Friday, June 25, 2010

Divine Sleep



There is a reason why the human body needs sleep.



We all need a chance to turn off our brains, and our bodies, at the end of a day.



And we parents, need our kids to need sleep. I know I do.



Is it bad that I get that excited, butterfly feeling when I tuck the last of my kids in bed?



Tonight Tom and Tyler are gone until late, so I put the three girls to bed earlier than usual (we had a long day at the pool).



And I had a beautiful, peaceful, productive couple hours alone.



I really do love my kids when they are awake...



But they are sure angelic when they are snoozing.



Now, speaking of sleep...I need more of it. Good night.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Great Outdoors

It is so refreshing to be outside!

I guess the muggy humidity, the sunscreen application, and the redirecting Ansley from running into the street is not that refreshing...but other than that, it's great. My kids can't get enough of it.















Here is Tessa showing one of her new skills. She found out that back walkovers are easier outside, with the help of the slight decline on the front lawn.

Tessa yard tumbling from Marliese Ransom on Vimeo.

Tyler is in the background displaying some of his talents, whistling and apple-eating, but not at the same time:). That kid can eat whole apples, down to the seeds, like nothing--and 4 or 5 per day sometimes! I don't have the stamina for that. (he reminds me a little of Uncle Ed with these traits, don't you think, sibs?)

New outdoor topic--For some reason we have met many mother birds since moving to the Hawkeye state.

This one has taken up residence under our deck, and is working on (at least) her second round of eggs this season. Amazingly we haven't scared her away yet with our stalking and peeping.



We even got to watch her last group of babies as they left the nest and learned to fly. Very sweet.



I love this image...the hungry little babes with their mouths gaping upward. (at our temporary housing when we moved here last August)



Ah, summer, we are loving you.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Books and Bottles

...Ansley is currently obsessed with both.



They are acceptable obsessions, but I'm noticing they can also turn disastrous. When Ansley wants to be read to, she's not very subtle. She will come at the nearest family member and chuck the books in their direction, ready or not. It really doesn't feel good to have a board book thrown at your chin or eye.



As for the bottles, many experts agree that a toddler of 15 months shouldn't still be getting their milk that way...but I'm not worried about that...whatever. The disastrous part is that this toddler just discovered she is able to open the fridge and reach her gallon of the white stuff (saying "bobble, bobble" all the way). THAT could be a problem.



Eventually she'll have to kick one of these habits.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Spy Kids

We've just had our first week summer break--yea! It's been nice, with lots of down-time, outside play, some gardening, and a morning dance camp for Tessa. But starting next week I am going to (try to) implement more of a schedule to keep us semi-productive and not bored.

But truly, I think kids need unstructured time...a chance to almost get bored, so they are driven to dream up creative play activities. That happened this winter when we were home for several snow days. One morning I found my older three in these get-ups, and they reluctantly revealed that they were...spies--shhhh.





They were slinking around the house...very stealth.



I heard Tyler advising the girls, "Keep a stern look, and only talk when necessary."





I am hoping for lots more play like this during the summer, minus the heavy wool coats.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Serenade

We have a new piece of furniture at our house, one that's getting a lot of attention. I have long been dreaming of the day when a piano would be a part of our home, and the decision of exactly what to get was a difficult one. But now that it's here, we are all loving it. Hearing my children create their own music is...well...music to my ears. It's the best.


All of the kids are having fun trying to make melodies with the keys, and Tyler will soon start formal lessons. He is not completely convinced that he will enjoy that, but I think he will find satisfaction in it. He has a good ear for music, and has always impressed us with his singing voice. He has performed a few solos in sacrament meeting at church with no problem, and before we moved to Iowa he was part of the NYU Children's Chorus. It was a fun, non-audition choir of children ages 6 to 12 that gave him a chance to learn choral basics and practice performing on stage.

You can see him on the second row, right end

We thought it was great for him, and sometimes we could even get him to admit that he enjoyed it. It helped that he went to the weekly practices with two of his friends from church. My friend Elizabeth was wonderful to drive the little singers to Manhattan on Tuesday afternoons, while I stayed home and watched the younger siblings.


They gave a Holiday concert in December...


and another one in the Spring.

He actually requested a picture with his kind, yet eccentric choir director.


That was a great experience. But my favorite "Tyler performance" was one that he gave right in our home several months ago, a private serenade to his baby sister.

One night when Ansley was a few months old, I asked big brother to watch her while I put Eden to bed. I came back to find this: Tyler had brought our keyboard from its stand, down to the floor, so Ansley could better hear the pre-recorded accompaniment while he sang along from the hymnbook. The keyboard's repertoire doesn't include very many hymns, so he was mostly singing Christmas carols I think. It was the sweetest thing. Hard not to love moments like these.


I am excited for many more musical memories in our home.