I learned something very important, and it is this: milk tastes much better very cold then it does luke warm.
I learned this because our fridge was having a mid-life crisis and the freezer stopped working, and the fridge was only keeping things cool, not cold. Then yesterday, the fixer man came. And this morning I pulled out that gallon of milk, poured myself roughly eight fluid ounces, and said "Ah."
Because really, milk is pretty darn disgusting. But when it is cold, it is less disgusting.
I feel this is an important day for all of us.
We live at the bottom of a big cul-de-sac, and last night about every child on the street was out playing in the big circle. My children had found their happy place. It was so cute to watch them from the couch, running, biking, scootering around, laughing, playing, being oh-so-happy. I remember the feeling of being a kid, and it is a great feeling. I was happy for them. Poor Kate was stuck inside with a sickee Mom, so she stood next to where I was sitting on the couch, pointing, bouncing, sometimes crying, squealing, and always breaking the sound barrier.
We have implemented a new rewards system in our house. Each week, K.J. and Olivia start out with several quarters in a cup. They lose a quarter for such evils as complaining (big problem), fighting (not a problem, really), not doing their homework (see complaining), or failing to do their chores (big problem)... at the end of the week, whatever quarters they have left they get to keep. They can also earn tokens by doing great things, like their chores, being helpful, doing a good deed -- and save those up for a trip to the very cheap goodies in the treasure box, or a date with Mom or Dad. When I explained this to them, they were SO excited. I was amazed they caught on so quickly (it was much more difficult for the Double B), but they knew exactly what to do and how to do it. So far, they've traded in three tokens each for a treasure and have more in their cups, and K.J. has all his quarters while Olivia has only lost one (not doing her chores). So far, so good. I'm happy about that.
Katelyn is, naturally, heck-bent on wreaking havoc with those cups. She has caused more then one stress-filled moment for K.J. and Olivia. Which is her great passion. She just loves stirring the pot.
Yesterday Liv got home from school and she, Kate, Daddy and I all ended up chatting on the bed. Lately Kate has had a fascination with pulling Olivia's hair, so naturally Liv is a little wary. But we were having a great time, and suddenly Kate throws her arms open for a big hug from sister. Olivia was very flattered and said in her baby voice "Oh, do you want a hug from sister, Katee?" and reached down for a big squeeze. Of course, Katelyn used this opportunity to clench onto her sister's hair with both fists. Liv was trapped, but she did not panic. She merely said in her deepest, most authoritative type of voice, "Ohhhh, so THAT'S what you were wanting to do!!!" We got Katelyn to let go, she gave her most charming smile (which is -- very charming. Frightening, really.) and then gave Liv a great big sister hug.
K.J. and Olivia have been waking up ridiculously early lately. Very, very early. The Double B just told me that this morning Olivia headed out to pull weeds before he even got out of bed! She likes to be Daddy's helper, and she was just trying to do her part, I guess. He came into the front room, and she was out on the side of the house, just pulling away and putting the weeds in a little bucket. He had to call her four times before she was willing to come in! What a kid.
Last night I was reading several articles on current issues that tend to be very polarizing, and so naturally I dreamed all night long about it. Very annoying. I think we need to be more careful about how we lump each other into groups, and since it's a big political year, I think that most certainly applies to politics, too. We keep isolating each other, and that just seems so silly to me. For instance, not every Democrat believes in gay marriage. Not every Republican is opposed to gay marriage. Not every Democrat believes in abortion. Not every Republican is opposed to it. And the list goes on and on. Frankly, I don't necessarily think that those are political arm issues, especially on a Federal level. Those are human being issues, and they are very personally emotional issues (hence -- explosive), and we need to just stop with the whole "I hate you if you're not on my side" thing. I really, really like kind people willing to have open dialogues, willing to honestly talk about their side of things and listen openly to someone else's. No more pointing fingers. We all have different experiences that make our whole. We can very respectfully disagree -- can't we?
I love that I keep making you listen to me. You don't have to, you nice people.
Okay, well... that's pretty much it for today.
P.S. If you are Mary Dawn, do you remember when we were kids (silly question, I know about your childhood amnesia) and you leaned out the window in Provo to greet that car with "Kon'nichiwa?" I have rarely hunkered down so low in my seat. That story popped into my head this morning and made me laugh.