Simple Bounty

Finding Beauty, Grace and Sanity in a Busy World

Four July 1, 2010

Filed under: Family Life — katieosborne @ 4:13 pm
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Dear Jonas,100_5691

Tuesday was your fourth birthday. Four. I keep saying it to myself, hardly believing it. 

You, Bridget and I went downtown to the gelato shop for a birthday treat in the afternoon. You rode your trike the whole way as I pushed the stroller. You did such a great job listening and crossing the busy streets. When the girl at the store found out it was your birthday, she asked how old you are, and you replied, “three.” I said, “are you sure?” as you concentrated hard on your apricot sorbet (since they didn’t have mango). You nodded, and then slowly remembered that you get to say “four” now.

Last week, we threw a birthday party and invited all your friends. We filled water balloons and also had a scavenger hunt. Mostly, you kids just had a blast running  around the yard. Dad grilled hotdogs and we had chocolate applesauce cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting topped with dinosaurs for desert. You seemed to think the whole event was pretty amazing. On Saturday, we went down to Great Jonas 4th bday4Grandma and  Grandpa Beem’s house for a little party, and you got to swim in their big pool. You loved it.

Currently, you are extremely interested in dinosaurs. This started last summer when Grandma Osborne gave you a book about them. And once the PBS show, Dinosaur Train, started airing in the fall, you were pretty much obsessed. I wouldn’t be surprised if you could name over forty types of dinosaurs. You just soak that information up, and you talk about it non-stop. I love how you’ve invented your own descriptive words, like “curbivore,” (even though you know the word “omnivore),” and you often call “quadrupeds” “four-drupeds.” That makes me smile. You still like Thomas the Tank Engine a lot too, and since Christmas, you’ve been really into Legos. You love to build, and you and Dad play Legos together most every night  before going to bed.

It’s been a challenging year for you. Learning how to be a big brother has not always been easy, and while you love your sister, it was difficult for you to figure out where you fit in the family after her arrival. That caused a lot of big feelings in you that you didn’t know how to deal with. While you have been learning and making strides all year, it has really been in recent weeks that I have observed a marked change in you with regard to Bridget. You just seem so  much more mature and able to handle the frustrations of having a baby sister. I am so proud of you and the patience and kindness you have extended to her. Not only that, but you have been joyfully trying to teach her how to do things and you seem to take real pleasure out of playing silly games with her. I love watching you two play and see the happiness you have in each other. Sometimes when you’re interacting with her, I hear myself in you, good and bad, and it reminds me once again that you are both watching and listening to everything I say and do, and that you are learning 100_5626 how to be, from me.

You are still as particular as ever, and at times, this can cause big frustrations for you. You have been doing a good job of learning how to deal with life when it’s not the way you like it, though there are days when you can fall apart over a hamburger not fitting perfectly in its bun.

Some of the things I enjoy most about you right now include the way you make up songs that just go on and on and the way you love to dance with your sister after dinner. I get a kick out of how you speak in similes – on our walk downtown, you said that Bridget was “singing like a cloud.” You also use terminology you’ve learned watching Thomas the Train. My favorite is when you point out a worker at the grocery store who is bringing the carts in. “Look,” you exclaim, “he’s shunting the carts.” I also like how you enjoy helping me bake. You like to dump the ingredients in, and of course swipe as much batter as possible if I’m making cake or cookies. I love the concentration with which you play. You take it quite seriously and you become very involved in what you are doing. And I love how you pray. Sometimes, like last night, you will interrupt your dad as he prays at dinner to add your own. It warms my heart. I love everything that makes you, you. You are so special and unique.

You are an amazing gift from God, and I love you more than you will ever know.

