Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Swings are Cole's favorite:


Monday, April 29, 2013

Four Seasons

A study of Cole in the four seasons:





Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ranting and Raving

Can I just take a sec to rant and rave over here?

I have several large pet peeves related to parenting.  After all, parenting is a skill I have spent my life researching and I have several strong opinions on many aspects. 

But one of the BIGGEST pet peeves is the ridiculous American notion of entertaining children. 

It can be so frustrating for me to go the park.  I see parent after parent directing their child(ren) on the equipment. "Let's go play over here, Johnny."  "Why don't you go down the slide?"  "Look, there's a scavenger  hunt, where's the rocket ship?"

What is wrong with our culture that we don't trust our children to be responsible for their own entertainment?  Why do we constantly feel the need to push them, to tell them how to play and what to play?  Why do we put small children on our laps and take them down the slide because they aren't ready to do it by themselves - which, if they aren't ready to do it on their own, they should not be doing it! Parents are setting their kids up for failure - and even injury - when they take control of their kids' playtime. 

Cole and I spend time outside almost every single day - and we are often at a park.  I have never "showed" or told Cole what to play or how to play at the park.  I stand and observe; Cole plays.  I am present and watching, but not telling him what to do or encouraging him to anything.  And guess what?  Cole is FINE.  He is perfectly happy and capable to play without me ruining it.

What's more important is that by trusting Cole to play completely on his own, I am trusting him to know and create his own boundaries.  He doesn't get "stuck" at the top of the tall slide, because he is completely in charge of when he feels safe to go up there and come down independently.  He learns problem solving, without an adult to do it for him.  He learns that he alone is responsible for his own entertainment. 

So, so often as a parent, I find myself saying to people, "Please, just stand back and observe.  Please DON'T play with my son until he invites you to, on his terms.  Please allow him to own and direct his play, because that's the most important job he'll ever do and your "help" is actually a huge hindrance.  Please, just let him discover instead of showing him."

If there was one thing I would change about the way Americans parent, it would be this: Trust your child.  Trust your child to know just what they need to do, when they need to do it, without forcing, directing, or showing them how.  Just step back and let the kids play.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Baby Ro

Hanging out with Baby Rowen last weekend:

Friday, April 26, 2013


Some big news around here...

We bought (another) house!

Here it is:
Of course, many more pictures to come of the inside (plus all our before and after!).  Right now, I'm just so relieved and excited to have a permanent home!
We've been sorta in limbo for almost four years now...moving to one place for a year, than another for another year, then our current home that was originally supposed to be just a quick rent until we bought our permanent home...but that was over a year and half ago.  This will be my eleventh move - and I am so excited to be settled permanently.

This house will be our home for years.  This is where our children will grow up.  We will make growth charts on the walls, paint whatever colors we choose, landscape the yard and buy a swingset, hang pictures.  This is where we will bring our next baby home from the hospital.  This is where we will have birthday parties and Christmas trees.  This is where we will have friends and family visit. 

It feels like home.  And I can't wait to move in and make it all ours!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tulip Festival

Last weekend, we took a spontaneous trip up to Portland to see my sister and her family as well as the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival.  I've wanted to go for years - and the festival was so much fun, it completely lived up to my expectations!

Trying out enormous wooden shoes:

 This was Cole's favorite part of the whole day: pumping the water pump to make a duck go!
 Sand boxes:
 Acres of tulips!
 Riding on the cow train:
 Cole's first face painting - this might have been MY favorite part!  He held so still and was so serious!
 Of course he chose the dinosaur :)
So much fun!
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