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?

Third Time's A Charm

After three tries, I finally taught a good seminary lesson! I was able to get/keep all the kids' attention and get them participating AND read plenty directly from the scriptures. We'll see if all my secret techniques will work two times in a row. This week I've been trying really hard to improve my communication with the kids (my kids, not the seminary kids). I reread "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk" and read "Siblings Without Rivalry" and decided that there was room for improvement on my part. Also, I'd noticed that Ruby and Herbie were saying things to each other that they'd learned from me, but I didn't like them saying to each other. I haven't been perfect, but I'm getting a lot better with practice, and the kids seem to be responding well to it.

This last week Woo bought 3 lawn mowers for $35. 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. He's also had a new brilliant idea: iCry. It's a baby monitor on your iPhone. He's been working on writing the code for that, and I've been commissioned to come up with a logo. OoTunes has also had it's best week ever. I think we're up to 16 customers.

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. She's getting increasingly brave at the playground too, and will finally go down big slides on her own. She loves to climb, and at one point we found her swinging from a bar that looked physically impossible for her to reach. We have no idea how she did it. Ruby started to tattle a few weeks ago. I've been trying the techniques I learned from "Siblings Without Rivalry," and it seems to have helped.

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. 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.

Moses and I are starting to get over our misunderstanding with the potty, and he's now going a few times for me everyday. Friday I decided it was time for him to move to the crib, at least for his naps (we're still afraid to leave him alone with the other kids overnight). I was pretty pleased that I was able to get all kids to sleep for their nap in the same bedroom in under 15 minutes. Hopefully that lasts...

Well, that's all for now. I'll talk to you all later.

6.25.2008

MY VERY FIRST EMAIL

baby boy instagram

Woo's parents and a lot of his siblings write a weekly email, and even though they usually just have humdrum stuff in them, I enjoy reading them to see what people are up to. Last night I was thinking that maybe I should do something like this and send it to you guys **my family and friends**, especially since email is a comfortable and accessible medium for me (as opposed to the phone). If you don't like these just tell me that you want off the list, or just quietly delete them when they come in to save me from shedding bitter tears.

family of five instagrambaby boy dad instagram

We are doing pretty well. The weather has been great--80s with frequent rain, so our plants and garden are looking nice, and the house is a pleasant temperature.

The app has quit taking up tons of Woo's time, so he's been coming to bed at a decent time and watching the kids for a half hour in the morning for me again. But we're not rich yet, and may never be.

brother and sister movie popcorn instagram

We went to the zoo last Monday for family home evening. Herbie loved the animals. Ruby kept saying she was hungry. She really wanted some of that fun food they sell at the zoo that everyone else was walking around with. Moses slept.

Ruby has all of her letters down really well. I guess I should start teaching her the sounds each letter makes so that she can start sounding out words. She can occasionally count to 12, but frequently gets hung up on the number 6. 1-5 and 7-12 are great.

brother sister bridge instagram

Ruby loves to pretend that she is someone else. In the past two days she's been President Monson (where she wears one of Herbie's suits), Herbie (where she wears one of Herbie's T-shirts and some of his shorts), and Chuck (a kid in our branch--no costume).

Herbie's taken Ruby's lead in taking on other roles. His favorite the past couple of days has been Woo (he calls him Dad). Herbie, as Dad, rides his bike to work (around the house), parks it in the basement (his bedroom), rides the train (sits in the closet), and is sick or is having a bad day (lies in bed). Luckily, President Monson has been on hand to administer medicine on those instances when he's in bed.

brother sister bridge instagram

Herbie picked up a biting habit from another little boy in nursery, but I think we've got it taken care of. It's been quite a few days since he's bitten anyone.

baby boy instagram

Moses is now eating every 4 hours instead of 3, so that has been nice for me. He's awake more, and a lot more responsive. He greets us all with a wide grin when he sees us.

I started putting Moses on the potty last week, but I think I accidently trained him into thinking that I want him to pee when he's lying his back. I started giving him the signal whenever he would pee months ago (usually when he was lying on his back), but now when i set him on and give him the signal, he struggles, but doesn't pee. As soon as I lie him down to do something else, he pees and smiles at me. **I did EC with Herbie and Moses. Worked like a charm with Herbie. I seem to have messed it up with Moses.**

baby boy instagram

I recently decided to spend a half hour working out in the yard after the kids go to bed. Woo has been coming out with me, and we've got quite a bit done in just a week. Our corn, tomatoes and beans all look good, and we may actually get all of our poison ivy killed off this year.

I am also teaching seminary this week. I'm still working with the previous seminary teachers through the summer. They held seminary on Sundays during Sunday School, so that's when we do it. I've only actually taught twice so far, so it's taking me awhile to figure out how to adjust my teaching to high school kids. I'm used to teaching adults not teenagers. Anyway, hopefully, I'll get it right this week. I've got two personal stories that ought to keep them from snoozing while reading parts of the Book of Joshua and questions I think they can answer.