Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Reward for Early Birds

We've been spending a lot of time inside. It's summer, so it's hot obviously. But summer in the South is much different than summer in Arizona or Utah. The dry heat, I can handle. The muggy, humid, sweat-as-soon-as-you-step-outside heat is a whole different story. Most days, by the time we're all awake, fed, dressed and have finished chores, it's too late to go outside and play for a long period of time. Not to mention, I'm one of those crazy moms who likes to keep her kids inside during peak UV ray hours. I should clarify and state that I do allow them to go outside during these hours if an activity or family outing requires, but trust me, I slather on the sunscreen. Gotta protect that precious skin.

Anyway, that's a long intro. The kids and I have been going a little stir crazy staying inside so much. Jax had an ear issue last week so we couldn't go swimming and we had so many other things going on that we didn't go outside much after dinner like we usually do. So, I resolved to get up earlier, get the kids going earlier and start going outside early in the morning, saving chores for when we came back in. Yesterday morning, we didn't make it. Fifty-percent of my children was having a hard morning. But today, I was determined. As soon as the kids were up, I fed them. Got everyone dressed and we headed outside armed with sidewalk chalk, bubbles, bug kit and magnifying glass. After several games of hopscotch and so much bubble blowing I began getting dizzy, we set off to race down the small hill behind our apartment. It's amazing how many times these kids ran up and down the same hill, giggling each time as if it was the first (mommy got a little wokout in too). Then we set off to catch some poor innocent bugs. Spiders, ants, they all made it into our bug catcher. But the biggest treat came as we collected leaves. I just happened to look up and spotted a butterly, wings fully expanded, just sitting on a leaf. I quickly gathered the kids and we quietly watched in awe as it slowly opened and closed it's wings. I have never seen a butterfly sit still for so long. We watched it for atleast 15 minutes, and it was still on the leaf when we left.

Ava pretending to be a butterfly...

And Jax pretending to be a butterfly

As we walked back to our door I thought of how grateful I was that we made it outside this morning and were treated to such a special sight. Ava must have known what I was thinking because just at that moment she squeezed my hand and said, "That butterfly was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen."

Now, that's how you start a day.

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