Friday, November 12, 2010

lots to learn

Let me start by saying I'm not proud of this, but it's just too good to stay in my head.

In the last month, I've noticed a huge jump in Finn's vocabulary. He's using words that I'm shocked about (in a good way) each and every day. On Tuesday, we sat at the kitchen table after school talking about his day. He asked me why there are so many vegetarians at his school. Surprised that he knew the word, I asked, "Finn, do you know what a vegetarian is?"

"Yes!" he said proudly. "People with darker skin and hair."

Finn attends a Montessori school that is vastly multicultural and I've seen the the lunch specifics that include not only allergies, but multiple dietary life choices for kids of all cultures. I immediately spun into a frenzy as a result of his racially slanted comment, although I know that's not how he meant it, that's just his experience at school. Grasping my "teachable moment", I asked, "Do you know what vegetarians DO?"

"Sure. They don't eat meat," he said.

At least the intelligence component was there! I quickly assured him that people of all looks, races, colors and creeds can be vegetarians, I mean, his own mommy has spent months at a time living that lifestyle.

Makes you think about how some misunderstandings begin and makes you want to uncover them all. At four.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

down on the farm

Logan, Riley and I took a much needed trip to see our great pals in Iowa this weekend. It has been SIX months since we last got together; some kind of despicable record. We made up for it in spades with late nights, endless gab sessions and a serious dive into nature. (Oh, and we ate!) While the girls explored the woods behind the house with deer running right alongside of them, Amy and I talked about literally everything. It just filled me up to spend time with her - life has gotten so busy for us both.

The highlight of the weekend was surely our trip to Amy's friend's farm, where something like 9 horses, 22 chickens, 15 sheep, several cows, cats and a myriad of dogs welcomed us. The excitement about the animals was only surpassed by our host, Sharon, and her willingness to let us and our girls truly experience farm life. From getting the horses ready to ride, to feeding the chickens, we did it all.

Riding a horse is one of my favorite things to do in life, period. Amy let Sharon know this, and she delivered. Delivered me right to her horse, Caesar, who I familiarized myself with for several hours as she and Amy led the girls around on Bella, a good ole sway-backed mare. I seriously thought I was in heaven! At the end of our time there, Sharon and I went out on her 130 acres and not only saw the beauty of her amazing property, but cantered those horses a bit. There is nothing like that in the world.

So, with a unimaginably sore ass, I'm telling you we had an awesome weekend, one and all. Watching the kids get down and dirty chasing silly chickens, bothering horses and feeding calves made me yearn for a simple, country life. Feeling the crisp, dusty air in my face as I charged ahead atop Caesar makes everything else seem small. Reconnecting with an old friend in such an earthy way was priceless.

I am so grateful for the experience.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

mixed up

Riley brought home her first non-perfect school work the other day. On her weekly spelling test, she missed one word, meaning she did not get to participate in the Challenge Word List for the week. For our little perfectionist, this was not good news.

Here's the word she missed:

fin: as in a membranous, winglike or paddlelike organ attached to any of various parts of the body of fishes and certain other aquatic animals, used for propulsion, steering, or balancing.

I'm sure you can guess how she spelled it:

Finn: proper noun. as in a tow-headed nuisance who she couldn't love more.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Trick or Treat 2010

It was a great Halloween, filled with parties, parades, lots of trick or treating and our first-ever SCARY haunted house. Finn and Riley loved it, Logan, not so much. Nana and Tony even came along; it was Nana's first one, too!

Here are a few shots of our geisha girl, our rainbow sorceress and Snake Eyes.

good "remembers"

Man is Finn full of it this week...

He was recently asked to join a playgroup of four year old boys in our neighborhood that meets on Wednesday afternoons. He was really excited and I was happy for him; telling him about who he might know that would be there.

"I think you took a gymnastics class a long time ago with a little boy named Andrew," I reminded him, not really expecting him to remember back that far. "Do you remember him?"

"Oh, yeah!" he said not-so believably. "I think so."

A pause.

"Mom, you have really good remembers! I don't remember so good like you!"

Love that.

Monday, November 1, 2010

finn's feet bestow some wisdom

I had a few uninterrupted moments with Finn today, likely because I have such a ridiculous Halloween hangover (not alcohol-induced - Halloween activity-induced. I'm exhausted!) When I picked him up from school, all I wanted to do was lie down on the floor and hang out with him.

We did airplanes and lots of tickling and then I did this silly thing I used to do when they were really little: I sniffed his still baby-feet and put up a huge fuss like they were the stinkiest things on earth. In between his belly laughs and gasps for air, he said, "Remember that Mom? Remember when we used to do that?"

"I do, " I thought as I marveled as his near-adult like observation. "And the time I make for these moments is much too little." There is nothing like the uncontrollable laughter of your child from a good tickle. You know that at that moment, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that they are full to the brim with joy. All because of you.

What am I doing depriving myself of that?