Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mid Week

Yesterday morning, my father in law walked up with a Ziplock bag full of grilled hotdogs that were leftover from a cookout. Helen's eyes lit up at the rare treat, so her grandpa teased her.

"Hotdogs will make you fat!" he declared.

Helen answered, "No, they will make me HUNGRY!"


Later, we hit the bank drive-through, and as we were waiting for the teller, Helen asked with hope in her little voice, "Mommy, is she making suckers?"

Monday, August 24, 2009

Works for Me!

Last week I finally grew up and wrote out a daily schedule for our family. Why have I dreaded that for so long? I felt the same way about meal planning, and now I love it.

Every morning after we are dressed and the beds are made and breakfast dishes are done and Jack is back in bed for his first nap comes one of my favorite parts of the day--Help Mommy Time! I set the timer for 10 or 15 minutes, depending on how much stuff is laying around, and Owen and Helen drop their toys and devote their time to running mini-errands for me--taking out recycling, emptying trash cans, returning magazines to the reading rack in the bathroom, emptying the dishwasher, paying bills (ha!). Because of their ages, 2 1/2 and 4 1/2, I continually direct traffic, giving out one task at a time and offering a lot of encouragement. I use this time as a chance to help out their piggy banks, too, if I remember.

Now my kids are by no means angels who jump cheerfully and beneficently into Help Mommy Time. In fact, this morning, Helen just couldn't put away the plastic lid for my crock pot, even though Saturday, she pulled the whole honkin' thing out of the cupboard for me; I mean, that lid was so heavy, it knocked her onto the floor! I hope by continual repetition, they will understand that Help Mommy Time isn't going away, and they'll make the best of it. They may as well start learning now that life isn't all about what they want!

A few weeks ago, Owen found the toddler gate tucked away in a dusty corner, and wanted me to put it up somewhere. I put it in the entry way, and suddenly that room was the place to be. We had a new game for an hour that day and the next! What would you call that, Monkeys at the Zoo?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Corn Harvest

This year's corn crop is taking a while to harvest, because of frequent rainy days. It was a corn year for the field in front of our house, and when the combine came calling with its unmistakable thrum, the kids answered!
They were in awe, once again.They had to stand at a distance because of obvious safety reasons,and get called back to the right side of the fence.
Even Jack was pushing his limits!
Unfortunately it wasn't a good time for rides, so they had to be content with just watching. But more plentiful combine rides should be in store when the soybeans are ready! And judging by how much work it was for their mommy to keep all of them safe while watching, their daddy just might have to find room for all three at a time in the combine cab! Ha ha.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Big Moment

Quite a long time ago, Owen set his eyes and hands upon a friend's toy, and as a result, has been wanting one for himself ever since. I researched the price, and since we didn't have a spare $50 laying around, we told him we wouldn't buy it for him, but he could pay for it himself.

Consequently, his chores had a new purpose! 10 cents for feeding the cat, a quarter here or there for special help to Mom, a Dollar Chart completed once in a great while when I felt like making one out for him. He got a little birthday money too, and that went in his bank. His goal wasn't on his mind all the time, so a few reminders were necessary.

Last night during a thrilling family outing to Walmart, the toy clearance aisle caught my eye, and when the children were sufficiently distracted by the fish and supervised by Jason, I doubled back to search for birthday presents, to be bought at a discount and squirreled away for the future. I couldn't believe it when I saw the long-hoped-for toy, ten dollars off the original price! It was even the color Owen wanted. I scurried back to Jason, whispered it in his ear. He carefully relayed the message to Owen, whose whole demeanor instantly changed from one of general Walmart-induced excitement to one of keenly aware, cautiously solemn, hushedly awed euphoria. He knew his life was about to change! He even told a lady in the freezer section.

We paid for the toy, on the terms that Owen would reimburse us once we got home. He could not play with the toy until the money was in our hands.

Jason performed The Counting of the Money.
Helen caught the energy too.Owen waited patiently, expectantly until the great exchange,
and then the green Leapster was his!