Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Most Politically Incorrect Game

In my prayers each day I hope that my baby boy will be strong, healthy, smart, and well rounded.  We read at least a half-dozen books each night, he plays basketball with daddy, cooks with mama, and makes polite babbley conversation with friends over dinner.  He plays with stuffed bears, dogs, and even a Cabbage Patch doll.  He has a construction set, a kitchen set, pretend cell phones and occasionally naked art time (more on that another day.)  I hope he grows to believe he can be nearly anything he wants to be.

I say nearly because this idea of well-rounded play has been challenged lately.  First by daddy, and then I confess, by mama. 
This is a Nerf Gun.  A six-barreled Nerf gun.  It makes a terrible loud sound when the suction cups stick to the filing cabinet in our basement.  They are fast, they are foam, and they are a heck of a lot of fun!  This is not a toddler's typical game.  Unless they live in our house. 

I was horrified at first. Immediately going to thoughts of a child psychologist or future Kindergarten teacher, I was terrified of what we someday might have to explain.  That we, his loving, doting, do-everything-we-can-right parents condoned this sort of activity.  And then I tried it.  There is just something about shooting a Nerf Gun at the end of a working mama's day that lets go of a lot of stress.  And my sweet baby laughs hysterically, runs after the darts, and gives me a smile that says, "lets do it again!" 

I can feel the judgement radiating across the web from mothers who make their own organic baby food, read books in French, and use cloth diapers.  I know, I would judge me too.  It's a terribly politically incorrect game that pretty much sums up my parenting style.  Hyper-conservative, ultra careful best intentions, but bottom line, if it works, we roll with it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

16 Hours to Superhero Status!

"It's no big deal, really.  The set comes in three boxes, and most people can put them in the back of their van.  It might take you a good afternoon to get it set up."  Says the woman at Sam's Club that was obviously not a part of the backroom construction of their floor model, that no doubt caused cursing and likely tapping into the stash of wholesale liquor.

It was over the course of the next five days and 16 hours that I witnessed my husband's true dedication to daddy-hood as he, two of his high school students and a friend (who is also fortunately a shop teacher,) labored over Jett's new swing set.  Working in the hot sun, I wasn't sure if Poweraides, pizza and chocolate chip cookies would be enough to get them through, but they prevailed.

Daddy, I'm not sure this is right...
One of my favorite moments was when I thanked one of the students for his help and said, "Thank you so much, Jett is really going to enjoy this for a long time!"  He replied excitedly, "No problem!  I had a play set like this growing up and I played on it until, like third grade.  And mine wasn't nearly as cool as this!"

This smile made it all worth it!  Through all the hard work, Kevin didn't complain once.  Watching him tackle the project with patience and pride, will be one of the moments that I look back on in our life and say of my husband, "I love him more every day!"

Teal Colored Dreams, A Reality

IT'S HERE!  I can barely contain myself!!!  It's my long awaited, very own, Kitchenaid mixer.  In TEAL!  A really beautiful, light robins egg blueish teal, that matches my kitchen perfectly! (It's a good thing too because I agonized over the color in Nebraska Furniture Mart so long that I almost left with a mixer, but less one husband.)

Now I'm getting the all important question, what will you make first?  Do I go for Grandma's famous chocolate cream filled cupcakes?  An artisan bread?  Chocolate chip cookies?  A new recipe?  If you have ideas, please weigh in!

I made cupcakes for Kevin's birthday, but this beauty didn't arrive in time.  They were just from a box, nothing impressive, but my sister asked me what I did because they were so good.  Roll credit...

It's amazing what even baking will do.  It was truly a life changing trip to Nebraska Furniture Mart.