12.28.2009

Merry Christmas!

As anticipated the policeman costume we got Ruby for her birthday was the object of her heart's desire. She immediately put on the hat, pants, shirt, belt, badge, and handcuffs with keys and wore them all day.

After triple checking that Ruby wouldn't rather have lamb vindaloo for her birthday than a Happy Meal and repeatedly being shot down, Woo suggested that they go to the hospital where Ruby was born and then go eat lunch somewhere close by. She agreed.

Coming out of the hospital they saw a woman smoking in front of some no-smoking signs.
Ruby: That lady's breaking the rules. 
Woo: Hmm. Do you want to go arrest her? 
Ruby (considering): No. Maybe when we come back. If she's still there. 
Moments later...
Ruby: Maybe the police will give me a gun, and I can go shoot her. (!?!?!) 
Woo: Ruby! Policemen don't just shoot someone because they're breaking the rules...! Would you like it if Mom or Dad shot you the next time you're being disobedient? 
Ruby: NO! 
Later in the day...
Ruby: Mom, I'm feeling the Holy Ghost. 
Me: Oh, you are? How can you tell? 
Ruby: Because I feel good inside. Because I'm a police. 
Herbie still has a hard time dealing with his feelings of excitement and he was a bear to deal with several times this week.

Monday and Tuesday were the worst because he knew Ruby's birthday and Christmas were coming, but we didn't really have any fun activities planned those days. I was getting tired of the bickering, and I remember how hard it was to wait those couple of days before Christmas, so I broke down and let them watch movies twice this week.

Herbie's two favorite presents are his new dump truck and his new "guitar" (ukulele). Although, he was also quite excited about his new "jeanies" (jeans) and new church book (illustrated BofM). The best part about the dump truck is the manly rock music it plays when he drives it, and the best part about the ukulele is the cute songs he sings while he's strumming it.

Moses is still young enough to be completely oblivious to the fact that Christmas is coming, and so he was pleasantly surprised to open the object of his dreams on Christmas morning: a large truck.

He prefers playing with that thing to eating, sleeping, reading, pretty much anything he's ever done in the past. He's extremely possessive of it (only today agreeing to take a turn with Herbie's dump truck while Herbie played with his), and has barely eaten anything since we got it---he always wants to return to it.

He's afraid of the sounds the truck makes, but likes to put the worker in the seat and pull him out again, over and over again.

Woo and I had good Christmas' too, but I'm tired of writing... Thank you everyone for your gifts! I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as well. I'll talk to you later.

12.21.2009

Christmas Cheer

I'm really excited about Ruby's birthday and Christmas this week. It's so fun knowing that you're giving your kids presents that will make them jump for joy.

Woo decided to start a new birthday tradition and take the birthday child out to lunch on their birthday. When asked where she would like to go for lunch with Dad, Ruby instantly yelled, "McDonalds!" even though she's only been there once. I've failed as a parent.

Ruby was proudly dressed as a shepherd in the primary's mini-nativity scene during Sacrament meeting. The primary learned their lesson last year, and no one tried to corral her into being an angel. She was probably the most pleased with herself out of all the kids there, and kept holding up her stuffed lamb, so there would be no mistaking what she was.

Herbie views the primary as some sort of utopia and is eagerly awaiting the day when he graduates from nursery. He keeps talking about giving a talk in the primary program (which he thinks will happen the second he gets there), and today he really wanted to be up there with the other kids, but he wasn't that impressed with the shepherds. He wants to be Joseph.

It didn't help that Ruby emerged today with a stocking full of treats and the nursery kids got nothing. Herbie occasionally tells us he doesn't like nursery. He doesn't like the chaos that is in there sometimes. Also, he seems to consider the older kids as his peers.

Moses is finally at the age where he can start wearing the little boy suits that we have. Those paired with cowboy boots and a tie are always a hit with everyone. (No wonder Ruby has suit envy). Moses doesn't like the attention though. He gives either blank stares or glares, depending on how he's feeling, I guess.

Woo was really strung up earlier this week, assuming the worst about his update, but it was released without a hitch, and he's been able to work on other things. He's started to automate one of the tasks that takes up a lot of his day, and has made answers to common questions blatantly obvious inside his app to free himself from some of the customer service burden.

He's been concerned that sales have dropped some (as have all the radio apps), but we're still making plenty, and I feel like if his sales really drop to zero, he'll finally have time to work on one of his many other ideas.

We also had the brilliant idea (thanks to one of Woo's friends) of renting or buying an old motor home to drive around in for a month or two while searching for our next home (after our house sells). It's something that Woo has wanted to do for awhile, and I think it will be easier on the kids than renting in some central location and taking road trips and sleeping in different beds every weekend. 
We are excited.

Anyway, that's about it. Sorry we won't see any of you for Christmas, but hopefully we'll see you all in a couple of months!

12.14.2009

Stuff

Well, we got a realtor, and our house will be listed tomorrow. We admit that we're guilty of racial profiling: we wanted a black woman realtor, and that's what we got (or is that affirmative action?). Anyway, she seems like a good fit for our house and has a lot of experience in our area. We've offered her more $$ to sell the house by the end of February, so we'll see how that goes...

Woo had his first fan visit yesterday. After half a dozen calls and several emails B-- drove his semi up our street to shake Woo's hand, and tell him how much he loved ooTunes.

The kids were fascinated by the truck and "the little house" in the back. B-- and his co-driver M-- were very nice, gave us lots of popcorn, and fulfilled several trucker stereotypes.

Herbie now wants to drive a truck when he grows up. Until then he wants to sit on the bed with Ruby and Moses, Dad to sit "where the popcorn sits" and Mom to drive.

