Friday, April 29, 2011

Easter Egg-citement

I know, I know. Sorry.  I could just couldn't keep myself from typing "egg-citement".

The day AFTER Easter was kind of a continued celebration. That's what happens when you work at a church... the big holidays are crazy workdays, and you have to reschedule the family stuff.

So did our first real egg hunt at our house.  It wasn't anything super crazy, but it was a lot of fun.  Some colorful plastic eggs (of course full of little candies) all over the backyard.  But here's the deal with desert landscaping:  You have to get REALLY creative.

The kids had a ball.  After they found all the eggs and ate the contents (of course) they insisted that WE go hide and they hid all the eggs for us.  In fact, for a few days afterwards, they insisted on letting anyone who came over have an egg hunt, too.

 This moment (above) was one of my favorites.  He REALLY wanted that egg.  He could see the candy poking it's little head out.  But it was a deep hole (we just lost a tree) and he was afraid of stepping IN the hole.  The maneuvering that took place was hilarious.  The dedication to the prize was impressive.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Radiant Easter

Another Radiant Easter!  A huge community outreach combined with tons of services and beautiful moments made for a really fun weekend.  The kiddos were troopers and got to celebrate the following Monday with an egg hunt, but they also enjoyed the weekend at church.

The entire week leading up to Easter, the carnival was setting up outside slowly, piece by piece.  And Daniel just drooled every time we pulled up.  "What's that ride Mommy?!"  "What's that new machine?!"  "Look at that giant circle!!"  (Ferris wheel).  

One day was particularly memorable... Daniel asked why Easter was coming.  And I told him that we have a big party at Easter to celebrate Jesus.  And he said, "Why?  Is it his birthday?"  And I told him no, that it's the day Jesus came back to life and now he's alive!  The reaction was priceless.  Daniel's face registered nothing but pure excitement and surprise and he began screaming (a la Will Ferrel's Santa scene in "Elf"):  "JESUS!!! Jesus is coming!!!  Jesus is alive!!!  Violet, Jesus is coming!!!"

Fernando and I were working all weekend, and it appeared that there was no time to enjoy the carnival as a family.  So we kind of broke the rules.    

We snuck Daniel and Violet out on Saturday night for a snow cone (oh the joy!  oh the sticky mess!) and on Sunday, we snuck Daniel out of his class alone for a special treat he had been begging for all week:  A ride down the giant super slide (which I managed to not get a photo of!)  

It was at the very end of the carnival on Sunday, and Fernando managed to close a line while also standing in line.  Smooth.  

Daniel's little face was in awe of the towering slide - three side by side bumpy tracks, designed to race the people sitting next to you.  (And please notice his "Daniel Spiderman" name tag - this was in the middle of his "I will only respond to Spiderman" phase...)  The excitement was just adorable to watch, and the slide itself was a lot of fun.  He sat on the middle track (obviously) so he couldn't fly off one of the outside tracks.  We held hands and went down together.  

We continued celebrating the next day together as a family (read: Egg Hunt!") but thoroughly enjoyed Easter weekend itself at Radiant.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Kind of a Ham

 Just a few silly photos from a very silly boy 
(who occasionally really enjoys being in front of a camera)!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Sweet Side

Maybe all little boys are like this, but I only get to hang out with one on a daily basis. So I wouldn't know.

But it seems to me that Daniel has a very sweet side, especially when it comes to his sister.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Never Gonna Leave

Toy Story 3 recently came out on Netflix, and we have been so happy to have a "new" movie to watch (it's crazy how fast kid movies - even Pixar - gets old). Until today, I have managed not to get weepy during the emotional ending.

"Until today" are the key words in the previous sentence.

I guess I finally let myself really imagine saying goodbye to Daniel as he left for college. I completely broke down. My hands were wrist-deep in cookie dough, and Daniel was on the couch. He turned when he realized I was crying and kept repeating, "Why do you have a sad face, Mommy?"

His sweetness only made me cry harder. "Because I'm going to miss you when you leave someday!" (I'm pretty sure my tears went into the cookie dough at this point).

