Mommy's little helpers

This morning after dropping Andrew off at school, I decided to head back to Value Village with all the garage sale stuff to finally be rid of it.  It’s all stuffed into the van to the point that the kids have to climb over it to get to their carseats, and I’m sick of the constant reminder of our failed garage sale when I open the van doors!  The girls were on board with the little ‘road trip’ to VV, so off we went.  Only to get there and discover that while, YES, the donations area WAS open, there was a huge transport truck blocking the entire entrance, and no one was around, nor was there any room for me to place the stuff near the drop off zone.  It was also raining so I couldn’t just leave it off to the side.  MADNESS!  Why is it so freaking hard to get rid of stuff the right way?!!  Seriously, I’m close to just dumping it all into a dumpster.  I wouldn’t actually do that, but really.  I know there are other places I could drop the stuff off but in general thrift shops are so strict about what they’ll take, and I refuse to go from one place to the next in order to get rid of everything.  VV is the only one I know that will just take it all and sort through it themselves.

So eventually we’ll be rid of that stuff.  I think I’ll feel a lot better once that’s over and done with.

When we got home the girls played while I made us some breakfast, and then they helped me make soup in the crock pot for dinner.  It started with Margaret unwrapping the little veggie stock cubes and tossing them in, and then Emily caught sight of her sister helping and scrambled to get a chair over to the counter so she could help, too.  So I got out 2 plastic bowls, and each time I chopped a vegetable I put half in each bowl and they got to dump them into the crock pot.  It’s so cute how eager they are to help, and I love that they’re getting to an age where they actually CAN be helpful!  For example, at my mom’s birthday party on the weekend I gave Margaret the forks and napkins and asked her to hand one out to everyone, and then Emily grabbed some away from her and made sure she was helping with it, too.  For now they’re at an age where they’re eager to help, so we’ve got to enjoy that while it lasts!!

After getting the soup going (I love the crock pot, soooo easy!) the girls were both still wanting ‘something to stir’ so I got them each a little bowl of cornstarch and water and gave them each a spoon and an extra little container, and each a little plastic lion toy (random!), and they played with that mess for about an hour!  It’s definitely messy and no matter how many times I ask them not to get any on the chair or the floor it always inevitably happens...But if they’re content to play with that for a good chunk of time while I clean the kitchen and chat with them, I’m happy.  I’d much rather that than just plug them into the TV, which I’m making a good effort not to allow.  They still watch it sometimes, but I’m just very conscious of how much time is spent in front of the TV lately, and I find they’re pretty receptive about playing with toys or doing a craft or activity of some sort instead.

I was really impressed this morning when as soon as I got up, Andrew ran out from his bedroom carrying 3 early reader books with him.  He said he’d just been laying in bed reading, and he’d just read all 3 books and loved them and wanted to keep reading!  He went through a terrible phase this summer where he ‘hated reading’ and really resisted, but I know it’s because it’s challenging to learn how to do it, and he wanted to just know how without having to put in any effort.  He’s still got a ways to go, as he read a book to the girls this morning and probably only got half the words right, but he was still making up a story as he went along, which I encouraged when he started getting a bit frustrated at not getting it right.  I love that he’s exploring books and wants to learn now, and that he took it upon himself to have his sisters sit down and listen while he read them a story.

Babies are adorable and I was looking back at pictures of Andrew and the girls as babies last night, which made me long to cuddle their teensy tiny little selves again.  Just to have a bit of time with them again as little babies, oh how sweet that would be!  But in reality, they are so much ‘easier’ now and so much more fun because we can have full on conversations, and they are able to let their HUGE personalities shine at all times, and I love them all so incredibly much, and more and more all the time.  It’s amazing to see them as the little people they’ve become, and I love all the ways they’re the same as well as all the ways they’re vastly different.  As much as I sometimes miss the smell of a newborn and the teensy tininess and their inability to move or talk (LOL!) I REALLY prefer them as somewhat-independent little helpers who are always up for whatever adventure that might be had!


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