12.29.2008

What A Week!

Background From Last Week 

  • My bread machine broke while attempting to make swedish tea rings for the neighbors. 
  • We picked up the donated bread for the branch. Which meant we had a huge box of pastries in the kitchen (it causes contention when passed out to the branch). 

Monday 

  • We a guy named Ernest came for dinner. 
  • We pass out plates of St. Louis Bread Co. pastries to the neighbors. 
  • I go grocery shopping after the kids are in bed. 
  • Woo works on ooTunes. 

Tuesday 

  • Ruby's birthday! (4 years old) 
  •  She gets: goggles, baseball bat, soft ball, books, clothes, doll, money and phone calls from Marcus, Taija and Grandma. 
  • She requested french fries, chicken strips and peas for dinner. Donuts for dessert. 
  • I apparently can't make donuts without a bread machine because the dough never rose. 
  • In frustration, I make a quick trip to the store for donuts before the G--- kids come. 
  • Ruby has the time of her life. 
  • Herbie has a rough day---keeps talking about when it will be his birthday. 
  • B-- G-- (6 months) cries for one hour straight. 
  • I bake and bake after the kids go to bed. 
  • Woo works on ooTunes. 
  • We receive a call from the bishop of a ward in our stake: They want to bring us presents for Christmas. Will we be home from 10-12? We're not sure what to feel---anger, excitement, confusion? We didn't think we needed more presents, but we'll take 'em. 
  • At 12:30 we go to bed---nothing! 

Wednesday

  • We realize they probably meant 10-12 today, but we'll be gone. 
  • Go to a Christmas Eve party at the G---'s. 
  • Ruby refuses to be Mary. She insists on being a shepherd. 
  • Herbie, as Joseph, holds the baby Jesus and rides Woo, the donkey. 
  • Moses is bothered by all the noise and ruckus. We come home to find presents for the kids from the Parkway Ward (Moses now owns a few outfits from Nordstrom). 
  • After our nap everyone is still tired and worn out. We order pizza for dinner. 
  • The pizza is undercooked and gross. We get credit for a free pizza later. 
  • We read some Christmas stories and sing songs. 
  • The kids are all riled up, and at one point all three are crying. Woo decides it's a good time to wish me "Merry Christmas!" 
  • Kids go to bed. 
  • I make turtles for Woo's Christmas. 
  • Woo works on ooTunes.

Thursday

  • Merry Christmas! 
  • The kids enjoy opening their presents. I think they all are a hit, and they entertain themselves peacefully for the next two days. 
  • A very relaxing day. 

Friday

  • Another great, relaxing day. 
  • Woo gets lots of positive feedback from ooTunes testers, but it's still not ready! So close! 

Saturday 

  • In the morning, we talk to Woo's parents. 
  • In the afternoon, we go to another party... this is definitely getting to the kids. 
  • I design my first website after the kids go to bed. 

Sunday 

  • Church 
  • Ate more leftovers (I haven't had to cook for 3 days! :)) 
  • Sensory overload for me leads to long and boring email for you.

12.22.2008

Very Cold, Very Drab, Very Icy Week!

This has not been the most exciting week, mostly because we've spent so much time trapped in the house. Even Steven spent several days working at home to avoid the chill he couldn't avoid either riding his bike, taking the bus (standing, waiting in the cold), or driving (parking far away and walking).

I still had a couple of things I wanted to get/do before Christmas, but I didn't feel good about taking myself or the kids out on those icy roads. We finally had some relief on Friday and Saturday, and I was able to get stuff done, but today is the freezing-est day of them all. I'm so glad I'm not crossing any mountain passes with a handcart, or homeless, or anything.

Today the primary sang several Christmas songs dressed as the Nativity. Ruby walked into the chapel dressed half as an angel and half as a shepherd. She stood with the other shepherds---the only girl---and described herself as either a shepherd or an "angel-shepherd."

I'm guessing that she was encouraged to be an angel with the other little girls, but that she insisted on being a shepherd.

Woo tried to get her excited about Christmas Eve by telling her that she'd get to be Mary. Well, it turns out that she does not want to be Mary at all. There was some yelling and some tears, and to make a long story short, she's agreed to be a "baby-Mary" if I'm a "mom-Mary."

Friday, in the store, Herbie was thrilled to discover some Spiderman sunglasses in his size. Just as he slid them on his nose, "The Jingle Bell Rock" came over the loud speaker. Even if he didn't love the Christmas tree that dances to that song at Mom's house, we all know it's a great song to dance to. He immediately started pulling all his best moves. I don't think he's ever felt cooler. It's too bad that he'll dance like there's no tomorrow in the middle of the store, wearing sunglasses, but he's too inhibited to dance for anyone he knows.

It's really a sight to see, but unfortunately, you'll never see it.

Moses has discovered that he doesn't have to immediately fall asleep just because I've put him in his crib. He's pretty pleased with his discovery, peeking at me over the blanket I've hung over his crib at nap time and laughing like it's amazing. I usually find a couple of books in his crib in the morning that he's managed to reach and maneuver through the bars. Luckily, he doesn't play around for hours. It just seems to last a few minutes, and then he drops down to snooze.

Woo still hasn't released ooTunes mobile yet. The closer he gets, the more glitches he finds, it seems. Sometimes he feels like there's no light at the end of the tunnel, but he keeps plugging away. It's certainly a good thing he's doing this, and not me. He has the patience and perseverance to see a project to perfection that I just don't have.

He's also getting dangerously close to actually buying an iPhone. He's applied for a special credit card (to get money back on AT&T purchases), and he's been accepted as a supplier for the card (so he'll receive $$ back that way too), and has generally got it all figured out to cost him as little money as is humanly possible.

Also, I guess I announced our pregnancy a couple weeks too early, because I miscarried this week. I don't know how other women feel, but I don't feel like I'm grieving at all. It was unexpected, but I'd much rather have a miscarriage than a stillborn or baby born with genetic defects. We'll just have to try again later.

We're excited to celebrate Ruby's birthday and Christmas this week. Merry Christmas everyone!

12.15.2008

Thank Goodness For The Internet

Did I really used to leave the house to do my Christmas shopping? It's been great to be able to do it all lying in bed with the laptop. Merry Christmas!

I did leave the house a couple times this week, where I surprisingly found a china cabinet that fit my taste AND my budget AND Woo's records. I'm thrilled to get rid of those flimsy wire shelf things, and I finally felt good enough about the living room to start decorating it for Christmas.

The kids thought I was getting presents out instead of the decorations, and Herbie started yelling about "A bike! A bike with pedals for Kistmas!"

He wasn't too let down when I explained that there wasn't a bike, just some trees, lights and snowflakes, but Ruby was convinced that I could bring Kistmas now!

Everything about Christmas is super exciting to them, and it's fun to remember how magical and wonderful Christmas seemed to be as a kid.

Ruby remembers every song we sang on that Polar Express Train ride, and smiles and yells, "I know that song from the train!" whenever she hears one.

She also thinks Santa lives on the train. Woo and I have never decided what to tell the kids about Santa, and as a result have not said anything. Whenever anyone asks Ruby if Santa's coming to her house, she says, "No! Santa was on the train!" 

She gets a lot of confused smiles and nods.

Herbie has decided that he likes to sing. He walks around the house singing almost every word (or a variation of...) to all the songs we regularly sing. I was even surprised to hear him singing "Jesus came to John the Baptist, in Judea, long ago..." 

Not one of the first songs I expected him to learn. When we sing hymns he holds half the hymn book with us and repeats what we sing. He's pretty good at it.

Moses was clingy after the trip. Then he got shots on Monday. Then he got his two top teeth (4 total), and finally, today he's been acting like himself again---crawling, exploring, laughing and eating like he hasn't eaten in ages. Woo and Moses worked on their relationship one night with the help of a ball. Moses got hurt the next day and crawled, bawling to Woo instead of me. Woo was pretty pleased. 

Steven says that ooTunes Mobile (MooTunes) is reading to be submitted to the app store, and I think he's planning on doing that tomorrow. He's put a lot of work into it, and it really looks sharp. The original ooTunes has gone down twice this week because of the server he's running it on now. It's been a huge pain for him, and he worries about his customers. His next goal is to get a better server.

I'm being very deliberate about getting the extra protein that I need for growing a baby this pregnancy. I guess I'm an idiot for not having done this with the first three because it's taken care of the raging pregnancy appetite I usually have. I also think that I am less tired. The last hour before the kids go to bed is where I hit my wall, and luckily Woo has been stepping up and playing with the kids most nights.

