Friday, November 15, 2013

My sweet #1 turns 11

This is back when she had all her baby teeth.

My #1 turned 11.

I feel like I'm a pretty good mom to young children.  Or that over the years I've learned how to become one. But I don't know anything about mothering maturing young ladies. (I couldn't even bring myself to write a sentence with the word puberty.)

I've been reading about the changes in the brain that start around #1's age and continue for the next decade.  Holy cow! I hope I can keep my hands and arms inside the ride at all times. 

To balance the fear and shock of change, let me tell you some of the bright side of my maturing young lady.

#1 is funny.  She has a quirky, smarty-pants, sometimes sarcastic sense of humor.  It catches me off guard and makes me laugh.  She recently created a 16 page comic book about an Osprey.  It was hilarious!  One scene involved Aunt Turkey leaving Thanksgiving dinner in tears.  The dialogue bubble reading, "My poor husband, waaaaaah!" Spouse and I stayed up late reading and rereading some of the funniest parts; we were genuinely entertained.

No cake for this babe. As requested, we stuck candles in a dutch apple pie.

#1 started playing the bass in her school strings class and takes a lesson at ASU each Saturday. It's amazing how much she's learned in just a few months.  I love the rich, low notes that fill our home every afternoon while she practices.  It's beautiful.

#1 is rocking it in her ALP math class. I'm happy that Spouse's math genes played the dominant role in this child.  I feel smarter just being related to this pretty, little math nerd. (And I mean that with the greatest admiration, I wish I were a math nerd.)

Free babysitting!!! She's responsible, trustworthy and a good leader.  Baby E loves and responds to #1 like she's the second mother.  #1 loves that she can opt out of tagging along to #2's football practice because she can stay at home alone now. 

To summarize: I'm scared about the upcoming years because I don't know if I'm going to be a good enough mother.  But I love seeing #1's personality and identity emerging and I'm honored (and very, very humbled) to be her guide.

No party this year. We celebrated with bowling and lunch with her BFF.  Sadly, #1 got her bowling skills from her mom.  Our scores added together didn't hit 100.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The October that got away

It is no coincidence that just as the outside temperature became livable our family life kicked into high gear. There's something about not sweating 24 hours a day that invigorates you, that makes you want to say, Yes I can!, instead of, No, it's too darn hot.  That makes for a busy month and lots of fun times.

We journeyed to Utah for the kid's Fall break. A week of cousins, Grandmas, no homework and sweatshirts was just what the doctor ordered.

Grandma J hosted a Halloween party where dress ups are a must. Painting pumpkins, tasty treats and looking for the lost bag of prizes made for a happy afternoon.

Nana organized a Fall Scavenger hunt that had my children and their cousins running (actually, they were taxied by willing mothers) around town taking pictures of silly things like, singing a Primary song for someone at the Tabernacle, running a lap at the high school track, and posing on the blue bulls on Main Street.  The final task before heading home for hot chocolate and donuts, was to find four pumpkins hidden among the fallen leaves in Green Canyon.

As my children grow our annual family Halloween party has morphed from a casual cookie-decorating-and-movie evening into a full fledged event that I actually have to plan and invite people.  The trouble is definitely worth it as the party is something the children look forward to and are happy to help plan and prepare for. 

After a ward trunk-r-treat, classroom parties, and pumpkin carving, by the time Halloween night rolled around I was sick of Halloween. But my kids were raring to go.  I accompanied a Viking warrior, a medieval knight and a "pop star dementor" around the neighborhood as they begged for candy. 

I'm in Halloween recovery.  To cope I've eaten approximately 23 Reese Peanut Butter cups in the last 7 days.  I have a problem.