Thursday, August 25, 2011

Today Is a New Day.

And maybe someday my boys and I will be able to take a self-portrait where more than one of us is actually looking at the camera. :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

iPhones and Nice Cars

Does this slippery slope sound familiar? I recently heard myself say to a friend, "It's just faster and easier to do it for him." I was referring to something as simple as dressing Trenton. (He has never had much interest in doing it himself.) As I thought about it more, I had to ask myself, what else do I do for him because it's faster and easier? Clean up toys, put clothes away, clear the table... I am in trouble!

I don't do those things alone all the time, and I do have him help here and there, but unfortunately, it is not my first instinct. My oldest child is only three(!), and I can already tell this about myself.

Even before Ryan and I had kids, we knew we wanted to raise children who didn't feel entitled to x-boxes and iPhones and nice cars. They may (and probably will!) want those things, but I hope they won't feel like they deserve them just by virtue of being alive. Ryan's time in Chile and my short time in Zambia cemented that desire in our minds. (How many preteens in sub-Saharan Africa demand an iPhone of their parents?? Um, not many! I want my kids to have a little perspective!)

But I also know that raising children who take ownership for their actions is a tremendous task. So for starters, I've preordered this book and redoubled my efforts to have Trenton contribute more (age appropriate here - I'm not expecting miracles overnight!) at home. If you're interested in this topic too, check out this blog post with a rough draft introduction to the Eyres' book. (By the way, I love that blog. The author, Shawni, inspires me to be a better mother!)'

Those of you with children, especially older ones, feel free to share any tips that have worked for you!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Boy Heaven

Yesterday my dear friend Desirae and I took our boys to the San Carlos airstrip. Our three kids were in BOY HEAVEN, and I have pictures to prove it.

The instant I pulled out the camera, this little dude struck the above pose. Luckily, I managed to snap the camera despite my shock. Btw, only the best moms give their boys pink sippy cups.

And T really wanted you to be able to see every tooth in his mouth. And Colton? He is just always that sweet. (Really!)

Thanks for coming, Desirae and Colton! See you there next week?

The last few posts have me thinking - If/when we leave here, I will really miss this place.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

T Turns Three!

Happy (belated) birthday to the greatest three-year-old I know! We had a super simple park playdate with cupcakes to celebrate.

He spent his actual birthday with Ryan's parents, who took care of the boys while Ryan and I went to my grandma's services. (Thank you, Gregg and Julia!) Julia had a Primary activity that day, so she told Trenton that the entire pool party was for his birthday. Hot dogs, swimming, and being doted on by Grandma and two fantastic aunts! What a lucky boy!

The Farmers' Market

I adore farmers' markets almost as much as I adore berry picking. I'm especially fond of the one up the street from our house. We have spent more than a dozen Saturday mornings there, sampling all the produce, buying food from vendors, and sitting in the grass eating our loot. Fantastic oranges in the winter; the juiciest peaches in the summer. Ryan usually chases the boys around the grass, and T rolls down a hill, and then five minutes later, we're back home putting the boys down for naps. Now that's a great Saturday morning.

So sneaky, Chase!

Strawberry Fields

Could there possibly be a more beautiful U-Pick strawberry field? I've officially decided berry picking is my favorite thing to do. (As in, I'd rather go berry picking than eat pizza. That's saying something!) Here are a few photos from one of our best family outings of the summer.

Rest Time

Warning: Random mommy ponderings follow!

Several weeks ago Trenton started some new evening antics. After I put him bed, he'd open his door multiple times and just peer out, closing it really quickly if either Ryan or I made eye contact with him. I think he finally figured out that we don't really go to bed at the same time he does! I can't blame him for being curious about what we do in the evenings!

It wasn't a big problem since he never comes out of his room, so I would just ignore it, and eventually he'd go to sleep in his bed. But when the duration of spy antics started extending to 9pm or later—after being put to bed at 7!—I started thinking maybe he didn't need as much sleep as I like him to get. :)

Putting him to bed later was not going to happen. Not being a night person at all, I would actually prefer that he go to bed early rather than take a day time nap. (I know, I'm crazy!) So I tried something new for naptime, and we have been loving it.

Every afternoon I put T on the master bed with a few toys and his blankies. I tell him he doesn't have to sleep; he can play. But he can't get off the bed until Chase wakes up. The first couple of days, he stayed awake till the bitter end and then got all excited when Chase woke up. But most of the time now, he sleeps at some point. Overall, his naps are shorter than they used to be, and he isn't getting up much at all in the early nighttime hours. Problem solved! (At least for now!)

Plus, he doesn't mind going down for "rest time" as much as he used to! Today, in fact, after I put Chase down Trenton voluntarily told me, "I'm ready for my nap now." (WHAT?) Then after I took him to the bed and showed him the small selection of toys (which I switch up daily), he said, "You can leave now," and kind of pushed me toward the door! (HEY!)

I can't say that happens every day. (Sometimes my "It's time for a rest!" is met with a pretty fierce yell/scream of "No!") All things said, though, this has definitely helped.

I love this face SO MUCH.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

It's Midnight, Baby!

A few nights ago Ryan let our sweet, stubborn sleeper out of his crib at midnight. (I say "stubborn" because he can sleep 11-12 hours at night; he just still decides to wake up a random times when it strikes his fancy. Someday it will stick! Or so I tell myself.) I was in bed but heard some crying, followed by his signature sound, "AH!" There was no way he was saying "AH!" while alone in the crib, so I went out to investigate. I found Ryan making him a bottle, and this little cutie reaching eagerly for it. Although I may have given my sweet husband an earful for letting Chase have fun in the middle of the night, I still want to remember how adorable it was. What's better than a baby in footy pajamas, holding a blanket, reaching for a bottle?

Daddy is busted!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


One of the many things I took away from last week's events surrounding the passing of my grandma was how peaceful and personal their living spaces were. They filled walls, bookcases, china hutches—practically any space would do!—with items that each had a story. Their fridge is full of family photos, and the house showcases souvenirs they've brought home from extensive travel abroad. My home feels like a sterile (albeit often messy) hotel compared to theirs! But slowly we're turning it into a place that reflects what is important to us and that I hope conveys a similar spirit to my grandparents' homes.

New picture ledges and family photos above the couch. That "N" floats all around the house.

I can't stop myself from buying (or picking) flowers several times a month. When they cost about 6 bucks at Trader Joe's or the farmers' market, why not? And even when the house is in a state of chaos I can scarcely control, I have these beauties to remind me it won't always be this way.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My heart is full today with the loss of one of the most influential women in my life. It's hard to imagine our family without our beautiful matriarch, Cheren Wood. Here she is, in this picture, looking on and supporting me on one of the most important days of my life. I'm sure she'll still be watching!