Friday, March 22, 2013

What would Kay do?

       I read a life-changing book a few weeks ago. Well, at least life-changing for this household. It was called, "Cleaning House: a mother's 12 month experiment to rid her home of youth entitlement," by Kay Wills Wyma. The objective of this woman was basically to teach her kids important skills they need to know as adults, and stop coddling them and doing the work for them.

     I find myself thinking about this book in lots of little moments, but today was a pretty big moment for me. I've never been too great at staying on top of laundry, but being pregnant and tired has not helped the laundry situation. I was behind by about two weeks, in other words, after two days of work, I had a mountainous pile of clean clothes, ready to be folded, on our living room couch.

    As soon as Laycee, the anti-folder, was asleep I started to work on my incredibly daunting task. And then Jaye sat down with me and asked if she could help. Bring on the stress. At first I answered, "No Jaye. You helped me wash the clothes (she likes to throw the clothes in the water), but Mommy needs to do this alone."

   She stayed sitting right next to me, so I kind of just ignored her while I continued on my way. A few moments later, I look over and she was trying in earnest to fold a shirt. At that moment, I thought of my book. Why did I need to fold clothes alone? Why shouldn't my kids learn to fold clothes now? The only reason I thought of was, "it's just so much more convenient and fast to do it myself." But Kay Wills Wyma spent 12 months trying to overcome that attitude, so I needed to give it a chance.

    I showed Jaye how to fold the shirt, hovering over her like a vulture. But to my surprise, the second shirt she tried turned out nearly perfect! She could do something I never thought she could, because I wasn't willing to test her abilities. And so, I gave her a pile of shirts and pants to fold (after showing her how to fold them.)

   And then, to my complete and utter shock, my five-year-old son saw us and whined, "I wanna fold clothes!" I didn't know clothes-folding looked so exciting. Now, Grayson has been taught how to fold but I've never, in my life, heard him request the task. I threw him a shirt and he said, "I want to fold all my clothes."

    And so, the three of us sat and folded. And I taught them how to seperate their clothes into which drawer they would go in. And they totally got it! It blew me away. I didn't even have to watch them because they were folding so well! I almost ruined a perfectly enjoyable learning experience with my sweet kids, all because of "efficiency".

    What a terrible excuse "time efficiency" is. I'm glad I made time for family instead.

     Even if it involved laundry.

Monday, March 18, 2013

GREEN For the Day

Sometimes, I can't wait for my kids (Grayson) to start school. But today was one of those days, where the magic of childhood just makes me wish I could keep them young and at home forever. I'm grateful for my Mom who always made a big deal out of holidays, even Saint Patrick's Day, for a family who is in no way genetically connected to Ireland at all.

I let the kids stay up Saturday night, past bedtime, to build our annual Leprechaun trap. I'm so bummed I forgot to take pictures, but pretty much it looked just like last year's lego contraption. It was the first magical moment, seeing my two kids sit and work together for a common goal, while laughing! A RARE occasion at our house.

The following day, I woke up to Grayson's excitement. The Leprechaun came! Unfortunately, we didn't catch it this year, but he left a trail of "gold" all over the house. The kids had a blast finding it all.

 Laycee found one piece, sat down and popped it in her mouth before we caught her (just like Mommy). I love her little chocolate face.
 I need to remember for next year... Grayson was pretty disappointed that the Leprechaun didn't leave a note this year. Last year the Leprechaun wrote them a tiny little note and left it in the trap. I hope he remembers to do that next year!
After the gold hunt, I blasted Celtic music as we colored St. Patrick's Day cards for the kids to give to their teachers at church, then made green jello poke cupcakes for dessert. Then Daddy and I got our aprons on and started on a very green breakfast- green pancakes with green whipped cream, green eggs, and green milk.

Grayson was sad we didn't dye the bacon green. That sounds soooo gross.

Yes, I even took a picture of the green milk.

After church, we ate the cupcakes (BEFORE dinner, oops!) and then took some around to our neighbors. I had a great family home evening planned about the history of St. Patrick. He taught the Irish about the Godhead, using a Shamrock to explain Heavenly Father, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. I even made a cute worksheet for everyone to color.

 But I kind of fell asleep on the couch.

And Barry put the kids to bed alone.

 I guess we'll have a post-holiday family home evening tonight. But it was a Fantastic, non-Irish Family Day!

Friday, March 15, 2013

What's in a name?

    Grayson has actively been trying to name our baby. It's hilarious. The name that he and Jaye originally picked for Baby 4 was "Gamey". "You know, like a game?" Luckily that name has been forgotten. We moved on to some real winners like Key, Co, Coda (named after his dead fish), etc.

    Lately, however, the names have gotten more and more... human. He told me in the car the other day that if it's a brother, we should name him Oscar, and if it's a sister we should name her Evie. Not too bad. And tonight, after reading a bedtime story, Grayson declared, "That's what we should name him! David. That's a good name!"


"Or we could call him, Snappy!"

Snappy Ricks. Has a good ring to it.

Side story: Seriously. This is the THIRD time this month, as in the last FIFTEEN days, that Laycee has taken the plunge into our toilet. (Ha... Ahhh, pun-y.) She has almost downed two rolls of toilet paper into the bowl, which is no bueno for us poor college students. It's like our money is just being flushed down the toilet! (haha! Ahhh, pun-y again). It's not that she's just sticking paper in there, but then she likes to take the wads out and dump them on the floor to make room for more toilet paper. SO GROSS!!!

I don't know what's harder, training her to stop playing in the toilet, or training the rest of us to JUST CLOSE THE DOOR after business. Looks like all the Ricks fam needs some serious potty-training. (hahaha!)