Giddy Up, Let’s Ride!

Anyone else read that story about a thousand times? ( It’s one of Kennedy’s favorites. We’ve read it so many times that she’s committed it to memory.) The book came to life last weekend when we celebrated Kennedy’s BFF’s 3rd birthday by riding horses. This was no pony ride at the fair either.

This is Ed. I’m pretty sure he was taller than me.

She, being the toddler, was a champ though. A total natural. She loved every second of it. She was totally calm and nonchalant, as if riding a 500 pound animal was a regular occurrence. I can’t wait to take lessons together when she gets older. I had a cousin and aunt who used to do that, and I was always insanely jealous. I’m totally stealing the idea with my offspring.:)

And this is Rosie. She was a gentle giant as well.

Although I would have preferred my munchkin stick a little closer to the ground, it was a great experience. I felt like time slowed down and we were able to enjoy being a family. And, of course, it was a blast when we got to hop on the horses ourselves too! It was pretty much the perfect way to spend a beautiful Sunday morning.

Outdoorsy

We’ve been in Chicago and it’s suburbs for almost two weeks and the cold has had me longing for the balmy 70 degrees at home. But today something amazing happened. The cold let up. The thermometer rose. The temperature broke records, specifically, record highs! That bad boy rose all the way up to 80! (The average temp this time of year is a cool 46 degrees. Brrr.) Kennedy and I spent most of the day soaking in the vitamin D, sans coats and mittens. It was blissful.

We spent the morning exploring a little park in Schaumburg, getting in touch with nature.

Even though everything was brown, I could feel spring was in the air.

Kennedy didn’t give a hoot about spring. She just wanted to see the ‘duckies’ (aka geese).

Made. Her. Day.

Especially when they swam right up to her.

“One, Two Duckies!”

“More Duckies!”

“Hi Duckies!”

It’s going to be a sad day when she learns how mean those bastards can be.

One of Those Everyday Moments

This morning was a rough one. Breakfast featured a bowl of cheerios, tossed on the floor. She’s also developed an aversion to clothes, so getting dressed was a twenty minute tug of war session. A trip to the grocery store ended abruptly with the onset of a temper tantrum.

We pulled in the driveway of the house. I unbuckle her and set her free.

A moment later, I see this.

It was either get upset or just go with it. There was no way to win this one. Her shoes were already soaked.  We had nothing better to do. I sighed, grabbed the camera and started snapping.

She splished.

She splashed.

She explored.

She found treasures.

And splashed some more.

She searched for other puddles.

The mud got on her face.

And in her hair.

It was just a wonderful everyday moment that almost didn’t happen. Sometimes I get so caught up with what our plans are and what we should be doing.

Sometimes I forget that she’s a little person who just wants to express herself. So I write this post as a reminder to myself; To let always let her play in the mud; to not fuss over spilled Cheerios; to let her run around naked, occasionally. To let her be her amazing 18- month- old self.

Lil Miss and Her Green Thumb

New Year’s Resolution Number 16: Plant a garden with Kennedy.

New Year’s Resolution Number 9: Make our home more beautiful.

Check and fraction of a check!

I used to buy indoor plants a lot. The deep green ones that are hardy and impossible to kill. I stopped because I killed them, all of the every time. After Kennedy was born, I received a few congratulatory plants in the mail. They died too. Consequently, I never gave much thought to planting a garden. My brown thumb should never get near anything green. But, as I’ve watched Kennedy grow and develop into a little person with her own interests and her own tastes in the last few months, the idea has bubbled to the forefront of my mind several times. They say it’s impossible to know at 18 months old, but I can see her dad’s passion for math and science run through her veins as well. She is particularly enamored with the concept of action and reaction, and I see her perform little science experiments all day long. (This week we love to turn the light on and off on and off, on and off.)


I don’t expect to grasp the concept of a growing plant right now, but it seemed right up her alley. So I did a couple internet searches on things like “toddler gardens” and “when to plant.” Turns out January is the perfect time to start a garden in Louisiana (I’ll never get over warm weather in January!)  So off to Lowes we went. I bought some seed starting mix and some seeds.I got vegetable and herb seeds. I meant to buy flower seeds too, but all the veggies just looked so good. Just look at those purple carrots, I can already hear the crispy crunch as I take a bite. And fresh lavender? Well, that was just too lovely of an idea to pass up.  We’ll get flowers later.

The rest of the tools were already in my garage. With the exception of the gloves, I am not 100 percent sure how they got there, Probably a former roommate.

The first step of a garden is to plant the seeds in those card board potters (Probably not the right name, but accurately descriptive, so we’ll stick with it). 1 seed in each potter. Keep the soil moist and indoors for 6-8 weeks before transplanting into the ground. That’s basically what I got from my Google search.

But let me back it up and slow it down.

First we filled the little potters with soil. Lil’ Miss took to this right away. She filled all 48 spaces like a pro.

Sorry for the messy patio. And the weird cropping. It’s been a while since I used my point and shoot camera.

Then we added the seeds. Turns outs I bought way too many. I would be surprised if we used a quarter of the seeds that I purchased. Something to possibly keep in mind, (I didn’t think about it beforehand) for gardening with young toddlers is the size of the seeds. The green beans and the cantaloupe had seeds big enough for Kennedy to plant herself. The tomato plant seeds were teeny tiny, the broccoli and cauliflower seeds were pretty small too. That isn’t to say she got frustrated though- she understood where the seeds were supposed to go and happily took charge of the task.

Some of the seeds got roommates though- I hope that won’t be an issue in a few weeks.

She even found some dried beans on the ground (probably from an activity we did together a few weeks ago) and planted those. That amazed me! I didn’t really expect her to make the connection. What a smart cookie!

I tried to get a photo of the two of us in the window reflection. After all- moments like these I’ll have to treasure when she is 16 and wants nothing to do with me.

Then we watered our seeds. I don’t have a watering can (maybe this is why all my indoor plants died?), so I used a cup.

Now just to sit back and let those babies grow. Hopefully Kennedy’s thumb will out green my brown thumb.

In the meantime, does anyone have any tips? Comments? Gardening resources? Did I already so something to kill the broccoli? I could use all the help I can get!

Capturing Joy

Things have been quiet around here. The new year has sent me on a cleaning spur… I am determined to make this house a clean and beautiful one if it kills me.

But on to the subject of this post. My joy. My world. My heart. Insert similar word here.

We went to the soccer fields this morning. They were perfect cause Kennedy was able to run free without me fearing too much for her life. And run free she did.

Look at that face… It’s pure unadulterated joy.

Just what I needed to pull me out from under the depths of dust and back to life.

Just perfect.

The purpose of the visit was to photograph the outfit, and thank the giver (it was a Christmas gift)  with a photo. I don’t know which one to send. Maybe I should send an album.

What a great little model. I just let her do her thing.

I love those faces. She just cracks me up.

Have I ever mentioned that the power of Sesame Street  has taken over our house? This post isn’t complete without mention of Zoey, who accompanied Kennedy in this morning’s photo session.

Peek-a-boo, I see you!

Thanks for letting me share. I hope this post brought a smile to your face.