Thursday, July 31, 2008

Spiritual Musings of a 4-year-old

Reiley has developed a self-directed affinity for Bible Stories. Christenings, Christmases and Easters have brought us an assortment of children's bibles and story books. We were reading the Creation Story during breakfast this morning, and Reiley had some editorial comments. "I know why God made people to live on earth. He was probably getting lonely in Heaven, and thought that if he made people, they would die someday, and then SO many people would be living in Heaven with Him!" Then she listed all of our family members who are "keeping God company" until we die and get to see them too.

We also had some big discussions about David and Goliath. "Did David actually kill Goliath??" Which every Children's bible and story book of course says that "the giant fell over". When Mommy reported that I thought that he was indeed killed, she paused for a long time. I said "What do you think about that?" "I think that seems very mean; why did they want to fight each other?" After some attempts at explaining war over land and geopolitics in the past and present, I was amazed at the clear thinking of a child. She said, "Why didn't they just talk about why they each wanted to live there?" Hmmm, great question.

I grappled with how to explain to her that many parents teach their children to use words rather than force to settle their disagreements. However, many adults and our own government might make a single attempt with words, then use whatever force necessary to take what they want. Ainsley interrupted my train of thought - impatient to read another book. I realized my only answer was, "I don't really know why they didn't make that choice."

Monday, July 14, 2008

Confessions of a Minivan Lover

Before a few weeks ago, I had always been a mocker of minivans. Soccer moms in their sunglasses and coiffed hair, shuttling their children around town - I swore it would never be me. I thought I'd have some sort of "cool car" that didn't proclaim my mom status to the whole world. At 27 and almost the mother of three, I decided I need to stop kidding myself. With three kids four and under, people aren't going to "miss" the fact that I'm a mom. I might as well declare it with my ride.

After Kevin's car almost died, we did a lot of car research. What we soon came to realize is that the hard truth is that if you have more than two kids and would like to take them somewhere without moving a seat a million times to get them in and out AND would like decent trunk space, you get a minivan. After an evening of mourning, we did more research and choosing. The final selection was a 2008 Honda Odyssey (minus the cool stuff like DVD players and Bluetooth, and other assorted features that seemed like a joke to us after driving cars made in 1997 and 1999).

After two weeks of driving it, I unabashedly am proclaiming my love for my minivan. I love the sunglasses holder directly above the rear view mirror. I live for the smooth handling and gentle zoom of the engine. I love the dual air conditioners so that I don't have to hear my children complain about the summer heat. I love the captain chairs that slide back and forth so that my short lady arms can still reach Ainsley when she drops everything out of her chair. I love the huge trunk that I keep my double stroller in and still have room for groceries. I love riding high above other drivers and feel like giving other minivan mom drivers an air high-five for minivans. I find any excuse to drive it somewhere. It is a sad, sad truth - but wonderful at the same time.

Happy Birthday Reiley!

We had a whirlwind birthday weekend for Miss Reiley who turned four! Earlier in the week, I had my mom sobbing moment where I looked through all her old pictures and her baby book and wondered where the years have gone! I blamed it on pregnancy hormones, but I should really just accept the fact that I'm a huge sap, and the crying is unavoidable.

With tears out of the way, we geared up for two parties during the weekend. We had our "family" party on Saturday afternoon, which was a Reiley-chosen firefighting theme. She's been wanting to be a firefighter for about 3 months, and we rented a DVD from the library that told us all the aspects of becoming a firefighter. She memorized the prerequisites, and informed me that "Now that I'm four, that isn't that far away from 18, and that's when I can become a firefighter! I'll have to spend the night in the firehouse for a few nights, but then I'll come home." Here are the girls anxiously awaiting the cake.

We got her a Little Red Riding Hood cape, and it was worn for the rest of the party, and for days after. I've been working on my Wolf voice and Reiley's been pondering the ethics of the fairy tale. "That wasn't very nice for the hunter to kill the wolf; he could have made a different choice, Mom."
Ainsley is sporting the fire chief hat from the costume Reiley received. Reiley's been rescuing women, children and families from apartment building fires, with the help of Ainsley.
Reiley's "friend" party was Sunday morning, and she chose a construction theme. While she's semi-interested in construction vehicles, I think she ultimately made the choice because she saw a picture of an excavator cake in my Family Fun magazine and declared it the choice for her birthday. I completely understand making decisions based on food:-). Here's Reiley with her BFF Savannah blowing out the candles. Reiley and her buddies donned construction hats and dug in the sandbox to find paintbrushes, which they used to paint a cardboard box house. Then they pulled out some treats from the construction cone pinata and had some cake. Hot outside, and messy, but lots of fun!