Love,

Your Mama

(who is now most often addressed as Mom)IMG_2951_2

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To Sweet Bridget, On Her First Birthday May 29, 2010

Filed under: Family Life — katieosborne @ 10:41 pm
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My Dear Bridget,

100_5238On Thursday, you turned one and today we celebrated your birthday with all your grandparents and some of your aunts and uncles. It was a perfectly beautiful, sunny day, and you had so much fun. After hours of family, toys, cake and balloons, you are finally resting peacefully in your bed.  

In many ways, it is hard to believe you have been in our lives for a whole year; in other ways, especially since you’ve been walking for over two months already, it is surprising to me that you are only twelve months old. You are such a light. You have the most cheerful disposition, a sparkle in the eye, a smile on your lips, and a little laugh or a big chortle waiting to burst forth almost always. What joy you have! And what joy you give! You are my sunshine, and that is your song. Ever since you were a tiny babe, we would sing that song to soothe you.

I used to say that you are a determined child – we saw that in you from the time you were a couple months 100_5260old – but now I think relentless might be an even better adjective. You do not give up, that’s for sure! And while your determination is a very wonderful quality that will serve you well in life, right now it is exhausting your mama! Every time I turn around these days you are trying to climb into the kitchen chairs, even when they’re pushed up to the table, and no amount of redirection will distract you from practicing this new skill. You also want to do everything your big brother does, especially coloring and play-doh, and while you are doing pretty well with a marker, paper and a little supervision. the play-doh is impossible as it ends up in your mouth in seconds. Other things that I cannot keep out of your mouth include sand, and Lego heads, helmets and tires.100_5318

You love the outdoors. If it  were up to you, you’d probably spend the whole day in the yard, just playing in the sand box (though you’ve recently started eating sand, yuck!) or walking in the grass, picking up sticks, feeling the dirt in your hands, and splashing in the hose water. You have no fear when it comes to water. Last weekend Daddy got the pool out, and you, Jonas and Daddy spent a hot afternoon playing in the water. You went under twice and it barely phased you. Daddy and I got you a water table for your birthday present, and you and Jonas had lots of fun with it this afternoon. You drenched yourself by trying to drink buckets full of water that rarely made it to your lips.   

You get a huge kick out of your brother, and I love it when you two are silly together. Though sometimes he’s a bit rough, it hardly seems to phase you, and you do your share of tackling him. My hope is that the two of you will grow to be fast friends.

Things I currently love include the sloppy kisses you give. You like to give kisses to dolls and stuffed toys too. You like to dance. Whenever you hear music these days, or even when it is just a toy making music, you do a funny little squatty dance accompanied by a huge grin, and it is so cute.  I love how you love your Daddy. When you hear the back door open at the end of the day, you exclaim “Daddyyyyy!” before even seeing him. You run to the kitchen and greet him with laughter and your beautiful smile. When you are fussy, you like to sit at the picture window with him. You say “see,” as you watch. Your other words right now are ‘mama,’ ‘daddy’, ‘this,’ and ‘tickle, tickle.’

It is such a privilege to be your mama, and I thank God for entrusting you to me and your dad. I was reading a book about Charlotte Mason last week, and she is quoted as saying, “"Truly parents are happy people—to have God’s children lent to them.” That sentiment has stuck with me throughout the week. I am happy and blessed that you are mine for this season.100_5298 100_5309

 

Happy Birthday, Ben! December 11, 2009

Filed under: Family Life — katieosborne @ 12:43 pm
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100_3899The birthday boy has the day off, so we started the morning with some made from scratch cinnamon rolls and presents.

Dad received a picture of the kids for his desk at work, and a newly knitted winter hat.

(Apparently three year olds are not the best secret keepers, as Dad heard about his hat the day after I cast on. Who’d have thought. He was surprised by the portrait, at least).

This afternoon we’re headed down to Kenosha, so the kids can hang out with my parents while Ben and I go out to a little pub on the lake that we used to eat at when we were dating. I like that he likes to do nostalgic stuff like that.