I think that's about it for this week. I hope things are going well. Talk to you all later!

11.24.2008

Bums and More Bums

Herbie's really taken a liking to dancing the last week or two. One night before dinner he was shakin' it to his favorite song ("The High Five Song"), when he yells at me, "Mom, put your hand on your bum!"

What?

"Mom, put your hand on your bum! Like this!"

He enthusiastically slapped his bum over and over (unfortunately, not with the rhythm at all...).

I guess I have Woo to thank for teaching him that move while I've been gone to Seminary? He's really going to be quite the lady killer.

And, you knew this one was coming:
Ruby (eyeing me critically): Mom, you have a big bum! 
Herbie (running in as if he's missing something): I want to see your big bum, Mom! 
Anyway, we've had a pretty good week. Woo immediately emailed after his committee meeting with "it could've been worse." Which I understood to mean "it went well." He set a tentative graduation date for Thanksgiving 2009.

Ruby and I have had some good one-on-one time this week. She was thrilled to go visiting teaching with me. She told Herbie and Moses, "Bye, Guys!" and blew them kisses every 15 minutes for an hour before we left. Her primary teacher was also out of town and asked me to sub, so we spent all of primary together too. I was pleased that she was so happy to have me be her teacher (I guess she's still young enough for that). I even made her proud, mooing like a cow during a game of charades.

Herbie's been sick the last two days. Last night he went to bed early, and I was awakened at 7:50 this morning by, "She's MY Mom! No! She's MY Mom! Bay!" (Bay is Herbie's homemade expletive. He says it when he really means business.) Which escalated to: "I NEED you, Mom! I NEED you!"

It's great to be needed, but this didn't bode well for a pleasant day at church. Woo considered staying home with him, but decided to take him and hold him, instead of taking him to nursery. Herbie had a couple of loud outbursts, but they were short, and solved by carrying him out of the room, giving him a big hug, and offering an acceptable set of choices. Hopefully, he feels better tomorrow.

Moses is my water baby. He gets in the tub with the other kids and crawls around in pursuit of toys as if the water wasn't even there. Yesterday he fell over backwards and started to cry, but then stopped, when he realized that the water had cushioned his fall, and he hadn't hurt his head. There was no panic or fear of immediate death that Ruby and Herbie get when a little water gets near their faces.

Moses also occasionally plays a cute game of peek-a-boo with me, where he crawls away about two steps, then turns and laughs. Crawls back to my lap. Crawls away about two steps.... turns and laughs, etc.

Well, that's about it. I better get packing. We fly out tomorrow. I'm not going to write next week. 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

11.17.2008

Just A Week In The Life--Sorry For Lameness/Laziness...

Monday 

  • Our heavy cleaning day. Ruby and Herbie helped me take out the garbage, make the bed, change the laundry, wash the rugs, spray air freshener, pick clothes off the floor (Ruby is especially good at rolling Woo's belts up and putting them away), etc. 
  • Ruby and Herbie really wanted to teach the lesson, but I taught the lesson on taking care of our bodies (getting enough sleep and sleeping-in was emphasized). 

Tuesday 

  • The kids sleep in!!!!! 
  • Woo informs me that OoTunes is attracting steady business (but not enough for even us to live off of, dang it!) 
  • I worked on the armchair after the kids went to bed. (I know you're all scared for it after my last email, but it's looking pretty good). 

Wednesday 

  • Moses didn't nap in the afternoon for some odd/annoying reason. 
  • It was Moses' turn to come with me to Seminary. 
  • Woo makes the bold decision to work exclusively on MooTunes and get it done as fast as he can to sell in the App store. He feels that it would be more profitable than OoTunes. 
  • I worked on the armchair after the kids went to bed. 

Thursday 

  • I rearranged our bedroom, and decided we need a sideboard or long, low dresser in there. 
  • We baby-sat three G--- kids, one of whom wouldn't eat his dinner because he was scared of one of my paintings. 
  • Herbie says, "Hey Rover, my Grover! Come back!" while learning to play Red Rover 
  • Woo goes to give a girl and her husband blessings. She had a baby a few days ago, and now has a high fever, shakes, etc. 
  • We were invited to dine at G---'s on Friday. 
  • I rearranged the living room after the kids went to bed. (It's still not right... What to do with all those records?) 
  • Woo gets sidetracked by OoTunes again... 

Friday 

  • Friday's movie day for the kids. They chose Peter Pan. Ruby was the only one who finished watching it. 
  • I made a delicious apple cheesecake for dinner at the G---'s. 
  • We were uninvited to dinner at the G---'s. The kids and I met Woo at work for a salsa contest (Woo-hoo! I didn't have to make dinner after all!) 
  • I ate half the cheesecake after the kids were in bed. 

Saturday 

  • We hit the thrift stores in search of a sideboard thingy. We left with more clothes for Woo. 
  • Ruby and Herbie both wanted a bike in one of the stores. Herbie threw a tantrum as I carried him out the door. 
  • 10:00pm Woo starts work on his slides for his committee meeting Monday morning. 
  • Woo creates several hilarious slides, but deletes them in favor of slides with more substance. 

Sunday 

  • We went to church and came home. 
  • Moses broke down, and took a sweet nap on my lap in Relief Society. 
  • The kids napped while Woo gave an older sister a blessing, and came home to receive a blessing himself (not from me... Pres. Sleet dropped by...) 
  • Woo took Herbie home teaching. 
  • I taught seminary. 
  • I wrote this email.

11.09.2008

Who's Bright Idea Was Daylight Savings Time, Anyway?

I don't recall ever thinking that daylight savings time was a dumb idea until now.

Ruby, Herbie and Moses have STILL not figured out that they should sleep-in another hour because they're going to bed an hour later. I don't remember it taking so long last year to adjust.

Maybe I just don't remember.

Maybe it's because they're all sleeping in the same bedroom.

Other than that we've had a pretty good week.

little boy eating instagram

Herbie surprised us during scripture study. Woo was reading... "the great and abominable..." "CHURCH!" Herbie yelled.

He flashed us a huge smile and raised his eyebrows as we stared at him in shock.

How on earth did he know that?!

I really doubt they've been talking about the great and abominable church in nursery, and we certainly don't talk about it at home.

Herbie does really seem to have a talent for words, and can often repeat something he's heard just once, so maybe last time we were reading in Nephi?

He does not have a talent for colors, and he still has no idea. I sometimes wonder if he might be colorblind, but Woo just thinks he's a late bloomer. 

little girl eating instagram

At home, Ruby's been having a bit of a self-righteous streak:
Herbie, Heavenly Father wants me to have the timer.  
He does not want you to have it. 
(Surprisingly, Herbie didn't agree).

And while praying:
... and Herbie's eyes are open, and 
(looking around)
Mom's eyes are open.
InthenameofJesusChristAmen!
(immediately on her feet, pointing)
UH OH, GUYS!!
DON'T OPEN YOUR EYES DURING PRAYER!!!
In primary she seems to be turning into something of a class clown. I'm told that her winning punch line is "a cow." The other kids are eating it up, and her Dad is very proud.

baby boy carseat instagram

Yesterday Moses deliberately let go of the couch and attempted to take a step forward. Of course, he fell flat on his face. I was very surprised to see him attempt it at this age. Maybe he'll walk a lot earlier than the other kids.

I tried to catch Moses helping Herbie "fix" his bike on camera, but they both moved as soon as I got it out. The bike was upside down. Herbie was spinning the front wheel, and Moses was standing, holding on the frame, spinning the back wheel.

baby boy at table instagram

Since we discovered it (about 4 years ago), Woo's been dying to try a restaurant here called Woofies. I've always been the one who's stood in his way because Woofies has been "serving the hot dog with dignity" for I don't know how many years in St. Louis, and I don't think I've eaten a hot dog since high school. I'm pretty much morally opposed, but Woo was craving one, so we drove through Wendy's for me and then stopped at Woofies.

I'm happy to say that we will not be going back. The mediocre food, the $1.29 ATM fee (cash or debit only), and the high prices did them in. I think Woo was the most irate about the $1.29 surcharge.