I am enormous. My belly is always getting in the way. In the last week, I've had two women from more blunt cultures tell me how large I am. One started out telling me how large my butt was getting, and then ended by saying, "You're lucky you're already married." Hmmmm...

Mostly I just have to laugh, since I can be pretty blunt myself, and would prefer that people talk to me that way. Also, I've been here before with no long term problems.

Moses is having a really hard time sitting on my lap. He'll load up my legs with books, but when he tries to climb on, there isn't any room for him anymore. He tries to sit on top of my belly, but that isn't comfortable for either of us.

Ruby has a talent for imitating the way other kids speak. We're glad that we no longer have R--'s slurred R's and occasional threats of killing and shooting to deal with. But now we have B--'s highly nasal whining. 

It's a step up to be sure, but still pretty annoying. We're hoping that someday she'll either always speak like herself, or make millions doing impressions.

Anyway, that's all for now. Hope everyone's getting ready for Christmas.

11.30.2009

Too Much To Write About

I can only pick out things to write about when nothing really has happened, otherwise everything becomes a giant muddle in my mind. So instead, here's a list. 

Last Week:

  • ooTunes drops in rankings. A competitor has come out with a much sought after feature. Woo works furiously to catch up and improve upon it. 
  • Ruby becomes more affectionate. Starts telling us she loves us at random times, and snuggles sometimes. 
  • I buy a bed frame for our bed for the first time. "We look like we're rich now!"---Woo. "Your bed looks nice, Mom!"---Ruby. Moses is no longer able to climb up by himself. 
  • Woo's parents come to visit. We make them take us to Costco immediately after picking them up from the airport (we're out of toilet paper and maple syrup). 
  • The kids spend the entire weekend stacking toilet paper rolls into castles and buses and boats. 
  • Moses spends the entire weekend avoiding Grandpa (not an easy task). 
  • Grandma shows the kids how the "Barnyard Dance" is done. 
  • We attend the Pagedale Thanksgiving dinner... lots of soul food. Afterwards we're treated to some gospel tunes and "praise" dancers. Herbie is obsessed with the red robes on the choir. 
  • We go to the science center. Ruby and Herbie talk about the robotic Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops exhibit for days after. 
This Week:

  • Woo's laptop with EVERYTHING on it dies. We take it in; they say 3-5 days. 
  • We take Woo's parents to the airport. 
  • Woo buys a new computer and gets everything on the laptop transferred to it. 
  • We get the laptop back. 
  • Moses begins to give unsolicited hugs---so sweet. 
  • I go to New Moon with a couple of girls in the branch. I haven't done something like this in years... 
  • Woo's MTC companion invited us to his family's Thanksgiving dinner. Best Thanksgiving we've had here in St. Louis. Great food, and very relaxing (for me :). 
  • Woo submits his update to Apple---finds a major bug a few hours later---resubmits late last night.   
  • Ruby has a lesson on the sacrament. Later, (very concerned), "Mom, I don't want Dad to sacrament (sacrifice) me." 
Anyway, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I'm thankful for you all!

11.16.2009

For Sale!

After two weeks of sunny, clear weather "dirty man" finally finished painting the trim. I have never seen anyone work so slow, plus he would ask for a $20 of the total sum every 2-3 hours of work. I'm half scared that he's going to continue to come around asking for a loan of $20 for this or that, since he apparently barely lives from twenty dollar bill to twenty dollar bill, and we've been a source of money for him before.

We put the sign and flyers out in the yard, posted the house on Zillow, Craigslist, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the Riverfront Times, put up flyers around Wash U, and we've received exactly zero calls. I suppose we'll find a realtor after a couple more weeks.

I'm less stressed about when we sell the house since I finally found a midwife I like here. I did have a midwife earlier, but we dropped her due to FTI (Failure To Impress). This new midwife is pretty much my ideal: late 50s-early 60s, very experienced, very courteous and professional, had all the right answers to my questions, qualified assistants, etc. I think it took me so long to find her because she's in a different county than us, even though she's only 20 minutes away.

The school district here held a "Fired-Up for Kindergarten" evening. We decided to go, even though I really hope we've moved before Ruby starts kindergarten next September. Woo was hoping for food, and I was hoping for a fire truck for the kids to inspect up-close, but we were both disappointed.

We were the only family to show up at our school, and they just tried to sell Woo and I on what a great school it was---completely ignored Ruby.

One thing the principal repeated (like it was some huge selling point) was that we could drop our school kids off early in the morning, and they had productive after school programs for the kids until 6pm. I couldn't imagine anything more horrible for a 5 year old.

They were surprised when I asked whether they had full-day or half-day kindergarten (full-day), and were shocked when I asked if we could opt out of that.

"We've had full-day kindergarten for 10-11 years! Every school in the district has full-day! Everyone does it!"

Apparently they don't realize what a huge turn off that argument is for me. Does it really work on most people? And are all the kindergartens in the country now full-day? I really know nothing about it.

Anyway, the good news is Ruby is already doing all the stuff that they said their kindergarten kids can do by the first quarter.

Mildly amusing:
Ruby: I'm going to be Santa Claus! Moses can be Mrs. Claus! 
Herbie: I want to be Brother Claus! 
Also, whenever they play Peter Pan, no matter how many kids there are, they always make Moses be Captain Hook---the most nefarious kid in the bunch, I guess.

Woo's had a rough, rough week. Sick, tired, stressed out. Maybe he needs a vacation? We're excited for his parents to come visit this weekend. I'm sure that will cheer him up a bit.

