Thursday, June 30, 2011

"There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away..."

I've been feeling so grateful lately for books, and for how much Sam and Amelia love to sit and listen to me read them. During the first trimester of this pregnancy, and now the third, it is one thing I know I can do with them when I frankly have little energy to do anything else.
Honestly, books have always been my "go to" activity with them. Everyone grumpy and don't know what to do? Read a story. Snowy day and don't want to feel guilty about putting in another Thomas or Little Bear? Pull out the book basket. Hot day but shady under the cherry tree? Grab some favorites and settle into the shade.
But it has felt more special lately. Maybe because I love the feeling of their little bodies curled next to mine and another babe in my tummy. Maybe it's because we have been reading "Little House in the Big Woods", their first chapter book, and they love it and that makes me so very, very happy. Maybe it's because I know this chapter of our lives, of just me and them together most all of the time, is going to be closing very soon and so I cherish those quiet moments more. A combination of all of those reasons I guess.
I have a feeling as the next ten weeks passes, there will be even more snuggle time on the couch, with my feet up and those two snuggled at my side. We pulled out some summer favorites and I love falling in love with them all over again. " Mama, is it summer yet?" is a fun one, shown here by our "nature table":)

"Peter in Blueberry Land" is soooooo wonderful, I just want to eat it up and "Blueberries for Sal" is a favorite as well. Along with these we have been reading a lot about sharks and ocean creatures, which is Sam's passion and today mom read to them from "The Complete Book of Flower Faries" by Mary Cicely and said they just loved it. She is in the process of creating a fairy garden with them and they are so into it. Then, like I mentioned, we are reading the first in the Little House series. My friend Anne and I have always said how disappointed we would be if our kids didn't love the Little House series as much as we's one of those things you can't expect them to enjoy but you hope and hope. So, hurray! What a joy that they want to sit and listen about Laura and Mary and Pa and Ma and all of the adventures of living in the big woods. Amelia wants to wear long dresses like the girls, Sam thinks calling me "Ma" is hysterical, and they can't get enough of the stories about Bears! and Panthers! and baby pigs-awwwww:) In fact, we haven't been able to finish the first book because they keep wanting to go back and read their favorite stories again. I think we just read the chapter about two misadventures with bears for the fourth time! But that's okay:)
Anyway, this has just been on my mind a lot and so I wanted to write it down and remember. This cozy, tiring time of pregnancy. These special times with Sam and Amelia. The joy of being in Blueberry Land and the Big Woods and tidepools, all in one afternoon. Emily Dickenson was so right when she she said, "There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away...."
All for now,

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

She jumped right in.

When one of my favorite play based learning blogs informed me that today was "International Mud Day", I knew that we needed to celebrate!:) We love mud around here. Especially Amelia. So, no surprise that once I filled the sand box with water, she jumped right in! She squished her feet in it (as did I, it felt so cool and good), she rubbed it all over herself, she even found two snails, a rolly polly, and multiple daddy long legs. Sam was having a "water freaks me out day" (you just never know), so he mostly observed with me. I told them all about how when I was little and it rained there would be a HUGE puddle in our front yard under the pecan tree and how my dad and brothers and I would run and slide into it and be so muddy that you can only see our eyes:) They thought that was pretty great. I'm so thankful to have grown up in the country, where mud and fields and rocks and hay bales and old cow pens and woods were part of our daily existence.

After the splashing had subsided, my dreamy boy greatly enjoyed finding all kinds of sea creatures in the clouds:)

A lovely hour spent outside before bath and dinner and bedtime arrived:)
All for now, Jen

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ice cream and lemonade...happy Summer Solstice!

To celebrate the official start of summer, we ate ice cream and made lemonade.Mmmmm mmmmm.

Well, the ice cream was actually celebrating that we found Mom's glasses,and was a day earlier than the summer solstice, but who needs an excuse?:) Not this pregnant mama, I'll tell you that. It was delicious! Thanks for the special treat Mammy!

Then, on the official day, we used my mom's friend Barb's idea and had the kids squeeze their own lemon juice, mix it with sugar, stir and drink out of the lemon cup...a little sour, but so much fun!
Amelia and Vera working hard.

Sam testing his lemonade creation:)

Happy Summer to you!

Monday, June 20, 2011

28 weeks.

Today starts the 28th week of this pregnancy. I have had more anxiety than I thought I would leading up to this week. During my pregnancy with Sam and Amelia my water broke during my 28th week and they were born on Day 1 of my 29th week. It was such a surprising, scary, almost numbing time and something I hope never to experience again. You can read ALL about it here in the archives if you wish:)

Anyway, I had a visit with my midwife on Thursday and I was just so weepy all day. I couldn't figure out why (once again, thank you to my mama who took over when I just broke down in the middle of the kitchen for no apparent reason and couldn't seem to pull it back together), but I think it just boiled down to fear. Fear and just wanting so badly for everything to be okay this time.

Now that we are actually here at 28 weeks, though, I feel pretty peaceful. Peaceful and thankful for each day that this baby girl gets to stay inside of me and grow and develop.

So, no break through or anything to write about. I just wanted to write these thoughts down. Remember how I feel. Express thankfulness again for the healthy little ones sleeping in the room next to me and for this babe--such an unexpected and wonderful surprise of a baby.

I know there will probably be more days of weepiness to come, but I hope that for the most part thankfulness continues to rule the day.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

His influence...

Today on my car run to get Joel a special coffee and breakfast sandwich, I heard a blip of a sermon about Father's Day. It was an admonition to men about the influence they have/don't have on their children. That if they aren't having an influence on their children, someone or something (media, culture, etc.) will. It was really, really good and really, really made me thankful for Joel's influence on Sam and Amelia. It didn't take me long at all to come up with many ways I know he has an impact on their little beings. An impact that will last forever.

