Monday, November 24, 2008

Tickle Time Injuries




I never thought loving someone would hurt so much.

Gavin and I spend time connecting with one another in an after bathtime ritual we call "tickle time". This began about a year ago after I read a fabulous book on parenting called Playful Parenting by Lawrence J. Cohen, PhD. The book suggests that what kids are really looking for, first and foremost, is a real connection with the people who love and care for them. And every kid is different. My job as a parent to two very different kids is to figure out how to connect to them in their own personal way. Gavin's way is very physical. I'm thinking of auditioning for World Wrestling Entertainment as a Diva!

This past week I've had my knee landed on and bent the wrong way and one of my fingers received a headbutt that resulted in a seriously jammed finger. Both of these were done in the name of connection and love. There was a time when injuries received from Gavin were a result of temper tantrums and his unending frustration. So today, I gladly receive these injuries in the name of love. Tickle time has taken a temporary hiatus while my knee and finger heal but this diva is looking forward to the next time she connects to Gav in his own special way.
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fall Fairy House or What to do on a Saturday Afternoon in a Small Town when there is nothing to do

After a chilling fall rain the night before, the day was washed clean and the sky, blue and sunny. And the age old questioned that arises every Saturday morning in our little house arose again without fail, "What are we gonna do with the kids today?". Neither of the parental units were feeling too parental that morning so cartoons would have to do until lunch was the next activity of the day. With lunch done and the dishes cleaned up we were begging them to go outside...please! I evened opened the front door pointing with great momma intimidation to get...out....side...now! When that technique failed to work I succumbed to interacting with them. Yes, mom of the year award once again.

I stepped outside with the kids and looked at the decaying jack-o-lantern. It was then I remembered seeing a fairy house constructed out of a pumpkin. I brought the kids back into the house for a brief moment to review the rules of constructing a fairy house:
  • Fairy Houses should look so natural they are almost hidden. A location close to the ground is best.
  • You should use only natural materials. Dry grasses, leaves, sticks, pebbles and pine cones are just a few examples of materials to choose.
  • Be careful not to use or disturb any of nature's materials that are still living, especially flowers, ferns, mosses and lichen. Fairies do not like to disturb or destroy anything that is growing in nature.
So outside we go to collect natural materials to add to our pumpkin house. Here is some of what we came up with:
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Now, I have to confess we used toothpicks to attach some items. But they were once natural material, right? Gavin decided the decaying pumpkin was not too inviting for fairies to sleep in so he gathered very colorful leaves and layed them inside the pumpkin.
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He also, I might add, was highly concerned that the lid of the jack-o-lantern would leak on the fairies if it rained. So he gathered leaves that still had their stems attached and stuck them through the lid opening creating a canopy of beautiful deep red leaves on the orange pumpkin. Mother Nature really is a great designer! Anna created the pathway to the house with pebbles and small rocks.
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And I created the ladder leading up to the house.

The kids stood back and appreciated their creation. They walked around the tree and peeked around several times to see if they might be able to sneak up on a fairy.

Then I suggested they say a little something to dedicate their house to the fairies. This is what they came up with:
video
I must say, the magic of childhood is one of the best things about being a parent. And to think I had begrudgingly stepped outside with them. How lucky am I to be given the opportunity to share in that magic? What a gift. We are already planning what our winter fairy house will look like.

May you find some magic today too!
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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Simple Joys

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As the trees and bushes in our little neighborhood grow more and more beautiful every day, I have the joy of looking out our living room window at Mother Nature's splendor. There are many days when I complain and joke about my little house and this little town but all I have to do is look out that window and my soul is soothed. Fall has also inspired Anna and Gavin to play together outside in the leaves. This makes our little house a little bigger giving the grown ups who live here a little more room to breathe every now and then. The previous renters left a rake and the kids decided that was reason enough to rake up some leaves and jump in 'em.
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So jumping ensued and screams of pure delight. Their merriment brought us joy. This kind of bliss always sneaks up and surprises me.
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And after all the raking and jumping was over I managed to catch a little girl dreaming, perhaps experiencing her own kind of bliss in the leaves and in the fall sky.
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I wish you all simple joys this fall.
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Monday, November 10, 2008

The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat...

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This past Saturday morning, the air was crisp and the breath of several second graders hung in the air as they warmed up to run their fun run.gavrun06.JPG
On your mark, get set, go!
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Gavin, determined to medal, shot off like a bat outa hell.Following a John Deere "Gator" (the irony is not lost to me my friends), these second graders ran a half mile around the Clinton High School football stadium in honor of Veteran's Day. Flags were waving and parents were cheering as Gavin approached the finish line for what seemed to be a first place finish but at the last few seconds another boy, who looked old enough for 3rd grade I might add, passed Gavin to finish first. BUT...our boy, Gavin, placed second in his very first race! Way to go Gav!
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There was an awards ceremony and everything! He is very proud of the medals he received. We tried to get him to call the grandparents to let them know the good news but he just dipped his head down and quietly said,"No, Momma, that would be bragging.". So now its come down to Momma bragging. Woo,hoo Gavin!
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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Haunted Memories...

Well, we got through our first Halloween season in our little town. It wasn't the same without the cousins and Saint Joseph street but we managed to have a good time. Enjoy the show...
Click to play Halloween 'o8
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