Talk to you all later!

11.09.2009

11.02.2009

Happy Halloween

We did the double-whammy again this year: Trunk-or-Treat at the branch on Friday and Trick-or-Treating on Saturday. We only spent about an hour doing each which was perfect... more than enough candy, and the kids got to traipse around in their costumes.

Ruby finally, finally, got to pull on her white shirt, suit and tie. Woo found her a briefcase type bag for collecting candy, and I slicked her hair back. Her costume was a hit at the branch, but decidedly less so out on the street.


No matter how close she got to people's faces and shouted, "President Uchtdorf!!" They continued to look confused.

They'd look up at Woo who would say, "President Uchtdorf," and they would smile and nod as if they knew exactly who he was talking about.

Herbie ended up being an elephant. We took a trip to the party store, and he was immediately smitten by the elephant trunk. I spent about a half hour tacking ears and a tail onto a grey sweat suit on Friday, and was pretty pleased with the results (especially for the amount of time and effort I put into it).

Herbie enjoyed himself at home in his costume, running around making elephant noises, "I'm an elephant!"


On the street was a different story. Herbie got very, very quiet. Woo thought that maybe the trunk was making it hard for him to breathe, and moved it to his forehead, but really Herbie had just discovered that a lot of people try to be scary for Halloween, and he was pretty uneasy about the things he was seeing.

Moses' costume elicited the most comments from random people walking past us:
"Oh, look at the baby!" (women and girls) 
"He's a computer!" (the technically challenged) 
"He's an iPod!" (those in the know) 
"An iPod! You guys are so creative!" (those of superior intellect) 

A half hour before the Trunk-or-Treat, I finally thought of a pregnant woman costume that I like: a boa constrictor that had recently swallowed a goat (or maybe even a human baby... it is Halloween after all...), but I didn't have the time or the supplies to pull it off. Instead I went with a my original plan: a vampire. Not original, I know, but I've never been one before, and it seemed easy.

The kids thought I was funny, but Woo couldn't get over how "terrible" and "awful" I looked. It must have been terrible and awful in a good way because I won the costume contest.

At the very last second, Woo donned a jumpsuit and hat to be a mechanic. He's never given much thought to his costumes, but he mourned the days where he could just grab some random clothes out of the trunk of his car and win any costume contest around.

I guess his single, glory days are behind him, now that he gets upstaged by his wife! (Although, some might argue, that the only reason I won was because he cheered so loudly for me.)

He did get lots and lots of laughs when he truthfully said, "This is what I wore to my wedding."

Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed yourselves this week. Woo has some pictures on his phone. I've put in a request to share them, but I can't make any promises.

10.26.2009

Primary, Pumpkins And More

The primary program was today. Despite sending kids home with their parts several weeks in advance, and strongly encouraging parents to have their kids memorize their parts, a primary worker stationed herself at the pulpit to read the parts for the kids.

I was a little annoyed, but shouldn't have worried. Ruby was one of only two kids who told her to back off as soon as she got on the stand, "I know my part! I don't need any help!"

And she recited it perfectly. I was very proud (although, I still felt bad for other kids, whom I knew had worked hard to memorize their parts, and weren't even given the chance show it).

On Friday we drove to the edge of town to visit a pumpkin patch. This pumpkin patch didn't meet mine and Woo's pumpkin patch standards (the kids, on the other hand, get ecstatic over a box of pumpkins in the grocery store... ) so we stopped at Bigfoot to salvage the trip.

The kids were in awe, ran under and around. We took pictures of us standing in the wheels (Sorry, maybe next week. I can't upload them here). And then Herbie turned his attention to "Littlefoot". Unfortunately, at exactly the same time, Woo decided it was time to go.

Herbie was more disappointed then I thought because later in the day, he came up with the brilliant plan of me secretly taking him back to see "Littlefoot"  immediately after dropping Woo off at the airport. The only problem was that he told Woo about it. Oh, and he forgot to get my consent.

I love to watch Moses. I just get a kick out of him. I mean he's like two feet tall, and here he is trying to do everything like a real person. C'mon, he can't even lift a gallon of milk!

Moses has a couple of books that he really loves, and every day after breakfast, he'll grab them, pull a blanket over his legs, and sit on the couch looking at them. One picture book has a page with nothing but hundreds of toy cars on it. He seemingly could look at that one page, point to different cars, and make his motor noise for hours.

I've had kind of a hard week. I think I've offended pretty much everyone I know. If you feel that I've missed you, just give me a call. I'm sure I can come up with something.

The kids have been a little sick this week. Not enough to have fevers or throw up or lie quietly on the couch, but just enough to have runny noses and be nice and whiney.

Woo was gone on the day I need him most: Sunday. I taught Relief Society (went alright) and Seminary (total bomb) today. I taught Seminary in the nursery room since I had the kids with me. It was not ideal. I should've probably taken Woo's advice to cancel.

Anyway, we finally got a break in the rain for a few days, and "dirty man" was able to start work on the trim. I think he has one more day of work left, and we have one sunny day forecasted for next week.

Woo made a short visit to Utah this week to hear his parents speak and report on their mission. He's had a good time seeing brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles, and of course, his parents.

He's enjoying the fact that he now has an answer to that persistent question, "So, when are you going to be done with school?" and that it leads into a conversation about stuff that he's really interested in. 

He's getting lots of ideas about where to move. I think we've come up with about 5 or 6 areas ranging from southern Montana to central Utah, that we'd have to look closer at. But, who knows when that will be.

Anyway, that's all, folks. Hope you're doing well.

10.19.2009

A Cold, Dark And Rainy Week... But Halloween's Coming!

