Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Sunday, June 24, 2012

summer nights.

Tonight I called for Jackson to get ready for bed a little before 9:00. I heard Dan come into the room and I turned, expecting to see him kissing Jackson good night, but instead he lured him back outside for one more walk around the pond... which turned into another hour running up and down the hills behind our house and ended with popsicles under the moonlight. 
The mom in me felt like I should be saying "no" to all of that, but who can resist when it's that time of the year when the sun sets long after what is supposed to be bed time? Bed time in general seems to be stretching to later and later hours around here for our little man, much to our fault (we want to squeeze in as much time with him as possible) and much to his delight. The peanut on the other hand would love to stay up later, but she just can't seem to keep those big eyes open long enough (see proof in the last photo below).

There are so many times lately when I catch myself caught up in realizing how big Jackson is getting. When he's running at full force and I feel like he just learned to walk or when he's carrying on full conversations when it seems like he was just uttering his first words. But, then, there are pockets of assurance when I see him as the little guy he really is, our precious little two year old who is still so young despite what I believe to be a much older soul. 

Thank you enormous trees who surround us for reminding me just how little he is. Now, if only you could help me keep him like this forever.

We're set to start another week, another week of opportunities. Here's to hoping that each day is so full of life that it leaves us as tired as a peanut when the sun sets each summer night. 


Saturday, June 23, 2012

hello, summer.

The recipe for a perfect s'mores: chocolate, graham crackers, the perfectly roasted marshmallow... and a little peanut. We introduced Jackson to s'mores last weekend and had an encore tonight. Here's to many more family bonfires in the backyard for years to come...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

"I swim like a fishie"

Handsome butt had his first swim lesson today. I was so happy to have a little one-on-one time with him since Dan stayed home with the peanut, but it also really hit me that "hey, I have a kid who is old enough for swim lessons...what!?" Slow down, little man, you've gone off and started to get all big on me. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

talk about it

I wanted to capture one of my favorite things about life with Jackson right now. Our inquisitive little man has the most insatiable appetite for learning (which I LOVE!) and he feeds his curiosity by asking us to "talk about it..."

He utters these three words countless times a day when he is yearning for more understanding and wants us to really spend time explaining to him about any given subject, but the words have also become the theme of our bedtime routine. Each night he now picks out a handful of topics that he wants mommy to "talk about" and we do just that, we talk out whatever is spinning in his little mind. Hot topics lately have included: big trucks (how they pick up food from farms and transport it all over the country to grocery stores), America (including the states and what freedom means), eggs (yep, just eggs, where do those things come from anyway), steam engines (luckily, Dan handled that one) and the list goes on. And on.

I continue to be impressed with Jackson's desire to learn and I'm also realizing that every kid in the world is born with the same level of curiosity, but it's up to us, as their parents and as adults, to never let that curiosity fade. To teach them, by example, to keep asking questions, to keep learning, to never assume that we know it all- because we couldn't possibly know all there is to know.

What a disservice it is to our children to assume that they don't need to know this or that, that they couldn't possibly understand, that they wouldn't even want to understand. Every time you lower the bar for them their spark for learning about the world fades just a little bit.

I write this for myself as a parent and myself as member of the generation who is raising the next generation: keep raising the bar for our children- because they will rise (or fall) to whatever level you set it at and never, ever stop answering their endless questions. Rather, push them to ask more and if you don't know the answer that is even better because that gives you the chance to go off and learn it together.

I can't even begin to explain the value in this inquisitive way of life. I see the fruits it can reap on a daily basis as I am blessed to be surrouneded by some fo the greatest minds I've ever known. And these minds have made a career- and thus a really solid standard of living- out of being curious.

Our minds are powerful, powerful tools that can, and will, take you to wherever it is you want to go. I am so passionate about this reality and it is this passion that drives me to spend more time doing things with Jackson and Audrey to build their minds, to encourage them to ask questions- to take them to new places, to read book after book, to pose new challenges, to include them in "adult" chores so that I can explain as we do and to keep them away from mindless activities as much as possible- and yes, I mean TV. I know I get judged on that one, that's I'm being overly controlling or overly OCD, but I'll die on my sword for my babies and for their potential which I'm convinced is well beyond anything we can even begin to imagine.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

put it in the bucket.

Life lately has been a bit of a whirlwind. I've been back to work full-time now for a month and I don't think I've ever been more in love with what I do. At the same time, I've never been busier at work either. Pairing that up with taking care of Jackson and Audrey, making time for Dan, staying in shape, etc etc etc... well, it's all amazing, good stuff and I wouldn't want it any other way, but this past week was really hard. 

I had a really jam-packed week at work, including some big presentations and fast-moving deadlines, Dan was working a weird shift at work so I was on my own with the babies most of the time and then Audrey got sick. Like, really sick. Long story short, two pediatrician appointments and a trip to the ER behind us and she's finally acting more like herself today. Unfortunately, now it appears to be Jackson's turn with these nasty germs. And lets just say he's a little more high maintenance when it comes to being a sick patient. 

All rules have gone out the window in an attempt to keep him happy. He's loving the newly-found freedom to watch TV and eat ice cream. I'm not so much loving the very, very little sleep that has been a part of this chaos and the feeling of being pulled in so many directions, all of which are absolutely necessary and yet impossible to tend to at the same time. 

It takes a lot to overwhelm me and this week I was truly overwhelmed. I definitely know that God was trying to teach me something these past few days, I'm not sure what it is, but I'm positive whatever he has in mind makes it all worth it. So, with that faith we'll get over this little hurdle. 

In attempt to not let this coming week go by in a blur again, I am going to replicate something I I saw a couple of weeks ago and instantly fell in love with the idea- of a mini-bucket list for the week. So, here's mine:

1. 5 really solid, hard runs. The kind that leave me exhausted and on a total high. 
2. To sign Jackson and I up for mommy & me swimming lessons.
3. To have a date with Dan. Even if it's at home once the babies are in bed (assuming they'll actually sleep at some point this week!?)
4. To take the babies to the park one evening after work and have a picnic. 
5. To eat as cleanly as possible- I think I forgot to eat in general most of the time last week and it left me feeling gross. 
6. To plan 3 new adventures to go on this summer. 
7. To read books with Jackson in the hammock.
8. Hit up our first farmer's market of the season.

Here is to a new week full of new opportunities, new adventures, new memories...
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