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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mother of all Mother's Days

I guess since this is my blog (and really my husband is the only one who reads it with any consistency) I can take this opportunity to brag about my darling children. This year was the sweetest Mother's Day I've had to date. Dave kept the kids quiet on Sunday morning (not an easy feat) and let me sleep in. I woke up to a button frame from Evie, a beautifully decorated flower pot from Emerson, and a lovely stepping stone from Cole. Thank goodness for teachers who make sure that kids remember their moms on Mother's Day. Then Dave took me out to lunch, having arranged for Cole to babysit the younger three. I was a little nervous about this arrangement as Cole has never really done any official babysitting. We've left him and Emerson home by themselves for up to an hour or so. And I've left Soli with him while she's napping and he's doing homework while I've taken Evie and Emerson to Em's guitar lesson (45 minutes of away time). But, never have we left all three in his charge. At 11 1/2 he's perfectly capable, but sometimes the sibling dynamics can be challenging (to say the least). So we put on The Bee Movie and told them they could have cereal for lunch (a "serve yourself" option that was sure to make everyone happy). We told them we'd be back in an hour and a half (hopefully right as the movie was ending). We left the usual instructions not to answer the door or the phone and left with our fingers crossed. We had a lovely lunch (cell phones close at hand) and we were back in the car and headed home within an hour. We could hardly believe what we came home to... Evie was arranging the pillows on the couch, Emerson was cleaning his room, Cole was vacuuming, Soli was down for a nap, and the movie was paused right at the beginning. They were disappointed that we were home so soon, as they hadn't finished cleaning the house. So apparently, right after we left, they paused the movie, had lunch, Cole put Soli down for a nap (even reading her stories) and then they went to work on the house to surprise me for Mother's Day. Quite possibly the best Mother's Day gift a mom can get -- happy kids and a clean house. That's all we really want, after all! I felt very spoiled. Happy Mother's Day to moms everywhere!!

P.S. This day two years ago, May 11, 2006, we first received pictures of our beautiful baby girl. As soon as I saw her darling sleeping face, I knew she was meant to be ours. Then and now...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Boy Scouts, Biodiesel and Birthdays

So here are the goings on at our house of late...

Boy Scouts: Did you know that the Boy Scouts of America does not allow gay boys or adults to be a part of their organization? There have been many a case where teen age boys (for many of which their entire life revolves around scouting) have been kicked out of their troops because of their sexual orientation. This exclusionary policy doesn't jive at all with how we live our lives or the values we try to instill in our kids. Herein lies the dilemma: Do we disallow our kids to be a part of such an organization and take a stand for what we believe, squashing their hopes of becoming Eagle Scouts (Cole, at least, is hoping to have this as a feather in his cap for college admittance)? Or do we turn a blind eye justifying our involvement (and therefore our passive endorsement) because the boys love scouting and it looks good on college applications? Your input is appreciated...

Biodiesel: I'm scheduled to go before our school board next week to propose that we switch our buses from diesel to biodiesel. We have a very small district (just two schools) and only 6 buses that run daily. Currently, biodiesel hovers about 10 cents more per gallon than regular diesel. As everyone knows, no school district (at least in California) can afford to spend more money when they can spend less (no matter how good it may be for the environment). Here is the good news, running our buses on biodiesel would make us eligible for all kinds of grant moneys. There is an organization in our county that would give us a kick back of 21 cents per gallon. That's just one grant available to us from right here in our own county. The state and federal governments have many other grant possibilities available to districts making the switch. I'm a little nervous to go in front of our board (even though most of them I know socially). I guess I'm mostly afraid of being shot down. But, as my Dove chocolate candy wrapper said the other day "Be Fearless" and as Dave reminded me, "Nothing worthwhile is easy". Wish me luck.

Birthdays: Today is Soli's second birthday!!! and she is every bit of two years old! Goodness!! How easy it is to forget how difficult two year olds can be. The other day she had a meltdown at Green's Camera World because I was holding Evie's hand and not hers. Of course 2 minutes before this I had asked her to hold my hand (she was touching everything) and she had flat refused. Anyway, after I told her that no, I wasn't going to let her bully her sister into letting go of my hand (she has been hitting and scratching and screaming at Evie until she gets what she wants) she crumpled onto the floor and proceeded to have a crying fit. The nice part of having four kids is that by the time child number four reaches their terrible twos it's not nearly as daunting as it was the first (or second or third) time. So I just let her have her meltdown right there on the floor of Green's while I finished my shopping and then we left. Luckily, there were no other shoppers there at the time and the guy behind the counter felt my pain as he has a three year old (plus he's getting paid to be there - so I didn't feel too bad about the incessant crying). Anyway, aside from the occasional meltdown she is a true delight and getting more and more beautiful every day. She doesn't have a lot of words yet (I think this surely adds to her frustration and subsequent tantrums) but she is diligent about making herself understood. I have to say I am very excited that she is our last one. Is it PC to say that? I just gave away the last of our diapers (she has mastered the potty), I'm looking for a new home for our crib and changing table and I can't wait to get rid of our stroller (still have a year or so to go on that one). I have love, love, loved having babies and small kids, but I am also very much looking forward to this next phase of having big kids.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about Soli's birth mom today. I wonder if she's been thinking about the baby she brought into the world on this day. I wonder if she's sad or if she's worried about her. I just wonder. I wish I could call her and tell her not to worry -- that the baby girl we both call daughter is happy and healthy and beautiful. I hope she knows this in her heart.

My beautiful birthday princess!

I was so excited to find the Birthday Girl shirt!

Happy Birthday, Sunshine! We love you! --you know her name, Soleil, means sunshine in French?