Mar 30, 2008

Gender stereotyping and other thoughts

This picture is just included to show how bald my poor little dear really is. Poor poor thing. If you squint there is some peach fuzz that is strawberry blond.
She hates the grass and she is trying desperately to keep any body part not covered in clothing off of it.
Don't let it touch me Mommy!

She also has learned to pull up and she was "helping" Hunter build his train track. She kept getting up and falling because once she's up she forgets all about holding on and gets interested in whatever she can grab and play with. She does a neat tuck-and-roll type of fall to get back down and doesn't get hurt that often. However, she did fall on Hunter's little plastic zoo animals soon after this and that hurt her a bit.
Ainsley loves throwing balls. Hunter never did, but she does. When we were at my Mom's this last weekend, she spent about a half hour or more throwing a rubber ball that bounced on the kitchen floor, crawling to wherever it rolled and throwing it again.
We're #1! Notice they are both wearing their Oakland A's hat's.
I threw it really far didn't I?!
We are both sooooooo big!

As you can see from this video, Hunter would rather dress the part, than BE the part. Sissy could care less about dressing the part, she wants to play! Which brought up and interesting thought in my head. Hunter is not that interested in playing with his balls. He will for a couple minutes but then he is done. Sissy at 9 months plays as long as he does or longer. What if it's my GIRL that becomes interested in sports and is the couch potato with Daddy and watches each and every sport as if her life depended on knowing the game, while Hunter could care less? That would not be the picture I had in mind of what I thought my boy and girl would be like. Not that Ainsley's interest in throwing a ball and Hunter's lack of means anything at this point, but it did make me think.....

As a parent I had this grand thought about all the things that Ainsley and I could do together, maybe crafting and shopping, and doing girl stuff. What if she's not interested or a girly-girl like I am? I guess I would bond with her in a much different way than I thought. And of course I figured that Hunter and Tone would bond throwing the ball around you know...but gender doesn't really mean anything in the sports realm. It could be all backwards. Time will tell, but that would be pretty funny I think. But I would be happy either just got me thinking about parent's preconceived ideas and how that doesn't always play out.

By the way, Hunter almost killed the both of them today. He pulled over a heavy desk on top of the two of them (think small roll-top type). He was getting up on a chair to get something off the top and pulled the whole thing over. The desk fell onto the chair which pinned Hunter with Ainsley underneath him. Ainsley was at the bottom of the pile and came out unscathed. Barely even cried. Hunter just had a little scrape. We think the chair saved them from getting the full force of the fall. Scared Tone and I to death as we were sitting with our back to it when it happened. It only broke the bottom off of a glass bowl I had on top too. Nothing else was damaged which is AMAZING!

Mar 28, 2008

Easter happenings.

The Easter egg hunt. Hunter was not that good at finding the eggs which were right in front of him so he was hilarious to watch. He looked and looked and got so excited when he found one that was so obvious to the rest of us. A crack-up.
Checking out his bounty.
Hunter thought that when I wore these purple teeth I was a crack-up. Ainsley thinks that they are somewhat puzzling, but very interesting.
Hunter is trying his best to be scary too. I think I am scarier.
Hunter and Auntie Krista at the beach.
Me, Ainsley and Grandmom are watching Auntie Krista, Grandad and Hunter frolick in the waves.

Mommy and Hunter had a great time.

Hunter is chasing a seagull at Lover's Point in his Lightning McQueen underwear. I didn't know we were going to the beach so I didn't bring his swim suit. As each piece of clothing got wet, he slowly stripped down.
Ainsley did not like the feel of sand and was happier on a towel.
This was before everything got wet.
Mommy enjoying her girl.
Happy Easter!

Ainsley loves the swings!

Daddy built this fountain for mommy. It runs off of solar energy, but you can also still use the hand pump to get water out. Hunter loves it!
My "new" old piano. It was free though and in really good shape for being around 60 years old.
Palm Sunday outfits before church.
My sweet girl.
We are ready to go to church on Easter. She is in a bonnet, tights, dress shoes, bloomers, frilly dress and a fancy sweater...poor girl. As you can tell, she looks thrilled about it too.