The armchair is about half finished. I have one of those looks-fine-from-a-distance-but-don't-look-too-close parts already. I took a couple evenings off to cool off my desire to just finish it, and I'll work on making it look better, but part of me still doesn't want to strive for perfection on this. I'm not sure I have it in me. Whenever I look close at store bought things I find mistakes, and no one will look close at this unless they learn that I reupholstered it (so don't tell anyone!). It is looking more 70s lounge than I wanted, but of course, everyone will say it looks exactly like us and will think it fits us perfectly, so I'm not too upset, I guess.

Seminary is still going great. I have a great time most days.

That's about it. We're excited to come to Utah in just a few weeks! Talk to you later.

11.02.2008

Some Spooky Stuff

little girl in pajamas and cowboy boots instagram

We did manage to go trick-or-treating this week.

It was a last minute decision---made about an hour before we actually went. For the first time in my life, I was sick to the bone of candy and sugar, and not at all excited about getting more. Woo was having similar feelings, but we managed to forget our earlier hesitation Halloween night when we confiscated and consumed most of the kids' candy the second they were down in bed.

No one trick-or-treats in our neighborhood, so we drove to a legendary block in a neighboring town. It was worth going just to see how the houses were decorated.   I'm not even going to try to describe it.  We could have spent hours just looking at all the details in some people's yards. The owners sat outside with giant storage bins filled with candy.

We could see why as we were leaving, because there were solid lines of trick-or-treaters from the sidewalk to the front porch at every house.

family halloween costumes instagram

Ruby continued to be a hit with her wall street banker costume (only reinforcing her belief that wearing suits is awesome).

Woo had decided to be a hobo for the evening, and carried a sign that read, "Will work for treats."

Everyone thought it was part of Ruby's costume and thought it was hilarious.

The most frightening moment for Herbie is when he got licked on the face by a large dog. The poor kid screamed in terror while the people around us laughed. (Maybe they forget what it's like to be 3 feet tall, and not at all familiar with dogs?) He later admitted that the dog didn't hurt him at all, and that it felt something like kisses, but he still screamed again when a dog walked past him today.

little boy punching flexing muscles instagram

Ruby and Herbie like dogs from a distance.

little girl in barrel instagram

Moses is starting to pull-up on the couch and the bed and the bench in the bathroom. He's pretty pleased with himself when he gets to a standing position. He's no longer able to sleep in church, so I'm a little fearful of what he'll be like on the airplane. But we're flying at a different time than we normally do, and it shouldn't interfere too much with his regular nap time.

baby boy sitting on blanket instagram

Woo spent a rough two hours on the phone with a customer on Saturday. I think he's regretting having given him our phone number--especially because he already needs more help. He's had a couple of these high maintenance guys, and he's trying to figure out a good customer service policy. He actually refunded someone's money once, just so he wouldn't have to deal with him again, but that's probably not the best thing.

I walked into the fabric store envisioning a dark brown corduroy for reupholstering the armchair, and I walked out with a BRIGHT aquamarine. I guess that chair may end up right back in the kids' room when I'm finished with it.

Woo reminded me that I have a tendency to get myself worked up into a frenzy on projects and sacrifice quality for speed, so I'm trying to take this one slow, and hopefully that will help.

10.26.2008

Best Week Ever?

In a lot of ways, this week was pretty exciting for Ruby and Herbie.
  • Fun packages came in the mail.
  • They each got a pair of cleats, which they LOVE, from the thrift store.
  • They've discovered that footy-pajamas can be just as awesome as suits or shorts (depending on their individual preferences).
  • We also had the tree in the backyard removed,
  • and the trunk-or-treat was this week.
We've been trying to get the tree removed for about 6 months, but the ground needed to be dry for them to do the job, and it kept raining on the day that they'd schedule us.

They finally came on Friday, and Ruby and Herbie were glued to the windows for about 4 hours.

Woo was only glued to the window for an hour and a half, and Moses was slightly annoyed by all the ruckus going on outside.

It was pretty fun to watch.

They pulled out the full arsenal to remove our tree: a bucket truck, chain saws of assorted sizes, a chipper, a bobcat "No, it's actually a DOG-CAT, Mom!", some stump-grinder thing, ropes, hard hats, you name it.

They did a great job.

We had piles of limbs that had already fallen, that we'd broken down and thrown in between our 8' ornamental grasses. They collected all of that for us and threw it into the chipper. They raked and swept up everything, left a truckload of wood-chips in a neat pile in our driveway, and occasionally waved at the kids.

I finally have all the wood chips I want (and that's not sarcasm).

Saturday evening, Ruby eagerly put on Herbie's three piece suit and church shoes. I gave her a mustache, and Woo taught her how to say, "I'm a wall street banker."

kids halloween instagram
Herbie was a little harder to please. I wanted him to wear the lederhosen, but he'd just worn them to church a couple of weeks ago, and he really wanted to wear his cleats. So he wore his adidas track suit and cleats---a soccer player.

Moses was a clown.

woman dressed as dog baby dressed as clown instagram
I was a siberian husky, and Woo was GI Joe.

man dressed as GI Joe baby dressed as clown instagram
We all looked pretty ghetto, but the kids felt cool. I was happy I didn't have to sew anything, and Woo was happy that no money was spent.

It turns out that I really like moving. Until we moved here, I hadn't lived in one place for more than 8 months for 10 years. When we'd lived here a year, I kept having dreams that I was checking out new apartments/houses, or that I'd found an exciting new room in the house we now have. Well, I've got that moving bug again, with no move on the horizon, so I've decided to reupholster an armchair, our three dining chairs, and do a bit of a furniture switch-er-roo. It's not the same as working with a totally new space, but I'm excited, and it will hopefully keep me sane.

Well, that's about it. I hope everyone has a great week. I'll talk to you later.

10.19.2008

The 5 Year Mark

baby boy fire hat instagram
Woo and I had our fifth anniversary this week. We dropped the kids off at the Greene's and headed for the mall as fast as we could.

We were late for our appointment at the Apple Store.

Our computer had died AGAIN for the third time in two months.

After an extremely romantic hour there, we ate at a restaurant in the mall, and returned to pick up the kids.

Woo's best line of the week came when he asked the Greenes how it had gone:
Greenes (avoiding eye contact with us): Well... you know how it is when you put six kids together in a room...

Woo: Magic?
Ruby had a package of markers out on the the couch when we got there (without their knowledge), and Woo observed her crawling around on the floor and otherwise goofing off while the Primary was practicing for their program next week.

I've always considered Ruby to be above average on the curiosity/quickness/aggressive scales. I know what she's capable of, so I keep a close eye on her always, but these two incidents have me wondering: is there something we're doing that's causing her to behave worse when we're not around (or something we could do so she'd be better?), or are other people just afraid to tell her no?

Herbie has been going through shorts withdrawal with the colder weather. Shorts are his absolute favorite piece of clothing ever, and he will frequently admire other people wearing shorts.

I knew the only way to keep him from wearing shorts all winter was to remove them completely from his room and squirrel them away in the basement.

He's asked for them every morning. He seems to be under the impression that they're all dirty, and as soon as I do the laundry, they'll be back. I think he's going to be really excited when they magically return again (in about six months).

smiling baby boy instagram
Moses is a much happier baby now that he can go anywhere he wants to go. He's really been enjoying himself, exploring pretty much every corner of the house.

Our house has been totally baby proof for sometime now. I can't believe that I actually used to put plants on the floor or glass knick-knacks lower than 5 ft!?!

The only thing I have to watch for is that he doesn't get too much time with any one book, or he'll gnaw a corner off.

10.13.2008

Warning: Longer Than Normal...


Thursday or Friday I decided that I couldn't take the dark bedroom any longer and ripped off the coverings over the kids' windows. Wow! That's been a mistake! I fixed them on Saturday in a less permanent way so that I can darken the windows at night/naps and let light in when they're playing, but the kids are still recovering. I'm always surprised that they can't just sleep-in the next day, when they're tired. It takes a couple days. Anyway, here's some random stuff from our week:

One morning I realized that Herbie was trying to kick Ruby, and Ruby was calmly and kindly saying over and over, "Don't kick me Herbie. Kick a soccer ball." I was very impressed that she was able to keep her cool under fire. Unfortunately Herbie wanted to kick Ruby more than he wanted to kick a soccer ball, so I offered a pillow option. Ruby ran for a pillow. Herbie kicked that around for a few minutes, and Ruby ran free. In an unrelated incident, Ruby cried and cried when I told Herbie he could wear her lederhosen to church today.


At dinner Woo and Herbie discussed Herbie's potential to become a dad.
Woo: You'll be a dad, Herbie.

