Friday, August 31, 2012

I’d Rather Play at Tug-A-War

Nope, that’s not me you see playing tug-a-war.



With a bunch of 2- to 6-year olds.



And a garden hose.


That would be undignified.


And unfair.



Nope.  Not me.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Hills Are Alive

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I introduced the kids to the Sound of Music several months ago.  One of Kyla and Wesley’s favorite things to do together is to put on the CD (Wes puts on his SOM “dress” of tulle that he is wearing in this picture), dance together until they take a break to snuggle on the couch.  I won’t torture you here, but I have some cute videos of Wes singing “Do-Re-Me” while swinging, and biking, and bathing.  He’s got the lyrics down, even if he is loud and tuneless.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Another Day at “Our” Beach

The kids and I had to do “one more thing” at the cabin (no, we still don’t own it--maybe next week??) today so my friend and her two sons came to the island with us for an Adventure. 
This was Wes’s first time on the rope swing here.  He loved it, of course.
The rope swing entertained all five kids for about an hour before Mama Denise forbade my children from touching it again until they can figure out how to use it without knocking each other over. (“Children, it’s like a car.  A driver is in charge of looking out for pedestrians and NOT HITTING THEM.  You are the driver of this rope swing.  Oops, your driving privileges are suspended.”)
This girl upped the ante and climbed up here to start her swing.

Hard to take a bad picture of Pipes.

After being cheated the first few times we’ve come down to the beach when I had him in a sling, Wesley was going to climb up the rope over the cliff by himself.  If I helped him, he would slide down to start all over.  He did it, of course, but will he ever embrace the easy way?

I Don’t Think *I’m* the Crazy One….

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Here’s the lead up to my question about sanity and parenting:

Yesterday at the fair, my friend and I bought some tickets together so that all the kids could go on two rides.  The kiddie rides are separate from the “big” rides, and Kyla was big enough to go on any of the little rides she wanted.  Her first ride was a really cool caterpillar roller coaster—her first coaster!  It was the biggest—and most popular-- kiddie ride.  Since there were four other kids for us to get on rides, I brought Kyla over to the roller coaster line, gave her four tickets, and told her that she was to stand behind this nice lady in the red T-shirt pushing a stroller.   Then I left her to get Piper and Wesley on their rides.  I came back later to check on her and she was doing great and told me that she really didn’t need to be checked up on when she was just standing in line.  She got on the ride herself, seemed perfectly fine that she was in the last car by herself (no other singletons?), and she LOVED the roller coaster. 

[This is not the part of my sanity that I’m questioning, if you are wondering. I actually wasn’t worried about her.]

Tonight, Dwayne and I had curriculum night at the school where we met the kindergarten teacher, learned about the class routines, etc.  When she talked about before- and after- school transportation, I thought I misunderstood her when she said that drop-offs needed to park cars down in the lot then walk up (the length of a spread out school) to drop off our child with the supervisor.  I tried to clarify, “For the first few weeks, right?  Then the kids can walk up themselves?”

Um, I’m pretty sure she was trying to believe that she had misunderstood me.  She said (and other returning parents seemed to agree) that maybe by January or February, some of the kindergarteners would be ready to walk up with an older sibling.  There was vocal unanimity that it was too busy, too crowded, too unsafe for a child to walk along the wide sidewalk running along side the school.  If it’s not safe, shouldn’t this be addressed?  If it is safe, why can’t my child walk there herself by, say, October?  And, I’ll  have to do the same thing when picking her up, except lug Piper and Wesley with me. 

Perhaps in a month, I will concede to the conventional wisdom of walking a 6-year-old on a school sidewalk to her meeting place.  If so, I will confess publicly on this blog.  In the meantime, I’m going to try to subvert the silent parents to supporting another way of doing things. 

Yes, I did used to be a public school teacher.  But I taught at alternative secondary schools and I’m not used to regular school mentality. 

So, what would other parents want to do with their 6-year-old?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pig Racing

We took advantage of Twosday Tuesday ($2 admission) at the fair today, and my camera lasted all the way through the pig races, which were so cool. 


Go pigs, go!

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These pigs even had to jump over hurdles to get to the chow.

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Phew, they made it!

