Unbelievable

Any other 90s-one-hit-wonder lovers out there?  If so, perhaps you know this one:

You burden me with your questions
You’d have me tell no lies
You’re always asking what it’s all about
But don’t listen to my replies
You say to me I don’t talk enough
But when I do I’m a fool

I’m pretty sure this first verse was written by the parent of a 1st grader.  The need to know is as ceaseless as the tides.  And when I finally find a wave I can ride; a question I can answer, ‘Zach’ from the bus says differently and I’m just the dumb-dumb who spent twenty minutes verifying what I already knew on the internet.  To make matters worse, we decided it would be a great idea to send our kid to a Chinese Immersion School.  I literally have no idea what he is talking about.  (Maybe, I didn’t think the whole immersion thing through all the way.)

All jokes aside, I do really think my kids are unbelievable.  (I know, welcome to the club.)  All kids are these amazing, brave sponges that just soak up and roll with all the things we adults struggle with and against.  After a three month break with very little practice, Fletch strolled right into class and told his new teacher (in Chinese) how he has three, three year old brothers.  He didn’t even hesitate to jump right in, even though there were only three familiar faces in his class.

The three year olds are no less unbelievable.  Their first day of preschool, they nailed it, no tears, no fits, just kisses goodbye.

Then tonight they kept saying “I go school.”

The things, you say
It’s why I love you more

You’re unbelievable

 

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7 New School Year Resolutions

It’s the eve of our oldest son’s first day of 1st grade and just a week before the triplets’ first day of preschool.  I’m not sad, I’m not overjoyed, I’m not worried, I’m not overly emotional one way or the other but I do recognize this will be a big change. When faced with change, I feel the need to make changes in me, to make a fresh start, to begin anew.  A little like New Year’s Resolutions but for the new school year.

The thing is, I am terrible with New Year’s Resolutions.  In year’s past, I’ve written down the typical five or so things that every one wants to do: eat better, exercise more, drink more water, read a book a month, go to bed earlier.  Nothing too ambitious and yet, I cannot remember making it past the first week.  Worse yet, the last few years, I haven’t even managed to write anything down until two weeks after New Year’s.  My case in point, see my post from January, It’s a New Year!  In this post, written four days after New Year’s Eve, I allude to resolutions that I had yet write and never did.

I’m hoping that the start of the school year will be different.  Unlike New Year’s Eve, a new school year really does signify change: a new season, new teachers, new friends, new classes.  Perhaps with all this new, I will really be able to turn over a new leaf.  And if all that doesn’t work, I’m telling you so you can hold me accountable.

Here are my promises to me and my children for the new school year:

  1. I will not leave everything until the last minute. (says the woman writing a back-to-school post the night before her children go back to school) I recognize that none of us are at our best when we rush and the more I leave until the deadline the more we have to rush.
  2. I will come up with something better to ask then “How was your day?” If I expect an answer beyond “okay” then I need to change the question.  So instead, I will try “What made you laugh?” or “How were you brave?” maybe “What did you talk about with your friends?”
  3. I will encourage your efforts as much as your accomplishments.  When life gets hectic, its easy to hold out praise until the report card or conferences.  Instead, I promise to watch you work and recognize how you solve problems and develop good habits, not just wait for success.
  4. Along the same line, I will not do your homework.  I will help but I will not give you the answers or make corrections without you.
  5. There will be room to play and do nothing in our schedule.
  6. And we will have a schedule.  I will maintain a routine so that you know what to expect and what I expect of you.
  7. No matter what any of us make of our new school year, I will remember that any and every day can be a new start.


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“One step must start each journey.” – Unknown

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Let’s Get Together

This week is the Great Minnesota Get-Together aka our state fair. Taking things literally, we had a get together and went to the fair.  Does it qualify if the friends were from Maryland?  There was so much to do that even with 6 hours we only scratched the surface.  Here’s a brief run down of our day at the fair:

1. Visited Twins Territory.  A little wiffle ball for the boys while the girls hit the Horticulture Building and made pollinator promises (this is not as weird as it sounds and there was a bee hat to be had.)

IMG_77212. Breakfast on a stick. OMG! BREAKFAST ON A STICK!

IMG_24973. Drank all the milk we could drink.

IMG_25014. Witnessed the Miracle of Birth.  There was actually a calf born during our short visit.  This is not that calf.

IMG_25035. Parenting fail of epic proportions.  The kids spotted a lazy river type ride that seemed like the least painful way to satiate their cries for rides.  Rides check, spinning heads and long lines no thank you.  But here’s the thing, there is nothing lazy about that river.  As a result of our parenting genius, we were still soggy on the bus ride home 5 hours later.

6. Soldiered on and met a giant Emerald Ash Borer and put out some fires at the DNR Building.

7. Met some Box Trolls.

IMG_25068. High tailed it to the 4H building to see the agility rabbits but missed them by a hare. (hah! get it.)

