Sunday, August 24, 2014

Field Day 2014

Field day came at the end of May, and Baylor was way more excited about it than I thought he would be.  Sometimes when he gets really excited about a big event like this, though, he ends up getting upset over it for one reason or another and doesn't end up participating.  So, needless to say, I was guarded in my excitement for him about the day's events.  Mollie and I were planning on staying with him the whole day, so I knew I'd be there in case any meltdowns occurred.

There were tons of activities that the kids were going to cycle through and I wondered how in the world we'd manage to get everything done, but we did without much trouble.  Most of the stations were physical activities like those you'd find in gym class, but the first station we went to was in the art room.  The art teacher was having each student (and Mollie ... she snuck in there somehow) color a water bottle that would eventually go in a giant sculpture.

Baylor participated, though I had no doubt he would; he's been all about coloring these days.

Next his group went outside to do a hula hoop relay race.  Baylor ended up being at the start of his line and did an amazing job getting things going.  His line came in a close second behind the other line from his class, and I think they were all pretty excited about it.

The fifty meter dash was next, and though it isn't Baylor's event, I am proud of him for sticking with it and participating anyway.

Mollie got to race as well, in part because they didn't have enough people for the last race.  Unfortunately for her, the race was pretty stacked; the older kids in charge of this station ran the race as well to help fill out the group.  She didn't care, though, and just kept plugging along.

On the way to the next event, the kids held hands.  Instant mom heart happiness right there.

The next event was anything and everything with jump ropes, and imagine my surprise when Baylor, literally, hopped right in.  It was so weirdly wonderful to see him participating without hesitation that soon I barely gave it a second thought, something I never thought I'd say.

After the jump rope area, the kids got to play on the playground a bit before lunch, and Baylor and one of his buddies had a great time climbing all over the dome jungle gym.

We met up with the same little buddy for lunch, and I learned that next year I should bring a blanket for us to sit on.  Our spot in the shade was actually pretty comfortable, though, and we had a good time eating and chatting about all the events.

A lot of our group's afternoon events, thankfully, involved water, the first of which involved trying to fill up a bucket with water by transporting said water from another bucket using a cup with a hole drilled in it.  And they had to hold the cup over their heads.  Mollie wanted to sit that one out, but Baylor jumped right in and had a blast!

Next they had to fill up a bucket using a backpack with a sponge, or some other sort of absorbent object, in it and running it from one side of the area to another.

Mollie again sat out, but she suddenly realized she was without the little buddy she had made earlier in the day and promptly went over to sit by her and chat.

Baylor did really well with the event and smiled so much while he was running with the backpack.  I was so proud of him!

Yet another water event followed the backpack one, and this time they essentially had to play blindfolded tag in teams of two with squirt bottles.  Baylor and his buddy were paired up, but both of them abandoned the other when it was their turn to lead the blindfolded one around.  Still, they had so much fun.  Eventually, the whole group turned on their teachers and ran around trying to squirt them!

Mollie joined in with a couple girls and ran to the next event with them.  I loved seeing her join in, even if it wasn't for the actual events.

The next event had the kids playing pizza delivery people, carrying empty pizza boxes relay race-style in the soccer field.  Unless they walked very slowly, almost all the kids dropped the box at least once.

But, like a lot of the other kids, Baylor eventually found his stride and was able to move a little quicker with it.

Baylor then got to participate in his first tug-of-war!  He was a little blase about it at first.

But he soon got into it pulled with the rest of his class.

He did sit part of it out, though, and only rejoined when he could see that the boys needed a little help beating the girls in the battle-of-the-sexes type round of the game.

Then my two walked, hand-in-hand, to the next event.  I trailed behind them, smiling like I'd won the lottery.  (Because, in the parenting aspect, I really have.)

I'm not sure I have seen kids so excited to have their next event be "popsicle station".  Eat a popsicle, drink some much-needed water ... win-win!

The next event was a water version of duck-duck-goose, and I watched with bated breath as the boys, one by one, got to be "it".  Baylor was the very last to be chosen, and my heart hurt for him but it shouldn't have; he was happy as a clam, maybe wisely knowing, even more than me, that someone has to go last.

He didn't catch the kiddo who tagged him, but he smiled the whole time anyway.

Then the kids got more play time on the playground, though I'm not sure if they really had any more energy to expend.

Mollie finally, after a long day of exercising her patience, got to ride on the swings!  Hallelujah!

On their way to watch the fourth graders have an epic tug-of-war, an apparent rite of passage at our school, Mollie held hands with Baylor's little buddy!  It was quite adorable and very effortless.

After the tug-of-war, the kids all went back to their respective classrooms to collect their things.  Those riding with parents could go home right away, but my kiddos really wanted to hang out with their buddy a little longer and watch the video the teacher put on for the kids riding buses.

It was a fun, albeit hot, day and I was so glad that Baylor participated so much!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

That's What They Said: Love, Deception, and Misdirection

Baylor: Daddy, I want to tell you about what happened at Oma's house today.
Bryson: Okay, buddy.
Baylor:  Oma's friend, Lory, was there.  I got to meet her.
Bryson:  Yeah?
Baylor:  Yup, I call her Lory 2.  Because she's the second Lory I've met.
Me:  I see.
Baylor:  And ... (with all the warmth in the world) she's the love of my heart.  (sighs and smiles)  She was so nice to me!

Baylor:  Did you know every day is Mother's Day?
Me:  Oh really?
Baylor:  (sweetly)  Yeah.
Me:  Why do you say that?
Baylor:  (sweetly)  Because we're such good kids to you.

