Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's All in the Presentation!

For some reason, when Kayli draws a picture at school, which is always for me, the grand finale of the project is to crumple up the paper into a ball. The first few times she brought these pieces of artwork home, I thought they had just inadvertently gotten crumpled up when she stuffed them in her school cubby. Then, I happened to show up at school one day when she was completing a coloring sheet, and with a grand gesture, she crumpled it up as small as she could, then handed it to me. She proceeded to watch me with the same anticipation one does when you watch someone open a gift you’ve given them. Her eyes “danced with delight” as she waited for me to “unveil” the masterpiece. She watched me closely as I examined my gift, and said proudly “I made it for you!” I’ve decided that the “crumpled balls” are meant to be like “presents to be opened” Now isn’t that CREATIVE THINKING? Yesterday, I received 4 of these wonderful “presents” when I picked her up. It was a trick to carry these paper balls to the car, along with her and her “honey bear” that she had brought to school. But, when we got home, we had to have a “GRAND UNVEILING” of my “gifts”! I love that she’s always finding ways to “add an element of fun” to our lives!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kayli Upholds the Law

Kayli and I tend to be “on the go” a lot, driving both streets and interstates with equal frequency. Being one that thinks out loud, I might say “Oh-oh, I better slow down”, if I happen to see a police car. Then, of course, Kayli hears me and says “What mom? What you say?” then I explain the policeman’s job to give people tickets when they are going to fast. She also knows that we could get a ticket if we aren’t wearing our seatbelts because of the one or two times she’s tried to refuse sitting in her carseat, and, of course another mom might have explained that it’s unsafe or that we could get hurt or something along that line, but I instead opted to tell her a policeman would give us a ticket and that would be really bad because they cost a lot of money! She has no real idea what that means except she knows it’s really bad. So, now I realize I haven’t “painted the best picture” of police officers for Kayli. But, how handy is it to have a little voice in the back seat that yells “Slow down, mom, police car!” whenever she spots one?!
Ok, so my better judgement kicked in yesterday as we saw a police car, and even though I know he was doling out a ticket to the poor soul he had pulled over, I told Kayli “It looks like that nice police officer is helping someone who’s car is broken” and then, just for good measure, I told her how helpful police can be and that they want to keep us safe, blah, blah, blah. So, Kayli listens intently to everything I say, then, as we get off the interstate and approach the stop sign, Kayli yells “Stooooop Mom. You don’t stop at stopsign, those police give you ticket!” Ok, I tried.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mommy Spa

As I was sitting on the edge of the sandbox the other night, bare feet buried in fine white sand, Kayli, pouring and sifting into a bucket nearby, I realized that this was one of those moments that I needed to savor. This, and the next night, as we added water, and created sand castles. This, in my mind, provides the same endorphin release as a relaxing day at the beach, and I didn’t have to pack anything or drive anywhere. To take it a step further, as Kayli takes the wet sand and “paints” my legs with it, how does this compare to an exfoliating spa treatment? Again, no cost, no appointment necessary. Then, later, as Kayli takes her bath, she loves to have me put my legs in the water, so she can use a whole lot of pump soap to “lather them up”. She loves to spend extra time lathering up the toes. Again, how does this differ from the scheduled foot massage? I’m feeling pretty relaxed right now just describing it! As with many little girls, mine loves to brush my hair too. She pretends to fix it, and the only caveat is when she attempts to put a claw clip in. She is not real adept at this maneuver, so I have to grin and bear that part. Still, pretty relaxing and/or invigorating. I guess when you consider that some beauticians get a little aggressive while blowdrying your hair after a haircut, which in general, is so relaxing for me, this could be considered a comparable experience. All in all, I am savoring every moment of these “mommy spa” opportunities, as I know with time, our life will become “a different kind of busy” and other kinds of priorities will replace these spontaneous, go-with-the-flow “spa-like” activities. So, I promise myself to be mindful of these moments while we’re “in them”, just like I would be if I had made an appointment at a spa, and not be thinking about tasks to be done, appointments to be made, places to be. Not anything else but what’s right in front of me; a 3 yr old, who’s “gifting me” with my very own home spa relaxation treatments!

