Monday, March 28, 2011

Independent Little Man

Sometimes I wish I could tape the things my son says, it's cleaner and funnier than most comedians and dare I say it ... sometimes even wise.

Me: So, how was swim lessons today?

Isaac: (with arms raised to emphasis words and an exasperate sigh) It was a total
disaster ... TOTAL disaster. She made me put my head underwater!

Me: Why is that a total disaster?

Isaac: (shaking his headed) You just won't understand Mama.

Kent fessed up to using that 'disaster' phrase jokingly the other day but I'm pretty sure the dramatic flare is from me - for better or for worse!

In one of my less patient moments - here I am confessing to my faults publicly no less. Let's rephrase that, in one my moments where my alter ego, 'Superlovingpatientkindmama' was having a day off I came into the kitchen to find that my son had cut up paper in confetti sizes and scattered them all over the table and floor. My response was ... hmmmm - lets just say dramatic. Isaac with his headed tilted in that cute little way, took my hand and patting it said, "It's okay Mama, we can just clean up. Really, it's okay." This is a 3 year olds version of don't sweat the small stuff. :0)

He's really grown up in so many ways. I have to say that that incident happened after one of my frequent afternoon nap crashes. (and NO, I am not pregnant, I've checked that one!) There's been some strange abdominal pains at night so I tend to crash hard for and hour and half in the afternoons. Isaac was a little annoyed at first but he quickly adjusted, finding crafts to do on his own. In that time he's really shown how independent he's become. One day I found him with his treat bag down, he'd only eaten 4 dum dums and when I asked what he was up too he said, "I was just SO hungry so I thought I should eat something ... like a treat!" Then I turned to look for Sunshine our rabbit and found her seat covered in Cheerios. Isaac quickly said, "Sunshine was hungry too, so don't worry, I gave her Cheerios!" What can you do but smile. On another afternoon he was showing me the many presents he made for his friends. Apparently the tape wasn't where it usually should be so the gifts were wrapped with postage stamps. I've learned to smile and appreciate that he knows I need rest and is helping the best way he knows how. He's such a good kid.

Morning chores ... he's already coaching Keila to take over for him.

This was 'Flat Isaac' a preschool project for spring break. He had to color and cut and carry him around during the break and write a story of all their adventures. While some kids were overwhelmed with the idea of coloring or cutting their figures out, Isaac took to the task with pleasure.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Out of the Mouth of Babes

With everything that's been going on in Japan, Isaac has had alot of mature questions he's been asking as I've been writing friends to see that they are okay out there. I realize that he's getting old enough to understand that life can be very different and I want him to develop a sense of gratitude now that will stick with him throughout his life. As we watch the pictures and as he asks about my friend, I've tried to explain to him what they're going through. He can grasp quickly that they've lost their homes, clothes, food, toys and when I asked him what he thought they might be feeling, he said, "Scared. Sad, very sad." In his little heart he was generous enough to ask if we could send them his toys. I then explained the difference between needs and want and in his genuine innocence, he asked if our leftovers from dinner could be sent. ;0) It made me smile and with him constantly reminding us to keep the "salami people" in our prayers, I resolved to do something as a tangible part of all the things we've been trying to teach.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a huge humanitarian effort with 100% of the donations going to the victims of disasters wherever they may be. With things over seas, they take the money and use it in countries closest to buy and send supplies thus keeping costs of shipping down as well as in the hopes of helping the economy in other areas aside from the USA. While a check sent from us would be great, I knew that Isaac wouldn't feel as much a part of it, so we went to the dollar store and bought some supplies to put together some hygiene kits. I was amazed at how little it costed to get toothbrush, toothpaste, washcloth and soap for 20 kits. We put it together as a family this evening. It was such a simple thing to do and have the kids involved in that I have resolved to do it again at least on a yearly basis.

I feel as if I've been taught by my little boy. Those people, though remote, have impacted him enough that he thinks of them when he plays, when he eats and prays. May I have the generous heart of a child and the means to serve others more as I grow older!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Emoting without Filters

Do your children ever do things that you wish desperately you could do too? The other day we called Isaac in from playing outside to wash up and eat dinner. The was the inevitable guttural groans. His entire body turned into a limp noodle as he staggered into the house like a drunkard moaning, "I don't want to! "Watching him I just wondered what he would do if one day they asked what was I cooking for dinner only to see me collapse on the floor in a heap and yell, "I don't want to!"

Keila's reactions to Isaac's outburst always amaze me. It's one of two, depending on our moods. If we seem tolerably happy then she is sure to begin her own whining and crying, begging to be held as if to say, "He's not the only one around here." On the other hand, if she know Mama and Baba are tired, she seems to get extra perky and cute, trying to help 'set the table' and wash her hands knowing it was best to get out of the line of fire because in a few minutes someone would be bound to explode. How in the world did she learn to be so psychologically savvy?