Herbie: Oh. After I be born? 
Woo: Yes, definitely after you're born.  
Herbie: Oh. After I mow the lawn with your big lawn mower? 
Apparently that glorious day can't come too soon for Herbie (or Woo either, probably).


Moses is crawling confidently all around the house. As soon as he's released, he likes to head for his bedroom, the back room or under the kitchen table (where, unfortunately, he usually finds a few delicious morsels). He also will make a beeline for any ball or book within easy reach. Moses has been going #2 in the potty for me a few times a week, thanks to his more solid diet.


Friday night Woo sprained his back swinging Ruby around. Despite the pain he was living the high life for a good 24 hours. I lifted each kid up for him to hug and kiss, made a comfy nest of pillows on the floor, eased him into it, saw him comfortably set up with his laptop, fetched him a drink and a couple of other things... The next morning he lounged on the couch reading The Economist. When we went out, Ruby put his shoes on for him. I had to replace our new license plates on the car, buckle each child in, help him into the passenger's seat (he was able to close the door himself), etc., etc. While he was watching me put the license plates on, he said, "I kind of like hurting my back!"

Tuesday night I went to a baby shower. Baby showers, in general, are pretty painful, but this one was especially painful. Mostly because the entertainment consisted of unsolicited labor stories and advice. Labor and delivery is actually one of my favorite topics of discussion, but only under a very specific set of circumstances, and this was not it. I felt that the focus should have been on the mom-to-be, her plans, her family, the new baby, etc. I made a couple of attempts to change the flow of the conversation, but they were too weak to compete with the mom-with-the-unnecessary-c-section and the mom-who-can't-mention-her-kids-without-also-mentioning-that-she-had-them-all-naturally (which I also find obnoxious). Anyway, next time I go to a baby shower, I'll have to go in with a better game plan---maybe names. Names are a hot topic.

Well, this is (finally) over. Talk to you later!

10.12.2008

Weekly Minutiae

smiling little girl instagram
Thursday or Friday I decided that I couldn't take the dark bedroom any longer and ripped off the coverings over the kids' windows.

Wow! That's been a mistake!

I fixed them on Saturday in a less permanent way so that I can darken the windows at night/naps and let light in when they're playing, but the kids are still recovering.

I'm always surprised that they can't just sleep-in the next day, when they're tired. It takes a couple days.

Anyway, here's some random stuff from our week:

One morning I realized that Herbie was trying to kick Ruby, and Ruby was calmly and kindly saying over and over, "Don't kick me Herbie. Kick a soccer ball."

I was very impressed that she was able to keep her cool under fire. Unfortunately Herbie wanted to kick Ruby more than he wanted to kick a soccer ball, so I offered a pillow option.

Ruby ran for a pillow. Herbie kicked that around for a few minutes, and Ruby ran free.

In an unrelated incident, Ruby cried and cried when I told Herbie he could wear her lederhosen to church today.

little boy lederhosen instagram
Moses is crawling confidently all around the house. As soon as he's released, he likes to head for his bedroom, the back room or under the kitchen table (where, unfortunately, he usually finds a few delicious morsels). He also will make a beeline for any ball or book within easy reach.

Moses has been going #2 in the potty for me a few times a week, thanks to his more solid diet.

baby boy crawling instagram
Friday night Woo sprained his back swinging Ruby around. Despite the pain he was living the high life for a good 24 hours.

I lifted each kid up for him to hug and kiss, made a comfy nest of pillows on the floor, eased him into it, saw him comfortably set up with his laptop, fetched him a drink and a couple of other things...

The next morning he lounged on the couch reading The Economist. When we went out, Ruby put his shoes on for him. I had to replace our new license plates on the car, buckle each child in, help him into the passenger's seat (he was able to close the door himself), etc., etc.

While he was watching me put the license plates on, he said, "I kind of like hurting my back!"

Tuesday night I went to a baby shower.

Baby showers, in general, are pretty painful, but this one was especially painful. Mostly because the entertainment consisted of unsolicited labor stories and advice.

Labor and delivery is actually one of my favorite topics of discussion, but only under a very specific set of circumstances, and this was not it.

I felt that the focus should have been on the mom-to-be, her plans, her family, the new baby, etc. I made a couple of attempts to change the flow of the conversation, but they were too weak to compete with the mom-with-the-unnecessary-c-section and the mom-who-can't-mention-her-kids-without-also-mentioning-that-she-had-them-all-naturally (which I also find obnoxious).

Anyway, next time I go to a baby shower, I'll have to go in with a better game plan---maybe names. Names are a hot topic.

10.05.2008

October!

Monday I went to one of those fancy, organic, grocery stores just to look around.

I rolled my eyes at yoga workout tapes, and new age and world music on sale. I scoffed at courses on the history of Buddhism, walked through rows and rows of supplements, and started to get the feeling that I'd rather be out of the store than in it.

For some reason a plastic grocery bag that said, "I used to be a bottle" under a recycle symbol was the last straw, and I headed straight for the door.

As I was walking out the door I thought, "Wait a second... I just ordered a yoga relaxation game for my kids... I use a couple of supplements I could only get in a place like this... We recycle almost everything... I do lots of other crazy, hippie things... shouldn't I love this place?"

But I didn't. I don't know what that means.

little girl instagram
Woo chased a frisbee out into the road this week at Ultimate, and Ruby sternly let him have it.
Dad, don't go in the street!
I don't like that AT ALL!
The cars are going to get you, Dad!
I'm glad we have her to keep us in line.

Actually, I have asked Ruby to let me know when I'm doing something I don't want to be doing (like yelling), and she's been very good at helping me be better.

Moses is moving forward (finally!) a couple of feet at a time. He's not super confident about it yet (because about half the time his head meets the ground before his hand does), but he has also decided that he's pleased with his ability to go from his back to a sitting position.

Moses is definitely going to keep our floors free from debris as soon as he gets going. He especially seems to love paper.

baby boy instagram
Herbie thinks that I go to the cemetery twice a week (seminary), and one of his favorite words is "actually" as in: "Actually, this is MY mom, Ruby! No! This is my mom, ACTUALLY!"

Herbie got himself all ready for work this afternoon, by zipping his "ePod" (a shoe lace) partially into his backpack, sticking the ends into his ears, and climbing on his bike.

Weekends seem to be best for ooTunes. It sells well on Saturday and Sunday. 4 or 5 radio stations have contacted Woo about making their station available to all their listeners on the iPhone. He's been thinking about it. He'd have to write something totally different, but is thinking that this might be a better market. Woo helped with two moves this week. He got a free dinner at Cracker Barrel after one (which he later regretted, it's never as good as we imagine it will be). He wasn't too happy about the one this morning, mostly because he didn't really think that the ox was in the mire, and because he is not feeling well.

9.28.2008

A Week of Minor Annoyances and Petty Grievances

Warning: Although we had plenty of good things happen this week too, we seemed to have more annoying things going on than usual, and that's all I'm going to highlight this week. I hope it's not too much of a downer :)

The thing that is freshest on my mind is that I just taught my most boring Seminary lesson ever. I mistakenly thought that things were going well, and that I didn't need to prepare very much... whoops! I couldn't decide if it would be better to apologize for a bad lesson at the end of class or to not say anything about it at all. In the end I said nothing. I hope everyone shows up to class again next week!

Steven and I have spent time arguing almost every day about the war in Iraq, what it means to "win" a war, Obama, Mccain, Palin, Biden, etc. For our "date" on Friday night we listened to the debate. It really didn't do much for our relationship. On the bright side, I think we pretty much agree on what should be done about the financial crisis.

Moses is still not crawling. He can do push ups, back up into a sitting position, maneuver sideways... pretty much everything but move forward. He really wants to follow us around and check stuff out on his own, but he can't get there. He spends a lot of his belly time whining. I'll be really glad when he's figured it out!

Ruby's picked up some poor speech habits from one of her little friends. She's dropping her Rs and bungling her THs. She sounds pretty bad, and it's driving Woo CRAZY! Does anyone have concrete evidence of a kid doing something like this, then reverting back to correct speech on their own, never having to visit a speech pathologist, so that he can relax (and so the rest of us can quit being annoyed with him)?

Herbie has decided to play a little game before nap time. It doesn't take long, about 10 minutes, but I still could do without it. I don't even want to describe it, but it basically consists of singing, bawling, contradictory requests, finally a request for a hug, and then he's out.