(During a playdate with Mollie's little neighborhood buddy, Ainsley ...)
Me:  Ainsley, if you have to go potty, you need to walk through the kitchen.  I can show you where it is.
Ainsley:  She said you didn't have one.
Me:  Wait, Mollie said we didn't have a potty?
Ainsley:  Yup.
Me:  Amalia!  (to Ainsley)  That isn't true.  We have a few.  Just let me know if you need help finding one.

Amalia:  (from the living room while she and Baylor were building Lego sets)  Mommy, what rhymes with "ancestors"?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Chop Chop!

In late May/early June, I started finding myself getting quite restless with my hair.  It was taking me upwards of fifteen minutes just to wash it, adding quite a lot of time to my morning routine.  I was so very sick of finding super long hair all over the place.  And, beyond all that, I basically looked the same every day, and that look was starting to get a little ... hippy-ish.  (Not that that's necessarily a bad thing ... it's just not what I was going for.)  So I called my hair stylist Aja at Hotel Venus and booked an appointment just after my parents and sister left for Maine.

The big day soon arrived.  Aja decided to take before and after pictures to document the major chop.  So here's my before ...

... and here's the after!

I was a little surprised at how much hair had come off, but I was thrilled to have all that weight off me.

I figured if I was going to be getting rid of all that hair, I might as well donate it to a good cause.

The real tell-tale sign of a good hair cut is if it looks good when you actually get to style it yourself, and this one certainly did.  Whether it was straight ...

(Yes, I know this is basically identical to the one above it, but check out my complexion ... I looked at the picture above that I took first and thought I looked a little shiny and uneven.  Not wanting to take the time to apply makeup, I used a little 5 Second Blur and voila!  Seriously, that stuff is amazing.  I digress.*)

... or wavy, every day was a good hair day.

Needless to say, my mom, dad, and sister were shocked to see my hair when we met them in Florida a few days later, but they all seemed to like the change.  I was even more thrilled with the cut after spending even a couple seconds in the Floridian heat and humidity, remembering how it felt to have a virtual mane of hair clinging to my back.

I've gotten it trimmed and reshaped a couple times since then, and I still love it!

Thank you, Aja and the lovely folks at Hotel Venus Salon, for making this all happen and being so enthusiastic about my momentous hair change!

*I was not paid to review this product or make complementary statements about it.  I happened upon this product on my own and wanted to share its awesome results.  

Thursday, August 7, 2014

That's What They Said: Misunderstandings and Sweetness

(upon first seeing him in the morning ...)
Baylor:  Mommy, is it okay if we have harmless, infrared beams in our house?
Me:  (smiling)  What, buddy?
Baylor:  (hopeful)  Is it okay if we have harmless, infrared beams in our house?  It was in the catalog in one of those spy things.
Me:  (smiling)  I suppose that would be okay.
(a few minutes later)
Me:  Baylor, you should ask Daddy the question you asked me.  About if it'd be okay if we had that in our house.
Baylor:  Daddy, is it okay if we have harmless, infrared beams in our house?
Bryson:  (incredibly confused)  What, buddy?
Baylor:  Is it okay if we have harmless, infrared beams in our house?  (grabs the catalog)  Look, see.
Bryson:  Ah, okay, let's read this again ...
Baylor:  (reading)  Harmless, infrared beams of light!  Is it okay if we have harmless, infrared beams of light in our house?
Bryson:  Well, I don't know, buddy.
Baylor:  I want all this spy stuff for my birthday.
Bryson:  Baylor, do you think Mommy and Daddy can afford to get you all this spy stuff for your birthday?
Baylor:  Hm, no.  (looks around the page)  Maybe you could get me something that doesn't take batteries.  Look at this one, "Twenty-seven, ninety-five," and it doesn't take batteries.  (hopeful)  Do you think that one would be okay?

(While pretend playing "Wild Kratts" ...)
Baylor:  (whispering in her ear)  Jimmy, your controller is lost in Central America.
Amalia:  Ahhhhhh!
Baylor:  Now you.
Amalia:  (whispering in his ear)  Jimmy, your controller is lost in Central America.
Baylor:  I like the name Baylor better.  And you can use a different continent, like Asia.
Amalia:  (whispering in his ear)  Asia, your controller is lost in Central America.

(While talking about her afternoon at zoo school ...)
Amalia:  Mommy, my teacher, Miss Bethany, saw you when we went to go see the tigers!
Me:  Hmmm, I don't think so.
Amalia: (with absolute certainty)  Yeah, she did.
(silence as my mom, my sister, and I looked at each other amused but confused)
Christine:  Why do you think your teacher saw Mommy?
Amalia:  Oh, because she said, "Hi, Nicole!"
Christine:  Did you see who she was talking to?
Amalia:  Nope.
Oma, Aunt Christine, Me:  Ahhhhhh.

Baylor:  (looking at me sweetly)  Mommy, I never want to live away from you.  I always want to be with you.
Me:  Awww, buddy, that's so sweet.  I want to be with you, too.
Baylor:  And I don't want to have a job.
Me:  Oh.  Why, sweetie?
Baylor: (sweetly explaining)  Because then I would have to be away from you!
Me:  Ah, I see.  Well, what if I have a job?
Baylor:  (excitedly)  Well ... we could work at the same place!
(Side note: Honestly, I'd be worried if I didn't know that some day he'll not want to hang around me much at all.  I have to store all these sweet things up now to fortify me in the years to come.)