We bought Ruby a black suit for her Halloween costume, which she said was OK because President Uchtdorf wore a black suit at conference. (I'll have to take her word for it, since I don't remember.) She put it on the second we got home, and would've never taken it off if Woo hadn't made her, for fear that it would be demolished by the time Halloween came around. 

When their little friends the C--'s came over, we discovered that C-- is going to be Pocahontas. H-- is going to be a ghost. And B-- is undecided.
Ruby (an inch from his face): I have a good idea! B--, you can be President Monson, how about that!? 
B-- (edging away): I don't know who that is... 
Ruby: President Monson? He's a prophet! Do you want to be him for Halloween? 
I don't think she convinced him.

But she did convince Herbie to dress up as Sister Uchtdorf Friday afternoon. He donned a skirt and ran around calling himself Harriet.

I'm not sure that's what he'd really like to be for Halloween. Every time I ask him, he tells me something different. I may have to just make an executive decision.

At the moment his favorite character is probably Nicholas Bentley Stoningpot III from the book of the same name. When Woo read the title tonight, the kids broke out into laughter, and Herbie said, "What the heck kind of name is that?"

Every time Woo would read his full name, they would all laugh.

But Nicholas Bentley Stoningpot III would be a boring costume for Herbie. He'd wear a suit and tie like normal, and then a pair of glasses.

Moses has learned how to growl/roar (whatever you want to call it). Ruby and Herbie got out the stranger mask one day to play with, and started growling at each other. When Moses got his turn, he ran down the hall to Woo to try and scare him with his ferocious roar. Now he associates all masks with growling. 

Herbie got a new jacket with spider man on the back, and Moses really loves it. Whenever Herbie has it on, he'll scurry after him, his finger pointed out, roaring for all he's worth.

I thought that Moses was laughing and saying, "Ball!" while pointing at my belling, because it's gotten big and round, but now I think he's trying to say bellybutton..."Ba-Ba!"

Steven had the flu for most of the week and he's not quite over it. He's been very tired, achy, headaches, etc. It's been a little unnerving to be talking to him, and have him suddenly roll his eyes back and fall asleep.

He's discovered that his time management issues haven't suddenly gone away just because he's quit school, and he wishes that he had someone he could talk to to be a sounding board for all his ooTunes ideas. I don't understand enough about it or what people would like to be much help to him there.

I know I must have done something out of the ordinary this week, but I just can't think of anything. So that's all for now. Talk to you later!

10.12.2009

The Most Disgusting Thing You Could Ever Do!

One morning we woke up to Ruby yelling, "Stop that Herbie! That's the most dickgusting thing you could ever do!"

We looked at each other and laughed until we heard Herbie, "Bwahahaha! I'm dirty!"

We didn't like the sound of that.

I ran to the room to find Herbie sitting in bed... blowing raspberries. What?

Turns out the night before, Woo had told the kids a dramatic tale of woe where he'd been delivering newspapers and some other kid had spit on him. He ended with, "...And that's the most disgusting thing you could ever do!"

We learned (the relatively easy way) that there are, in fact, more disgusting things you could do.

In some ways Moses is currently my best cleaner-upper. I can sit in front of the bookshelf or shoe basket and have him fetch books and shoes from any corner of the house for me.

He is now finally repeating words we say to him. Before he would just smile or wiggle away whenever we'd try to get him to repeat anything. On the other hand, he'd try to imitate any noise he'd hear from any dog, car or ambulance. Maybe he's finally realized that he's human.

Nope, house not for sale yet. We just need "dirty man" to paint the trim, though. Both Woo and I have suddenly started to have doubts about moving, and keep thinking of the positive things about living here. I think this is a natural thing for us, when change actually comes... we had the same feelings when we got a new car... sad to see the old one go, and we're still not sure we like the new one all that much, but it's growing on us more and more.

Anyway, that's all for now. Talk to you all later!

10.05.2009

Getting Closer...

Well, we think we can have the house up for sale next week. We're going to try and sell it ourselves first. If it's clear that's going nowhere then we'll get a realtor. The only thing that scares me is trying to keep the house maintained for months on end... those wall dings and fingerprints and sticky smudges and occasional scribblings accumulate fast in a house with little kids. At least I know the weeds will stop growing very soon here. 

Steven saved the day again by fixing the overflowing washing machine in about 5 minutes. He sure is handy with those appliances around the house.

After much hemming and hawing he finally raised ooTunes' price by a dollar. I think he's pleased with the results because he's getting less downloads (fewer customer service requests), but is still making the same amount of money.

Thursday seems to regularly be a slow day, so we've decided that Friday is a good day for family outings. This Friday we went to the DMV (it's finally finished!) and the zoo.

Ruby has spent a lot of time drawing and writing lately. A couple of weeks ago she presented me with a paper where'd she'd written all of the numbers in order. I was very impressed, since I'd certainly never shown her how to write any numbers.

She spent the morning today writing her name over and over by herself. It's very cute, and mostly legible, if a circle with two legs is an R and two circles on top of each other is a B.

After seeing President Uchtdorf in a white suit, Ruby asked me if I could get her a white suit for Halloween. I'm not exactly sure where I'd get a white suit in her size... a funeral home? I'm not up to making one, so I guess she'll just have to make due in a blue or brown three-piece.

Not to be outdone by Ruby's writing, Herbie sat down to write his name: a letter H. Then he wrote H--'s name: a letter H. He can draw those H's big or small, and upside down or right side up. Sometimes when people ask Herbie how old he is, he'll say, "I start with H!"

