Monday, March 19, 2012

You can't judge an apple by looking at a tree...

...You can't judge honey by looking at the bee
You can't judge a daughter by looking at the mother
You can't judge a book by looking at the cover
-Bo Diddley, "You Can't Judge a Book by the Cover"

Upon retrieving the kiddos from school this afternoon, I found this in Jay's artwork folder:

They have been growing lima beans in a variety of ways - some in the old paper towel/ziploc bag taped to the window experiment, some in the sensory table in actual dirt, and then some outside near the playground.  Springtime is a good time for learning about how plants grow and where your food comes from.  Thank you, preschool, for teaching him stuff I never, ever, EVER in a million years would have thought to teach.

So upon seeing the book and his drawings inside, I enthusiastically asked, "Tell me about this book you made!"  No response.  "Hey Jay!" I tried again.  "What are these drawings inside your book?"

Get ready for it...

"Oh that's the instruction manual for Daddy's lawnmower."

"Ummmmm?????  I thought it was about the lima beans you've been growing at school?" I wondered tentatively.

"Oh yeah.  I guess it's that too.  But mostly it's telling Daddy how to use his lawnmower."

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

You say it's your birthday

It's my birthday too, yeah
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you.
-The Beatles, "Birthday"

One of the joys of having two boys with birthdays only two weeks apart is the opportunity to have a joint party.  I know that they won't love the idea for too many more years, but for now they are big fans of shared birthday celebrations.  And let me assure you, I am a BIG FAN of the shared birthday.

First up, Jay's big party with his buddy Sam from school.  Sam's mom is my new bestest friend in the whole wide world because she offered to include us in the celebration she was already doing.  With all the worry over my mom's declining health, I am just really hesitant to think about anything more than about 3 minutes in advance.  Planning a birthday bash and inviting kids to celebrate Jay turning the big oh-4 was just not on the agenda this year.  But she turned a celebration for Sam into a double birthday bash, and I am certain that Jay had ten times the fun by having a party with his best bud.  We didn't let a little rain slow us down - the kids did their best rock star impressions, played on the playground between showers, and thought that the trek through the words to meet some friendly geese was the highlight of the party. It was great times.

 Making rockstar faces

 Party friends and a little craftiness.

Sweet - a humongous puddle for jumping!

Oh yeah.  My knees are wet.

What's a party without some silly faces?

 Enjoying the park

Birthday Buddies

One VERY happy birthday boy!

Then we had a family celebration to honor Jay and Luke on Sunday evening.  We had been envisioning a small, informal, low-key event.  Well let me say that my family is all about informal and low-key.  But we are not small.  Not in any way, shape or form do we know the meaning of small.  We're large in number and we are loud!  While the chaos of having a multitude of grandparents, aunts and uncles sometimes wears my dear hubby out, it's just what a family gathering is to me.  We had pizza and goldfish and good company.  We inherited a ball pit and the boys (young and old!) had a blast throwing balls around the back porch.  Jay and Luke opened presents, we watched NC State finally win a basketball game, and we laughed.  A lot.  That is what family gatherings should be.



Brotherly Love

So, thanks to all those who helped make the double birthday celebrations twice as much fun.

To Luke - I just cannot believe you are already TWO years old.  You're so much fun.  That sneaky, "I'm-going-to-get-in-trouble-but-I-don't-care" grin lets you get away with more than you should.  It's awfully hard to tell you no when you're so dang cute and laughing about your silly antics.  But your enthusiastic bear hugs and sweet kisses are two of my favorite things in the world, and you know just how to use them to say you're sorry.  I miss that sweet baby face - and I might just keep rocking you to sleep until you're twelve.
Happy Birthday, wild man.

To Jay - I am really proud of the little boy you have become.  You are so caring and know just how to make those around you feel better.  Your teacher says that you "have a mind of your own and you're not afraid to use it!"  That makes me laugh, but it's such a perfect description of who you are.  I am glad that you know your own heart and that you go after what you want with such gusto.  You've taught me a great deal over the past four years, and perhaps the most important lesson is to embrace every day as a gift.  I don't want your heart defects or miraculous recovery to define you, but I don't ever want to forget how close we came to losing you. 
Happy Birthday, buddy.