Well, that's about it. I hope everyone's doing well. Talk to you later!

9.22.2008

A Week of Lists and Questions

1 funny thing about Moses: 

1. He likes to sleep with at least one arm or leg jammed through the slats of the crib.

Question: Does he really find the tight clamp around his thigh comfortable, or is he just testing my ability to unwind him without hurting him?

2 pleasant surprises from Ruby: 

1. "Thank you, Mom, for making me dinner!"

2. Ruby: kneeling and talking to the sky. Woo: "What are you doing, Ruby? Are you praying?" Ruby: "No, I'm talking to Jesus!"

Question: Should I be proud of #2 or worried?

3 clues that the word "cute" doesn't mean what Herbie thinks it does: 

1. "Mom do you hear that lawn mower? Is it a tractor? It's cute! Right mom?"

2. "A motorcycle, Mom! That's cute!"

3. "Mom, look at our big, big car! Look at our cute car!"

Question: Will I wound his manly pride if I tell him what people really mean when they say he's cute?

4 of Woo's largest purchases and time spent finding the best bang for his buck: 

1. Land in the Ozarks... 15 minutes

2. A Home for his family... 3 days

3. A new camera... 6 months

4. A new laptop... 2 years (Yes, he finally bought one this week)

Question: What does this say about Woo? a) He's a sucker for real estate. b) He believes purchases over $30,000 can't go wrong. c) He knows too much about computers to ever find one that he's perfectly happy with. d) none of the above

5 reasons why I've decided that fall is officially my favorite season: 

1. Fantastic weather

2. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are approaching, and approaching fast

3. The smells: cinnamon, spice, pumpkin, fall air, apples, etc.

4. Using the oven no longer makes the house too hot, so I can make cookies or apple crisp or pound cake on Sunday evenings again.

5. I keep having great memories of fall and the holidays when I was a kid.

Question: Why does fall feel a time to start up again even though I'm not in school anymore?

9.14.2008

It was the Best of Weeks; It was the Worst of Weeks

dad and kids on cot instagram
The Best:

1. We got the new nursery manual in the mail this week. As much as we all enjoyed gathering around the computer for Family Home Evening (We'd been working our way through some lessons online), I thought it would be nice to gather in the living room and look at each other.

I felt like we were in a church film as Woo talked about being a child of God, and Ruby spontaneously laughed and gave him a big hug.

We actually wondered aloud if someone was secretly filming us because it didn't seem real.

2. Almost every morning for about two years we've had "rug time," where the kids play with some toys on their respective rugs, and I rush around cleaning the house.

For the last 2-3 months something just hasn't been right about rug time, so finally, this week (sometimes it takes me a while to realize things need to change) I decided that rug time needed to go.

It was time for the kids to learn the tricks of the trade.

Every morning this week we've had "chore time," and Ruby and Herbie have helped me clean the toilet, make my bed, mop under the kitchen table, vacuum, unload the dishwasher, clean the microwave, the front of the kitchen cabinets, etc.

We've all had a lot of fun, and I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that work is actually a great thing to do with kids.

Herbie actually cried on Friday when I told we weren't going to have chore time that day.

dad and kids on cot instagram
3. Someone in Woo's lab moved and gave us tons of their fancy, left-over food.

4. Moses is up on his hands and knees (moving backwards still, though).

dad and kids on cot instagram
The Worst:

1. The fancy, left-over food included some minty chocolate ice cream with dark chocolate chips. I thought I was safe, but I guess I'll never learn that I should just stay completely away from chocolate while I'm nursing.

The caffeine kept me up late, and woke Moses up an hour early.

In our house sleep-deprived mom = grouchy, snappy, bossy, impatient mom. I was the worst mom I've been in a while on Tuesday.

2. Moses hit his weight gain plateau, and the doctor brought it up at his check-up. I was expecting it, and had spent the whole drive there getting mad at the doctor. One saucy sentence from me, stopped him short. (Yes, this was also on Tuesday).

3. Woo discovered that he could no longer find his website on Google. It was especially hard for him because he'd recently spent about 50 hours on a specific page to bring it up on popular searches.

He spent a few dazed and depressed minutes on the couch.

This story has a happy ending because we finally decided to say a prayer, and today it was back in the searches, with links, and better than ever (Yes, this is true!).

9.08.2008

An Autumn Week

Fall is here, and it sure feels nice. Thanks to all the rain that kept the humidity and the heat down, this was the best summer we've had in St. Louis.

Today when I asked Herbie to leave the kitchen so I could get dinner ready he said, "I no want you to make dinner. Herbie make dinner! Mom take a nap!" Ah, if only I could've trusted him to whip up something edible, I would've gladly followed his orders. He thought he was inflicting severe punishment, of course.

On Friday, Moses' first tooth broke through. He's started to actually eat his baby cereal, and we've noticed that he spits up a lot less now that he has some solids in him. Today he was dangerously close to crawling. He pivots and scoots and does something similar to a push up. Any day now, probably.

Ruby has been great this week at helping Herbie remember what he needs to say to ask for something politely. She says it very clearly and very slowly for him to copy, and she always remembers the please (when asking for Herbie). We've overheard her speaking to Herbie a couple times that way, and it's been fun to hear... "Herbie, can you please stop yelling in my ear?"... spoken very clearly and slowly as if he were deaf.

Woo and I have started trading baby sitting with another couple in the branch. These sorts of things usually end badly for us, but we think we've solved the obstacles that have hindered us in the past, and we'll see how long it goes. We'll enjoy it for as long as it lasts. This same couple talked us into organizing a weekly Ultimate Frisbee game on Saturday mornings. There's been a lot of interest from other people in the branch and students, so we think we can get a good game going. I'm especially excited that both Woo and I can play most of the game because there's a playground right off the field for Ruby and Herbie, and Moses can just sit.

That's all I have for this week. I hope everyone's doing well. Talk to you later.

9.07.2008

A Pleasant Fall Week

little girl holding baby instagram

Fall is here, and it sure feels nice.

Thanks to all the rain that kept the humidity and the heat down, this was the best summer we've had in St. Louis.

Today when I asked Herbie to leave the kitchen so I could get dinner ready he said,
I no want you to make dinner.
Herbie make dinner!
Mom take a nap!
Ah, if only I could've trusted him to whip up something edible, I would've gladly followed his orders.

He thought he was inflicting severe punishment, of course.

On Friday, Moses' first tooth broke through. He's started to actually eat his baby cereal, and we've noticed that he spits up a lot less now that he has some solids in him.

Today he was dangerously close to crawling. He pivots and scoots and does something similar to a push up.

Any day now, probably.

baby eating solids instagram
Ruby has been great this week at helping Herbie remember what he needs to say to ask for something politely. She says it very clearly and very slowly for him to copy, and she always remembers the please (when asking for Herbie).

We've overheard her speaking to Herbie a couple times that way, and it's been fun to hear... "Herbie, can you please stop yelling in my ear?"... spoken very clearly and slowly as if he were deaf.

9.01.2008

10 YEARS YOUNGER

Well, my big news for the week is that I got my hair cut.

The most pleasant surprise about the whole thing is that because I was able to donate 12+ inches to Locks of Love, I got my hair cut for free. I asked the stylist for side-swept bangs (which is not what I got), but as she was chopping away, she said, "You'll love your new bangs. You'll look 10 years younger!" 

She moved out of the way so I could look in the mirror, and I looked exactly like... Mom! That's not 10 years younger!

(Mom, you look great. I don't know if people think you're 21, though.)

On a sidenote: I wasn't aware that I need to/should want to look 10 years younger yet. I'm hoping that's just what she says to everyone, as she gives them bangs.

Moses hit the six month mark on Friday, so he got his first solids Friday morning. Since then he's tasted barley cereal, nectarine, salsa and a tortilla chip. Before you worry that that's too much, too fast, I don't think he's actually eaten anything yet. He's just making funny faces and squishing it around in his mouth until it dribbles out the front still. I don't expect him to actually ingest anything for another week or so.

Ruby is delighted to finish off the leftover baby cereal. If someone else is eating it, it must be delicious! 

We ate at a Mexican restaurant on Saturday, and Herbie was a perfect little gentleman. He sat still in his little booster seat, delicately sipped his water, waited patiently for his food, carefully, carefully dipped his chips in salsa and navigated them to his mouth. He didn't even spill a drop of salsa (which can't be said for his parents)! Woo and I were very impressed.

