Letting my Kids Watch me Struggle to Learn

My 4-year-old playing the didgeridoo.

Two weeks ago I decided to learn to play the didgeridoo.  It’s totally different from anything I’ve ever done before, and it’s challenging to learn.  But I’m having fun, and really enjoying it.  The deep resonance of the sound is soothing.  And the complete concentration it requires forces me to focus on only the one thing before me, making it a wonderfully meditative act.… Continue reading

A Cat made of Love

Like all siblings, my boys sometimes squabble.  They pick and poke at each other.  They tease each other.  They argue.  But underlying all of those things, is a deep and abiding love.  And every once in a while, I get a glimpse of that love in a way that makes my heart burst with joy.

 

For instance, a couple weeks ago my 4-year-old was feeling scared at night. … Continue reading

Enjoying the Sleet; Enjoying the Moment

When my four-year-old began donning his rain boots to head out into the sleet, I asked him if he wanted help with his jacket.

 

“No,” he replied, “I just want to taste it.  I don’t need a jacket.”

 

I watched him walk out the back door onto our deck.  My husband snapped this picture of him tasting the rain/snow/sleet that was falling from the sky. … Continue reading

Things to Entertain my Boys at Great-Grandma’s House

We’re headed to California next week to take care of my grandmother as she recovers from back surgery.  Recovery and two young children don’t always go hand-in-hand.  That said, my two boys are so excited about going and helping and spending time with their Great-Grandmother, that I’m hoping it’ll be a wonderful experience for all of us.

 

In order to keep my boys entertained during times when my grandma needs quiet over the next couple weeks, I picked up a few activity books from our favorite local bookstore. … Continue reading

My Homemade Calendar Notebook

My Homemade Calendar Notebook
A picture of the type of notebook I use, and a picture of two pages within my particular calendar notebook. The top is a how I structure my weekly view pages. The bottom image is my year-at-a-glance page (the key to the numbers is on the following page).

For two years now, I have made my own calendar notebook, which doubles as a journal/planner. … Continue reading

Learning by Doing: Manning a Table at a Local Artisan Fair

My 8-year-old manning his booth at the artisan fair.

Last year, my elder son made a family friend a series of four bead ornaments depicting the life-cycle of a caterpillar (an egg, a caterpillar, a chrysalis, and a butterfly).  She loved them, and suggested that he start a business selling them.  My then 7-year-old leaped on this idea and began to make ornaments to sell.… Continue reading

A 3-year-old’s Lesson in Spending

My 3-year-old's Lesson in Spending
The car my 3-year-old bought, and then realized it was a mistake.

Last week my 3-year-old walked up and handed me his little car, “I’m ready to give this to Ari,” he declared.  (Ari is the grandson of our next-door neighbor.  When my 3-year-old outgrows his clothes or toys, we pass them along to Ari.)

 

“Are you sure?” I asked.… Continue reading

The Kite-Eating Tree

The Kite-Eating Tree
The macaw who now perches in our kite-eating cottonwood tree.

It is warm and sunny outside today.  While spring isn’t officially here, it feels like spring in our little corner of the world.  And, feeling excited about the warm weather, my boys couldn’t wait until the afternoon when we planned to head to the park to fly kites.

 

So they took their kites outside to fly in our yard. … Continue reading

Toilet Readiness, or Remembering to Simply Trust your Child

Toilet Readiness, or Remembering to Simply Trust your Child
Our remaining cloth diaper stash, ready to pack up and give away.

Whenever the topic of potty training comes up (and it does when you hang out with other parents of young children), I joke that our dog toilet-trained my oldest son.  And I say it only half in jest.  One night when I was cooking dinner, my son – at age 2.5 – came in and announced, “I peed outside, just like Mazel[-dog].”  He declared that he wanted to wear underwear, and he was going to pee outside like the dog all the time. … Continue reading

A Day of Snowed-In Fun

A Day of Snowed-In FunThis past week we had a lot of snow.  In fact, there was so much snow that we got snowed in.  My Sweetie graciously takes care of the snow blowing when he’s in town, but he was on the road during this storm.

 

While the boys and I were a bit disappointed to cancel a brunch-date with a dear friend, it felt nice for the weather to declare a day of rest on our behalf.… Continue reading