 

Waiting for that oven timer to beep:

 

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Happy Birthday to you:

 

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Gooey goodness:

 

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Presents:

 

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(Hat pattern available here).

 

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Dear Jonas, You Are Three! June 29, 2009

Filed under: Family Life — katieosborne @ 8:34 pm
Tags: ,

Today is your birthday. How you have changed over the last year!

You are a joyful kid. You love to laugh and sing. It makes me smile when I hear you walking around the house singing. Your current favorites are “Cats in the Cradle,” “I’ve Got Peace Like A River,” and your newest favorite, Weird Al’s Jurassic Park song.

You have been interested in dinosaurs lately. Grandma Osborne recently gave you a couple books about them. Your two longtime favorite things are Thomas the Tank Engine and Pixar Cars. I love to listen to you play with your cars and trains. They talk to each other, play hide and seek, act out scenes from the movies…all kinds of things. You are crazy about the outdoors and spend lots of time in your sandbox. You also like to help me water our plants because it gives you the opportunity to play with the hose. Sometimes you get very wet. You and Dad like to run around the yard together playing frisbee and other games. You adore your Dad.

Your curiosity and ability to absorb information astounds me. You ask so many questions! You want to know how everything works and why things are the way they are. Organization is very important to you and seems to be a primary way that you make sense of the world around you. You want to know the relationships of all types of things from what towns your friends and family members live in and where those towns are located to what letter various words begin with and how that letter sounds. You have a mind for detail and notice and comment on every little thing you see and hear. Your very orderly nature sometimes leads to frustration for you because you have definite ideas about how things should be, and you have a hard time accepting that other people have their own ideas that might be different from yours, but you have been doing a good job learning to express your frustration with words.

This has been a year of big changes for you. We moved to a new house a few months ago, and last month, your baby sister was born. I’m so proud of how you’ve handled these big transitions. You took to sleeping in your own room surprisingly well on our very first night here. And while sometimes you get frustrated that you’re no longer the only one who needs me, you are such a wonderful big brother. From the start, you have been so incredibly gentle, loving and helpful toward Bridget. It makes my heart smile to see you stroke or kiss her head and hear the nurturing tone of your voice as you speak to her.

You are a sensitive child. You get frightened by things like the sharks in Finding Nemo, and whenever we’re out and you hear a baby or child crying, you report it to me with concern in your voice: “someone’s crying.” I hope you never lose that sweet sensitivity.

You bring such sunshine to my life. You are so very special, and I love you more than I can ever say.

 

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To Jonas, On Your Second Birthday June 29, 2008

Filed under: Family Life — katieosborne @ 8:20 pm
Tags: ,

Dear Jonas,

You are two today! It’s nearly impossible to believe, but I’ll spare you all the trite, parental “they grow up so fast,” even though it’s true.

I will never be able to express how much joy and fulfillment you bring to our lives. It has been amazing to see you grow and explore and learn over the last year. You amaze us with everything that you know and do, and Dad and I love you more than you will ever know!

The things that you like the most right now are

  • 100_0575playing at the park (You climb so well and have no fear of slides of any height, but you aren’t too fond  of swings).
  • playing computer games and looking at pictures on the computer with Dad (As soon as Dad gets home from work, you run to the stairs and say, “trucks, trucks.” Apparently, the truck racing game is your favorite).
  • cars (Particularly your Elmo and Bert cars. You also like Jonathan’s many cars from the Cars movie).
  • dancing to music (You’ve got a good sense of rhythm and are very creative with your choreography. Just last week, you entertained zoo-goers as you boogied to live band music in the middle of the walkway, jazz hands high in the air for the finale).
  • the alphabet (You can identify nearly all the letters. I love how you call W “double-x”).
  • some form of peek-a-boo (You usually initiate this game by putting your hands over your eyes, and saying “Where Jonas go?” until we notice you and say, “Oh no, where did Jonas go? He must have gone 100_0512_________,” and we fill in the blank with any number of places, to which you always reply, “noooo,” as though saying, “that’s silly; of course I didn’t go there).
  • watching the baby bunny and other animals out the front window
  • going for walks and hikes (you love being outside, though you do often complain of it being “too bright.”  I’ll have to ask Dr. Kamsler about that next week).
  • coloring (This includes the wall and couch, though you are getting better at only coloring on the paper).
  • singing (The songs you most request are “Twinkle, Twinkle,” “Jesus” (Jesus Loves Me), “Old MacDonald,” and “ABCs.”
  • Thomas the Train (Grandpa Beem introduced you to Thomas with his train set when you were 6 months old, but just recently you’ve been talking about him all the time, despite the fact that the only Thomas things you have are a helmet and fork and spoon set – and as of yesterday, a puzzle from Great Grandma and Grandpa).

