Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Big Truck Day 2008

Big Truck Day is possibly the second coolest event of the summer (next to the Oregon Country Fair, of course) for Max. It's a free event that takes place at a community center in Beaverton. They have every truck you can imagine, and the kids can climb into them, "drive", and honk the horns. There is everything from semi-trucks to street sweepers and school busses. Unfortunately it was 100 degrees this year, but we went early and max had a great time nonetheless.

Our first stop was the snow plow.
Max was unsure of the horn (they were loud!) but once he did pull the chain he got a great big grin on his face.
On the back of the snowplow was a sand distributor. Ron explained to Max how it works, and Max was just enthralled. The bulldozer was big! Ron and Max are making their Incredible Hulk fists.
The back of the ambulance

This tractor was one of Max's favorites. He loved the big tires.

Didn't I say they had EVERY truck?
We're looking forward to next year, and hopefully it won't be as hot!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Summer Fun

I have a bunch of great photos I've been meaning to post, so here's a catch up of some of our summer.

Good times at the Oregon Country Fair. It's unlike any fair you've been to, it's truly a magical place! This was our 3rd year, but the first one where Max could enjoy the shows. He also had a great time camping and sharing his wagon with his buddies.

Fourth of July neighborhood parade.
Fun at the Wilsonville water park.
A visit from the cousins.

We had a great visit with Amy and Hal and their son Indigo. They have a nice backyard where the boys could run around and play.
Bath time kisses
We have found some great garage sale finds, including a new tricycle and his now coveted rollerskates. He even uses them at the same time.

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Value of a Good Tantrum

This was written by Juli Idleman, it came across on an Unconditional Parenting group that I am a part of. I like it so much, thought I would share!

The Value of a Good Tantrum

Last weekend, somewhere between the collards and the spinach, the peaceful plodding of putting in our Fall garden went wrong and I got really grumpy with my husband, Tom. One minute we were chatting over seedlings and the next I was feeling wronged and misunderstood. After some less than helpful squabbling, Tom, brilliant man that he is, took a deep breath, looked right at me, and said, "OK, tell me all of it."

"I hate it when you judge me!" I ranted and raved. I went on recounted inconveniences that were building steam in the back of my mind as resentments. Before I knew it, I was talking about the hard look in my mother's eyes when she deemed one of my childhood accomplishments beneath her notice. He was sitting right beside me handing me a Kleenex. And I was already starting to feel better.

When I stepped into the garden half an hour before, I had had no idea all of that was brewing inside of me. If my husband hadn't stopped to pay attention and listen, I might not know it now. That gift of caring attention helped me release the feelings that were interfering with my ability to relate to Tom and feel connected and understood. I also learned some important things about myself while building a stronger sense of closeness in my marriage.

And this is exactly what children need when they have their tantrums. Whether you are four or forty, being human means having to deal with a lot of feelings, feelings that don't come with a time stamp. They can sneak up on you, just like Tom triggering memories of how small and insignificant I felt as a child under my mother's judgmental gaze. And we all, big and small, deserve the opportunity to share how we feel in a caring, thoughtful and non-judgmental space.

It saddens me when I hear parents proudly say they don't put up with tantrums and send their kids off to the solitary confinement of their rooms until they can behave "properly." I know they love their children, but what a lost opportunity to nurture and support them! That would be like my husband telling me, "I have no intention of loving all of you. I only want to see the parts that work for me."

We are social animals. We all need connection with others. And sometimes, when we are overwhelmed with feelings, relating "properly" gets hard to do. But opening your heart and your arms to the feelings that are overwhelming your child clears her mind, allows her to think and learn unhindered by emotional baggage and builds an essential level of trust and closeness in the relationship between you.

So, the next time your two year-old starts to fall apart in the grocery store, just imagine I am there with you, with one arm around your shoulders saying, "Wow! You're a lucky parent. What a great chance for you guys to get closer." Maybe that will help you take a deep breath, bend down, and say, "Tell me all of it."

--Juli Idleman

Monday, August 04, 2008

Muffin Tin Monday- Party!

This week there was a party theme for Muffin Tin Monday over at Sycamore Stirrings. I went with a build-a-car theme.
Bread cut into the shape of cars and trucks, peanut butter mixed with honey and flaxseed, and various foodstuff to decorate with. From top right to bottom- sesame sticks, sunflower seeds, dried green peas, strawberries (sliced in circles to use as wheels), smiley face cereal, circle crackers, more strawberries, and pretzel sticks.

I have to go to work, so I won't get to see him enjoy it. I will make sure my mom takes pictures and will upload them later!