I have been in and out of Salinas visiting family a lot this past week. We had good times. One day was so warm that we went to the beach with Auntie Krista, Grandmom and Grandad. Hunter absolutely loved it! We also got to hang out with good friends while the kids were with my parents, and we got my new piano (which I am loving)!
Hunter has been up to his usual things this week. While Grandmom and Grandad were babysitting him, they had their community group over. They put him to bed in their craft room but apparently Hunter decided he was not tired. He got out all of my mom's craft scissors and snuck out and laid them out on the floor in the front bathroom. I find this to be slightly odd and random. What else was he doing in there? Then he took the lids off her markers and decorated the window sill. Mind you, he did this while they were having community group over, so the whole group got to observe his disobediance when he was discovered. Good thing I am not easily embarrassed! I wasn't that surprised when I found out about it.
He helped himself to his own potty training reward this week while we were working out in the yard. He did "big ones" so he decided he was not going to tell us about it, but just help himself. He dragged the heavy bar stool to the closet they are in, reached up to the top shelf, got the bag of cars down, and brought out the one he picked to us. Even on the stool I was surprised he could reach it. There is no place in this house that he can't figure out how to get into so we are just working on teaching him what things are off-limits.
He also decided to "gell" sissy's hair this morning. Except she is bald and doesn't have any hair worth speaking of. I found her with gell dripping down the sides of her head and it spread all over the top and sides. He didn't miss a single spot on her little bald head. She was pretty happy though and Hunter had already forgotten about that fun game and was in the other room when she was discovered.
He also last week found the gell and decided to FEED it to Ainsley. I was in the bedroom and I heard her saying, "Mo, Mo!" (more, more) and Hunter was giggling. He had found a knitting needle that had been left out and was sticking it down into the gell and using it as a spoon to feed it to her. She was on the floor licking it and asking for more! Hunter was having so much fun "feeding" his sissy! OH MY WORD!
He then went outside today and was way too quiet. I found him dumping dirt with a shovel into the fountain. It must have seemed pretty fun, but I wasn't that excited about cleaning out the fountain. He also decided while I was cleaning inside that I was taking way too long bringing him lunch so he brought out strawberries and crackers for a picnic outside (I didn't know this of course). He got into the pantry and fridge and brought it out. He carefully ate just one bite off the bottoms of all the strawberries and neatly put them back in the container.
I love my son and daughter! And no, I don't make this stuff up. You know, he's pretty good about not doing things I have already asked him not to do, but how do I know to warn him not to feed gell to his sister? Staying one step ahead of him really keeps me on my toes. I just tell him now, "If it's not yours, don't touch it!"

Mar 15, 2008

Swing set and easter eggs

These are some examples of Ukranian Pysanky eggs that I like to make every year. I love the black designs the best, but I usually give my best ones away, so I never have any to show off at my house.
My Pysanki egg. I decorate these Ukranian eggs and they are raw. The dye seals them and they last for years. I had two in the bowl. Now I have one. I had a really pretty flowered one. Bet you can guess who destroyed it. Hunter broke it and got rid of the evidence. I looked down and saw that there was only one in the bowl and no sign of the other one. I asked Hunter where it was and he said Daddy put it in the garbage. I asked Daddy. Daddy said he didn't touch my egg. So that's strike two against Hunter now. The full story, I found out, is that Hunter was looking for treats in easter eggs, and thought he would crack it open. Then he remember that I told him not to touch my eggs and that they were only to look at. Besides, there was only dried up yucky stuff in there, he said. So he carefully got up all the pieces and hid them in the bottom of the garbage can. He was really mad that there wasn't any treats in them. He wanted to know where the ones with the treats are. So that was Hunter's first lie that he has ever told, and he paid for it. He's getting more clever.
Luckily, I reordered the kit to make more eggs and so I am going to make more this year.

I let Hunter paint easter eggs. This is the much simpler version of dunking them in a color and put an easter sticker or two on it.
He was very excited to do this and really liked putting a different color on each side.
Amost done...
This is how sissy got in on the action. She ate cherrios and felt like she was participating too.
Painting them is fun, eating them...not so much. I'm not sure if Hunter had ever had an egg hard-boiled before. This is what he thought of his first bite. But he kept going and eventually told me he likes the white part, but not the sqooshy yellow part.
Yesterday, when he woke up he told me he was "very sick Mommy. Because I am coughing and blushwing." He meant blushing, but I'm not sure where he learned the word or how he thought it had something to do with being sick. He wasn't sick at all either. It was a ploy for attention.

Ainsley learned to pull herself up two days ago. Here she is on her first try. I quickly snuck behind her and got the camera out to capture this. She's a bit wobbly here....
But eventually tada! She fell backwards to get down (she hasn't a clue how to do that yet) hit her head, cried, and went right back to the table. After pulling herself up, falling straight backwards and clunking her head, crying, and then going for the table again THREE MORE TIMES...I finally thought enough was enough and moved her out of the way. She was still crying the fourth time as she went for the table again. Persistant little bugger.
Here is the new swing set we got Hunter yesterday. Within a half hour of playing on it, he fell off the swing and knocked the wind out of himself, ran down the slide standing up and fell, and then stood on top of the slide and said he was going to fly to the moon like a bird (see photo). He's in love with it. Apparently some safety training will have to be done here.

