Why the Tree of Life?


Unstructured Play

Kids need it! Evan and I have been realizing that our kids aren't going to get to roam around the neighborhood as freely like we did as children. For one thing, there aren't any children around who aren't involved with after school activities or summer enrichment programs.

"It seems that in the rush to give children every advantage — to protect them, to stimulate them, to enrich them — our culture has unwittingly compromised one of the activities that helped children most. All that wasted time was not such a waste after all."

NPR had an interesting piece on this topic:
Old-Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills



Yesterday, while I was pulling dead vines from our fence, Kirven was standing quietly beside me. Then he said, "The first person came from the earth. And then she had a baby. And then there were more babies and that's where all the people came from."

He doesn't know any of the creation myths, not even Christianity's version. I think he was looking at my belly, and thinking about it all. Reading it here makes it sound so trite, but his words seemed very mystical at the time. Notice that the first person was female?

Eulogy for Stubby

Our brave backyard squirrel.

Stubby was a squirrel we noticed last fall who had just a nub left of his tail and was also missing his right front paw. We watched for him everyday and enjoyed seeing him at our squirrel feeder. He worked very hard all autumn to gather nuts and bury them, using his little nub. He was the underdog in squirrel society and was constantly being chased, but he managed to climb our fence and the trees without too much trouble. We decided that Stubby was the 'one that got away' for Geena, our dog, and that he must have lost his tail to her because Geena and Stubby had the most heated barking fests whenever they were near each other. Geena doesn't act like that with just any other squirrel. We began to know when Stubby was in the tree above our yard just by Geena's bark.

A few days ago, our back neighbour saw Stubby fall from her front tree. He seemed to be stunned and then crawled on his side until he reached the tree and began to slowly climb it. She hadn't seen him since and neither had we. It didn't sound good.

Today, K found him dead in our backyard. Geena had obviously bitten him, but there was no blood. I'm hoping that he died in the tree above and fell down, and that Geena didn't kill him in the end. He was such a brave, tough little squirrel. We will really miss seeing him.

I got a ziplock bag and wrote: "Stubby, our backyard squirrel, 2-25-08, You were very brave." D carried him in the ziplock while I got the shovel. Stubby deserved a proper pet burial, and D and I placed him next to Maisie, our cat. K preferred to watch from the window and waved good-bye to him. D gave him a hug and a kiss before we laid him down. D assured him that we would be back later to pick him up.


Biking update

We went to the park this afternoon where there is a big open area with a basketball court. K's brain must have made all the connections during his sleep last night because I didn't need to help him start off at all. He just got on his bike and started riding up and down the court, and then realized he could turn without stopping and moved up to laps until he needed to stop for a drink. D and I pretty much just sat on the bench and ate snacks and watched. He's still a little intimidated by riding on the street, but he's got the basics down. Just a matter of building confidence now, I guess.


Training Wheels

K asked to have his training wheels taken off, so he and E took them off on Sunday. After they were off, K decided he wasn't ready to try to ride. Today, though, he was ready to go. He wanted no help from me, and he wanted to wear his rain boots. He worked on it for a long time in the backyard, then he came in for his helmet. D and I filled the birdfeeder and the squirrel feeder, and about that time, K wondered if I could ---maybe--- just help him get started, but then let go right away. Once I got involved, I realized that he had lots of obstacles in the backyard to try to avoid, so we moved to the front. With the exception of getting started, he got pretty good at balancing and pedaling a little ways. I think we will head over to the park tomorrow where he will have lots of room, and I won't have to worry about either boy getting run over.

At one point, D decided he was cold (he was barefoot, of course), and wanted to go in. He headed around to the back where the sliding door was open, and he was supposed to wave at me from the window so that I knew he had made it inside. Well, he didn't show and he didn't show, so I told K to pause a moment while I checked on D. I headed around back, and went through the sliding door and found that D had helped himself to (another) yobaby yogurt, and he was standing at the end of the table and eating it with his fingers. 'Do you want a spoon?' 'No... I'm eating this yobaby-yo with my fingers.' (Can't you see that, Mom?) Do you want a napkin? No. Do you want the bear bib to catch the drips? No. Ok... well, I gotta get back out front where K is. OK, bye!

D's not a baby anymore either.


Cinematography by K

These are a couple movies of the car K, D and I made, and the last movie is of a bear hunt-- all made on his camera (including the photos in the post below). We have about 40 quadrillion of these.

Photography by K

Our New Mattress

Mommy's Belly with Eyes
(K told me to stand still. Then he worked and worked to get just this picture without me having any idea what he was doing. A joke picture!)

D with Tiger, Little Bear and Dog



Friend on the Playscape