Steven got him started on the letter E, and after much concentration and effort, he scratched one out. 

Herbie had a very rough day yesterday. Probably because Woo and I thought we could watch conference lying in bed while the kids entertained themselves around us.

It was clear that didn't work, so today we sat in a row on the couch with the computer in front of us (we have a portable desk, remember?). Herbie was a perfect angel. He sat there with his arms folded almost the whole time---much more enjoyable. 

Moses resisted the couch sitting. Especially when he had to sit on Woo's lap. We put him in bed once to cool off after too much struggling, and after that whenever Moses would let out a whine and try to climb off, Woo would say, "Do you need to go to bed, Moses?"

Moses would give him a glare (which we laughed at), shut his trap, and sit quietly for a few minutes more.

It's amazing how quickly they can quit crying when faced with an alternative they don't like.

Anyway, that's about it. Talk to you all later.

9.28.2009

A Week

If ever there was a time to move, it's now. Woo got called into the branch presidency this morning. He'd been tipped off a week ago, and was really dreading an appointment with a member of the stake presidency, but when it was all over, he decided that maybe it wouldn't be too bad.

He's really excited to not be the president of something, and that he'll just have to follow orders. This uncharacteristic occurrence of looking-on-the-bright-side continued into the afternoon, where everything I'd planned for dinner pretty much failed. He thanked me repeatedly for my effort, intentions, and thought, and I was so proud (of him, not my efforts).

Moses has discovered clothes, and he thinks they're pretty awesome. He'll bring me anything that catches his eye for assistance, and then strut away proudly no matter what it is... a dress of ruby's, a sock of woo's, a swimsuit bottom of mine.

But, he loves his own clothes the most, bouncing excitedly whenever anything of his is within his reach, and instantly insisting that I put it on him. One day he ended up wearing three shirts, two pairs of shorts, and a pair of Herbie's pajama bottoms.

Herbie is definitely ready to start wrestling and romping around with Moses, but he is just too big and rough still, and ends up terrorizing Moses instead. Even if Herbie is just hugging Moses, he ends up pinning him against the couch or the floor, with Moses screaming underneath.

Herbie is super excited about "the red car" (our new car), and he mentions it in about every prayer he says. Last night Woo took the kids for a ride to the gas station in it, and we drove it to church this morning. You would've thought it was the highlight of his life.

One big surprise is that Woo took the kids to McDonalds last night while I was gone. Another is that he bought the kids happy meals. Ruby got a circular compact full of lip gloss as her toy. Woo says it's clear that Ruby has never watched me apply anything to my lips because she raised the entire thing to her face, and rubbed it generously all over her mouth area. The best part was her proud and satisfied expression when the compact finally left her face.

I had a rough Friday which consisted of two trips to the DMV. Once in the morning, with four kids in a stroller, and once in the afternoon by myself on a bike. Even when I think I'm so prepared, and have checked the DMV's website to get everything exactly right, something goes wrong. And, it's still not resolved... hopefully by next week. I'm trying not to let it bother me too much.

Anyway, that's about it. I'll talk to you all later. Hope it's going well!

9.20.2009

Purchases and Acquisitions

three kids in car grocery cart home depot instagram
1. New Health Insurance for everyone:

Not exactly the stuff that dreams are made of, but necessary.

little girl tie boots instagram
2. Mercedes Benz 7-Passenger Wagon:


I know some of you may be thinking, "Oh, another Saab...", and you may be right, but that minivan pill is a tough one for me to swallow, and I'm hoping to dodge it a few more years.

Our wagon was selling at a great price, but Steven still managed to get it for less, even though I didn't think he had a leg to stand on.

I was very surprised when the dealer called us four hours later to tell us what a great price the car was selling at (and I had to agree with him), but Steven stood his ground, and the guy called back 5 minutes later saying he'd take our offer.

3. Handy Andy:

The temple is closed so Steven and I decided to use our evening without the kids to start painting the trim on the house.

After a half hour of trying to remove old paint with wire brushes, we admitted that we absolutely hated the job.

An hour in, we discussed hiring someone else to do it.

An hour and a half in, we cleaned up, and went out for ice cream.

Handy Andy is the company name of our handyman neighbor two doors down. Woo and I call him "dirty man" because we've never seen anyone filthier, the kids call him "Hey neighbor!", and his real(?) name is JC.

baby boy instagram
4. Light-Up Shoes, Jack-O-Lantern Crocs and a Romper:

While we were struggling with our wire brushes, the kids were receiving hand-me-downs from the sitter.

Herbie has coveted a pair of crocs anytime he's seen them, and I've always resisted buying him any. Now he has a pair of Jack-O-Lantern crocs.

I don't think Ruby even knew that light-up shoes existed, but once she saw them she was completely won over.

A romper is decidedly less exciting, but Moses still seemed thrilled.

One of the best nights of their lives?

9.14.2009

Not Much This Week...

Ruby and Herbie have been a great help potty training Moses. He had two days early in the week where he decided to quit trying at all. Every time he had an accident he'd hear, "Uh oh, Moses! We pee in the potty, not in our pants!" 5-10 times each from Ruby and Herbie.

Near the end of the second day, he sulked out of the bedroom to the living room where we all were, knowing that we'd all instantly be able to tell that he'd wet his pants. His head was hung on his chest, and he avoided all eye contact.

As Ruby and Herbie started in, he gave a little whine of protest, and I thought, "I'll be really surprised if Moses takes this any longer."

And the next day he was great. Right back on track. Thanks, guys.

Woo's latest update came out. Of course, Woo had several disappointments with that, but I think that on the whole, it's been good. He's getting record numbers of downloads, but he's upset because W-- is still ahead of him in the rankings.