You are so bright and inquisitive, so loving and joyful, and so silly too. You’ve got a great sense of humor, and your laugh makes me feel so warm. You ask  “What’s that mommy/daddy?” and “Why?” in your sweet little voice, innumerable times a day – I should say innumerable times an hour! And the explanations you remember, even when I only tell you once, amazes me. You usually like to do things yourself these days, but are good at asking “help, mommy,” whenever you get stuck. You are mister independent. You almost always prefer walking to riding, and you like to get down to observe and examine the world as we go.  Sometimes this drives me nuts since I usually like to get to where I’m going, but it is so good that you are teaching me patience. I’m learning how to slow down and enjoy the moment instead of always looking ahead. I love the fact that I can learn so much from you! I fall short so often, yet I know that because of you, I am becoming so much more than I was. I thank God for the privilege of mothering you.

It’s been really fun to watch you become more independent over the last half a year. You are still very attached to us, but you are confidently venturing out into the wider world now too. You love spending P6100008time with your grandparents, and they all adore you like crazy. It’s really neat to watch your relationships with them deepen. Socially, you’re an interesting combination; I can’t decide whether you are an introvert  or extrovert. In many ways, you are rather shy, but once you warm up, you talk and talk and you aren’t one bit self-conscious. You love playing with friends, particularly, Jonathan, Ella and Andrew, but you also like to retreat to my arms for some relaxing quiet time. I love how when you are tired, you hold and stroke the ends of my hair. So sweet.

Your ability for imaginative play is blossoming. Your favorite scenario right now requires two objects of similar type (the Elmo and Bert cars work well, as do plastic farm animals). One of them falls down. “Oh no, I fell down,” you cry. “Help him. Help him, Mommy.” “I’ll help you Elmo,” I say, nudging him with the Bert car. “There. Are you okay?” Sometimes the game repeats itself right from there (over and over), and sometimes you tell about how they are friends and have them jump and dance. Lately, you’ve also taken to wrapping this little baby doll that was a decoration at your baby showers, in a blanket and putting her night-night. You usually cradle her in your arms and then lay her on a couch pillow. It’s so sweet.

100_0712Yesterday was your birthday party. You have a special birthday; you share it with Grandpa Osborne. Both sets of grandparents came to celebrate your birthday as well as Great Grandma and Grandpa Beem, Great Grandma Marie, Great Uncle Jeff, and Aunt Ali. Uncle Dan and Heather were on a camping trip, so they couldn’t be here. You were a little shy at first, usual for you in a group setting, but once jonas on 2nd birthday 020you warmed up, you really enjoyed yourself. You ate lots of potato salad, apparently, you are quite fond of it. You only had a few bites of carrot cake, but you had a second helping of the special ice cream I make for you.

Last night we walked to the park and you rode your new tricycle, as Daddy steered for you. It  was a gift from Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Greg. Maybe we can do that again today when you wake up from your nap. You’re pretty tired from that big day, with no nap, yesterday.

You are such a big boy now! I can’t wait to see all that you learn and do in the coming year.

I love you beyond words!

Mama