Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy Kid Thoughts

Sometimes children say funny things that either leaves me laughing or just nodding my head.

For example, this week there was a tornado warning. S kept running around the school yard telling everyone in great excitement and a little agitation "There's a tomato coming! You gotta get home there is a tomato warming."The next day I was scurrying to pick R and S up from school when I saw a mom opening the door of her home and her little 4 or 5 year old sat right next to her saying repeated, exactly like a broken record or a skipping CD "Wachme, Wachme, Wachme." The mother of course was totally oblivious to this--or acted like she was (which is easy for mothers to do--I mean, all day every day of our children saying the same thing over I think it becomes easy--too easy sometimes for our brains to put our children's voices on mute--I know it happens to me a lot).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a sort of heaven in the middle of Brooklyn.

There is something about this place that I find slightly intoxicating and it makes me want to go back again and again. The day was beautiful and not too hot. I had great company because I had my children and my dear friend, Shawna M. with me with her sweet Joey. It was a marvelous experience, but I will admit that the minute I get into the gates of the garden I become instantly starving and they have a strict no-food policy--I think they are worried about the plant museum they run, but there are times I think food for kidlets is inevitable and I do the best I can to keep it to a dull roar, but it has made it out of my bag a couple of times when crying commenced (sorry--I hate to bend the rules, but it is a fact).

They have a new area I have never been to which is this gigantic herb garden. Do you say "erb" or "h-erb?" I always feel like I am kind of gypping the "h" in that word and I think sometimes it sneaks in. The British glory in that "h," if I remember correctly. . . at any rate.
It had a glorious place to get wet. It was delightful to have the children smell the plants and find the ones we use in our soups and such. R suggested we fix soup as soon as we got home (that made me happy and I gave myself a inside-my-head high five).

We found a beautiful brook-let along the walk way to the children's garden. We had to stop and Sarah decided she must daintily walk across the rocks to the other side. The brooklet was really only a foot and a half (if that) across, but S felt she needed to be the total lady and go to the part that was two feet across with large rocks and a "quick sand" mud hole next to it. The branches of the tree drooped very low across that point and S misstepped, daintily as possible and right in the mud, with both feet. She started sinking and crying out for fear of mortal peril.

No, I pulled her out and sat her on a rock, washed her feet and pants as much as I could. Washed my hands and slightly muddy feet (thank you, chaco shoes). She recovered and we talked a little about the properties of mud and quick sand. We left soon after so we would have no repeat experiences such as those of above.

Then we went to the children's garden. It is always a place I have to drag my children away from because it is so interesting (and so get-dirty-ifying) and it seems to be the last place we go before we leave.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Governors Island Part 2

On the grass, right before we were going to get on the ferry going to Manhattan we stopped and let the kidlets play for a few moments. We sat in the shade and they ran ahead up to the top of the hill that had easily cross-able fence. Ashley asked me what was at the top of the hill and I said that I thought it was another little slope that ran down into the water-less moat that surrounded the fort in the center of Governor's Island. But I also said I was not completely sure. She jumped up and ran up there just as her daughter ducked under the fence. Ashley got closer and closer to L and T and noticed it was not a slope. It was a fifteen foot drop off into the moat. I walked behind her fairly certain I was correct. . . until I saw. Then we shooed the children away from the fence and the drop off and said silent prayers of gratitude in our minds for A her speedy feet and ability to sense the danger L and T were in.

This was one of the exciting events of the day. The other exciting part of the day was that I missed the boat and W, that had just finished a 27+ hour work shift, had to pick up the kidlets from school.

They have a beach area that is all sandy, but it does not reach down to the water. But it has a snappy restaurant with relatively good food.

London and T played a lot on the ferry. T decided it would be so fun to run away from me toward the far part of the ferry towards fewer people and the water. Some people commented, "That kid is an escape artist."

To assuage his urge to run toward the water I decided to let him use the camera. He took pictures of people and random things. I had to get down to actually get something more than my legs in the picture.

This guy wanted to have T take his picture, though I think they guy thought T was going to get his face. He had a gnarly looking scooter.

This is my favorite picture T took.

It was my first outing outside of Brooklyn since my kids started school. It was fun!

Friday, September 17, 2010

You say "tornado," I say "tornodo."

Last night there was a huge storm here in NYC. They are trying to decide if it was a tornado.