We've been doing stuff around the house to get it ready to sell. It's nice that we don't have any deadline or anything, so we're just doing a bit at a time until it's all done. I've actually done quite a bit of weeding and miscellaneous stuff around the house by trying to do a little bit everyday. Woo attacked a bunch of overgrowth in the back yard. The biggest job left to do is to touch up the paint on the exterior of the house. I think we'll be all done in a couple of weeks.

Anyway, that's all I can think of right now. Talk to you all later.

From Woo: Hope all's well, I wanted to add one funny thing that Herbie has said a few times lately. I read the kids "jack and the beanstalk" one day, and Herbie kept calling the Giant "the big" which was pretty hilarious.

9.07.2009

Real News in This One...

Well, it's finally happened: Steven has made his decision. He's quitting school.

Well, technically he's taking a years leave as a safety net, but we're putting the house up for sale. Feel free to email him your congratulations or worries that he's ruining his own life and everyone else's---whatever your opinion may be.

After breakfast he enjoys saying, "Well, I'm off to work!", and disappears in his underwear back to the bedroom and his computer.

We gave up trying to find him a nice desk that we liked (plus we're hopefully moving soon), and just bought a cheap, portable one for $10. Now he can sit in bed typing away in comfort. I'm considering starting another business... "Learn how to make $X,XXX a week without ever leaving your bed!"

I'll be honest, it's hard to be optimistic about selling our house right now. There are two empty foreclosed houses on our street, and four other houses for sale. One of these has been for sale for more than a year. A quick sale is almost too much to hope for.

Plus, we don't know where we'd like to move. Technically, we could move anywhere that has high-speed internet, but we'd like to live near a temple and closer to family. We're open to suggestions if anyone has any good ideas.

I also thought that I'd proudly be able to announce that we'd bought a new car by now, but that hasn't been working out so great for us so far. We don't really need it for a few more months, so we're willing to put in more time to find what we want.

Herbie hasn't been too impressed by the cars we're looking at. The other day he said to me, "Mom, when our car is broken, can we get a Bigfoot?"

When I told Steven, he just said, "Have you checked craigslist?"

Bigfoot IV lives in St. Louis. To Herbie's delight we drive by him about once week, and "Bigfoot movies!" are usually his first request when we watch YouTube clips. 

Moses took two weeks back at home before he started using the potty again. He's doing pretty well, but not perfect yet. I don't know if I just need a more exciting reward, or if I just need to be patient. I remember Ruby needing 2 months before it clicked every time after traveling.

Moses started nursery a few weeks ago (I took him a week or two early---so shoot me...), and he loves it! The very first day we opened the door, he pointed at some tantalizing toy, made his motor noise, and ran off without ever looking back at us again. We weren't at all disappointed that it wasn't an emotional event for anyone.

There is now a posse of four 4-yr old girls in the branch. Ruby has spent, well, 0 time before now with little girls her age. I thought that they might be starting to influence Ruby, but I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon.

Ruby played at C--'s house when we were at the temple. Later, in a monotone voice, she said, "Me and my friend played wedding dress."

I've never heard her sound so bored. But then she perked up a bit, "But I didn't put on a dress! I was the man. I married C--."

I should probably say that I'm not worried about Ruby at all, I'm sure she'll come around someday, but I am kind of pleased that isn't ashamed of her own interests, and is not willing to change them just because someone else tells her she should like something else.

Well, that's all for now. I hope everyone is doing well!

7.28.2009

A Day Late...

Well, I thought I was feeling better, and sometimes I am, but not everyday. I was feeling pretty poor yesterday, and decided to take a week off, but today has been fine, so here I am...

The doctor (Dr. Duhart) who attended Moses' birth died this spring, and a bill legalizing midwifery in Missouri passed the State Legislator last year, so I've been interviewing midwives. I'll tell you, it's going to be hard to beat Dr. Duhart's 5000+ births... 200 just doesn't look that impressive against it.

I also may have just as hard of a time fitting in with midwives as I do doctors. I've been asked some interesting questions: "Are you vegan, vegetarian, or... (they didn't quite know how to put this one) regular?"

They assumed I was still nursing Moses (Nope, a year is enough for me). Also, I don't think pitocin is so evil that I wouldn't gladly take a shot of it if I were hemorrhaging, over trying a few herbal concoctions first.

Anyway, every midwife has a little different philosophy, and I think that it is possible to find what I want... I'll talk to a couple more, I guess. Actually, the first one was professional and relies on real drugs for emergencies. Other than the vegan question, she seemed pretty normal. Maybe I'm not going to find perfection. We'll see.

A new family moved into our branch. They have a little boy Herbie's age named H-- (great name, btw), and a little girl Ruby's age named C--.

I picked Herbie up from nursery to find the visiting Stake leaders and H--'s mother laughing. It turns out that H-- and Herbie look a lot alike, and that they'll answer "yes" to any question asked of them.
"Are you two brothers?"  
"Yes."  
"Are you twins?"  
"Yes." 
The whole time the Stake leaders couldn't get over how cute it was that there were twin boys named Herbie and H--, until H--'s mother showed up and ruined the whole illusion.

(Also, you can ask Herbie any question starting with, "Do you know... ?" and he'll always say "Yes." But, when you ask him to elaborate, he'll say, "I don't know.")

Ruby met C-- at the branch picnic on Saturday, and Ruby encountered a new social situation. C-- thought that Ruby was really, really cool. I'd say that the other primary kids really like Ruby, but she's younger than them and with the boy her age, who just moved away, it was the other way around: Ruby idolized him.

