All tagged Jasper
If one thing is for certain I have a little guy who loves to bake. Now every day while I am fixing his breakfast or lunch he goes to our bookshelf, finds my Martha Stewart Baking Handbook, gently takes off the jacket and brings it to me in the kitchen. He looks up at me with his large doe eyes and says "ginger ba ba" which means "gingerbread" which translates to " Can we please make some cookies?" Most days, I can resist his pleas to bake by distracting him with the mail truck outside or asking him if he would like to help me with the laundry instead. However, on this particular day I was feeling in the mood to bake myself and so Valentine sugar cookies it was.
I want to provide my children with a life of fun, discovery and adventure. I once heard of a mother who asked her children every time before they got in the car "Do you want to go on an adventure?" Going on an adventure sure sounds a lot more enticing then getting in the car to go to the grocery store, run errands, or go to the dentist when you are a child. I want to create an environment where creativity and imaginations thrive before the stresses of life i.e. homework, school, tests, bullying, and peer pressure take over and the magic of childhood quickly fades.
As a mother, it is easier, cleaner and quicker to do everything yourself, but having the patience to work side by side with your children can be one of life's sweetest memories. Teaching your children how to bake, craft etc. although endlessly messy can be some of the punctuation marks in your career as a mother. As a parent, I am constantly trying to provide diverse and enriching experiences for my child and a hands on approach to learning is the best teaching method I know. When I decided to make Jasper's birthday cake while he napped I quickly rethought that idea as I decided it would be more memorable and more fun if he could assist me instead.
Although I never dreamed of it I have quickly become THAT parent. The one who takes a million photos of their child, misses their child when they are asleep, and who talks about them incessantly to their spouse or anyone else who listen about the one MILLION adorable things he did on that particular day. I am the one whose Instagram account is littered with photos of my child and the one who often sends photos to my parents or anyone else who has chosen to stay away from the clutches of social media.
For the past four years we have made it an annual tradition to visit Carpinito Brother's Pumpkin Patch in Kent. We like the rows and rows of u-pick pumpkins, the bountiful produce stand and the large selection of gourds and mums. Everything is a bit more hectic with a busy toddler, but also a bit more of an adventure. During our visit there was lots of running, plenty of snack breaks and loads of smiles. I could tell Jasper felt like a pretty big deal riding around in the wheelbarrow with his sunglasses on. As he gets older and the world tries to diminish he sense of self, I hope he always remembers what a big deal he is to me.
Summer seemed to slip through our fingers this year, because before we knew it it was over. It had been awhile since we last visited the Volunteer Park Conservatory and this time Jasper did a whole lot more than walk around with his hands behind his back. It never ceases to amaze me how a little boy's mind works. Jasper found every wheel to turn and button to push during our brief visit to the conservatory. I was there for the flowers, but he was there to keep me on my toes. After our trip to the conservatory Jasper loves to play at the adjacent park and we both enjoy lunch at the Volunteer Park Cafe afterwards. You really can never go wrong with crisp autumn air, sunshine, flowers and my favorite little sidekick.
Last week, we were craving some Fall fun, so we packed up the car and made the trek to The Farm at Swan's Trail in Snohomish. Since I had not done much research before we went, I was impressed with the variety of activities to do and how much fun Jasper and I had. We had so much fun in fact, we made certain to take Cameron back earlier this week. At The Farm at Swan's Trail there are hay rides, gigantic slides, a sand box with trucks and diggers, a corn box (think ball pit but with corn kernels) a rubber duck race, pigs, goats, a cow, a miniature horse, a gigantic inflatable pillow (think trampoline), a corn maze in the shape of Washington state, a pumpkin patch and apple picking. Jasper and I easily spent the better part of the day at Swan Trails Farm.
Earlier last month, I introduced you to a new clothing delivery company called Kidbox. For under $100 they will send you a box of clothing (6-8 pieces) for your child based upon the preferences you preselect (ie. favorite colors, what types of styles to avoid, etc.) Once the box arrives you have seven days to decide what you would like to keep and which items need to be sent back. The best part of Kidbox aside from avoiding the mall, trying to wrangle children and unsuccessfully trying to coerce your child into trying on clothes is that every time you purchase a Kidbox, they will donate new clothes to a kid who needs it. Pretty awesome, right? Kidbox is one of the easiest and best ways I have found to start a conversation with your kid about social good.
