Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Getting in the Game

Perhaps it is because we are both female, or because we are just very similar in personality (and temperament, although I have a hard time admitting that sometimes), I find it very easy to be interested and engaged in Tate activities. Not the soccer/gymnastics stuff - that's easy - but the art, the tape (goodness the tape!), the figurines, just about everything. That doesn't mean I like it all; honestly I would rather read her 30 stories in a row than play Playmobil or Barbies - I find it hard to be "present" for that but am working on it. It's not about me, after all. But our conversations and interests are similar, in general.

With Smith, while I love watching soccer, we have similar book interests and both love to be outdoors, I am finding it difficult to connect with him on his computer side. As luck, or genetics?, would have it, he and David are quite similar in their interests. Smith is creating servers with Minecraft, making podcasts, watching tutorials on YouTube. Honestly, the thought of doing or watching this stuff is so beyond me. 

I need to figure out a way to be engaged with him more. As it is, I don't spend much time with just him - and that makes me sad. David and I are working on special time with the kids - him with Tate, me with Smith - with the first time being them going ice skating and us going to see The Hunger Games. The second time was them going to the gymnastics open gym and us going to dinner and a play at his future Middle School. This is good. But still - guess what the conversation mostly was? Minecraft. Podcasts. Servers. 

Part of me thinks that he needs to branch out in conversation and meet me part way, but the bigger part remembers that he is 10, and this is conversation, a good quality give and take, which is great practice for discourse with others. He does ask me about interests in my life, he does listen, and yes, I see his interest wane after the first couple sentences. But really, how much does he want to hear about knitting and book club and what Heide at work said?

I guess this is all to say that this computer interest of his is not going away, so I either get in the game and learn about it because it is his passion, or I let this one go and just let this be something of his and David's. I think there is middle ground...I think me being interested in something so important to him is important to me, too, and worth the time and energy (and willpower to stay focused when he's talking about the server) for the relationship results. It is worth it to me to find a common ground. Another thing we talk about. Another door that is open, fostering communication when he's older and maybe not as willing to tell me everything (EVERYTHING) about the details of his day. 

He is a very special human - funny, KIND, empathetic, smart, silly. I think a lot of this goes back to the basic need for balance - stop and smell the roses, be present in your life, do what you're doing when you're doing it - don't think about laundry when having a conversation about computers, HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT COMPUTERS, dammit. Oh, and cut myself a little slack, too. That never hurts. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

We went to the indoor pool last night with the kids - we've had a wet few days, and soccer was cancelled (Sunday's game and Monday's practice). So, to the pool! They have a big pool that was filled with kids taking lessons, and then the "warm pool" which is actually a therapy pool with a beach entry. It's David and my favorite as it's quite a bit warmer than the "cold pool," but the kids are 50/50. If the diving board/pool slide is open, they are all about that.

So warm pool it was last night, and we took up a little corner of it playing our usual games. Tate became a velcro person - she would come up and suction on to you as her mode of destruction. David made her into a "tatepedo" and would have her lie stiffly, then he'd shoot her across the pool and bonk into Smith or me.  We knew things were getting a little out of control when we finally had to tell her to stop yelling, "USE ME AS A WEAPON! USE ME AS A WEAPON!" People were starting to stare!

While I was enjoying the warmth of spring, we've had a fire in the fireplace the last two nights which has been nice closure to our winter. Love the smell and warmth of a fire. So cozy.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bunnies and Altoids

Well, the Easter bunny came to our house! Tate asked if he was like Santa, did you have to be good all year, and I said I didn't know as the bunny couldn't talk, but that maybe she should ask Santa next December. The bunny goes light on us, but heavier on small toys than on candy as my family gives baskets of chocolate goodies for Easter dinner. Tate got a bucket of small horses, then proceeded to name them all and write their names out. Love this. Oh, and the TAPE! There must always be TAPE! In fact, a day earlier, I was dropping them to see my parents, and she had tape in the car. Bad. Idea. She found a tiny hole in the knee of her leggings and seriously used 1/4 roll of tape to cover it! Hysterical.

Altoid Bunnies - I saw something similar on Pinterest not long ago, and knew I could make something similar. I made Tate a little bunny and hedgehog (you have to use your imagination on that one!) in a little Altoids bed. Made the carrots, too - those were fun and quick with orange felt and cool green yarn.

We went to Bear's Den on Easter Sunday, good hike up on our neck of the Appalachian Trail. It's always a fun hike, and this was the first time where we didn't bring a snack, nor did the kids ask for food! Seems a silly milestone, but as the one-that-carries-the-backpack, it was nice. I grow very weary of feeling like we need to snack-up these kids every 45 minutes worth of activity.

Keep on Truckin' 4/2012

Keep on Truckin' 6/2010
All this is besides the point - it was a gorgeous day, a fun hike, and we went to my parent's house afterwards for some good food and company (and no pictures!).

Meanwhile, Spring has Sprung around here - our garden is mostly planted. David feels brave and went ahead and eschewed the "plant after Mother's Day" rule - he planted all of his pepper plants! I planted seeds: carrots, green onions, bibb lettuce, spinach, sugar sweet pumpkins, snap peas; plants: parsley, basil, cucumber. If all goes weather -well, I will plant the tomatoes next weekend, along with some more parsley. I had a huge bounty of parsley last year, and used it all this winter! So homestead-y of us!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spring Break Bonanza & WOW My House is Messy!

We ended up doing a bunch of little stuff, no big trip, and it was a great spring break. Today is day #1 of reality, and I think we're going to have some serious Tate issues! This girl likes special stuff, food, places, what can we do for her lately???

Having most of us home for the entire time has made a mockery of our home...not that I'm necessarily a very tidy person anyway, but all bets are off now. And I go in to work today, so I can't have time-to-myself-in-the-house until tomorrow. Maybe David will clean while he's home today? Hmmmm...

Pictures of our break:

Starting off our garden!
Soccer game, of course.

Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson

Hadn't seen my grandmom's headstone - ever - so we stopped by after visiting Monticello

cartwheels! EVERYWHERE.

 UVA, future college of Smith

Sugar & Tate


Bear's Den

Visiting frogs and buying plants



Soccer camp - for both!

Parents vs Kids soccer game (guess who won?)

Hunger Games with Smith and mom/son friends

David and Tate went ice skating while we saw Hunger Games