Thursday, June 24, 2010

Father's Day Surprise

When David told me he was headed to St. Louis in June my first thought was, "I know what I am going to do for him for Father's Day!". I excitedly mapped out my master plan to give the garage an extreme makeover while he was gone. There was a minor kink in my plans when I discovered that his trip would be the week after Father's Day. I decided to go ahead with the makeover and simply wrote in his card, "Your present will be ready when you get back from St. Louis."

David appreciates a neat garage. It's his domain. Where he keeps all his tools and manly things and where his workbench is. Unfortunately the workbench has been piled under junk for awhile now. When the basement flooded in the winter of '09 we quickly threw everything we could salvage into the garage. It's never really been the same since. There was an old computer, my desk, a toy box, etc that decided to settle in nicely and never return to the basement. We had 3 old car seats and a dilapidated double stroller all stacked up in one corner.

So I got to work. To be fair, we got to work. The kids were excited to surprise Daddy and were eager to help. Of course, I didn't tell them about the surprise until after he left to avoid any innocent slip ups. The girls helped sweep the floor and all of them took little loads of stuff down to store in the basement. I even enlisted Reese to help me scoot my desk across the garage over to the door. Reese sweetly filled up 4 water bottles all on her own for us when it got so hot.

It was funny to see the kids' different reactions towards the cleaning project. Reese was really supportive and kept saying, "This looks really good Mom! Daddy is going to be so surprised! It just looks so much better!".

Drue kept coming in to survey the progress and saying, "I don't think you're going to get it done before Daddy gets back..."

And Tate didn't really have any words of encouragement/discouragement. His main concern was when he would be able to ride his big wheel in the garage.



It took a little longer than I'd anticipated. And I was a bit disapointed because in my head the finished project was supposed to look like something straight off HGTV. I even picked out a nice light shade of gray paint to spruce up the walls with. The unopened can is still sitting in the garage. I never got around to painting. I didn't beat myself up too much because I realize the HGTV shows have a whole crew helping them and they don't have 3 little ones to keep track of and feed and take to the pool and feed again.



David was surprised when he pulled in tonight. He thought he was at the wrong house. The garage and I have now bonded. I know where stuff is and I don't trip over things on my way into the house. I am going to think twice before I clean out the van and toss a trash bag full of toys, clothes, cups, etc into the garage to sit indefinitely. Before I didn't really care much about it. But now I am invested. And I want to keep it tidy. A similar feeling I get after I just finish cleaning the kitchen only to go in 5 minutes later to find a dirty dish in the sink and cereal spilled all over the counter. Drives. Me. Batty.

And, yes, our garage floor is even clean enough to eat off of. At least Tate thought he swiftly picked up his cereal and shoved it in his mouth after a few bites had fallen out of his cup.
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Lessons Learned

So David and I were watching a show last night and a little girl was in her driveway playing with her skateboard. It started rolling down the driveway into the street and she ran after it. The next scene showed a pick up truck cruising down the street towards her. I almost had to turn it off right then and there. But the mom saw what was happening and ran out and grabbed the little girl.


But, of course, it got me thinking. We don't let the kids play out front by themselves. We are always there. But one day we won't be right there. So I got to worrying about it. Obviously.

And that would just be such a split second thing to happen that their first response would be to run after whatever was rolling towards the street.

The kids and I walked down to a friends' house this morning to play. While we were walking past all the driveways I decided to throw in a lesson about not running after anything that goes into the street. I kept reinforcing my point so it would be sure and sink in.

"So, like, if you're playing with a ball and it bounces into the street, should you run to get it?"

"Noooooo", they said in unison.

"Right. Just stop where you are and come tell a grown up".

I continued on using various examples of things that may roll into the street. "Even if it's something big, like your bike, just let it roll into the street and come tell a grown up. Mommy and Daddy won't be upset with you. We will be very happy that you're safe and came and told us".

I wrapped up with, "So no matter what it is that rolls toward the street, just let it go ok? Nothing is that important to risk being hurt to chase after."

Reese and Tate nodded, but Drue piped up, "But Mom...what about that time that Tate was in the stroller and it started rolling toward the street?".

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Boys & Girls

I continue to get a kick out of noticing the differences between my girls and my boy. This year they wanted to make presents for David for Father's Day. Tate was excited about his little wooden birdhouse.

He got right to work on it. He slapped a few strokes of white paint on and said, "Look Mommy!".

"Good job Buddy!", I encouraged, secretly hoping he was going to put a bit more effort into his creation.

I needn't have feared. He swirled his little brush in his cup of water (which thankfully he didn't end up drinking) and picked another color. After a bit he sat back to admire his work. I love watching how excited the kids get making things for others.

I set it out on the deck to dry. The girls each peeked out the window to look at it and both said, "Wow! He actually did a good job!".

Now, here is the difference between my little females and my little male: The girls enjoy wrapping up their gifts just as much as they do making them or picking them out. They lay out their little paper, scissors, and tape and go to town.

Tate went out to the deck to retrieve his dried birdhouse. He plopped it up on the table, grabbed a roll of paper from the hall closet and said, "Here ya go Mom...wrap it up!" and went on his merry way.

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