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This was the last shot I took before the battery died.  It was quite unfortunate, because I needed this pic to show the security guard what my missing daughter was wearing.  But we found her at the lost and found within about 10 minutes, just as staff was getting ready to take off her wristband to get my cell number and call me.

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All the children were wearing their wristbands, which was handy when Kyla completely disappeared a few hours later.  Five kids, two moms, and no stroller made it a little harder to keep even well-meaning kids close by at all times. 

Next to the pig races was the Loggers’ Jubilee, which I’ve always loved since I was little and my grandparents took my brothers and I to the one in Morton, WA.  It was a big day in a small town, with parades and fair food with the log roll and pole climb and all the other things I couldn’t do to save my life.  The kids really seemed to enjoy it, too, so I’m putting it on the mental calendar to take the kids to Morton next summer.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Week With Grandma and Grandpa

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They were a blast to have around.

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Go, Grandma, Go, Grandma, Go!

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Another View from the Front Deck

We don’t always see them, but we often have hot air balloons around town in the summer.  These two came down near our house during sunset.

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Wesley got out of his bath to see it.  Kinda cute butt.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

At the Beach. “Our” Beach.

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We took Dwayne’s parents and his aunt and uncle out to see the cabin that we haven’t bought yet (we’re trying!  A post about everything that has gone wrong will be written after we have the title.)  We really wanted to go down to the beach today.  “Walking down to the beach” is as much about the journey as the destination.

The trip starts with a stroll down a forest trail.  It’s unnecessary to tell you that it’s beautiful.
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When we got to the end of the trail,we have to leave a few of the party behind until they get their hips replaced.  Again, think journey.

Dwayne counted about 150 steps like this.
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Until you get to the bottom where the stairs have been washed away.  Then there’s a few ropes to help you repel down to the not-too-rickety step ladder.  Darlene was not thrilled with this.  Uncle Del helped me down since I had a sleeping Wesley in a sling.
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But then we are on a beach that not only is private, but is a smidgeon difficult to get to.  And, surprisingly, we are the only ones there.
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I so appreciate that Darlene thinks to take family pictures!
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Some one thoughtfully hung a rope swing.
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Get your hip replacement hip surgery, and by the time you’ve recovered, we’ll have the cabin, and you should come down with us!

Wesley’s Funny Faces

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When he’s really on, he can pick his nose while sucking his fingers. 

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“I can grow my own beard, Mom!”

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This is more of a mad face.  I bet you got that, though.

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Wesley doesn’t hold the monopoly on silly.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Nope, Not Dangerous At All

At least one of them is wearing a helmet.

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Jam Team

Traci (who is “cousin-ish”) and I made three batches of strawberry-rhubarb jam together today.  And still like each other. 

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Pretty successful, I’d say.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It’s Another 1/2!

august 2 064I can’t tell you exactly why we make a fuss about half-birthdays in our home, but it probably has something to do with Piper’s half-birthday is just two weeks from Kyla’s real birthday (and vice versa, if you’re doing the math). 

Today, Piper is officially 4 1/2 years old!   This means that she gets to go on a special date with Daddy—breakfast at the local cafĂ©.  And we haven’t had a kid go there yet and not order pancakes with M&Ms and whipped cream.  And sausages.  And orange juice.  It’s worth waiting for all year!

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Kyla was so excited for her that she helped Piper pick out something especially festive to wear.  Kyla’s sense of fashion + Piper’s style =

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There are too many things I adore about Piper to list them all here, but contrary to what I guessed about her two-year-old self, Piper is my designated Champion and Helper.  Her motto actually is “Make Less Work for Mama”.  So today when the band snapped on my unattractive but oh-so-useful watch, she took it and worked really hard on taping it back together for me, even missing the first few minutes of video time to finish it.  You’ll notice there is a big gap in the band where the the scotch tape bridges the break.  I don’t know if it will even survive being strapped back on to my wrist, but now I really love this watch…and the girl who fixed it for me.

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Watch out for this kid—she’s going to take over the world.  And maybe…just maybe…it won’t be such a bad thing.

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fort Slumber

Between the two of them, the girls have four beds.  They each have their own room and a bunk bed in it.  So naturally, they don’t like to sleep in them.

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But they do like building forts and last night, Kyla and Piper used kitchen chairs, bath towels and Kyla’s top bunk to make themselves twin forts.  They tucked themselves in and slept all night long.

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G’night girls!