We had two little boys over Wednesday night while their parents went to a baseball game. The little boy Ruby's age fell asleep on the couch, and she was absolutely fascinated. Every time we turned around, she was leaning over him, a centimeter away from his face. I don't really know what she wanted to do. It looked like she was kissing him. Woo did catch her kissing his belly once.

Woo's week can best be described as a wrestle. He's still trying to figure out how to manage everything that's going on his life, and what he should spend time on.  His app has had a good week... breaking previous records at the beginning of the week. Apple also accepted his application to have his programs in their APP store for the iPhone. Most of his recent customers are requesting conservative talk radio for their iPhones.

This is the first week that I didn't teach seminary during Sunday School. I've been itching to change it since I got called, but the previous teachers hadn't been released yet, and they didn't have a lot of confidence that the kids would show up if it wasn't during church. Anyway, they were released, I made my changes, and I had 7 students show up. They've unfortunately been underestimated. Well, that's it for now. I hope you all have a good week. I love you.

8.24.2008

Our Week At Home

We've been home a week now, and the kids are mostly normal. They were pretty riled up. Even in their own beds and with the darkened room it took them a couple of nights to relax enough to be able to go to sleep quickly, and Herbie is still waking up earlier than I would like. But they are behaving pretty well. On Thursday when I told the kids that I was happy to have them being so pleasant again, Ruby perked up, "Present?! I want a present!" Even though the road trip (and recovery) were a lot of work, I think it served it's purpose. We all are happy to be at home, and I'm more motivated to get things done. I still haven't started exercising again, but hopefully next week.

Gladys Knight is coming to St. Louis, and it's a big deal in the branch. There's been a branch blitz to invite all the in-actives. We walked around town this afternoon visiting the names we'd been given. None of them were home, so I started giving flyers out to random people we'd asked directions from or who'd smiled at us. After I'd invited two, I told Woo that he needed to up his game. He countered that he hadn't seen anyone who looked like they liked Gladys Knight. We were approaching the park by our house. There's a friendly, older bearded man who seems to be walking in the park whenever we go by. "I bet bearded man would be interested." "Ok, IF we see bearded man, I will invite him to go to Gladys Knight." Bearded man was 20ft away, walking towards us when we got to the park. Steven did his duty, and I'm pretty sure bearded man will be baptized. (I mean he has to be after that miracle, right?)

I forgot to mention that when we were in the Amish town (which was a pretty sad little town, with mostly sad normal people, and a couple of Amish people and buggies), we were starving. We found a little grocery store and started going up and down the aisles, to see what they had. Every time we'd round a corner and Herbie would see someone in traditional get-up, he'd yell, "FARMER!" The Amish were not amused.

It turns out that Moses' name comes with a lot of fun nicknames. We all call him Mosie, Mose, Mozah, Mozo, or Mozart more than we call him Moses. Woo has a handful of others that he uses occasionally. The most creative and shortest lived was probably Osmosis. He'll be 6 months this week.

Ruby continues to get better at conversing with us. It's great to be able to tell her why and how we do things and know that she understands. It's also nice that she can tell us her feelings and suggest solutions to problems. She frequently surprises me with her memory, and what she understands.

Well, this is it for this week. I hope you all are doing well. I love you. Oh, also, we're coming out for a week and a half around Thanksgiving. More on that later. ("So start your turkeys roasting!" says Woo, looking over my shoulder...) Talk to you later.

8.17.2008

5 nights camping + 3 little kids=????

little boy and girl camping instagram
I felt that everyone was in the mood for a vacation, but then again it could've just been me.

The week before we left, the kids may or may not have worn the same clothes for 4 days in a row.

three kids in car instagram
We started our tour of Missouri with a visit to our land in the Ozarks. We were happy to see that the Rambo Church of Christ is still going strong just down the road from our subdivision, but unfortunately weren't in the area on Sunday to check it out.

Everyone was in good spirits, and Woo and I were apparently a little too optimistic because we set off on a quiet walk down a fire road immediately after zipping Ruby and Herbie up in their tent.

We returned to raucous laughter, a naked Herbie, and an unzipped tent filled with dirt, sticks, leaves, and the rain fly.

dirty toddler instagram
The kids spent the night strapped in their seats in the car.

Getting the kids to sleep continued to be a struggle the entire trip. Couple that with waking up early and less than stellar naps in the car, and you get daily encounters with ornery, whiney, grouchy kids.

Looking back, they were actually pretty good in the mornings, but, boy, they were a pain in the evenings.

baby boy and little boy in tent instagram
One highlight of the trip was going to a Pentecostal meeting in Tightwad, Missouri. Everyone there was super excited to see a young family with kids walk into the room.

I couldn't wipe the smile off my face when 2 men picked up 2 acoustic guitars, 1 man picked up an electric guitar, 1 picked up a bass, 2 women positioned themselves behind microphones behind them and 1 sat down at the piano (over half the congregation).

We were treated to 1/2 hour of hymns from a pretty good country-rock band.

Woo tried to record and shoot video from his pants pocket. Herbie was fascinated by the "violin backpacks" (guitars with shoulder strap). Ruby asked, "Where's the drums?" and Moses fell asleep in the arms of a friendly woman.

Monday was our most peaceful day.

We'd camped in Wallace State Park, which was perfect for little kids. It had a little lake with a well maintained trail and bridges all around it. We walked around it twice watching other kids (none quite as young as ours) fishing and catching worms and frogs.

Ruby and Herbie collected walnuts in their pockets and threw them in the water. Later we drove to Adam-Ondi-Ahman. We ate lunch and napped on blankets in the grass. The weather was perfect, and it was very pleasant.

Since Woo felt that I'd omitted nearly all that was awesome he added a little.

A few other highlights from the trip are:
  • finding fresh corn (harder than you might think for the midwest),
  • ticks, ticks, and more ticks,
  • finding free wifi at every town we passed,
  • allergies,
  • a stinky vehicle,
  • driving fast on windy, hilly country roads,
  • the RLDS temple,
  • Charley's buffet (all you can eat school lunch + thousands of homemade desserts to choose from),
  • nearly empty State Parks with beautiful weather,
  • ticks,
  • nauseating radio stations: "Homeless people walk a lot. They don't have cars or even ... a home.",
  • drafting off diesels to save on gas,
  • slightly falling gas prices.
RLDS temple instagram
Lowlights include:
  • whiney, tired kids,
  • urine in the car,
  • body odor,
  • various and sundry after-effects of Charley's buffet,
  • the amish town (or rather, "best day trip in rural Missouri"...if you're blind, deaf and dumb!),
  • ticks,
  • chiggers,
  • ?-bites,
  • cheap fiberglass tent poles,
  • over-ripe fresh corn,
  • no swimming,
  • Chelsey's inexplicable determination to follow a vacation agenda (for the first two days...),
  • returning to a computer with a fried logic board.
dad and kids in horse drawn wagonSince the highlights out numbered the lowlights, we chose to embark on
another camp out this last Friday. Everything went well except the
sequel to the kids-sleeping-in-tents extravaganza, which ended in a
fantastic Herbie supernova Saturday afternoon and evening.

I had vivid recollections of Keith holding me down and covering my mouth as
I threw tantrums on road trips.

Like father like son.

Hopefully this week things return to normalcy, and I can mow the lawn,
and clean up the yard in the absence of a computer.

We're a lot better at it now, but have you ever gone camping with kids? What are your secrets? Do you remember any great trips as a kid yourself?

8.10.2008

SUMMER IS HERE!

Our nice long spring is finally over, and the heat and humidity are here. Either Woo and I are getting old, or we've lived in St. Louis too long, because we just can't bring ourselves to rough it any longer. We've been keeping the house a degree or two cooler than we normally do.

I've been laying the praise on thick whenever Ruby is wearing her own clothes, but I'm not seeing a lot of positive results. Either "words of affirmation" is not her love language or I'm up against something that all the love in the world can't conquer. 

Woo walked out of the bedroom one morning wearing this:

little boys and girls water fight instagram

Ruby was out of her mind with excitement. She could barely get the words out.
"DAD! THAT SHIRT IS SO COOL!!"
"I LIKE THAT SHIRT, DAD!!"
"IT HAS...IT HAS A TEN!!" 
My ears are still ringing. I'm guessing she would've loved that shirt I had at her age that looked like Dad's football jersey.