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Breakfast Game

Kayli and I play a "breakfast game" on weekends, that she just thinks is hysterical. She thinks we're playing a version of hide and seek, but I'm actually reading the paper and drinking my coffee, and she doesn't know how well I can multitask. She loves to hide in my lower cupboards by opening the door and sitting on the bottom shelf amidst the boxes and cans, just a few feet away from where I'm sitting at the small ABC table. I pretend to be looking while staying seated, my cereal and coffee on one side and the paper on the bench next to me. I'll say "Hmmm, now where could Kayli have gone? Maybe she fell in this box of cereal, I better shake it up to see if I hear her." She giggles. (I'm scanning the Target ads, then WalMart) "Yes, I heard her, but I think that noise is coming from my cereal bowl, I better take another bite and I hope I don't swallow Kayli with my cereal" Now the giggles turn into belly laughs. (I scan the Office Depot and Office Max ads) "No, I don't think I swallowed her, but...wait, choke, choke, no that wasn't her" More belly laughs. Usually I can get another couple of wild guesses in before she can't stand it anymore and has to peek around the cupboard to see if I'm crazy or just clueless. She pops her head out the top, laughs, and says "Let's do again" So, with the Star Magazine in hand now, I instruct her "Yeah, let's do it again. I hope you don't make it too hard for me again." A slow grin spreads across her face.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Last Dance of the Summer

Kayli had her last dance/acrobats class of the summer this week, and once again, all the moms were allowed to come into the studio with cameras. So, all of us "crazy moms" with our cameras were trying to get footage while the very patient instructors tried to get the girls to show us what they've learned in 6 weeks. I loved watching the girls up at the ballet bar, trying to do plies. Kayli is the shortest one with the white hair tie. In one of the videos that follows and you will see Kayli ad-libbing with her drop to the floor into the splits!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Little Rain A Lot More Sun!

The Lake was sooooo much fun! We “played” non-stop, rain or shine. On the rainy day, we donned our raincoats, chased the ducks, and splashed in puddles. On the sunny days, we swam in the lake, played in the pool, and rode the waves at pebble beach! Kayli loved riding in Uncle Kevin’s boat. Whenever he would slow down to cruise through a cove, she would yell “Faster, Kevin, faster!” There were so many people, that Kayli just couldn’t believe it. Every time we’d get together for dinners, she would squeal with glee: “Look, Mom, it’s a party!” Major highlights for Kayli were: 1) Getting to sleep with mom EVERY night 2) Having Aunt Suzanne in our cabin 3) Feeding the ducks from our deck every morning 4) Watching her new Wonder Pets DVD whenever we were hangin” out in our cabin, every morning when we were eating breakfast, when mom took a shower, when Kayli woke up from her nap, whenever the opportunity arose, so that pretty soon all her cousins had taken a turn sitting through an episode with her and were all singing the theme song in their sleep! 5) Every opportunity to get in the water (lake or pool) just jumping in and swimming like a little guppy, with her head under the water and legs “frog kicking” out back. In the lake, with her lifejacket, she would climb onto the dock and dive into the air for a perfect belly flop (good thing for the padding on her tummy) We both loved the “go-with-the-flow” schedule at the lake, and although we always hated to interrupt our water play for naps, they were essential in preventing any later evening crankiness (for either Kayli or mom). It was so fun to have most our family just a few yards away, as we occupied a whole group of cabins in this cul-de-sac on the edge of the lake. We would often just leave our door open so we could hear what was going on outside the cabins and people would just wander in and sit for a visit. It was great! All in all, we’d consider this, another successful summer’s-end vacation!

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