So this was a new experience for Ruby. She reacted by showing off, and being a little haughty. I watched her dash around the playground barking out what to do next. When they got close to me, I heard C-- say, "Let's pretend we're Disney princesses!"
"No! (nose in the air) I'm going to be President Uchtdorf!" 
C--'s older brother was also there, "But, President Uchtdorf is a boy!"

Ruby was completely undeterred, "I'm going to be a boy for Halloween!"

I don't know how long C--'s fascination is going to last.

On a side note: We really don't know where Ruby's obsession with President Uchtdorf has come from. It's not like we talk about him all the time, or watch clips of him speaking for fun. We think it has something to do with the fact that he wears a suit, and we also think that she's fascinated with his name. But, really we have no idea.

We've all had a rough time finding our shoes lately, thanks to Moses. He's taken it upon himself to relocate our shoes to more interesting places: the bathtub, under the beds, the bookshelf, etc. 

I also realized this week, having never noticed before, that Moses has Woo's body. Probably exactly, but it's still in baby form. I notice it most in his arms and torso, as he scampers around raising and lowering his arms, but I think his legs are Woo's too. After I noticed that, I realized that Moses probably walks exactly like Woo did as a baby. Sure, his butt sticks out, and he can't bend his knees, but I think he's going to move and walk just like Woo when he gets older.

Woo's frustrating week can be described by naming just two companies: Bank of America and Apple. Yes, Apple used to be a comfortable friend, but now that Woo's an app developer, and has to sell his product in Apple's store and follow Apple's arbitrary rules, Apple has become the enemy.

The Bank of America ordeal basically consisted of hours spent on the phone trying to get a simple problem remedied. Pretty much everyone's definition of hell.

Well, that's it for now. Talk to you all later!

7.19.2009

HAPPY 30TH! AND RANDOM STUFF

Woo started off the week celebrating his 30th birthday. For as long as I've known him, Woo has had miserable birthdays, so based on birthdays-past, I think this one was pretty good. He did work way more than he wanted to, but we did get to go swimming. He, Ruby and Herbie had a good time racing down the slides (it was the first day Herbie decided he could go down the slides). He got some homemade raspberry and strawberry jam, a wrist rocket, some emails, a phone call, a dinner of his favorite foods, etc. We considered going out and doing something fun after dinner, but he was too stuffed and tired, and decided to nap instead. When it's your birthday, you get to decide what you do, I guess.

Right before the kids went to bed, we listened to a recording of Woo when he was 3 years old. We all enjoyed that.

Ruby's had a couple of Amelia Bedelia moments this week:

Woo let the package containing his wrist rocket kick around the bedroom for a few days. Ruby, bursting with curiosity, finally asked him, "When are you going to open your spaceship, Dad?"
Ruby: Where are we going?
Us: A garage sale.
Ruby: Are we going to buy a new one? Are we going to buy a new garage? (After we chuckled) Ruby: We can tear the old one down with a kainshaw! 
Herbie's caught the moving bug. I don't really think that we've talked about it that much in front of him, but maybe we have. Also, his two favorite friends just moved.

When we drive around, he keeps saying things like,
"Mom, when our house is broken, can we move there?"
"Mom, when our house is broken, can we move to that house with the go-cart?" 
 Today, right before his nap, he demanded,
"Mom, I want to move tomorrow!"
"Where to?"
"Salt Lake!"
(What?!?!) "Salt Lake? Why do you want to move there?"
"So I can go to the Salt Lake Temple and get married!" 
I was curious to hear who he wanted to marry, so he went through a long list of impossible choices... me, Woo, Ruby... he finally ended up at his cousin. After I explained that he couldn't marry her, he said, "Ok, I'll just baptize her!" and giggled. Problem solved. I guess.

Well, Moses isn't potty-trained, but he did make significant enough progress this week for me to keep it up. He started requesting to go to the potty, which is really what I wanted to start seeing from him. He's getting it right about half the time, so I assume he'll make progress bit by bit.

Of course, any progress we make will all be flushed down the drain, when we go to Utah in three weeks (just like it always does!), but hopefully, he'll recover quickly when we get back.

Moses likes to get me to chase him. He knows when I'm trying to get his training pants on. He knows that I don't like him to go to the neighbors front porch, so he shoots me a smile, and giggles as he walks as fast as his stubby legs can carry him.

I've started to feel better **I was pregnant with Linus**, although, not totally. I managed to keep on top of the dishes, the laundry, and clean the kitchen. The living room, bedroom, and floors still are in a sorry state, and the yard. The yard's been taking care of itself for quite some time, and probably will continue to do so.

I made some extra money this week watching the 3- month old girl of a friend (easy as pie). For a long time, I couldn't think of anything I wanted to do with the money, until I thought of hamburgers. I started to get giddy, as I thought of spending all of it, ALL OF IT on hamburgers!

When I told Woo of my plan, he actually thought I'd consider buying a grill and some fancy cheeses for a backyard BBQ.

What? Is he crazy?!

That way I'd end up getting like 2 hamburgers, and my way, I'll get like 50!

Plus, a homemade burger is not what I'm craving right now.

Anyway, that was the most exciting thing to happen to me in awhile :)

7.12.2009

Time with Mom

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Herbie had a rough morning one day this week, so Woo, Ruby and Moses took off for the pool, and Herbie and I stayed home to do some chores and then walk to the grocery store to pick up a few things.

I don't normally think of having three kids as hard, but, WOW! One kid is EASY!

I felt like we could go anywhere and do anything. Herbie loves doing chores anyway, but we got a lot done, and had a good time together.

