Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Grants Pass Balloon and Kite Festival

There was a lot going on this weekend!  Grants Pass had their first balloon and kite festival!  Unfortunately the wind was a little too strong for the hot air balloons, so we didn't see any of them - but Cole was thrilled to see the world's biggest kite - an enormous American flag kite!

Chase felt brave enough (as long as Cole was with him!) to climb the hay bale tower.


 This awesome boy helping him down:





 So many kites!






 This kite was Chase's favorite - look at that grin!!


 And the boys' favorite part was digging in the dirt!
Such a fun weekend full of new experiences!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Airport Day

The annual Airport Day at Ashland Airport was this past weekend!  I've wanted to go for the past few years but kept missing it for some reason or another - this year I put it on our calendar over a month in advance so we'd be sure to make it!

As soon as we stepped out of the car, the kids were all awestruck by the helicopters that were taking off right next to the parking lot.




 There were planes to check out:



 They even had fire trucks, ambulances, and a jump house!
But the highlight was undoubtedly Cole's and my first helicopter ride!
I'm not sure who was more excited, Cole or me!
We both had ear to ear grins the whole time!  What an experience with my boy!



Friday, May 26, 2017

Mother-Son Superhero Dance!

Cole, Chase and I had an incredible time at the 3rd Annual Mother-Son Superhero Dance!   I love that our city puts on such fun activities for the community!
The boys have been planning their costumes since December!  Chase loved his "Ulk" costume (it's not the Hulk, he'll totally correct you if say Hulk!!) and Cole had so much fun with the mask and shield of his Captain America!
Such a special date night with my boys!





Wednesday, May 24, 2017

An iPod Lesson

This evening, the boys were having a difficult time calming down and getting settled for bed. It's been a trend of this, the last few weeks - an argument between the two of them, Chase being loud while Cole was trying to fall asleep, Cole demanding a book from Chase... and its worse at night, when my patience is low and I'm tired.

Earlier this year, I caved and allowed  Cole to listen to his beloved ipod at night until 7:30 - it kept the boys from baiting each other and provided a quiet buffer for Cole to fall asleep without Chase's loud noises.  It was working super well - everyone was falling asleep earlier.  But Cole's ipod hasn't made an appearance in a couple of weeks, and despite my inquiries, Cole insisted it wasn't broken and everything was fine.

Finally, this evening, I climb into Cole's top bunk to snuggle him a bit before bed.  Something about the quiet, the dark, the before bed... Cole's defenses are down, he's more likely to open up to me so we can talk.  I tread carefully during this time - I don't want to abuse the privilege of his confidence by nagging, attacking, or accusing.  I gently ask him if I can take his ipod downstairs to put a new book on it - he quickly answers, "No, that's ok."  "Are you sure?  I have three new good ones, I know you'll love them."

Suddenly, he breaks down, sobbing in my arms.  I hold him close and ask him as non-accusingly as possible - "Cole, is your ipod broken?"

He looks up with a tearstained face and the words tumble out, tripping over each other in their haste to get out. "Yes - it's locked again - I'm sorry, I didn't mean to -"

My first instinct is to hold him close.  I can feel his shame.  I'm so sad he's been holding onto this burden for weeks.  He's embarrassed, he's worried we'll be angry with him, he's been missing his most cherished object. 

And I'm heartbroken, for him and for me.  You see, one of my main goals as a parent is to be my children's rock: the one they can come to, no matter what.  I want my children  to know no matter what, they can rely on their mama to help them. Kids make mistakes - little kids make little mistakes, big kids make big mistakes.  I don't want my son to be afraid to ask me for help when he slips up and makes a wrong choice, whether it's accidentally pressing a wrong button on his ipod or making a wrong choice and getting drunk at a friend's house as a teenager.  Fear of parental wrath has escalated so many situations into tragedies.

I remember growing up, my parents had a rule. Anytime, anywhere, any situation, if we called them they would come pick us up, no questions asked.  It didn't matter if we were drunk, if we were at an unsupervised party, if we had missed curfew.  I never had to use it, but I was always comforted in knowing that my safety was the biggest importance.

I'm always working on finding the balance in parenting.  My latest goal is to find the balance between disciplining our children and fostering the trust and understanding between us, so they know they can always come to us for help if they make a mistake.  That's my job as a parent - to help my children navigate this tricky world we live in. And how can I do that if they are too afraid to come to me for help?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Crazy Driver!

Isla had entirely too much fun driving the shopping cart the other day!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Train Park

Last week we finally made it to our local mini Railroad Park.  It's super close to our house, but for some reason we haven't been in a couple of years.  It was the first time for Chase and Isla and it was SO fun!

Just look at these happy faces!



Isla LOVED it! She was giggling and laughing and "WHOA!! WHOOOOAAAAA!!!" the whole time!

A couple of train-loving boys!





Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Faster

It's always the little things that sneak up on me.  I'm mentally prepared for the big ones - the first steps, the first time sleeping in a toddler bed, the first day of school, driver's test... but the little milestones are sneaky.  I'm not ready. 

One day at the park, I put Chase in the toddler safety swing, and the next day I didn't.  My big boy - holding on so tight as he begs me: "FASTER MAMA! I WANT TO GO SO FAST!"
You are going so fast, little guy.  Slow down just a bit for your mama, ok?
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