Hugs continue to help Herbie a lot of times, but he still has some grouchy times. I was thinking about it last night, wondering where my sweet Herbie had gone, when it occurred to me that he's not getting enough sleep. The more I thought about it, I felt like an idiot, because he's clearly sleep deprived, but I'd just chalked it up to being 2 or something.

Anyway, I put it off for as long as I could, but it had to be done. I blacked their bedroom windows out this afternoon.

Ruby and Herbie's fascination with John the Baptist is finally paying off. Herbie's new nursery leader is convinced that Herbie is the smartest kid she's ever met because when shown a picture of Christ's baptism, Herbie immediately identified Jesus and John the Baptist.

Moses has reached that point where he immediately rolls to his stomach when he gets put down, and then gets upset that he's stuck there. Moses had kind of a rough day. He fell off a chair after being placed there by someone who forgot that he rolls (3 guesses who), and he was fed some newspaper by Herbie. I don't think any lasting damage has been done. 

Woo has had an emotionally exhausting week--all revolving around his app.

This week I've mostly been a Mom. I was pleased to overhear Herbie get frustrated, and then have either Ruby ask him if he needed a hug or him ask Ruby for a hug. I've been trying to get the kids to negotiate with each other, and Ruby is pretty good, once I remind her that she needs to talk to Herbie (not me), and I was thrilled to hear Herbie try to offer Ruby a couple of options this morning "those are your choices, Ruby!"

8.03.2008

ANOTHER WEEK

This has been a pretty enjoyable week.

I'm still noticing the benefits of the kids getting the sleep they need. I had been starting to worry that they were getting bored, and that maybe we needed to get new toys or new books or go do more fun things, and now they're back to being able to entertain themselves with a folded sheet of paper (a peter = computer) or a lone chair (a lawn mower, dump truck or bed).

It's been great.

Ruby is officially a skinny little girl. The only fat on her body is in her cheeks. Once when she was climbing into the car Woo said, "Those are some calves, Ruby! Your Uncle Tyson would be jealous!"

We were concerned that Ruby might have strep, and that her lifetime achievement of never having had antibiotics would be over, but the day I was going to take her in to have a culture done, it was clear that she was feeling better.

Herbie's decided that he's hilarious. Throw a shirt in the air? Hilarious. Step on Dad's foot? Hilarious. 

Herbie also really LOVES Curious George. He'll sit and read the "big George" (our book with all the original George's in it) for quite awhile a couple of times a day.

Herbie got his second haircut yesterday. He doesn't have the nice soft buzz you want to rub your hands on. It feels more like bristles.

Moses is able to sit for a little bit by himself, but I have to keep a close watch on him. His favorite toy so far seems to be the red tractor (or is that just the one we always give him?) He's a pretty happy baby, and we like him.

It had been a couple of weeks since Woo had mowed the lawn so it was pretty long, and he decided to mow it on the hottest, most humid day of the week, so the push mower apparently got to be too much for him.

For the last little bit, he pulled out the electric mower for it's inaugural run. It sounded and looked just like he was vacuuming the lawn. He claimed to like it.

We'll see.

I used to blame pregnancy for my loss of interest in the garden about this time of year, but since it's happened again (and I'm not pregnant), and the weeds are taking things over, and the house collects dust, and spider webs gather in the basement, I've realized, that nope, it's just this time of year.

I've decided to not let it bother me, since I know I'll get back in stride in a month or two.

Another Week

This has been a pretty enjoyable week. I'm still noticing the benefits of the kids getting the sleep they need. I had been starting to worry that they were getting bored, and that maybe we needed to get new toys or new books or go do more fun things, and now they're back to being able to entertain themselves with a folded sheet of paper (a peter=computer) or a lone chair (a lawn mower, dump truck or bed). It's been great.

Ruby is officially a skinny little girl. The only fat on her body is in her cheeks. Once when she was climbing into the car Woo said, "Those are some calves, Ruby! Your Uncle Tyson would be jealous!" Are you, Tys? They're pretty awesome. We were concerned that Ruby might have strep, and that her lifetime achievement of never having had antibiotics would be over, but the day I was going to take her in to have a culture done, it was clear that she was feeling better.

Herbie's decided that he's hilarious. Throw a shirt in the air? Hilarious. Step on Dad's foot? Hilarious. Herbie also really LOVES Curious George. He'll sit and read the "big George" (our book with all the original George's in it) for quite awhile a couple of times a day. Herbie got his second haircut yesterday. He doesn't have the nice soft buzz you want to rub your hands on. It feels more like bristles.

Moses is able to sit for a little bit by himself, but I have to keep a close watch on him. His favorite toy so far seems to be the red tractor (or is that just the one we always give him?) He's a pretty happy baby, and we like him.

It had been a couple of weeks since Woo had mowed the lawn so it was pretty long, and he decided to mow it on the hottest, most humid day of the week, so the push mower apparently got to be too much for him. For the last little bit, he pulled out the electric mower for it's inaugural run. It sounded and looked just like he was vacuuming the lawn. He claimed to like it. We'll see.

I used to blame pregnancy for my loss of interest in the garden about this time of year, but since it's happened again (and I'm not pregnant), and the weeds are taking things over, and the house collects dust, and spider webs gather in the basement, I've realized, that nope, it's just this time of year. I've decided to not let it bother me, since I know I'll get back in stride in a month or two. We've also decided to take some time off and take a little tour of rural Missouri this week. We'll be out of town, and I won't write an email next Sunday. I'll talk to you later.

7.27.2008

A Week

Well, one of us almost got to miss church this week with a sick child for the first time ever, but Ruby rallied, and her temperature dropped 2 degrees in 1 hour. She felt fine all through church so no one suspects us of being the irresponsible jerks who've infected all their kids.

We've started to take the kids on short bike rides. Ruby and Herbie ride their little skuuts. Woo rides the low-rider, and I walk with Moses in the wrap. We've gone to the cemetery after dinner a few times, which is the perfect place for little kids to learn to ride... lots of paved roads and no cars. That doesn't stop them from working on their off-road skills, though. We watched Herbie maneuver his bike up and then down a large protruding slab that would have been like riding up a picnic table for us. Ruby prefers speed, but will slow down to inspect mud or anything interesting lying on the ground (i.e. trash). Earlier this week, I let them ride their bikes to the park for play group. They did a good job of being careful at intersections, and paid close attention to what I said. Unfortunately, we got dumped on the entire way home. Herbie isn't aware that when you're out on your bike in unpleasant conditions, you grit your teeth and make it home as fast as you can, because he slowed to a crawl. But, it ended up being a fun adventure for us.

Herbie wanted to ride his bike to the swim pool. When I informed him it was too far to ride to, Ruby suggested that I put their bikes in the trunk and then we drive to the pool. A good idea, if only I didn't already have enough stuff to carry and put in the car to go swimming.

I'm a big fan of natural light, but the darkened bedroom has helped Herbie and Ruby get more sleep. They go to sleep almost immediately and stay in bed until I come and get them in the morning. So I guess we'll keep it that way until fall or winter. The first morning I went in they both said, "Is the sun up yet? Is it day, Mom?"

Moses really wants to be able to crawl or scoot or sit or ANYTHING but lie on the floor. He's trying to move, but it's just not working for him yet. He is getting good at grabbing things and cramming them into his mouth. That keeps him entertained until he's dropped everything and it's all outside his reach. He's starting to get some hair, which is blond, and his birthmarks have started to fade.

Brilliant idea #3: Who I Knew. The basic premise is for there to be a place on the interweb to store the names of everyone you've ever known. Woo has some good ideas for features that make it enticing. He's actually managed to excite a mission friend and fellow computer nerd about this one, so he'll be getting some help (thank goodness). ooTunes has had more downloads this week, then we had the first month. He's hasn't quite finished iCry, but it's close. And his PhD? Well, you'll have to ask him about that one.

Woo has often wished that I would learn HTML and CSS to help him set up his web pages, and I have often thought that there could be no more boring subject on the face of the earth than computer programming. But, I bit the bullet and got a couple of books at the library. I've fiddled around with it a bit, and it's not as bad as I thought. Well, that's about it for now. I hope everyone has a good week. I love you.

From Woo:

For Chelsey's week, see below... she forgot to mention how brilliant I've become at deciphering Herbie's speech... Lately, when we have FHE or say something important or awesome to Herbie, he says "TODAY!!!" very emphatically. It finally dawned on me today that I think he thinks he's saying "HURRAY!!!". that's all, Love you guys!