Interestingly enough, whilst the storm was howling and for about 5-10 minutes every ten seconds there were flashes of light and crashes of thundering echoing through our home I was painting our kitchen and cuddling Tommy that wanted a little attention right then. We had a couple of flickers of light.

Then S ran out and said brimming with nearly liquid excitement, "Mom is this the storm?" She meant is this tropical storm we expected two weeks ago.

I said no.

Then undeterred and delighted she said, "We'd better run to the store for supplies."

Oh the joy of staying inside when it is storming. Time to open the shades, get a bowl of popcorn, and watch nature at work. :)

If you would like to see photos of the damage caused by the storm check this out.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The best things in life

You know when life whirls around your head and you hardly have time to think? You look at each thing you've accomplished and it feels like not very much, but you feel exhausted?

Do you have days like that?

I know I am uber-blessed. My heart is beating. The moon is not a banana (that' a game my kids and I play--with British-ish accents). Alligators are being found on the streets and parks of NYC, but hopefully not on the slides my kids are playing on. And that cereal I ate for breakfast really tasted good.

I mean, blessings are pouring out of every nook and cranny, right? Are we seeing them? Am I seeing them?

Sometimes I notice the little things like my kid's smile. The way I can almost catch a bubble before it bursts in my hands. A tub that drains--or not. My bed and sheets, pillows, and blankets. A laugh from some odd statement someone made. A check in the mail. Money in my bank account. Hiccups. Stoplights that are green. Computers. Blogging. Lots of cookies. Chocolate. Friends. Beautiful music. Glorious words.

The possibilities for blessings are endless. What are some of your favorite blessings?

For a moment of visual enjoyment check out my brother-in-law's blog named Immortalize Life The pictures are ones he has taken, like the one above. I love how they seem to capture a dear moment in time.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Temple Talk

Tonight as I was putting the kids to bed I told them about one of the first times I went to the temple a little bit. We talked about the first time I went to the temple. How it was a beautiful day, how the temple was beautiful inside and out, and how I held W's hand and it was wonderful.

Then S said, "How do you get [swchooo (kind of sounds like a vacuum sound)] married?

I told them how when we get married in the temple it is not like the regular ceremonies one sees on television. We kneel next to an alter and hold hands and make promises to each other and to the Lord. In return for these promises we make the Lord promises us that we can be married for eternity--forever.

It was at this point S interjected, "Know who I am going to marry?"
"Who," I asked.
"One of grandma's children."
"We don't marry relatives."
"What's a relative?"
"You know, uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents, etc."
"Oh," she paused, "then you'll have to wait and see when I get married."

She's very insightful.

The picture of the temple you see is often how I remember the Salt Lake City Temple, because we were married in the spring time and the tulips were in bloom.

The picture below was taken about 2 years after we were married. This weekend marks nine years since W and I met.

If you have any questions about the temple, please ask me. It is one of my favorite subjects.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Governor's Island

On Saturday we went to Governor's Island. It's free, we got to go on a boat, and on Fridays you can go for a bike ride (kids and adults--baby carriers attached) for free for one hour. They also have some fancier bikes for those that are willing to pay a small fortune for a delightful bike.

They had a free or suggested admission mini-golf course, which was a bit broken down in spots, but the kids did not care--they loved it and spent an hour there. They would have spent more time there but they were closing for the day.

It was a beautiful, quick five minute boat ride. S talked to all the people around us--true VDG. I loved it and the kids I think would have gone it again and again, even though they could not go on the roof of the small ferry boat.

This is the touchable art. The kids loved it. That bunch of barrels behind T was a bunch of drums--the kids loved all of it.

I love R's smile. It makes me so happy.

Governor's Island used to be a military base until a few years ago. Oddly enough I could picture a huge EFY group there walking around singing, carrying their scriptures, and enjoying the beauty that surrounds the place. I couldn't help being a little jealous of the people that got to live there.

R said, "Ahhh, it's eating me." It is a big balloon in the touchable art show.

T was having a glorious time climbing into the hut. He stayed in there for five or ten minutes. It reminded me of the playground at Smith Park in my hometown.

Afterward we all felt like T looks. He fell asleep about two seconds later.

I think it would be really fun to go again, if you'd like to come with me leave a comment. We'll go again together sometime soon.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mayhem Milk from August 31

This morning T poured a lot of milk into a cup and then onto the floor. Then he decided he didn't want that much (what was in the cup) and figured that he could pour it all back into the carton. When I got there to see what was happening there was a huge puddle of milk on the floor. I took the carton and the cup away. Then proceeded to use my firm mommy voice--to no avail.