"Oh Mommy!" he said so earnestly. "I am NEVER going to leave you! Don't cry! I will stay with you forever!"

(More tears. Couldn't get it together. I washed my hands and sat with him on the couch. He curled up so close that it made me cry harder. I didn't realize that was possible at this point.)

He hugged me and kept saying sweet things like, "I want to stay like this forever, Mommy." And it actually calmed me down. I thought my bought of tears had ended.

But then a little flash-forward moment of clarity flattened me. Suddenly his demeanor shifted and it was as if I was talking to an adult Daniel in his little body. His panicked "need to stop Mommy from crying" voice went away and he spoke calmly but seriously:

"Mommy, when I go away I will miss you, and you will miss me. I love you very much. But I will visit you a lot."

And if you thought I was sobbing before, you should have seen me then.

In an instant, his sweet panic returned and he hopped up. "I know what will make you happy, Mommy!" He ran to his room and brought back his new blue camera. "Mommy - taking pictures makes you happy! Here... use my camera. I will show you how."

And between a few funny photos and a warm, fresh batch of cookies, I regained my composure.

It is impossible how much I love that little man.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Plagued by Nostalgia

Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only mom who is this nostalgic. At times I am acutely aware of how amazing the current moment is - it's like my senses are heightened and I recognize the moment as one I'll want to remember - spidey mama senses - yet I STILL cannot enjoy it because I'm already mourning it... when it hasn't ended yet.

Does that even make sense?

I have always been too nostalgic and it's not serving me well in motherhood.

I need to trust that each stage of Daniel's life will continue to be better than the previous, even if that looks differently in the future than it does now.  But so far, just out of pure love, my heart has been broken too many times to count.

He is only FOUR.  My poor heart is in trouble.  

Friday, April 08, 2011

Actual Conversations

Daniel has such a tender heart. At times he can be crazy, loud and even disrespectful. But at other times he is quiet, introspective and incredibly thoughtful. The fact that he is articulate only helps his case.

This is a real conversation (no lie) from the drive home last night, after he and Violet had been at a friend's house:

Me: "Daniel, Ms. Mikki told me that you made great choices tonight and were very respectful. That makes me so happy, baby. Great job."
Daniel: "Thank you. Thank you for saying that, Mommy. That makes my heart happy."
Me: "I'm so glad, honey."
Daniel: "Mommy, what makes YOUR heart happy?"
Me: "It makes my heart happy to be together with you and have fun."
Daniel: "Yes, but tonight we were not together. We were apart. That makes my heart sad."
Me: "I know baby, I'm sorry we were not together."
Daniel: "I told Mr. Michael and Ms. Mikki that I wanted you, that I wanted to be together."
Me: "But now we get to be together!"
Daniel: "Yes Mommy. And that makes my heart very happy."

Are you kidding me? I believe the phrase "old soul" is beginning to apply to my charming little man.

Monday, April 04, 2011

I Caved

He made it to four years old without me ever using one of those annoying shopping carts with the giant car attached to the front.

Today, I caved.

It was just me and him making a quick run to the store and, well, I don't know. He just lit up when he saw it and asked me so nicely... the next thing I knew I was pushing a stinkin' semi down the aisles. They should require a special driver's permit for those things. Ridiculous.

But little man had a blast. We unloaded our groceries into the car, he climbed up into his seat and said, "Mommy, that was SO much fun. Bye car! See you later!"

I suppose it was worth it. :)

Friday, April 01, 2011

Waking Up To Daniel

There are few things in life I love as much as waking up to Daniel. I love falling asleep with him too, but nothing beats slowly waking up next to him. A little stretching, a little cuddling, a little morning breath, a little "Mommy, I love you so much"... it's simply the best way to start the day.

He wanders into our room (and bed) nearly every night around 4 or 5 am and curls up between us usually with one arm around each of our heads. He is sweet during the day, but at his most tender when half asleep.

I remember my mom saying that as a kid, I looked angelic when asleep. If there's a gene for that, I'm pretty sure Daniel got it.