Saturday, August 30, 2008

Farmers Market

Our solution to the age-old child rearing problem of "my kids won't eat vegetables"? Don't cook 'em. My kids will eat any vegetable as long as it's raw. I think that's part of why we love the farmers market so much. Cheap, fresh, better-than-store-bought vegetables that our kids will gorge on. I love the shirt that Ethan is wearing in the picture above because it's true, he does eat his veggies.

Just about every Saturday we load up and head into Logan for the morning. I love our local farmers market, which they actually call the Gardners Market and it makes sense. You've got a few of your bigger farms that set up big tents spilling over with produce, but for the most part the vendors are people with a garden that is producing more than they can eat so they've come to sell their extras. The local bakeries are well represented and our Saturday mornings aren't complete without turnovers.
The market is set up in a park downtown. There's a big playground close by that the kids wear themselves out on while Matt and I sneak bites of their turnovers because we've already polished off our own. We've learned to pack extra clothes because there is a stream running through the park and if there is a body of water within a mile of Ethan, no matter how small, he will find it and he will soak himself.
My favorite part of the year is coming up when the brandywine tomatoes are at their ultimate tomatoey best, huge and bumpy and calling out to you to make a BLT so fat that you can't put your mouth around it. And the apples. Oh man. With so much cider oozing out that you might as well stick a straw in and slurp it up and you wonder why oh why did we ever buy those sorry excuses for apples at the grocery store when something as heavenly as this exists. I love the apples.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Baby Boy is in Kindergarten

I put my boy on the big yellow bus on Thursday. Well, more like I gave him a big hug and he broke free and hurled himself up the steps and into a seat. I only barely had time to snatch up my camera and snap one of those iconic little kid getting onto the bus for the first time pictures.
And then off he went. For nearly four hours I had butterflies in my tummy, worrying about if the other kids were nice to him, if he was behaving himself, if he liked school. The hardest part was trying to balance between two wants: wanting him to be brave and independent while also wanting him to still need me. To still be my little boy that wants to hold my hand and needs my presence.
At 3:30 he hopped off the bus and snatched up his scooter from where he had lovingly left it in it's place of honor among all the other bikes and scooters that waited for their kids to come home on the bus. Matt and I had gone to the bus stop to meet him as he got off, but Ethan wouldn't say a word to us until he had ridden all the way home, almost like it was a ritual that had to be completed before giving his attention to anything else. He was one of the big kids now, and he was treating his new role with great respect. He didn't have much to say about kindergarten, other than he liked it and was excited to go back. I was happy that he seemed to make the transition so effortlessly, but I'll admit I was just as happy that he still wanted (needed?) me to sit in his room that night until he fell asleep.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A budding Michael Phelps?

It's not like I'm already making plans for the 2020 Olympics, but while I was buying school clothes for Ethan I noticed some similarities between Ethan and the olympian Michael Phelps (just ignore the fact the I'm comparing a 5 year old to a 21 year old). We had just watched a special on Phelps that talked about what makes him so well designed for swimming. The main things talked about were the long torso and short legs (Phelps has the legs of a 6 foot man with the torso of a 6 foot 8 man) and the long arms that are 3 inches longer than the average man of his height. Even though Ethan gets significantly taller every year, his pant size has not changed as dramatically, which I noticed when I had him try on some jeans a size larger than he wore last year and they all had two inches dragging on the ground. However when we got to shirts and sweatshirts I had to jump several sizes before having the sleeves reach all the way to his wrist.
Ethan did miss out on the double jointed knees and elbows, but he sure shares Phelps love of swimming. But for Ethan, it goes beyond swimming, he loves just getting wet. Thanks to the creeks that surround our home and the sporadic timing of our neighbors sprinklers, Ethan comes through the door soaking wet more often than dry.
We're missing the Olympics, or the "Olympkicks" as they are lovingly called in our house. It was good exposure for the kids to some of the sports that are out there. The kids favorites were the gymnastics and Judo (the number of summersaults and wrestling matches in our home increased ten-fold during those two weeks). It was also a good chance to talk to the kids about exercising and eating good foods to have strong bodies like the athletes. The ironic thing though was how much watching the Olympics turned us into couch potatoes.

So it's probably a good thing they only come around every two years.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I know, I know

It's been a while since I last posted. Sorry. Let's play catch up.
Matt did his stint of field work in Vernal. There were some good things and some bad things about it. Good thing: Matt's mom generously took the two older kids down to her house for the first three days leaving the house all to Ginny and myself. Bad thing: She took the kids because I had to go to the dentist three times to get fifteen cavities filled. Yeah. Fifteen. Apparently this last pregnancy wreaked total havoc on my mouth. Anyhoo, it's done, they're filled, let's move on and forget about it, shall we? Good thing: We all got some good visiting in with my folks and with Matt's family, including cousin Rocky.

Bad thing: Matt was gone for TEN days. We all suffered without him, and we're very glad that he has a job right here in Cache Valley so we don't have to go that long without him on a regular basis.
So Matt came home, we went to a wedding, my family had a family reunion (both in Ogden, both attended by people we don't get to see all that often) and we decided to stay home until Ethan starts school. The amount of exhaustion you feel after traveling increases exponentially with each kid.
Ginny had her two month checkup. 14 pounds 2 ounces, 23 3/4 inches long. She's still off the percentile chart but her growth has slowed down. I was looking through my other kids growth charts and she is by far the chubbiest infant, but that doesn't mean Ethan and Jo weren't big babies. Ginny just packed it on earlier. By Two years old, Joanna was 30 pounds and 37 inches and Ethan was 40 pounds and 37 inches. That's a lot of toddler to carry around.
So the last month of summer vacation has just been relaxed away. Ethan started up hockey skating lessons again. We've done walks to the park and trips to the library, and a few farmers markets. The kids have spent most afternoons in our blow up pool.

With one week left before school starts, I think Ethan is hoping for one last big neighborhood water fight.