30 October, 2008

Brother to brother, again...

One of Henry's current favorite words is "no", and it seems to be getting on his big brother's nerves a bit.

I overheard this conversation this afternoon.

Noah to Henry- "Henry, do you know how to properly say yes?". (I love the properly, so Noah.)


Noah- "Well, then say yes!".

Henry- "Yes".

Brotherly wisdom

Noah was sitting in our hassock watching a movie when Henry climbed onto the hassock with him. A bit of pushing ensued, and Noah then pushed Henry off the hassock. Henry hit his mouth, which then bled.

Noah went to take a break, I tended to Henry. Noah returned from his break, walked over to Henry, sat down next to him, and said "Henry, now you need to listen to me. We're never going to do that again, okay?".

28 October, 2008

Boys in hats

One a little more, um, conventional than the other. Par for our course.
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26 October, 2008

When nobody's watching...

How do we act when no one is watching us? How do we treat people, treat ourselves, when no one is there to judge us, other than God? I have come to wonder about this issue quite a bit, especially since becoming a Mom. The moral compass idea, and where we find it. I wonder about this especially today, in these messy times.

We talk a good deal in our house (the grown-ups) about "discipline", the idea of rewards and punishment, and how we feel about it. Don't get me wrong, there have been times when I have resorted to bribery, but I don't like it when I do. I work hard to follow the path of unconditional parenting, to have faith in the idea that given the chance most of us will choose do the right thing. Children, especially. Sometimes, I think, we as adults have just lost our ability to decipher what the right thing is, products of this extrinsically motivated society that we are. I, like most Moms, wonder all the time if I am parenting well. Should I "discipline" more, if I give my kids more stickers and time-outs will they grow into happy, kind, peace loving people? For more on this check out Nancy Carlsson Paige. Anyway, I saw something cool recently.

I was dropping off my oldest son at school, he began to settle in happily listening to a story with a friend. His friend's Mom then told him that she was going to be leaving, and the boy became upset. I saw Noah watching him, trying to better understand the situation. He then began to comfort the sad boy. I won't get too detailed here, but just leave it at the fact that he reached out to comfort this friend in need, and it made me proud. He did not know this, because he didn't even know I was watching. He didn't get a sticker or a piece of candy. He just did what he did because it was right, and good, and true. Henry didn't bring Noah tissues this afternoon because he earned a prize afterward, he did it because he is kind, saw his brother's need, and realized he could do something about it. Isn't this what we all hope for our children, for our future?

Maybe what this world needs is a little more sticker on the inside, ya' know what I mean?

Election 2008
Health Coverage for All Children Campaign

Tell Your Candidates Nine Million Uninsured Children Need a Health Coverage "Bailout"

At a time when the federal government is willing to spend billions bailing out big business, but refuses to give a helping hand to struggling families, it's clear that we need to reassess our priorities as a nation. Nearly nine million children in America do not have health coverage and millions more are underinsured. The elections in November provide an extraordinary opportunity to bring attention to this critical issue. We must seize this occasion to ensure that every candidate running for a seat in the U.S. Congress understands that providing coverage for all children is something the American people want, that our children and nation can't wait, and that each candidate's commitment to health coverage for all children is a condition of your vote.

Watch Karim's "call to action" video asking child advocates to step up, take action and ask Congressional candidates for a health coverage "bailout" for the nearly nine million uninsured children in America. Then, take action and send an email to your candidates. It just takes a few minutes and we make it easy for you!

21 October, 2008

Truth be told...

Day one in my honest blog series. This was a roughish kind of day. I was tired from the get go. Noah was a bit overstimulated this morning and it did not end once he reached school. He enjoys going to school, but it does not seem to be bringing out the very best in him. I'm still trying to figure out what to do about this.

I did not manage to clean the house or get any laundry done because we were outside playing, attempting to use our energy in a positive way. Fresh air makes me happy, and it keeps me from becoming too stressed on a difficult day. Most importantly it keeps me from taking out my stress on my kids.