9. Froliced in the Alphabet Forest.

photo 4-911. Planted some seeds with the Kemp’s Little Farm Hands.

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12. Watched the parade.

13. Rode some rides.

14. Ate some corn.

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15. Visited the Butter Court.

IMG_781716. Ended the day, as everyday should end with 4 dozen Sweet Martha’s chocolate chip cookies and more milk.

 Whew! the recap is almost as exhausting as the day itself.  Just a taste for all of you who have never experienced the wonder that is the Minnesota State Fair.

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They was a Splishin’ and a Splashin’

Cooper, Hudson and Nathan love Splishin’ and a Splashin’ but most of the time I feel like I’m reelin’ with the feelin’.   So we went for it and threw them a swimming party. The day was like a lot of other days this summer except with better food and more friends and family to enjoy it with.  Our weather was iffy, so we started inside, swam outside, gobbled cake inside, and then had a monster squirt gun fight outside.  The boys got cars to ride and cars to drive, binoculars to see and backpacks to go but most of all they loved being surrounded by people adore them.  Thanks to all the friends and family who helped us get our three little men to three years old!  It was a glorious way to celebrate our 3×3.

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Because I’m Happy! Birthday

If you’re one of my relatives or the tiny handful of others who check out lottowinners regularly, you may have noticed that I like to post birthday videos of my kids.  These videos are usually photo montages of the previous year.  Well, time is tight these days and so is the memory on our computer.  So what you’re about to see is a bit of a cheat.  I admit this was made just to brighten some cold winter days but I wasn’t able to publish it until now.  Either way, there’s an abundance of cute and it is their birthday so here’s a video:

Please join me in wishing Happy Birthday to the three rings in the Coblentz Circus.

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I’m a Pusher

Big news: Fletcher learned to ride his bike yesterday.  Hooray!  So I’m not trying to say we’re on track for the Tour de France or anything but this is an event several years in the making.  Fletcher got his bike for this 4th birthday and its been chained by training wheels ever since.  In Fletcher’s defense, his trainers have been preoccupied with the minor leaguers that arrived the same year (sorry the World Cup and All Star Game in the same week are causing me to mix sports metaphors.) There are lots of things that got in way, and none of them were particularly good.  Whatever it was “learn to ride a bike” has remained on Fletcher’s childhood bucket list.

Until yesterday, when it happened. You want to know why it happened?  “Because I’m a pusher, I push people.”  No, not like a drug pusher, an actual pusher.  (Right now, you’re picturing poor Fletcher on his bike shaking and shrieking and me strong-arming him down the driveway mumbling things about being a man. That’s not how it went down.)  Indeed, Fletcher was refusing to lose the training wheels once again, he even went so far as to offer to take a nap as an alternative.  I almost went for it, after all who turns down a nap?  But then he said “I just don’t want to, it’s out of my comfort zone and I can’t do it.” Internally, I said “oh hell to the no” and externally I said “life is everything outside of your comfort zone.”

Marking his disinterest in the bike as a “fear” made it a must-do in my book.  Prior to that one comment, I was content to let him conquer two wheels on his own time.  But he struck a nerve.  In fact, he managed to discover one of my deepest fears as a parent.  No, not that my kids won’t be kick ass bike riders, that they will be afraid.  That they will let fear get in their way.  That fear of being different will keep them from doing what they love.  That a fear of getting hurt will keep them from doing all their bodies are capable of.  That a fear of failure will keep them from trying something new.  Or that a fear of loss will keep them from loving deeply.

I want my kids to know that absolutely everything good in my life has started with a tiny knot in my stomach and a mental “you can do this.”  And I want them to know that they can do it too and that fear isn’t a bad thing as long as it doesn’t keep them from leaving their comfort zone.

So, yes, I made him get on that bike and no, he wasn’t very happy about it.  You should have seen the look on his face when he managed to take off on his own.  We left our two fears and the two training wheels in garage.  I hope we don’t see them again for a while.

“What if I fall? Oh, but my darling,what if you fly?”

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Dia de los Fletcher

As we round the corner into July again, I’ve already been mentally planning birthday parties for several weeks (okay months on pinterest).  As I was pinning, I remembered I never shared with you our “to die for” birthday party for Fletcher last summer.  He requested a Halloween birthday party (my heart almost burst with pride) but all of our Halloween decorations were still in storage.  We (I) didn’t have the heart to do Halloween half way so we settled on Dia de los Muertos.

Fletcher made a new friend at camp just in time to add him to the guest list and we all gathered for some drop dead fun.  Our resident Makeup Artist extraordinaire, got us all looking the part.  We decorated sugar skulls, played Loteria, broke cascarones, and a few less culturally accurate things: like pin the corazon on the skeleton, dead man’s limbo, and skull ballon relays.

I think I’m still dead tired maybe that’s why it took me so long to share this with you.

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