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.