Tuesday, May 31, 2011

And then there were four.

He's here!

His name is Zander to most of us, Peanut to Ainsley. She's still frustrated that that isn't on his birth certificate.

He was born at 1:30 am on Memorial Day - all of 8 lbs, 7 oz. He's beautiful and squishy and kissable.

We're all in love.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Art Garden - a fantastic new find.

So excited about this. One of my friends started up a new website she named The Art Garden that has art lessons on it. She puts up at least two new videos each week for each lesson, one for the parents and one for the kids. This last week was about the artist Matisse (here is the parent's video and here is the kid's video).

My kids watched the video but quickly diverged from drawing shapes to asking random questions (Hannah) and drawing dragons (Ainsley). They weren't really drawn to any of his artwork that she showed, so we googled him and they really dug a few of his pieces that we found online like this one, this one, this one, ooh, and this one too!

They weren't sure that it would be fun to make, though. I told them I really wanted to do this and have them do it with me, so would they humor me? Pleeeeaaase? They did.

Once we got started, they had a lot of fun.

Ainsley's favorite one she made was this one -

Hannah only made one - but she was very meticulous with that one.

Then she said "You know, that teacher lady said that Matisse would do art as big as he was! Can we do that?" In true Hannah fashion, she'd been listening to the video while she was asking random questions. She kept peppering me with facts about Matisse that the 'teacher lady' had said during the video.

So we rolled out some paper and taped it up and they went to town again, this time with a much bigger canvas.

Gray woke up from his nap right before they were done and got in on the action. Then he decided Mystery Garden was more fun and brought it over to play with me while they finished.

I loved how this one turned out.

Especially the little shapes that were random placements that ended up making cool designs.

They each signed it in big letters. They thought that was pretty cool.

This week on The Art Garden website is 'Animals and Art'. I haven't looked at the videos yet because I wanted to get Matisse done. I just knew that as soon as the kids got started they would enjoy it, and they did.

Also, she has a private Facebook group you can join and have your kids submit their artwork for other kids to look at and comment on. Hannah has *loved* doing that. Let me know if you join - I would love to see your kids art!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Filling in the sand.

I read a fantastic analogy about getting things done as a busy mom awhile back. Think of your tasks as rocks, gravel, and sand that you need to put into a gallon jar. Put the rocks in first, then the gravel, then the sand. If you put the sand in first, you won't have room for the rocks.

So I've been doing that with the 'before baby' list of tasks. The rocks are done - diapers are made, car seat is bought, blankets, diapers, and clothes are ready. The gravel is filled in - hot spots decluttered, food in the freezer, baby carriers ready. Now I'm filling in the sand, not hoping or expecting to get it all done - just doing what I can, when I can, as I feel inspired ... filling up the birth pool, working with the garden, working on my new website, but mostly relaxing and playing with my kids.

UNO has been a big hit around here lately.

Hannah's been interviewing me while I milk goats.

It's been so cold here. We get 1 good day for every 10 cold and windy ones.

So we make up for it by pretending we live in Hawaii.

We even went snorkeling in the tub the other day.

When it is nice, we don't get anything at all done in the house.

Even in the evening, Ains doesn't want to come in, so she and I have taken to walking down 'the farm road' every night after dark.

They've gotten camping fever something bad.

The microscope has been out for over a week, looking at everything from petals to fingernails to salmon bones.

Hannah had her last dance recitals. We're done with that until fall.

The littler ones wanted to put on their own performance.

It was fantastic.

Then the days get cold again and we are back inside. So we keep busy. Yoga.


More UNO.

And cuddling with the chihuahua.

So that's us. Enjoying cold days, loving warm days, filling in the sand.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Absorbing the last few days with three.

We're down to the home stretch now. Two weeks - three, tops - until we are a family of six (gulp!) instead of a family of five.

So I'm using my body's signals to tone it down a bit to snuggle and cuddle and absorb these three while they're still my only three.

So picnics are the order of the day.

And loving this little boy who grabs his boots and coat as soon as he sees me getting ready to head outside - even if the girls don't come, I can always count on him to be with me.

And while he is frustrated with how big Mommy's tummy is getting and doesn't seem to comprehend the fact that there's a baby in there, the other two do. Very much.

There is much impatience about "When will this baby be here?" and "You better wake me up for the birth, even if you have to take me outside into the cold to get me to wake up!" and "Can I listen to the heartbeat?"

(Can I tell you how much I love having a midwife that comes to my house so that I don't have to haul three kids to a doctor's office?)

And my favorite "Can I talk to the baby?"

And I think the feeling's mutual, between the baby and its siblings. This is the first pregnancy where the baby is so crazy active when it hears siblings running and playing - nearly turning somersaults wanting to be with them. This could be interesting.

It never ceases to amaze me, this feeling of "I can't imagine my life with another one." changing immediately after the baby arrives to "I can't remember my life without you."