Friday, May 23, 2008

Down on The Farm (Sort of)

Summer is right around the corner here in Wisconsin and we're enjoying it. The kids both love to be outside where there's plenty to see, and usually Mommy is glad to indulge them. We've been trying to do our local errands (groceries, library, bank, etc.) as walking trips recently too. This is one of the things I love about living in the heart of a small town. Roads aren't too busy for walking nearby and places aren't too far away to prohibit the effort.

We're trying to do a lot more local eating this summer and we've become members of a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm where our once-a-week delivieries start in June. (Yum, Yum!) We're also still regularly frequenting the farmer's market that assembles twice weekly on the Capitol square in downtown Madison. Completing the trifecta of local eating efforts is our personal vegetable garden.

Epic (James' employer) has a really neat project that they've run the past couple of years. The land the current campus is built on is former Wisconsin farm land, so they chose to keep several of the barns and outbuilding as the "Epic Farm." It's complete with a pasture for several horses and cows and they've provided pre-tilled garden plots to employees willing to take charge of them for the summer. We decided to make the effort this year and were fortunate enough to get one of the available spaces. We're growing the usual garden vegetables as well as a few celery plants (a tribute to James' family's roots as professional celery growers) with the basic goal of building awareness in our kids of where food really comes from and the effort involved in growing it. (Added bonus: nothing tastes so good as a fresh-picked, home-grown vegetable!)

Joshua also loves to watch the horses and cows and it's the most up-close and personal he's ever been with an animal that large! Lydia's not quite sure what to think, but she's certainly alert these days and trying to discover as much as she can about the world around her. (The downside to this is that naps are a big inconvenience to her goal of world exploration--hopefully we can get all that ironed out soon.)

So, that's what we've been up to these past few weeks, hopefully Joshua doesn't run out of patience for the project weeks ahead of when any real produce starts to appear. We'll hope the animals can get him through the watering and waiting phase.

Memorial Day weekend brings both Bratfest and James' family to town, so we're looking forward to it, as well as an extra day off!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Letting Go

To start, a couple of pictures:How I dress my child

How my child dresses himself

Recently (like the past 2-3 weeks) Joshua has requested to pick out his own clothes. I've held my breath each time he opens the drawer, wondering what will come out. So far it's been pretty OK, maybe not what I would have put together, but nothing scandalous either. I've been wondering when we'd come up with something that just absolutely did not work. Well, today's the day. This is currently his favorite shirt, because it has a fuzzy "pori-pine" on it. I have to admit it is a very cute shirt. He and I both like the pants as well, they're comfy and still don't look sloppy. The fact that one item is orange and the other is red, however, is completely lost on him. Rather, he realizes that they are red and orange, he just doesn't think that's prohibitive in wearing them at the same time.
Our conversation this morning went something like this:
Me: It's time to get dressed honey. Do you want mommy to pick out your clothes?
Joshua: I do it!
Me: OK, go ahead and pick something out, but hurry, we need to leave very soon.
Quickly opens pants drawer and immediately pulls out bright red pants. (This is the part where I start to get nervous, if jeans/khakis come out, I figure it can't be too bad.)
: Ok, what shirt are you going to wear?
(He first chose an all-in-one shirt/shorts outfit that was white with red/blue stripes and I had to explain that he'd wouldn't be able to wear the red pants since it already was pants and shirt together. He quickly vetoed this and moved on. That's when the porcupine shirt was chosen.)
Joshua: Pori-pine shirt!!!
I tried my best to suggest that maybe it would be nice to wear jeans, and even managed to get them happily on him until he realized that would mean no red pants. I tried to suggest a different shirt, but no, he really, really wanted to wear the porcupine.
It was at this point that I realized I had only two choices. Unfortunately, it was not one of those days we could spend at home where no one would see us. So, I could swallow my pride and hope everyone thinks I'm really color-blind all day long (hey, it's better than having absolutely no idea what colors clash) or I could have a matching child, but crush his independence and pride in himself.
You can see from the picture what I chose--but I really do have a bigger point. I'm finding already that confidence is fragile, especially in a two-year-old who badly wants mommy and daddy's approval. I'm also realizing that many times I'm going to have to swallow my own pride in order to let him learn on his own. In the grand scheme of things, it's not really important whether my child matches everyday--it is important that he knows I am proud of him and believe that he does a good job.
I've never been in a situation where everything was such a delicate balance of holding on and letting go. My mom tells me this will never end, even as my kids become adults and make decisions completely independent of mine. I understand what she means just a little bit more after today. So, if you see us out and about, you'll know why my 2 year old is sporting a very non-matching combo, and you can smile. At least I can still control what goes in Joshua's dresser so at least I like all the pieces individually! And, I'm definitely going to enjoy the remaining time I have to dress Lydia anyway I want to. ;-)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Big-Boy Bed and Cute Pics

Sorry I haven't posted in forever--it seems the past few weeks have been truly full of nothing but naps, cooking, diaper changes, and sometimes a trips to the grocery store. The things that take up nearly all your time, but not exactly the subject of exciting blog posts.

Well, there's still not much of note, but I figured I should post again anyway, and I did get some cute pictures over the weekend, so that makes it more noteworthy, I guess. Enjoy! :-)

Perhaps our biggest adventure has been a "big-boy" bed for Joshua. He's still happily sleeping in his crib and since we were given a 2nd one before Lydia was born there's really no rush. He hasn't tried climbing out and he still likes it. However, we'd rather let him do this transition on his own schedule and not have it forced on us when our monkey-like little man does realize he can climb (or fall) out.

So, this past weekend we got a toddler bed set up in his room, complete with an adorable quilt filled with trains and trucks (made for him by his great-grandma) which has been awaiting the arrival of a bed to use it on. He loves the bed--he just doesn't want to sleep in it. (We had anticipated this, so the crib is still in the room.) He told me at 10am this morning that it was sleepy time and proceeded to climb in, wrap himself up, properly position all his loveys and made me turn his light off. As I figured, this lasted all of 2 minutes, then he was on to something else.

To be completely honest, I'm not in a rush for this transition. I've been putting even starting it off because really, the crib is just a lot easier. I can put him in there and know that he's safe until I get him back out again. If it takes him awhile to fall asleep he has a more limited amount of things to distract him from eventually napping. And did I mention that he has to stay in there until I get him out?! (I have a friend whose 2-year-old is in a big girl bed, but doesn't realize she's free to roam and thinks she can't get out on her own--how I wish this were the case for Joshua, but no, it took him all of 2 minutes to realize it was FREEDOM!)

So, I'll keep you posted on how it's going. For all you veteran moms out there, any tips for how to make the transition smoother? I'm fine with 2 beds in the room for now, but don't want them both in there indefinitely.