Friday, June 29, 2012

Project 52 {26}

My favorite thing about you is:
Your compassion

f/1.8 1/200 ISO-100

This week has been tricky.  As you've no doubt heard, we've been dealing with some pretty aggressive wildfires in the area.  In the area being about 15 miles away from the house - both a scary close distance and a whole world away.  Tricky because I had a need for information, but also felt like I needed to protect my kids.  I feel like they're still a bit young to start thinking about the losses of so many in this town, so I did my best to shelter them from the worst of it, but intuitive as Haley is, she picked up that this was a terrible thing.  I wanted them to know that our home was a safe place to be.  I didn't want them to think about this happening to anyone else's home, I just wanted them to feel safe.  Even when there were moments where I wasn't as sure.

Like I mentioned, Haley was aware of the situation.  But in her kind little huge heart she was beyond concerned about the "critters".  Have I mentioned she's sure she wants to be a zookeeper one day?  Yeah - her mind's made up.  She worried herself about the animals at the zoo (which are also safe).  She was worried that the wild animals were being forced from their habitat (her words), scared that they would starve as she realized that their food was being burned by the fire.  She was heartbroken.  We found on Facebook, a picture of a firefighter from Pueblo that had rescued a fawn and bandaged her hooves.  I showed this to her to help her to see that the firefighters were not only protecting homes but were helping to save the animals.  She was quite pleased and you could see the relief on her face when she comprehended that there was someone there acting on her behalf.  Like they were listening to her demands that the critters be taken care of.  She channeled her concern into the puppies, and is carrying her school of stuffed critters around the house with her - even wrangling Kale into babysitting them when she has responsibilities to take care of. 

We're safe, the worst is over.  Many have lost their homes, a few their lives.  We're thankful that non of our friends were among them.  We knew many who were evacuated (still are), but in the coming days they should be allowed back home.  It's been inspiring to watch the community come together over this, to meet each others' needs without a 2nd thought.  If you had something that was needed you gave it.   If you could take someone in, you did.  It's inspiring.  This city won't come out of this the same - but for all the hardship and loss, we've gained so much (easy to say though, with my roof over my head).  

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Project 52 {25}

My favorite thing about you:
You're becoming an individual.
f/2.8 1/800 ISO-250

I mentioned last week how much more independent you guys were becoming, no joke.  You'll be ready to move out next week, I'm sure.  Someday you'll have kids of your own (God willing...) and every last lady you meet in the supermarket (who will likely be the same age as your mother) will tell you the same thing (say it with me moms):  "It goes by so fast".  And you'll have your arms full of kids and groceries, and you'll be swatting small hands away from the thousands of temptations that surround check out and you'll think "If I could only be so lucky".  Your parent friends will tell you "This is only a season" and it's true.  If there's a soup that parents live in, I'm pretty sure its that survival mode that occurs between birth and 4 years old but once your youngest hits that 4 year mark, things seem to level out.  For how long?  I don't know yet, I'm sure I'll let you know as soon as I figure that out.  But it seems like at 4 you really start to consider who you are as a person.  Yes, I'm sure that's how your thoughts go... what kind of person would I like to be?  But you know what you like and what you don't, and those likes and dislikes are so independent of even one another even, and that's amazing to me.  Same parents, two wholly different kids.  

This week Kale turned 4.  It seemed like with Haley that was the magic number.  Literally overnight things changed with her and she became so much more of an individual and so much less reliant on us.  Kale seems to be a slower transition, but it's there.  If I look back 6 months we've come a long way, and I'm sure in another 6 months we'll be in a much different place than we are now.  But at 4 years old, this is what Kale knows for sure:
He's a boy, not lettuce like the Naked Mole Rats at the zoo eat.
He love baseball and being outside and puttering with things.
He needs to look at something and know how it works.
It's pronounced Chicks-a-flay and G-Graffes and Sanks (as in Sanks for the sandwich Mom).
His name is spelled K-A-L-E said in the most abrupt and factual pronunciation of the letters.
He has lots of friends, one buddy, and one best friend which brings us to:
He loves his sister and his days revolve around her.
He most of the time can not win a fight with his sister, unless mom lets him tackle her, but if we're in the car, there are super powers there and he will have the best comebacks for her.
He's a really good swimmer/runner/bicyclist with training wheels/climber/pretty much anything you ask him about.  