Although I am constantly taking photos of Jasper I do not think there will ever come a time when he is grown that I will declare, "Geeh, I wished I wouldn't have taken so many photos of him" It is easy to remember to snap photos of him when we are out and about, but I am trying my best to make a conscious effort to capture him in his every day element. Like when he wakes up from a nap and is super playful and expressive. Also, there are so many things I want to remember about him in the here and now that taking a few photos will help jog my memory later on. For starters, I want to remember his gorgeous sun kissed skin and bleached blond hair from all our Summer adventures. I want to remember how tenderly kissed his animals good night when he thinks they should be resting or how he always wakes up happy and smiling. I even want to remember how he refuses to have his nails trimmed and ends up scratching his face by accident. The transformation from newborn to baby to toddler has been a remarkable and awe inspiring thing to watch. I can't wait to see what the next two years will bring.
When you are a child, a box is not just a box. A box can be a boat, a car, a ramp, a coloring book and can provide hours upon hours of fun. Especially, when you are a toddler you are more interested in the box that comes in the mail rather than what comes inside. So when our Kidbox Back to School box arrived I was excited about the clothes inside and Jasper was excited about the box.
One of my favorite parts of having a little one is being able to dress him each day. If you know me, then you know a whole lot of thought and effort goes into building and maintaining Jasper's wardrobe. I find it very important for him to be dressed appropriately either for the weather or the outing we are going on. My first priority always is for him to be comfortable, but I also want him to be able to easily wear a variety of clothes.
In the summertime, Pike Place Market often turns into a mob of tourists. I feel like a fish swimming upstream as I make my way through crowds of people. Despite all of this, I still like to go there for the fresh flowers, cheese, some of the best fresh seafood I can find and always Ellenos greek yogurt.
The temperatures in Seattle have been warmer than usual this May and June which meant raspberry picking has come a little early this year. Jasper and I made it point to visit our local u-pick on the very first day they started picking. We picked as many berries as we could, but little did I know he had every intention of eating more than he picked.
Although we have only taken Jasper on one big trip so far in his short life we learned A LOT throughout the process. I have come up with a few pointers for those of you who are contemplating doing the same thing.
I know I am not alone when I say I have noticed myself starting to shy away from the camera. I do not by any means refuse to get in front of the camera, but I have noticed myself opting out more than I should. I often times feel silly things, like I don't look good enough for photos, I should loose a couple extra pounds, my roots are showing or any number of lame excuses. As the resident family photographer I have made a concerted effort over the past month to ask for my photo to be taken in particular with Jasper. I realize the importance of Jasper having photos of himself with me and I don't want Jasper growing up asking, "why is Mom not in the photos?"
When it comes to raising boys people seem to have a lot to say. Many women I know accept or even condone rowdy or even bad behavior based on the simple fact that their child is a boy. Lately, I have found it interesting to witness certain almost inherent "male" traits coming out in Jasper. Although I have never taught Jasper to wildly wield a stick, throw rocks, or anything on wheels or in the sky he has a natural affinity for these things.
One of my very favorite spots in all of West Seattle is Lincoln Park. I have spent countless hours there running, walking, swimming, watching sunsets, having picnics, swinging, meeting up with friends and just being. Days after our first son, Asher, passed away when all my husband and I wanted to do was stay in bed, we made it a morning ritual after breakfast to go on a walk there. We would sit on the rocky shore, just us and our thoughts and write in our journals. In the coming months, I distinctly remember sitting on a park bench, a lump forming in my throat and tears filling my eyes every time a woman walked past with her newborn baby. The pain was so real, so vast, it felt like happiness was no longer an option. When I compared myself to others I didn't know their story or their pain, all I could see was my own.
A few weeks ago Jasper turned eighteen months old. It is hard to believe this little guy has stolen our hearts and been the center of our universe for already a year and a half now. On the eve of his half birthday, my parents came over for dinner and to celebrate our little guy. The night before I decided to make a little construction cake for our construction obsessed son. His three favorite words are currently, "dig, dig, dig"
After wanting to visit Kelsey Creek Farms for a few months we finally made it happen. We went a few weeks ago on a Friday morning and we were simply delighted with what we saw. Amidst sun breaks and acres of green grass we watched sheep, a pig, goats, cows, roosters and bunnies. It was exciting to see the animals which Jasper has mainly read about in books walking, talking and interacting with him. Some of the highlights of Kelsey Creek Farm for us did not have much to do with the animals and were more about the two large sand boxes with trucks, the metal Lil' Johnny Deere and the ability to run free in a new environment. I was impressed with how well maintained the facilities were and that we are able to have so much fun without a high price admission fee.