Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Story Telling

On the way to school today, Connor and Kate took turns telling me stories from the backseat.

Kate - ”Once upon a time, there was a horse and he ran, and ran, and ran, and ran. Then he saw some of his friends so he went to talk to his friends. Then he turned into a purple flying horse and went into the barn. The end.”

Me - Wow, that was good. Very creative and full of action. Great story telling sweetie!

Connor - ”Once upon a time, {long dramatic gasp} Oooohhhhh, there was a fire. The end.”

Me - ?!?!?!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Throwing a curve ball...

I am constantly amazed by the mental processessing ability of my 3 year old. I'm convinced without question that Kate was put on this planet to shake things up a little bit. She was definately put into my life to test every fiber in my being. So here it goes...

Connor’s daycare is sponsoring a running club to teach the kids the importance of exercise. Each day the Pre-K and Kindergarten classes run one lap around school (escorted by the teachers) and they have a chart that tracks their progress with stickers.

I signed Connor up for the running club and was telling him about it on the way home from school one day, when Kate announced that she wanted to join the running club too. Not realizing the potential repercussions of this comment, I told her that she was “too small” but she could do it next year when she’s bigger. Even though she was disappointed, she seemed to accept my explanation and that was that. Or so I thought.

A few days later Ross took the kids to watch me run the Platte River Half Marathon. They waited for me near the finish and cheered for me as I crossed the line. They were so excited for me and announced to everyone around them that “Mommy had won the race” – guess they didn’t see the hundreds – or – thousands of people who finished before me. :)

The next day, I was driving the kids to school when Kate asks, “Mommy, will I keep growing bigger and bigger?” I responded with, “Of course you will, sweetie. One day you’ll be as big as Mommy and Daddy.” Then she says in her sweetest voice, “But I don’t know how to grow bigger”. So I say, “That’s ok honey, your Daddy and I will teach you – that’s our job. To start, you’ll need to eat lots of healthy food and get plenty of good sleep”

About that time, we pulled up to daycare. Again, Kate seemed satisfied by our discussion so we got out of the car and walked inside. It wasn’t until later that I found out she wasn’t quite done with this topic. She was still processing it in her own special Kate way…analyzing, thinking, and preparing another round of questions.

That night at dinner, Kate did something very uncharacteristic. She ate her entire dinner without any coaxing. She just sat quietly and ate each bite until it was all gone. Then she got down from of her chair, stood up as tall as she could and asked, “Did I grow bigger?” Not drawing a connection to our earlier discussion, Ross and I both ooohed and aaahed with amazement and told her that she had in fact, grown bigger.

Then she looked at me with a proud smile on her face and said, “Now can I run a race with you?” That’s when I realized what had happened. In hind sight it seems so clear. Kate had her sights set on running a race and was not willing to back down so easily...

In the mind of a 3 year old, the first step was to confirm that it was possible to grow bigger. Check!

The next step was to figure out how. Eat good food, get lots of sleep. Check! Check!

End result is an immediate growth spurt that equates to being allowed to run in a race.

Alright, little Kate you got me. Well played my dear.

This entire story can be summed up with a picture from the last race that Kate ran. This is from the Denver Children's Museum run last fall. Notice the look of focus and determination on her face. Undoubtedly, this is a force to be reckoned with.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Two turtle doves

Christmas this year was interesting to say the least. This was the first year that the kids really got into it. They understood who Santa was, they knew that Rudolph is the one with the red nose and they now possessed the manual dexterity to open even the most tightly wrapped presents.

In early December we took them to get their pictures taken with the Cherry Creek Mall Santa. They delivered their list of demands (Connor wanted a Spiderman flashlight and a dumdum sucker – and Kate asked for a Nemo DVD), smiled sweetly for the camera and then waited patiently for Santa to make their wildest dreams come true. They also managed to tell every person that they came into contact with for the next three weeks what they wanted to Christmas. I mean e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e!!!”

Around mid-month, came the introduction of “The Elf on a Shelf”. For those who don’t know about the “Elf”, some genius housewife came up with a multi-million dollar business idea and now families everywhere are helping to fund her retirement plan. The idea is that each family has an elf assigned by Santa who responsibility it is to watch your kids. The elf’s job is to sit in various locations around your house and monitor for good/bad behavior. The elf then relays a message to Santa to determine whether your kids are on the naughty – or – nice list.

Ross and I have always thought the Elf thing was silly and frankly it seems like a parenting crutch for people who don’t know how to get their kids to behave. Regardless, his sister gave us the Elf and in the spirit of building family traditions, we ‘hosted’ him for the month of December.

When the Elf “arrived”, I asked Kate what his name was. Already anticipating her response, I imagined that she’d select something like “Patches” or “Elfy”. She thought deeply for a minute and then shouted “Makasilo”. Caught off-guard and a little confused, I cocked my head to the side and asked her to say it one more time. She said it again, but this time with more confidence and vigor – “MAKASILO!!!!” Ugh – Ok…our house will now be visited each year by our designated elf – Makasilo. And with that Kate will not ever be allowed to name any future family pets.

Ross’s mom spent Christmas with us this year. She was staying in Connor’s bedroom, so much to Connor’s dismay he had to bunk with Kate. With the anticipation of Christmas building to unprecedented levels, it’s no surprise that the two kids woke up super early ready to devour every gift under the tree. What was a surprise is that “super early” was 4:00am!! Connor made it clear almost immediately that his plan did not involve being awake at 4:00am and he promptly climbed in bed with us and fell back to sleep. Kate (clearly the mastermind of this plan) didn’t want to waste another minute. In one of my most self-less acts as a wife and a mother, I volunteer to take Kate downstairs in order to let Connor and Ross sleep a little longer.

Kate was so excited that she couldn’t stand herself. I managed to keep her distracted with some early morning cartoons (I’m convinced that cartoons run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) and within 2 hours she had fallen asleep on the couch.

By the time it was all said and done, we didn’t start opening presents until 10:00am, the kids got everything they asked for and more and it was such a special, memorable Christmas.

Of course, it was impossible to get any good pictures of them. After multiple attempts – and me barking instructions like a drill sergeant – “sit down”, “move closer”, “smile”, “look over here” – “no, over here”, “stop touching the tree”, “get closer!!!” – I gave up!


Look at the Camera!

Ok, seriously! Can you please sit still so I can take a picture?

No fighting. Just one good picture...pllleeeaasse.


Alright, I give up.