The moment I began to talk he smiled his toothy 2-year-old smile, sat down and played in the puddle. I handed him a towel to dry up his mess, which he did.

Next we headed into the bedroom so I could change his very wet diaper. I put him down and said, "T, we do not pour milk on the ground. And we do not sit in milk."

Again his sweet smile crept up on his face and he began to laugh--a mocking sort of laugh--like the whole thing was a plot.

The family joke is that we laugh like that when something has to be done that we would rather not do. I guess it rubbed off on T a little more than I had thought.

I had a really hard time keeping any sort of straight face after that.

How I love my little munchkin. :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

First Day of School Anxiety

Why a bear? It is how I feel, a busy, old, cantankerous bear. I want you to know that I usually do not condone rants on blogs. I want my blog to be a bit of joy for your day. But some days, I feel sort of out of sorts (he,he). Like today for example.

It was the first day of school. The kids were so excited! I was excited too, in a dreading sort of way. We went for the intro to kindergarten and S's teacher bored me out of my mind. She literally spent 5 whole minutes on what type of folder they should bring--not the cheap kind. The slight-ish saving factor was that T decided it was time to run around the school screaming at the top of his lungs, which was embarrassing and no amount of shushing would abate T's energy level and agitation.

Why do I dread school for S?

Then we went to eat out, something I seldom do--especially with kidlets. After a tasty lunch I paid. It ended up being about $15. I paid $17.50. Was that a lousy tip? I thought it was a pretty good 15%-ish tip.

The waiter was livid and said, "Only $2?" "Is that right?"

I walked a few feet away, feeling that flush of disdainful anger speeding through my system, and replied stately, " Yes, it is right, considering how much business I turn your way."

You see, when I do eat out, I usually go to that place because they have a cheap, but tasty lunch menu--which is all I can, at present, afford. Which is what I got today, but ate in--but I usually do take out.

I tell all my friends to go to that place. I tell them it probably is some of the best Chinese food in our area of Brooklyn. When people that don't know the area ask where they should go to eat, I tell them that place. Perhaps it is time to downgrade my recommendations.

Right now that feels like the disgusting icing on the birthday cake.

Why is it when my kids start school, I feel like half of me walks away for the day and I have to go pick it up later? I know they are learning great things and making new friends, but that first few weeks of school I suffer from separation anxiety like a person that is missing an essential bodily organ.

I feel like Marlen on "Finding Nemo" when he says something like, "Son, maybe we should wait five more years for you to go to school, then I'll know you'll be ready."

What do you mothers do? How do you cope? Do you leave more than a 15% tip?

I am going to add first day of school pictures when I feel a little more upbeat about the whole thing.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Angry Eyes and Ball Gowns

S caught my attention today when she showed me a new picture she had just drawn. She was delighted with the results, "Look Mommy, I made you a picture. This is you when you are angry."

My eyes opened slowly from their "meditative" -- deep meditation--nearly sleep-like state (okay, okay I was taking a quick nap).

I thought, "Why would she draw me angry? Am I angry that often that she felt she needed to draw me that way? Eek!"

Sometimes I think it would be nice if I could remove my "angry eyes" and put on a face that would instantly change my mood, kind of like a Mr. Potato Head.

I guess I need to monitor my grouchiness level better.

The good news is after a few seconds she showed me two other pictures she had colored of me happy and gorgeous in modest ball gowns.

I love you, S.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

R Cooked Dinner!!!

You know you are very blessed when you have a headache and your son fixes dinner for the whole family. Tonight, R made dinner for all of us. It was chicken nuggets (from Costco) and freshly washed strawberries. It was quite monumental (and me thinks it will happen much more in the future). :D

S is now convinced she needs to fix dinner too--just so she can be even with R. No way he gets all the glory. I love her expression. She's a dear!

When I asked if R wanted me to put it on the blog he excitedly said, "Yes!" So we combed his hair, he changed into one of his favorite new shirts and then he said holding a towel, "I want to look like a real chef." This may be a great idea for Halloween too!

Every time I started to take a picture either T or S would reach for a nugget or a strawberry.

Thanks R, S, and T! I love you more than air!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Great Song

I saw this link on a blog they talked about in the Ensign--a magazine that members of the Church read.

See this. It touched my heart. It is an Indie song that is by Mindy Gledhill called "Anchor Me."

To my dear family, you anchor me back down, especially my sweetheart, W. :D