. I told you last time we ate it". Child 3: SILENCE. and then all the kids disappeared as if they had just eaten a feast and didn't want to be around for clean up.

So Papa Nate and I spooned up a pile of rice and topped it with the heavenly veggies L0-mien and sat down. I even considered candle light since we would be dining by ourselves tonight! Just after, "amen", those same children came in to stare. Why? Why do they refuse and then stare with sad wet eyes like I've starved them for the past week? And then Child 1 even set herself down next to me and hung her sweet head. And child 2 inched himself next to me, his mouth closer to my plate than my own. And child 3... the one with the audacity of a bison, pulled himself up to the table with the leftovers of his after school chips and salsa fest and began to eat! Bless his clueless heart. And so it was that our romantic home made Chinese dinner Lo Mien wasn't romantic at all. Papa Nate instantly looked anoyed. He was obviously trying REAL hard to not make mad noise. I looked straight ahead pretending nothing else was going on.

Child 1 spoke up with a quiver: "I'm so hungry, could I just have a taste of one noodle?" Child 2 chimed in: "Could I just have one taste?" Child 3: crunchen' on chips and salsa. Papa Nate: "I'm really trying hard not to comment here but I can't help but notice that you are all eating off your mother's plate." Child 1: stomps away and tosses fork into the sink with force only to return less than 20 seconds later with big tears and obvious sobs. Child 2 swallows food, looks at Papa and says, "hmm, not bad... what are the noodles made out of?" Child 3: oblivious that anything is wrong gets himself a drink to wash down his chips and salsa dinner and says, "are we going to the ice cream social after we eat?" Child 1 crys out, "I'm so hungry but I don't want dad to be mad at me for asking mom for another bite!" Child 2 opens his mouth expecting me to fill it will veggie L0- mien goodness on demand. Child 3 wondering what all the fuss is over. And so I asked the million dollar question, "would you like some dinner? I'd sure love to dish it up!" Child 1: sniffles. "Could I just have rice? I don't like cabbage. It makes me gag. And mushrooms are disgusting. And spinach makes my stomach turn." "GOT IT! Thanks for your honesty." Child 2: "no, I made myself a tuna sandwich, I'll just eat a little of yours." (WHAT?) child 3: "I'm not hungry". As he piles a giant portion of salsa onto his next corn chip. Bless his clueless heart.

And so I dished up one brown rice as ordered. And child 1 partook. When her rice was 1/2 gone she looked up and said, "is that lo-mien good?" Papa was on helping #2. Couldn't answer without gumping so opted out. Child 2 had polished off my helping #1 but still didn't want any of his own. Noticing that indeed it was good, child 1 asked, "could I have just a little bit on top my rice?" and so she did and ate and loved her dinner. And was happy. Child 2 was real full. Child 3 is a garbage gut who ate (literally) corn chips and salsa for dinner and then most happily trotted off to the ice cream social for dessert.

And so it is that papa Nate and mama Beck did not eat candle light lo-mien for dinner tonight by themselves. Child 1 joined them and after she figured out that she was truly not a martyr, she lived happily with good food in her belly. Child 2 over ate... because he made himself a tuna sandwich and then also ate his mother's helping of lo-mien. And he was happy because he never had to admit that he liked that stuff... Child 3 is happy. He is happy about everything. And he is full of garbage. And probably one day he will suffer from obesity and diabetes because his mother fed him corn chips and ice cream for dinner instead of lo-mien. And papa Nate enjoyed 2 helpings and mama Beck ate part of one helping and felt joy that finally childs 1 and 2 did partake... and laughed all the way to bed over child 3... bless his Coley heart.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Better than expected

So the day that I have dreaded for nearly 5 1/2 years arrived. I had prepared myself for it to be the worst day of my existence... ALL MY KIDS AT SCHOOL. But since I had psyched myself out so much prior to that day, it went better than expected. WOOOO HEEEE.... (it was a close one though.) It didn't help that the kids had anxiety over the new school that they were going to attend. McKay absolutely hates anything that doesn't follow his agenda. So we prayed lots and I told a few mommy lies (which I've learned are one of the secrets of motherhood).
Mommy LIES:
When a child tearfully tells mom that he doesn't want to leave home to go out into that big nasty world and play with all the bully kids and listen to boring teachers all day and the mom smiles (all the while her heart is breaking) and says, "its going to be fun!" and "school is a blast! You get to learn about the birds and the bees from your 3rd grade friends who have older siblings, you get to indulge on school lunch that has NO nutritional content, and you get to learn to let mean horrifying self defeating comments that mean kids say go in one ear and out the other and pretend they don't hurt." "its going to be great!"
And so off to school the children went...

Bailey was delighted! She loves school. She is determined that school is the greatest invention since sliced cheese. She plans on making a gajillion more friends and enjoying them after school since she now lives among her school mates! And even better, when she joins the world of Jr. High in the upcoming years she won't have to make all new friends again. Bless her for being so optimistic and joyful!

