Saturday, March 31, 2012

Oh, the good days

So some time has passed since I last posted. I am busy. Even now, I have a list of things to do. Winter clothing to sort and put away, shorts to dig out, shoes to try on boys, photos to sort, silk to dye for Etsy, things that need cleaned, food that needs cooked, and so on. I tend to wait for a really bad day or a really good day to post

And the past 24 hours have been so good. I thought it would be bad since I had interrupted sleep and I feel like most days I can barely muster enough energy for the basics.

Last night, when I picked up Elliott at school, he wowed me with his newly developed abilities, ones he has kept under wraps from Mike and me. He never reads at home with us, even easy reading books. But here sat Elliott, with a newly acquired Bread and Honey book from his cousin Shane, reading to his teacher and three friends at school. After speaking with the assistant, she explained he had read the book about four times during the day to various friends. They had assumed it was one he had been practicing at home with Mike and me, but I was thrilled to realize he had never seen the book before and just read through with such ease. Later, when he was reading to me, he came to a word he tried to sound out - between. I listened to him try various sounds out until he determined what it said. He articulated to me that he had tested all the sounds he knew (from phonogram work at school) until he found one that worked. The next time he saw the word, he did not hesitate in reading it. Not only did I see his natural reading progress happen they way I learned that it would in training, I had Elliott telling me how he was doing it with such understanding.

Right from there, I went to read to Oliver. I was singing our Wheels on the Bus book and he chimed in with me, picking key words to sing. He has never sung before. This mama’s heart was melting with happiness!

Then, this morning, I brought Elliott home from his sleepover at school. While on the highway we saw 6 hot air balloons. Knowing Mike was waiting on me to get home to get Oliver, we rushed home for him and immediately ran right back out to go on a hunt to see the balloons. I merely meant to drive by them so the boys could get a closer look. In speeding up a northern highway, we found them landing and followed roads to get there for a really up-close view. After a few minutes, the group, members of The Great Plains Balloon Club, invited us over to get a closer look, hear the ‘puffing’ of the fire, and even to climb in the basket. Oliver was not so keen on that, but they let Elliott stay in and lift off a few feet. After a bit more admiring, we got to watch how they collapsed the balloon and folded it up for transporting. A woman from this club gave the boys cards with balloons and their information. It made such an impression on both boys. All the way home Oliver kept studying the card, exclaiming ‘Balloons!” Elliott was full of questions and grand ideas on how to make his own balloon.

After that we tried to run errands, which did not work as planned, but we found a wounded butterfly outside. While people walked by, Elliott and Oliver were absorbed in watching and discussing the butterfly. We gave up on the errand and took the butterfly home to observe, figuring it would just die in the parking lot if left.

After so many discouraging days at work and so many nights with bad moods, it has been so pleasing to have so many good moments come together just right. Perhaps with such a burst into warm weather and plenty of outdoor time, there will be many more happier days ahead.

a wonky picture of Oliver and the balloon

their dog got a short balloon flight

watching it be collapsed

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Elliott, the family photographer

While I posted to Facebook about Elliott’s picture taking over a month ago, tonight as he snapped a quick shot of our neighbor, I revisited his photos. I am so glad I did. He has an interest in capturing things around him. He sees things so differently than Mike or I. And while I have to delete so many blurry or glaring bright photos, he manages to sneak some really good ones in too. They all capture a little bit of our days, things I would never think to photograph. The angle is different from his short five-year-old height. What subject matter he finds interesting is so varied. And his photos of himself are hilarious, even all the penis pictures I keep finding. 

So I had to share a few tonight, not cropped or edited, just leaving them the way Elliott took them. But I chose not to include the horrid Mommy and Daddy ones he always manages to get. The half closed eyes, the haggard, sleep deprived looks during diaper changes. I keep them, but I will never share them.

And not the penis pictures. Good for a laugh, but not for sharing!

Hike at MacLennan Park, Topeka

A favorite pose

Street sweeper... one of many Lego pictures

Oliver (Elliott's pics of Oliver are my favorite find on the camera)

Dress up + use of the timer feature = weird picture

Definitely not a moment I would have chosen for a photo, but part of the day is trying to get Mommy out of bed

Oliver is still trying

Love that little boy grin!

Another favorite of his... funny faces, straight on

testing the timer for a family photo

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What I Have In Mind

I am always amazed when I am hit by a thought or realization so powerful it takes my breath away or feels like I could be running into a wall. And often, it may seem so obvious or has been thought about by so many others.

The other night it struck me that no one knows me – every single thing about me. What I do, what I think, kind or nasty things I think about. I have some friends that know a bit about me, another group of friends that know other things, family members that know some other aspects about me, and a spouse that knows most everything. But no one knows it all. Well, except me. And it felt extremely isolating at first – to realize I could not have everyone know everything about me and be able to share that with someone. But it also felt a bit good too… like I have secrets all to myself. And, I suppose the bigger (and weirder thought) if I have secrets and a million thoughts a day no one else knows, what the hell is the woman next to me like in their mind? Or the guy a few feet away?

So obvious, but very overwhelming at the moment.

Friday, January 13, 2012

On our drive

For the (longish) car ride to and from school, typically the boys enjoy snacks and music, while playing with cars and reading books. Lately though, that was not enough to content them and we started listening to more audio books in the car. I will admit, I am not a huge fan of The Magic Treehouse books so those audio books were not grabbing my attention. But last week I found Little House on the Prairie at the library. It has been perfect for our drive. It is holding every one's attention and makes for a pleasant passing of time as Laura describes coming to and living in Kansas, with its golden waving grasses and wide sky. True we are in another part of Kansas and the land is much different than it was then. But it just makes me keep falling in love again to hear such lovely descriptions coupled with the views I am seeing each and everyday. Lovely sunrises and sunsets, golden green grasses, open land and a very big ever-changing sky. I am happy this week to find slivers of peace and happiness, as this week has offered few of those.