Our house is messy tonight. There's play dough on the floor and food from breakfast still under the table. I don't like feeling like I have to clean, I would rather be doing other things with my time. I'll clean, because a messy environment makes me feel anxious, but I won't be excited about doing it. We did not eat cereal for dinner, but we do sometimes. My kids love it, it's healthy.

I am not a perfect Mom by any means. Sometimes I wish I could wear a t-shirt stating this so people won't be disappointed when they learn the truth. Remember, I'm the Mom who took her kids on the long walk only to find out once we returned home that one of them was completely naked?? But I love, love, love my children, like my breath, and I think that should count for more than a super clean house or suspiciously well dressed kids who don't mind wearing shoes. Or the impression that I have everything figured out. Because I don't. I'm just doing the best I can. Desperately trying to do well by them. And loving it still.

18 October, 2008

Peter's 40th

Yesterday was Peter's birthday. We went hiking in North Conway, at Dianna's Baths. Beautiful.

Real men, the really good ones, anyway, wear their babies. They also wear hand crafted noodle birthday necklaces. All day. And then they eat their 40th birthday dinner at a pizza restaurant because it is familiar to their sons, and genuinely enjoy themselves. Even though the service is really crappy. I could go on. Instead I'll quietly give thanks. Happy birthday, babe.
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13 October, 2008

Fairy house

We had a special visit with Grandma today, during which this fairy house was constructed. Wood fairies, wood fairies, where are you?
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11 October, 2008

Nature Basket

This is the "nature basket" that sits on our plant table. The boys, Noah especially, love to fill it with various goodies they collect outside. I decided on the basket because I found that the boys could have easily moved a tree limb into our family room, daily. And, well, we just don't have space for that.

Within the basket you will find Lightening the caterpillar (the second). He's speedy, all right. So speedy he seems to have dashed his way right out of his jar.

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Easel, belly, what's your preference?
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10 October, 2008

My funny little scientist

I walked into the bathroom this morning to find a very wet hand towel on the floor. Before hanging it back up I checked with Noah to see why it was wet.

Me: "Noah, do you know how the towel got wet?"

Noah: "Oh, I used it to cover my penis so I could filter my pee."

Oh. (!!!)

I just don't recall ever having a conversation like this with my mother. Do girls do things like this??

07 October, 2008

Me: "Hey, guys, what are you doing?"

Noah: "Um, we're making butter."

Of course.

This is my favorite kind of play. Yes, it's messy, and things that were clearly not designed to be used as toys are often, well, used as toys. (This is a bird bath, by the way.) But this is our life. Messy, unscripted, non-manufactured, joyful. On our good days, anyway.

There is far too little of this kind of play in our society today, if you ask me. The barefoot in your backyard kind. Pure, not adult led. Come by and join us any time. But bring extra clothes, you're bound to get dirty.

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04 October, 2008

Boys in trees

My boys love to climb. Need to climb. Grandma helped the boys find this great climbing tree in our "forest", right next to their favorite climbing rock. I only wish they were closer to the back yard. We still need/want to buy a swing set at some point, probably this spring. Until then, we'll enjoy our time in the trees. And after then, of course. Don't go thinkin' that this mainstream influence will get us out of the trees...

01 October, 2008

Henry's dictionary

These are some of my favorite Henry words these days.

"Wowa", of course. His favorite word, favorite person. His Noah.
"Nannie"-- Annie, our cat
One of my very favorites-- "Oodie". Henry would be oodie all the time if he could be. In fact, I think he would like it if everyone were oodie. Um, nudie, I mean.
"Ankie". We don't go anywhere without ankie (blankie). Grandma made ankie for us- very special. Noah did not have an attachment object like this. I was/am such a strong advocate of Attachment Parenting that I did not encourage one. By the time Henry arrived my philosophy had, um, matured, I guess. Having an attachment object is only a "problem", I realized, if it is used in place of a person's affection/attention, but not when used in partnership with such attention. More love is good. Ankie and I are peeps. Ankie is good.

The process of speech development just amazes me, like almost everything about child development. Fascinating, precious. Very cool, indeed.