On another note, McKay was hoping for a natural disaster pushing back his blissful summers end. Anything would have been better than leaving his comfortable and happy living circumstances to associate with strangers. He thinks home school is a great idea! So for McKay we prayed for a miracle.

And God delivered.

I walked McKay to class and painfully watched him dry his eyes (for the ten trillionth time that morning) and answered his question for the billionth time ("how many hours is school?") And then I ducked behind a tree where nobody could see me hug him (CUZ that just isn't cool... even if you're crying because you don't want to leave your mom.) And then I promised that I would come eat lunch with him so that he wouldn't be a total loner. Then I left and returned At lunch time where we talked about how McKay hadn't even had a minute to meet one new friend and that he was definitely going to die if he had to stay for one more hour of school. Just as he was finishing up his turkey sandwich (made with googols of love) one of his long lost friends from his class last year (at the other school) appeared and said, "Oh hey McKay!" and McKay's face lit up like a Christmas tree on steroids, "Hi Ramone!" Those words never sounded so good... In fact, I think Ramone might have to go onto my list of favorite people now. And then Ramone said something so profound: "have you seen Darrin yet? He moved over here too." And my heart leaped and landed in the same spot as McKay's which visibly jumped out of his chest. He not only knew somebody, He had two friends from his other school which made him one mighty happy kid at recess. And after we left the lunch room I walked McKay over to the playground and as soon as he spotted those familiar boys from his 2nd grad class he waved good bye and sent me on my way to our quiet little home. And McKay felt like he belonged at that new school...

Cole has never been more elated to join the world of school kids. Cole is happy about EVERYTHING! But he was delirious with happy about going to school. He was the first one up. The first one dressed. And the first one to have his back pack on. He was the first one in the car and the first one to tell the kids good-bye. However, his school didn't start until noon. So he wore that back pack all day! And He couldn't have been more elated when I told him to get in the car because it was time for school. He was sure that he would have at least 30 new friends by Christmas break. He confidently walked into his class and hung up his back pack after finding the perfect spot for his new green water bottle... and then he went right to his seat without further help... READY for the day! And as I walked out the door, pushing back a little tear I stole one last look at my baby (whom I've enjoyed every minute of his life in major huge amounts) and he glanced over and gave me a wink to send me on my way. That kid... And when he got in the car after school he was the first to announce that he had made two new friends (well on his way to 30) that he couldn't remember their names and one of them he "plays with but doesn't talk to because I can't understand his noise".

And so all the little ones are now in school... and I'm told that I will enjoy it. But all it makes me want to do is cry. Mum says I can take 3 days to mourn... and then I must get going. So I have one more day to heal my lonely heart. And then the enjoyment of my empty house for hours each day begins. But I will never, not ever, stop praying that those lucky teachers who have my wee ones for nearly 7 hours each day will enjoy them as much as I do.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Our Favorite Vacation spot... for now!

So I've been absent but sooo alive! Summer has been better than expected. With the kids home sweet home, amazing friends to play with, lots of water to cool us off and even a vacation or two, we can chalk this one up at the top of the list. I am not yet to a place where I can talk about its end which is quickly approaching... so instead, I reminisce of the past weeks which we so endearingly call "summer". This post is dedicated to one of our favorite vacation spots: UTAH... home of Papa Nate's youth and his family, my little old Grandpa and Grandma Della and dear friends covering the state.
We planned this vacation to correspond with the Caveman Class of "89 twenty year reunion. The excitement of old friends and festivities which wrapped around that event did not let us down. Indeed, I met Mi Amore's first kiss. Bless her for being such a woman! If any other woman had to hold a piece of "firsts" in his heart I must be grateful it is her. She is darling! His high school sweet heart...whom I'm don't think I like yet. And all of the "Pea Greens" who he hung out with during those crazy years... the greatest group of friends a young lad could get in trouble with! What a delight to be associated with such a class!
The kids went bazurko with their cousins. They started off the vacation with sleep overs at the Damons and it just went up hill from there. Parades, lake trips, Aggie ice cream, cabin sleep overs in the mountains, cook outs, laughs, friends, more reunions, parties galore, pic nics in the park, shade and soft green luscious grass, Olympic park @ Park City, Grandma's magic water, late late nights, swimming, a ball game, temple square and holy shmoley... FIREWORKS that lit up the sky!! and more BBQ than one deserves in a life. It was incredible! Our hearts will never be the same. Those mountains seem more sacred and family is more endeared, if that is even possible.
The trip was not long enough. Nope... never is! There is always more to see, more people to hug and more memories to make. We plan on all of that! The most magical thing about UT isn't its ancient statues or pyramids, nor is it the cathedrals aging back to Paul. It isn't the attraction for the tropics or the great deep. It certainly isn't the origination of this lovely land we call home. But for us the monumental joy we find in being with family and friends is worth vacation time and savings spent. And when it comes to vote, it is always our "favorite vacation spot".