Just one example is that in a time in our culture where so many of us tune out of living and tune into TV, video games, and other time suckers, Joel has pretty much none of that. He spends his free time on life and people and reading and such and it's something I love that Sam and Amelia get to see and experience. He will jump on his bike, put them in the Chariot and head off on an adventure at the drop of a hat and he has been that way throughout their whole life. He doesn't balk at living life with them. Taking them on outings, doing his chores with them, sharing sleep with them--he lives his life and he lives it integrating them into it instead of treating them as inconveniences. Oh, I love that.

He also takes the time to read their Bible to them and pray with them. They are reading through it for the 2nd or 3rd time now, and I cherish that they hear about the love of God from their daddy. Because Joel will disappoint them one day. They will grow up and learn that his love for them is imperfect, that he struggles and fails just like we all do. But the love of God is perfect and right and will not leave them or forsake them. It's the most precious gift he is giving them, the knowledge of a perfect Father that loves them fully.

These are the days to reach the hearts of our children and I'm so thankful that Joel is taking that honor and responsibility seriously. Of course, Sam and Amelia feel that love, and it was so precious to see how excited they were to celebrate Father's Day today.

They drew many, many pictures yesterday in preparation, watercolor painted frames for him, answered questions about him for a little survey we gave him, and were just beside themselves to give him all of their surprises:) In fact, poor Joel, Amelia woke up at 5:30am and urged him to get up to see them all. When she didn't have any luck she sang him songs and told him stories until she came to wake the rest of the house up (Sam and I were blissfully asleep in the guest room, where I will probably be stationed until after baby comes because I sleep so much better on that mattress while pregnant).

Anyway, after giving him some more time to sleep we finally burst into the room singing "Happy Father's Day to you, Happy Father's day to you..." Sam just kept handing him things as fast as he could and Amelia was bouncing all over the bed in excitement, and then stopping to give Joel big kisses and hugs and then bouncing some more. It was such a funny, precious scene. Joel reading all of his cards while Sam snuck bites of his daddy's special breakfast , Amelia just beside herself, Joel so sleepy from a late night and early morning, me trying to not cry over all of the sweetness. Yep, it was pretty simple and pretty great.

Thanks to my mama for helping me with the crafts (she is our official craft director:) and for spending time with the babes this afternoon so I could take Joel on a little shopping trip to REI, where we laughed at the prices but had fun and found a great shirt for him on clearance:)

Happy Father's day to my love, and of course to my Dad, and my brothers too! It truly is such an important role you have, no matter how old your children may be. Lots and lots of love on this special day, Jen

Oh, and here are their little Father's Day surveys (I found them on the blog, Simply Montessori). Oh my.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Summer love...

Finally, the sunshine has officially arrived! It is so much fun to fill our days with outdoor outings, back yard picnics, and watermelon galore. I love coming inside during the "heat" of the day to rest and then seeing them head back out in the evening with Joel to water the plants and get some last minutes of play in. It's just good for my soul. Even just looking outside and seeing sun shining and roses blooming and cherries ripening, it's enough to make my heart glad.

Amelia was literally shaking when she burst inside to announce that our first rose had bloomed. It is still a highlight of their day to go out with Mammy to help her pick the roses. I love, love, love having mason jars of fresh cut roses all over the house.

Outdoor outings like Red Butte Garden...playing in the fountains, climbing through the tunnels, chasing dragonflies, making "secret hideouts" out of ivy houses, playing in the sand pit...our love for that place just grows!

The zoo had this great dinosaur exhibit with life size dinos that made noise and moved and some that spit water! The kids were a little unsure (they were HUGE) but after I assured them that they were not real they were pretty fascinated:)

Our own back yard is pretty great these days as well, especially with a Mammy here who loves to do things with the kids like hula hoop and make jewelry and take them for a walk around the neighborhood:)

Of course, there is fun to be had inside as well...painting and coloring and making brownies with mama, and studying bugs with Mammy.

It's just a fun season, isn't it? I mean, of course there are bugaboos like later bedtimes and grumpy mornings, adjusting to a new rhythm, etc. but for the most part I just love it. I want to gobble it up while I can. My third trimester starts on Monday and I imagine my body will be slowing down and so I just want declare how thankful I have been for the 2nd trimester energy that finally kicked in. This is such a short time before baby comes and a season ends, the season of the four of us, you know? Anyway, more about all of that soon. Hope you are enjoying your days!! Jenny

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Oh Amelia.

She was having a super hard time going to sleep tonight because, "no humans (aka: mama, daddy, or mammy)wanted to snuggle with her." There was much crying and carrying on. She was on the verge of being in trouble when she came into my room and I thought, "What the heck, Jenny, just try something fun." So I said, "I think you just may need a bite of mama's ice cream to make you brave." She ate a bite, walked back to her bed, curled up and went to sleep without a peep. I think I may have shocked her into submission! :):)

Monday, June 06, 2011

The farm...

We visited Wheeler Farm for the first time this season (I feel like we skipped Spring and went right to Summer!) and it was wonderful as ever. We went with some mamas and kids from my mom's group and it was so much fun to see all of the kids exploring together while the mamas chatted. At one point the kids were making a bird's nest for the birds for mother's day (or something like that:) --so great! I look forward to many more outdoor adventures all summer long (or, at least until this pregnant mama hits her adventure threshhold!)

This bunny was on the edge of the farm as we entered and was still there three hours later when we left. He did not look wild at all, so we think he escaped from his cage. The kids were thrilled that he was eating the "cabbage" they were feeding him (hope his tummy was okay!:). I called the farm office to make sure they knew he was out.

Hope you are enjoying the sunshine too! Jen