Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Madison: Four going on Fourteen

Madison's birthday was yesterday and she turned four. I can't believe she is already four! She was born during the last game of the Red Sox's first world series victory and a lunar eclipse, and I think that these events have given her personality some added drama and flair.

Five things about Madison:

1. Madison is socially assertive (a euphemism for bossy). It is so funny to hear her out on the playground yelling "Hey Girl" or "Hey Friend do you want to play with me?"

2. She has a hairstyle named for her. She loves to get her hair cut (this appeals to her girly make-up and dress-up nature) and has a specific style called the "Madison," named for her at a salon in Boise this summer because it totally fits her personality.

3. When she gets in trouble and gets a little LauriAnn Lecture she always asks "Mom, are you mean?" I think that she means to ask if I am mad, but it does earn some sympathy points because I don't want to be the mean mom.

4. She is strictly a carnivore. I can't get her to eat fruit or vegetables, but she will eat any kind of meat.

5. Madison vacillates between the desire to be a cheerleader or a doctor when she grows up. She has attended several sporting events with Joe and loves how fun the cheerleaders are. She also knows that Dad is going to be a doctor and goes to college which also sounds appealing to her. Tough decision! I guess we will just have to see how things turn out.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Not My Strong Suit

So it isn't really a secret (I think) that being a good parent doesn't always come naturally, especially true in my case. My brother Mitch who is doing a master's in family and marriage therapy at Utah State recommended this book for me. I sat down and read about 70 pages yesterday, and then put some of the techniques to the test. Hayes hasn't been going to bed very well the last couple of days and will stay up with Joe and I until 11 or midnight. Kind of frustrating. So last night, I looked up bedtime in the index, and followed the instructions explicitly, letting Hayes read in his bed with the light on until I came up stairs later and he was fast asleep. Nice! Rarely do things I read in books work out this well for me! The book endorses letting your kids make choices (based on their different ability levels) and face the consequences of their choices so that they gain self-respect and learn how to make decisions at a young age. If you experiencing power-struggles and tantrums, Love and Logic is worth checking out. I have already avoided two Madison Freak-Outs and one Hayes Melt-Down.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Peninsula

My sister Clare flew up from Utah State for her Fall Break, so we spent the weekend exploring. On Saturday we rode the ferry over to the Olympic Peninsula and checked out Fort Worden and Port Townsend.

The ferry was a big hit with the kids. Hayes loves boats, and they both begged to ride again.

We walked around Port Townsend which has a great downtown lined with Victorian architecture and interesting little shops and restaurants.

At Fort Worden we saw a lighthouse and walked around the beach. It was a little on the cold side, but beautiful. We loved the sand and driftwood; the seaweed was kind of creepy. See? If you come to visit us we do fun stuff, so you should come!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

Today we went up to Snohomish to Stocker Farms to enjoy the fall rite of picking out pumpkins at the pumpkin patch. It was such a nice afternoon, a little cold, but sunny! We went with Joe's sister "Aunt Melissa."

The farm had a gigantic corn maze, a tractor ride, a pumpkin gun, and all kinds of fun things for a kid to do, I actually got a kick out of it too! Madison and Hayes rode the "horses," rode in a wagon, jumped in the giant pumpkin, played in the corn box (a sand box filled with died corn kernels), and trudged through the pumpkin patch to select our pumpkins and load them into our little red wagon. It was the perfect fall outing, and I would love to go again!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Weekend Activities

We had a good weekend. Joe had they day off on Friday so we went out for pizza and checked out Trader Joe's (gourmet grocery store) where we picked up some delicious odds and ends to try.

Later that night he and Madison went to the Mariner's game. Madison must be good luck because they won! She caught a ball (with the help of Joe) during batting practice and won us four free tickets to see a game next summer. They both had a really fun time.

On Saturday, we drove down to Mt. St. Helens. It was the perfect day for the trip, warm and sunny. We got some pretty impressive views of Mt. Rainier as we drove, and now I am yearning to go see it up close. Mt. St. Helens was pretty amazing, there is still not a sign of plant life 28 years later within a five mile radius of the blast zone and you could still see piles of trees just lying on the hillsides. We went and watched a video of the explosion and saw before pictures, which made the reality even more interesting. Madison refers to it as the "mountain that fell down," which is what it looked like with the massive landslide that precipitated the explosion.