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Project 52 {24}

My favorite thing about you is:
Your ability to be self-sufficient
 f/1.8 1/160 ISO-320

So a few weeks ago I read this article, which for all it's tongue-in-cheekness (What?  That's totally a word!), really resonated with me.  It's not that we intentionally practice "Detachment Parenting", but we try our best to raise our kids to not need us, because someday, God willing, they'll go out into the word where we won't be right by their side to feed them, wipe their noses, put them to sleep.  I need them to know how to do these things on their own.  My favorite part of this article (aside from mentioning "Locking the door and getting it on") was where it mentioned keeping the kids busy for hours with just the use of Legos and gum.  If you had looked in my purse right at that exact moment those would be two of the million things in there, you may have had to dig past about a hundred reciepts (why are we still handing these out for a pack of said gum?!) but you'd have found them in there.  

This week was a big step forward in self sufficiency.  Aside from Kale spending hours on the (air-conditioned) floor in the family room playing, building, creating, exploring a future career as and engineer, with Legos, Haley learned to tie her shoes.  And her brother's shoes.  Let me say that one more time:  SHE CAN TIE THE SHOES OF EVERYONE IN THIS HOUSE!!  Do you know what this means in terms of our ability to get out the door in a timely fashion?  It's means I've cut about 10 minutes off of my already precision honed get out the door strategy.  That's 10 more minutes of hanging out in bed (or actually making it somewhere on time)!  I know.  Huge.

All kidding aside, I love my kids, I like being able to do things for them, but I find it a personal triumph when they no longer need me to do it for them.  Like when they could sooth themselves back to sleep at night, when they could feed themselves with a spoon and fork, when they could walk, you get the idea.  It's my job to teach them to function as members of society, to look to and within themselves for the solution to problems.  Is it working?  Who know, but at least when I someday have to release them from the warmth and safety of my arms and our home, we'll all have the confidence that they can do this.  Just call me once in while and let me know how you're doing mkay?

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Friday, June 8, 2012

Project 52 {23}

My favorite thing about you:
You practice 'till you get it perfect.

f/2.8 1/4000 ISO-100

I think you've spent more time this week cartwheeling than you have walking.  Your (well trained in gymnastics) BFF can do it, so naturally, you can too.  It's your favorite thing to do (for the current 5 seconds anyway).  You were a little lackluster at the beginning of the week and more often than not, fell on your hip (you've got the bruises to prove it), but you set your mind to it and now you've got it down.  You're even working on fancy landings now.   

Remember this.  Not everything in life will come naturally to you, that doesn't mean it's out of reach.  And if it does come naturally to you, a bit of practice will keep your skills honed and help you to reach even higher.  The saying goes that there's always room for improvement, well improvement doesn't come without some practice and perseverance.  We have high expectations in this house, expectations that we know you can achieve, but not without some trials wherein you can grow, learn where you need improvement and practice till you get it perfect.  

It should be noted that I never did much tumbling growing up; the first time I tried, I hyper extended my knee and decided to stick with swimming - smart choice on my part.  Cartwheeling for me is much like hurling my head at the ground for no reason from the height of more than five and a half feet.  Why?  Why would I do that?  But I remember being a kid and loving it (and hula hooping, which for some reason, is not like riding a bike - who would have thunk?)  Haley loves it all.  But there's not much I can help her with in this arena.  We had friends over last weekend for my birthday and after watching her cartwheel around for a bit, her BFF's mom noticed that she was leading off on the wrong side.  Um... Cartwheels are sided?  Mommy fail on my part.  Dang it.  But once she figured that out?  Done.  She nailed it, and she's been doing it ever since.  

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Project 52 {22}

My favorite thing about you:
You know how to have a good time.

f/1.8 1/800 ISO 3200
(literally just grabbed my camera - strange settings)

I'm not sure at what age you quit trying to have fun in every situation, but 5 is definitely not that age.  Bath time?  Yup, fun to be had.  Oh!  You bought a fizz to turn the bath green and add bubbles?  I'm going to need that.  Getting out of the bath?  Yeah, it'd be so much fun to put on the hotel bath robe. While I'm at it, why not get up on the big bed and be silly?  Every situation has an opportunity for fun to be had, especially if that situation is a hotel room.  

This past three day weekend we headed up to Boulder (Broomfield, really) and hung out mostly for Jeff to run the Bolder Boulder 10k, but also because we all needed a little mini vacay.  It was great to not worry about the house being in perfect order, because we left it that way.  We got to be a little messy and leave the Legos out, and make a mess of the million American Girl outfits we packed (in anticipation of picking up a new member of the family: McKenna... O. M. G. the fun with her...).It was needed.  Did I say that?  We all needed a bit of adventure and finding the fun in every situation.  A great escape from our everyday, which can be a little stressful lately.  

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