Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hatching Eggs!

See these? 

They're eggs!  For years I had planned on incubating eggs with the kids.  This year, I figured that if I was going to talk so much about it, then I may as well just do it.  In about another 2 weeks, some cute little peepers should be hatching from those shells.

We have 18 eggs in all, 6 of those pheasants.  The pheasants take an extra 7 days to hatch, though.  They must be more complex birds.

As you can see, the kids are very excited!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Old Time Toys, or We Were So Poor

When I was little, my dad loved to tell us stories of when he was a boy.  Most of the stories started out with, "We were so poor...".  According to Dad, they were so poor that his entire family of 13 had to share one piece of bacon.  They'd take a good sniff and pass it on to the next sibling.

They were so poor that they had to use old car oil in the place of maple syrup.

They were so poor that they had patches on their patches.

Those stories drove my Grandma crazy!

We Pattersons, though.  We're poor.  We are so poor that our kids have to make toys out of old logs.


Yes, this is a log baby.  Thankfully, we're not so poor that we can't afford some handkerchiefs and scarves for clothing.

And we can still afford a Sharpie to draw a face on the log baby.

Now that's poor.

Thankfully, being toy-poor makes a girl imagination-rich.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Rocks and Mud and Streams and Thaw

We were blessed with a drastic weather change a couple weeks ago.  Spring thaw presented itself with 20 deg celsius heat and sunshine.  Of course, this meant that the pile of snow in the yards and fields quickly melted and sent streams coursing behind our house. 

I remember floating bark and twig "boats" down ditch-streams when I was a little girl.  I guess the lure of those temporary brooks hasn't been lost through the generations.

On this particular day, the older girls were away doing the older girl social thing.  The littles were left to entertain themselves, and me.  What better choice than playing in the snow melt?

At first, Gen was a bit timid.  To a little girl, I suppose, that seems like a lot of water.  To this particular girl, who abhors baths, it probably seemed like too much water!

Soon, though, she got her sandals muddy and her hands dirty and generally had a good time.  Her favourite part was throwing rocks into the water. 

I wish I had a picture of her actually in the water.  Though she didn't get fully in, she did dip her toes.  She would squat by the edge of the stream, re-e-each for a rock, teeter on the edge and then straighten herself, safe.  I worried a bit.  What if she fell in?  But, logic and reason soon won over Mommy Worry and I let her go.  There's so much to learn from getting dirty, cold, wet and muddy.  Could she have fallen in?  Sure.  With me right there, though, the biggest risk was simply to fall in and get pulled out.  The risk of hovering, in my opinion, is far greater.  At the worse we'd be dealing with a chill and a cold, rather than the timid, self-conscious demeanor of a sheltered child. 

I remember washing Gen's hands at the kitchen sink, once.  I was hurrying.  I turned on the tap full force, stuck her hands under there and started scrubbing.  It was only then that I noticed her expression.  Her mouth was in an "o", her eyes wide.  She was absolutely absorbed in the task of washing.  It was then that I realized that she had never felt the full force of the water from the kitchen tap....and she loved it!  I stopped washing her and let her hold her hands under the water.  I could see it all registering in her mind - the heat of the water, the feel of the individual jets in the tap, the way her skin moved under the force of the water, the difference in feeling on her palm versus the back of her hand.  Such a simple thing, but so important.

I learned a lot that day from watching my baby learn.