Friday, May 28, 2010

Bring it on!

Summer is here!

Time for...dirty babies...

...and baths almost every night (can't stand the thought of them sleeping in bug spray & sunscreen. Gross.) Daddy got to give Adam his immediately after this episode, since of course it was his idea! Mommy just allowed it and took the photos...:)

....big smiles and new adventures...

...and veggies fresh from the garden! Well, in a few weeks, anyway.
Leah graduated from kindergarten last night. And although that might seem like a non-occasion (and I would have to agree with you, a little bit), they did such a good job! It really was a production - 20 kids sang about 10 songs, all of them completely adorable. But my favorite was a rendition of "New York, New York" but the Big Apple was replaced with, "I'm gon -na be a part of it, FIRST GRADE, FIRST GRADE!" Loved it. Their little helium voices just cracked me up, as well as the expressions and antics of various classmates.

(Our school has two campuses, each with a kindergarten class. This is Leah's group.) My little honey is that teensy one in the front row, second from the right. She loved her pretty new pale yellow dress, which I found at a garage sale earlier in the day for $4! She sooo doesn't care.:)
Now that we will have Leah home with us every day, there are some changes a-comin'.
1) I want to get out with the kids and go around our neighborhood every morning right after breakfast. It's a nice 2 mile loop, which they can bike pretty easily.
2) To end any "I'm boorrred!" complaints, I'm going to establish "the popsicle game". A mom I knew in Rochester did this with her kids: she wrote every. single. toy/game the kids owned on a popsicle stick and then put them in a cup. Any time a kid was bored they'd pull out a stick, and that's what they'd have to go play. I explained this idea to Leah, and she was game for it. But the rule is, you can't say, "I don't FEEL like doing that." You have to just do it. I don't quite know what to do with 2-people needed games...any ideas?
Of course, with the original kids, it became a fun thing to choose a stick, and they'd ask to play just for the heck of it.
3) Ben has a new poopy motivation plan. We were taking things away each time he went #2 in his pants, and had quite a pile up above the cabinets. He started going in the potty, and earned them all back. And then he'd have an accident, loose his cars, and the earn them back again - this went on for about a week.
AND, we will be leaving town several times this summer, and I just can't see that whole method working very well away from home.
So yesterday I started a new system. Instead of negative reinforcement, we're going to give the positive another try. I made a chart with 10 boxes. Each time he goes poop in the CORRECT place, he gets a sticker on a box, and when they are all finished, I promised to take him to a zoo with monkeys (the nearest being 45 min away. I don't care. )
Of course, he followed the explanation of that plan by pooping in his shorts again.
We'll see how this works.
4) Today I have to sit down with Leah and go through the end-of-school questionnaire that I did with her when school started. It'll be interesting to see what has changed, and if she really learned what "100 plus 100 is!"
5) At the end of every summer, I want to make sure that we "suck the marrow" (Ha! Such a Little House on the Prairie saying!) out of the summer. Now that the kids are big enough, we are going to a make a list of things to do. I'm anticipating that, "buy ice cream from the ice cream truck" and "go swimming" and "eat popsicles" will be on there.
I'm going to make a super-sized copy of that list and put it in their bedroom. Before bed we can mark off what we've done. Then at the end of the summer, we can review and know that we had a worthwhile summer.
5) My favorite change?Not having to wake up Adam every morning. I feel so bad doing that to the little dude. And maybe I'll get a few more winks, also!
Any summer changes to your schedule? How do you adapt to more kid time? What is the summer activity you are most looking forward to?


Stacie said...

LOVE your ideas Liz & will definitely be stealing a few of those myself! A morning walk/bike ride sounds fantastic & a great way to get those little butts moving. The popsicle stick idea is genius & I'm going to start my list on the way to Bismarck. Also a fan of the "Things to do this summer" list. You're a wonderful mom :)

Lyz said...

Stacie, you make me feel guilty many days with the stuff you do for your kids - "birthday fairy", anyone?:)

I DID mention that all of those ideas were stolen, right? Although I think parenting is like teaching - "stealing" is ok and encouraged!:)

Noel said...

I recall reference to a discussion between Lyz and the Handy Husband regarding treated lumber and veggies. How did that end up? Are the beds low/non-toxic yellow-treated lumber? Tonight the head groundskeeper and I had a discussion about the zucchini she planted in the 20 year-old green-treated lumber raised beds. Nothing like a little arsenic to spice up zucchini.

Moving over to the official veggie bed, notable progress has been made by greens planted about a week ago. Our two 90 degree days probably didn't hurt. The head groundskeeper is noticeably concerned about rabbits and is threatening to unleash our cat. He has caught rabbits in past years, but practices catch and release.

Lyz said...

Noel - We decided to use the treated wood, but lined the sides of the bed with plastic. Hopefully this will keep our chemical intake to a minimum!

I'm also hoping that our raised beds keep the damage from the wildlife to a minimum. I haven't seen rabbits in our backyard yet, but they are definitely in the neighborhood!

Bought my first heirloom tomato plant today!

Beth R+V said...

Yay for babies in dirt!! Loving your raised beds too, by the way. I just put in my tomato plants this morning - ah, the optimism of spring.

Noel said...

Well, this morning when I was at the office, Madam Head Groundskeeper did see a rabbit and did let the cat loose who was successful catching said rabbit and then very nearly got it into the house through the patio door which had been left ajar. Since the rabbit was feigning death, it could very well have revived in the house, resulting a call to me at the office. Hopefully the rabbit, based on its experience, will have a greater respect for the cat fur placed in various parts of the garden.

While Lyz's raised beds may keep a baby rabbit out, they don't look high enough to keep an adult rabbit out. Some chicken wire might help there. However, chicken wire might not keep a newly licensed toddler out (BTW, we keep hearing about Ben, but is Adam walking yet?)

Note to the Handy Husband based on an experience in my first year of marraige. I put a fence up around our first garden and noted that a gate would not be needed as I could easily step over the fencing. The same could not be said for my wife with a shorter inseem. Next year's woodworking project was a garden gate.

Lyz said...

We have rabbit wire around the outside fence, but we also have a gate that is usually open. No sightings of bunnies yet, so we'll see!

Bebedores do Gondufo said...

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