22 April 2016

Quiet Moments

I've been a mother long enough to know that when your child is missing and being quiet, it means that messy mischief is most certainly going on. (Last week, it was large bottles of baby powder emptied  on the floor and two guilty children.)

But sometimes, as I go running looking frantically for the child that is suspiciously quiet, I find them with a book. And then my mommy heart is happy. And then I obviously go find my camera to capture the moment in as many possible angles as I can.

When I was pregnant with J, I was an Early Childhood Education major with big dreams of how to best raise a child. Our impending parenthood paired with my coursework in child development and pedagogical strategies assured me that we would know what would be best for our child and we would implement it every time. 

(Insert mild eye-rolling and laughter here.) Needless to say, our visions of parenthood quickly changed when we became parents.

One of our main priorities as new parents (that actually lasted) was to make intentional decisions in the lives of our children. We wanted to have valid reasons for at least most of the things we included in our children's lives. So when we moved a few months after J was born, we sold our television and haven't owned one since. 

All this is to say, we filled our home with books instead which has made these quiet moments of reading and enjoying books a daily occurrence at our house. I have LOVED exploring the world of children's literature with my kids and I love that we quote books instead of movies at our house. I feel a great bond as a family because we have many friends in common, like Trixie, Mercy Watson, Benny Alden, and Wolfie

I should say that I do not feel that television is evil or parents who watch television with their children are careless. I feel like all parents have those one or two things that they are passionate about (organic snacks, stylish clothes, cloth diapers, and on and on....), and my thing just happens to be reading and limiting screen time. 

There are times, like every day at 5 pm when I am trying to make dinner, that I wish I had a television and Daniel Tiger to get me through! But I know myself and feel I would use the television too often to entertain my children and so I have to just abstain all together. Thanks to Gretchen Rubin, I understand this tendency about myself. 

And if my kids grow up thinking that only hotels have the luxury of a television, that is just fine by me.

25 February 2016

Mr. Four

As of last week, we have a four-year-old living at the Pieper residence.

But this is not just any four-year-old, as he informed me during his annual birthday interview (see age 3), he is a biker now. And I should have believed him, all the signs were plainly pointing to the fact.

After waking up and seeing his new balance bike tied with a red ribbon, he was on it and scooting to the table for breakfast. Then he was on it to scoot to his room to get dressed. he scooted back to the living room. And I even witnessed some scooting into the bathroom.

The first day it was so adorable to see this boy so very much in love with his bike that had so quickly become part of his identity. That first night, it was parked tenderly at the side of his bed. When he woke up the day after his birthday and scooted to the table for breakfast again, I wondered how long I would let this go on.

It was comical to me that we had been listening to Charlotte's Web on audio book because suddenly I felt that J was Fern and the bike was his new little Wilbur that would soon become too rowdy and too much of a hassle to keep in the house. When I mentioned that the bike should stay the night in the garage, I was quick to add that it would be a warm, safe place for the bike to sleep.

As of now, he is content with the bike staying outside all the time and loves to ride it whenever he can. I am a proud and content mama and I cannot help but think that this bike has given me a few more years before I need to get him a dog (or a pig).

Birthday Interview

How old are you? four-years-old
What is your favorite thing to do? ride my balance bike (keep in mind these was a matter of hours after receiving it)
What do you want to be when you grow up? a bike rider and ride to work like Daddy
What is your favorite food? birthday cake and birthday pie
Who do you like to spend time with? Mommy and Daddy
What do you do really well? take care of breakable Christmas ornaments, and ride my bike
What makes you laugh? Ellie saying, "Me-mouse!"
What is the best time of day? sleeping so I can grow
What are you afraid of? lightning and thunder
What do you like to do with your family? go somewhere
Where do you like to go? to see Super Grandma and Grandpa
If you had one wish, what would it be? a balance bike with pedals
If you could have any animal for a pet, what would you choose? a turtle named Wilpert

18 February 2016

A Little Love Day Party

Do you know what I bet everyone LOVES to see?

Pictures of other people's kids. This is probably a slight exaggeration(with some sarcasm), but I'm sharing anyway because these are the little people I love. And you should love them too.

don't know how it happened, but I found myself planning a Valentine's party for J and Ellie and their little friends. Because J's birthday is just a few days after the day of love, I figured it would be a fun way to celebrate and fill my house with little people all at the same time.

We started with a picnic, heart sun-catchers, and a few rousing games of Don't Eat Pete! (Have you ever tried explaining the rules of Don't Eat Pete to an adult? It is impossible to even imagine how it would be fun. But those little kids were DYING of laughter. It was one of the silliest things I have ever seen!)

All children were asked to bring a mailbox/bag and valentines to share. It was so adorable to see little hands rushing around handing out candy and cards while little eyes grew wide with the promise of sugar.

Then we headed outside for a wonderful homemade heart-shaped pinata which the children enjoyed whacking on their turn and walking too close to when it was not their turn.

J had his little heart set on sharing cupcakes with his friends, and I'm so glad it made his day when they sang "You've Had a Birthday" and he blew out his candle.

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