7.13.2008

The Thirteenth of July

Today is Woo's birthday. Unfortunately for Woo, pretty much everything has gone wrong for him today. As far as I can tell, this seems to be typical. My favorite "worst" birthday is the one where he walked straight into a pole, and then a few hours later stepped on a hot oven rack with his bare feet. Really this whole week has been a bad week for him. We both renewed our drivers' licenses. I'll spare you the gory details, but yes, it did include multiple trips to the DMV, long lines and swear words. Also one of ooTunes' unique features has now become obsolete now that all the updated iPhones have it.

Ruby is obsessed with clothes--Herbie's clothes. Her absolute favorite thing to do is to sneak off into the closet and emerge wearing something of Herbie's--ideally one of his suits. It drives me crazy! Mostly because she can't hang them up by herself, and I have to end up doing it. I'm beginning to think that Ruby is especially partial to praise, and the fact that Herbie gets TONS of compliments from everyone who sees him in a suit is part of it. The other part is just that she likes his clothes.

I did make a happy discovery with Herbie this week. For a few weeks he's been having a hard time cleaning up before lunch---lots of whining and gnashing of teeth. Finally when he came to me to whine, I said nothing, but gave him a hug for as long as he wanted. He trotted off to go clean, but reemerged whining again. Ruby, who was already done, yelled at him to go clean up. I said, "Maybe all he needs is a hug, Ruby." She laughed, and ran to give him a hug and kiss. Herbie smiled, and trotted back to his room. He came out one more time, asking for a hug from me, then Ruby, and then returned to finish. It was a triumph.

I quit swaddling Moses this week, and he's discovered his thumb. Ruby is delighted. As a thumb-sucker herself, I guess she thinks he deserves her congratulations. He certainly is enjoying himself, though, and doesn't let me know when he's awake anymore. I go into the room thinking I need to wake him up, and he's wide awake, happily munching on his thumb.

The Branch President informed me that I'd "dodged the bullet three times." The Relief Society, Young Women's, and Primary presidencies had all been reorganized, and apparently, I was every president's first choice for a counselor. I don't know exactly what to think of that other than the fact that I'm glad I'm teaching seminary. It turns out that I like the kids a lot more than I thought I would, and I'm really enjoying myself.

That's all for now. I enjoy the emails I get from those of you who are answering. I love you. Have a good week!

7.06.2008

4th of July

baby boy on blanket eating leaf instagram
Even though the 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays, Woo and I kept putting off having to decide what we were going to do.

Unfortunately no one helped us out by inviting us to do anything either, so at 9:30pm on the 3rd, I called two other families (each with three little kids about our kids' ages) to come over for dinner and then head to a local park for fireworks.

I kept dinner really simple, the kids ran around like crazies outside, and I think everyone had a good time.

little boy and girl on swing set at night instagram
Herbie had an interesting reaction to the fireworks: "Mmmm, tastes good! Like 'nanas!" Ruby thought they tasted more like cookies and birds.

The kids were thrilled to receive a package Monday morning from Grandma and Grandpa containing clothes, books, and dvds. The swimming suits were the real crowd pleasers with Ruby and Herbie trying on their own suits, each others' suits and moses' suit.

little boys and girl pretending to swim on floor instagram
I often wonder if other people's kids lie on the floor and pretend to swim, but when they started to do that again I knew we definitely had to go swimming in the afternoon.

little boys and girl pretending to swim on floor instagram

We weren't able to go out and work in the yard much this week mostly because Herbie decided to exercise his 2 year old independence by playing around in his room after being put to bed. Ruby, of course, thought it was hysterical, and they were feeding off each other. I wanted to nip it in the bud, so we stayed inside to make sure they were under control. They've been fine the last few nights, so I think we'll start going out again tomorrow. 

Moses continues to be a good baby---doing stuff a baby his age does. He has rolled over a couple of times, but mostly he rolls from side to side. He coos and sucks his hands. He likes to sit on my lap and watch Ruby and Herbie run around. We think he looks kind of like Ruby at that age, but his cheeks are not as fat.

Woo is tired of hundreds of people downloading his setup program for ooTunes and then only a fraction of them actually buying it. Hopefully there's a solution to that. Also, a ROUGH version of www.icryuhear.com is up (we know it needs more work, don't think this is the best we can do!) He's also working on getting a committee meeting together so that he can graduate someday (someday soon?)

I can only think of one new thing I did this week. While reading Elder Ballard's article in the Ensign about being a positive presence on the interweb, I decided that the least (and easiest thing) I could do was to post my seminary lessons on a blog. I was already writing them out anyway, I might as well write them in a blog post to start with. Since I've been doing that I've had 2 people post comments saying that I've soften their hearts towards the church, and they've decided to be baptized!

Ha! Just kidding. I don't think anyone's read it all.

Well, that's all I've got for this week.

6.29.2008

Lawn Mowers & the Men who Love Them

little toddler boy and dad hugging instagram
This last week Woo bought 3 lawn mowers for $35 total.
  • 1 is a push mower
  • 1 is a gas mower, and
  • 1 is an electric mower. It looks like it's 50 years old.
We practically have a garage full of lawn mowers since we already had 2.

Herbie is in heaven, and every time he goes into the garage he says, "one, two lawnmowers!"

After some tinkering Woo got the push mower to run smoothly, and he mowed the whole lawn with it. He described it as "kinda fun." I'm really surprised that he hasn't gotten one earlier since it stands for everything he believes in: cheap, low gas consumption, and healthy.

It had been a couple of weeks since Woo had mowed the lawn so it was pretty long, and he decided to mow it on the hottest, most humid day of the week. The push mower apparently got to be too much for him.

For the last little bit, he pulled out the electric mower for it's inaugural run.

It sounded and looked just like he was vacuuming the lawn. He claimed to like it.

We'll see.

little toddler boy sitting on floor instagram
At dinner Woo and Herbie discussed Herbie's potential to become a dad:
Woo: You'll be a dad, Herbie.

Herbie: Oh. After I be born?

Woo: Yes, definitely after you're born.

Herbie: Oh. After I mow the lawn with your big lawn mower?
Apparently that glorious day can't come too soon for Herbie (or Woo either, probably).

Adventures with Skuuts

Ruby continues to get better at riding her bike. Yesterday she rode down the whole length of our back yard with her feet up. It's even more impressive when you see how much she bounces around going over the grass.

little girl balance bike skuut instagram

Herbie has finally started to really feel comfortable with his bike this week. He's figured out how to get on and turn easily, and he's riding all over the house.

little boy balance bike skuut instagram
I've seen him watch Ruby carefully as she whizzes by, and then try to mimic her speed and her gliding.

Once this week he rode his bike down the hill of our driveway. He got going way too fast for him to control, and he fell.

After the initial pain and shock were gone, he was pretty proud of his crash. A couple days later Ruby was telling me about a crash that she'd had on her bike, and Herbie got really mad, "No Ruby! Herbie fell off bike in driveway!"

As if Ruby was trying to steal credit for the crash from him.

little girl and boy balance bike skuut instagram

We've started to take the kids on short bike rides. Ruby and Herbie ride their little skuuts. Woo rides the low-rider, and I walk with Moses in the wrap.

little girl and boy dad family bike ride balance bike skuut instagram
We've gone to the cemetery after dinner a few times, which is the perfect place for little kids to learn to ride... lots of paved roads and no cars.

That doesn't stop them from working on their off-road skills, though.

We watched Herbie maneuver his bike up and then down a large protruding slab that would have been like riding up a picnic table for us.

little boy balance bike skuut instagram
Ruby prefers speed, but will slow down to inspect mud or anything interesting lying on the ground (i.e. trash).

little girl balance bike skuut instagram

Earlier this week, I let them ride their bikes to the park for play group. They did a good job of being careful at intersections, and paid close attention to what I said.

Unfortunately, we got dumped on the entire way home. Herbie isn't aware that when you're out on your bike in unpleasant conditions, you grit your teeth and make it home as fast as you can, because he slowed to a crawl.

But, it ended up being a fun adventure for us.

little girl and boy dad family bike ride balance bike skuut instagram
Herbie wanted to ride his bike to the swim pool. When I informed him it was too far to ride to, Ruby suggested that I put their bikes in the trunk and then we drive to the pool. A good idea, if only it defeat the entire goal of riding their bikes.

Have your kids used balance bikes, or do you prefer to go the training wheel route?