And finally little Ainsley the performing monkey. She is showing off her tricks. She has to think about each one though for a while before she does it though. She is performing "fish faces","so strong", "dancing" and "so big" for you. I wish you could watch a video of her watching this video. She loves to watch herself and squeals loudly with a big grin on her face. When I ask her to do each thing on the video, she does it as she watches it. Much better than she actually does it in this video. Hilarious.

Mar 11, 2008

Ainsley is getting brave

Ainsley usually lays in this seat when I am putting on makeup and watches me and plays with the hanging toys. Today however, she flipped over in it, pulled herself up and had a little more fun (It plays music and rocks as you can see). I took the picture of her laughing in it after I turned off the video. Too bad. She thought this was so much fun!

Mar 8, 2008

Leashes at the zoo...and they weren't on the animals!

Aren't these sweet, I have them all around my two trees out front too with purple tulips in between them coming up.
Hunter loves my flowers. He wanted a picture by this pink one.
These crocus flowers are the ones that Hunter just can't stay away from. I only have purple now because all the white and yellow ones got picked by Hunter. I'm pretty confident that after the last episode, he won't be touching them again though. I solved THAT.
Pretending to feed the frog. It's kinda muddy around my flowers right now. I still have to put down bark around them.

We visited the zoo today. There is a tarantula in this cage. Kinda creepy.
Hunter not so sure that the rattlesnake really can't get out. It was moving around and following us with his head.
Pretending he's a biiiiiiig turtle!
Or maybe he's conquering a lizard.
This is how Ainsley felt after our day at the zoo. I am amazed at nine months how tiny she still looks in her seat.

Just a random picture that got stuck in the middle here, but she IS awefully cute isn't she?
Hunter showing how big he is compared to a condor.
The flamingos.
How Ainsley took in the zoo. Riding on Mommy.
I'm almost as big as this python!
And now my blog:
I saw more leashes at the zoo, and they weren't on the animals. They were on the kids. This has been getting me thinking a lot on how Americans in our current culture raise our children. I went to my Mom's group on Friday and a mother with ten children was giving her very wise wisdom on how to get children to obey immediately and with no attitude. Then for about 45 minutes the moms were able to ask her questions on specifics. It amazed me how afraid mothers are to take control and be in control or even know what that looks like. Most of the questions asked I was thinking "well duh" and then I realized that I had the priviledge of being raised in the kind of family where there was no question where the authority was. Two books were recommended "To Raise a Child" and "Don't Make Me Count to Three." Both of which I ordered along with "Shepherding a Child's Heart" on Amazon. I found a lot of "To Raise a Child" online and read it. The funny thing about all three books is that the comments on Amazon were either 5 (this is the best parenting book ever!) or 1 (this is outright child-abuse!). All three were very practical with specifics in lots of situations. Our current culture is so sad and this is why every other family at the zoo had leashes on their children because they can't train them to not run away. Because the way to do that would be child abuse apparently. But I feel that I should be able to train my children to immediate obediance and I shouldn't have to wait to count to three. I have been putting into practice many of the ideas already (I just didn't know it) and I also picked up a couple more which I have been implementing with GREAT results in the last couple of weeks. For example, when I ask Hunter to do something and he says "no" or gives me any other answer but "OK Mommy", I can do a couple of things. First I do not argue back, raise my voice, or let it become a power struggle. I simply say, "Hunter ask me again. I am going to say no and you are going to say OK Mommy in a happy voice." Or I can have him leave the room and come back and try it again the right way. Yesterday I asked him to get his shoes and he got them but groaned and rolled his eyes. I just put them back and told him to try again with a happy voice. It totally worked. We are also talking about how the heart attitude is just as important as them obeying. If it's not done in the right way, try again. I think that since the books advocate spanking in some situations and/or a flip on the mouth for sassiness, many people can't accept it . What's worse? Letting it get out of control until you end up yelling and grabbing your children or swatting at them? To me, what might seem harsh at first is actually kindness. Also, Hunter and I had an absolutely delightful day at the park and zoo enjoying each other, talking, playing, and I did not have to worry at all if he would listen to me or run from me. It freed me up to enjoy him, even with a baby in tow. And yes, he did push boundaries, and yes, I quickly got his obediance. No problem. I'd take him anywhere. Lest I seem like I have it perfect, I don't. Anyone who has read my blog in the last year knows what Hunter has put me through. This does not by any means ensure perfect children. But I do want to make sure that I win each time he acts up. I'm not always consistent, and sometimes I catch myself letting him make it a power struggle. But hopefully, I am learning to stop that and Hunter is learning to obey with a happy heart. And thankfully, I don't need a leash.