In the same way that they don't filter their negative emotions, their positive emotions are so genuine and real that it never fails to warm my heart. The other day Keila slipped on the tile and both Isaac and I heard the thud of a head hitting the corner of a wall. It was the shock and intense pain that had Keila silently heaving tears. The dam broke and a wail like a siren sounded along with a gently raised welt. I was holding Keila trying to comfort her but it was Isaac who knew the trick. He had ran to get Keila's favorite blanket and was wrapping it around her shoulders say,"Oh, poor, poor Keila. You're okay. You're tougher than tough. I'll give loves so you feel better." And then he hugged, kissed and rocked her until the crying died down and he could make her giggle again. She in turn does the same thing for him when he's hurt, though not with the finesse he has, but loads him down with all the toys she can find and smothers him with hugs and kisses.

The best was the other day as we drove the 30 mins back from Stillman Train park. Isaac had insisted on hold hands with Keila on the drive home and she could hardly keep her eyelids open for the all the excitement of the morning. She'd doze off and when Isaac discovered this, he'd give her a gentle tug and say, "Not yet, bug-bug stay awake with me!" She turn to him with her puffy eyes and give a sleepy smile and proceed to doze again. This went on until we were five minutes of home (this scenario sound familiar) when she became so dead to the world that nothing could wake her. Isaac was exasperated with his efforts and yell,"Oh man!" I asked him why he wanted Keila awake and he said, "Sometimes I like Keila, sometimes I love her, but sometimes I don't. 'Specially when she doesn't listen to me! It's boring when Keila's not awake!"

Here's Isaac with his new bike (how I LOVE Craigslist!) Keila's ready to jump on herself!

Here they are at a Valentine's Day party where Keila is totally absorbed by the icing of the cupcake. She worships the ground that big brother walks on ... after all, he can do so much!

Keila was squealing with delight at this slide. She must have gone down it 40 times. Sometimes I wish I could squeal with that same abandon and not have the world look at me as if I'd been a stuck pig!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Funny Additions

So with all the decorating I've tried to do around the house, Kent has finally got it into his head that we really are staying ... (no more moves and job changes - finally!) at least for a good amount of time. With it has come this explosion of home improvements that have been simmering in his mind for the last while. Most of them make me laugh a little. You see, Kent use to poke fun at all tree-hugging environmentalists. You know, the ones that donate to 'Save the Diminishing Glacier Fund' and only buy organic but NEVER bring their own grocery bags to the store. Apparently he's got his own brand of environmentalism - save money while saving the earth! The first major change was to see if there was a way to bring the heat used in the electric dryer for drying clothes into the house during the winter, thus saving our heating bill. Believe or not, there is a wealth of info online on all sorts of things. Thus is born this odd attachment that we use in the winter that drys the clothes while drawing the heat back into the house and even humidifies all at once!

The garden bug still has him, but our pet rabbit has been a bit of a deterrent since the most tender of plant that sprouts quickly encounters her eager chompers. The other problem is that even when the plant makes it past her, the soil has been too poor to give it the nourishment it needs. While watching a documentary on tea from China, he decided he liked the idea of using worms for composting and who's feces provide optimum fertilizer to all things green. Thus is born his own design for a worm farm, seen here without worms which we are to receive in the mail on Monday. (who'd have thought a pound of live worms can come through the mail ....) We will have our own supply of fresh fertilizer so long as we feed the worms our trash. Which Kent was quick to point out, we'll send off less trash to the dump and give back to the earth in the long run.

The chicken wire allows the worms to move into the next layer to continue composting while leaving behind their precious 'castings' to be used in our garden.

These fancy flushers with it's 'sleek European design' are intended to use less water in your toilet. They were purchased at Costco for a small price. The claim is it will save gallons of water a year.

We even tried turning off the water heater manually everyday during peak hours to see if it save us very much money. Not significantly, but it was a fun experiment. So while I'm here teasing him about his personal additions to our home, I must say that his inquisitive ingenuity has made some significant savings that we wouldn't have found otherwise. He says I'm here to beautify and save through cooking and cleaning (and honestly he's right, my paint jobs add much more in the way of aesthetics than a worm farm does) and that must mean his job is to deal with the quirky unseen costs of living. So in reality I'm pretty proud of my man, we make a good team and I'm glad to see the habit of frugality we learned through school is sticking for good. Kent is bound and determined to go to the Home and Garden Show this weekend. I have a feeling that there will be many more projects to fuel his imagination in the weeks to come.