Unfortunately, Herbie had too much fun, because he suggested that we do the same thing the next day while everyone else went to the pool again.

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Ruby and I also had a visiting teaching appointment this week. Ruby was thrilled. Herbie and Moses were distraught. We had to hurriedly escape through the front door before a screaming Herbie and Moses could slip out with us. Ruby and I were both tired, which meant that I wanted to sit on the couch and do nothing, and she wanted to move everywhere and touch everything.

We did not have a good time.

When we got back, everything was peace and calm. "Did you guys have fun?" "Yeah. You?" "Sure," but when Herbie said his prayer, it became clear that Ruby and I had gotten the short end of the stick. 

"And Dad and me and Moses went for a walk, and we went to the cemetery, and we talked to the dog, and we threw rocks down the big hole, and we..."

Ruby looked up at me, and I shrugged apologetically. She may not be so excited to go with me next time.

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I got tired of dilly-dallying around Moses and the potty this week, and decided to give it my full court press. He seems to have all the pieces, but is just not getting them all together, when it counts. I think I'll go strong for one more week, and if he doesn't get it together, back off until he's 17 months, and try again.

He's picking up more words, which no one but his own mother would understand, and he spends a lot of his time sitting on the couch and looking at board books (which I love). 

Woo's had better weeks. Partially, in part, because of me. (First trimester with Linus.) It's started to get to him that I've "gone from super-mom to average-mom," which is kind of a compliment, but it's true that I just can't seem to keep on top of anything right now.

He's had to endure meals that revolve around my cravings... beef, tomatoes, lots of salt. Last night I served cold cereal and fruit. The kids were ecstatic. Woo wisely said nothing.

I figure I'm allowed to do it once in my life.

The house is not very clean... I've let the laundry pile up... I think we're both glad that I should be feeling better in just a couple of weeks.

7.05.2009

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!

We decided to celebrate the 4th on the 3rd this year. Woo wanted to see the Counting Crows at the Arch, and I wanted a buffer day for the kids between a late night watching fireworks and church.

We started out great (eating BBQ at a deserted restaurant), but it was down hill from there when it started to rain, and we didn't have enough cash for metrolink tickets. Steven suggested that we watch from Forest Park, where we ended up seeing about two small fireworks through the trees.

I'll admit I was mad, but I think it turned out for the best. I was exhausted when we got home, and I probably would've been comatose, if I'd had to deal with the crowds at the Arch. And the kids had a great time at a playground there while we waited for it to get dark. The playground had a lot of fun things that we don't normally see. It was the kind of park that even invited adults to play around on it. 

Ruby ran around part of the time with a pack of boys. She'd raise her fist and her head into the air, and yell, "I'M PRESIDENT UCHTDORF!" A few laps later she was belting out, "1ST AND 2ND BOOKS OF NEPHI, JACOB, ENOS, JAROM, MORONI...!"

The next morning, when Woo suggested to her that most people have no idea who President Uchtdorf is, she stared at him in disbelief. When he told her that she should be saying "Omni", where she was saying "Moroni", that really got her ire up.

How could her Dad possibly know? He wasn't in Primary!

It took both of us and our most convincing arguments to persuade her.

Herbie surprised us by playing for awhile with a couple of other kids on the double decker see-saw, and then spent some time chasing a very outgoing Asian kid. He was very nervous about the fireworks being loud, but nothing loud got anywhere near us, so he was ok.

Most of this week, I've been taking Herbie to the potty just twice a night, and he's been dry! These last two nights, we've eaten dinner 1/2 hour earlier than normal, and he's been able to be dry with me just taking him once! It's almost too good to be true... I hope it's not a fluke.

Moses has been climbing to the tops of playgrounds and backing himself down the tall, twisty slide all by himself this week. He's been our most adventurous kid so far, but he's also not reckless. I had to make a dramatic run across the kiddie pool once, when he'd scurried around to the other side of the deck, and then started to back into a part that was too deep for him.

I wasn't really that worried about him---in the past, when he's backed into deeper water at the pool, he climbs back out on deck after realizing that his feet haven't touched bottom. I mostly did it so the lifeguard wouldn't. But, it's good to be safe.

Woo has toyed around more with the idea of hiring someone. He was disappointed to find that "brilliant boy," the kid he was most interested in hiring is only 15, but he has one mega fan that is a disabled, retired military vet that he's started to talk about it with. A couple of post doc opportunities have come floating his way, but he's not really in a position right now to start on that. Plus, he's not sure that's what he'd like to do. His advisor didn't seem to believe him, when he said that he was making no progress... (but his advisor has sold 10-12 apps :)

I think that we'd both like to move soon, maybe that's the motivation he needs?

Anyway, that's about it for us. I hope you all had a great 4th of July!

6.28.2009

Recovery

I always forget that it takes us about a week to settle in after any trip (We'd gone to Chicago for a few days), even if it's just for a few days.

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We've had tantrums thrown at embarrassing times by everyone (except maybe Woo).

The kids trashed their bedroom one morning.

Getting them to clean up the slightest mess has been like pulling teeth ...

Today was the worst day at church we've had in, I don't know, years (it didn't help that Sacrament meeting went over 30 minutes ... )!

After being out of town, two days without Woo, and a rough Sacrament meeting, I decided to offer to stay and help the nursery leader. It was very, very wild, and when I finally escaped, I was shell-shocked.

You'll have to ask Woo to show you the face I was making for hours afterwards. I believe my mouth was hanging open, accompanied by a blank stare.

Anyway, here's to hoping that we'll will get back in the groove next week.

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One morning on our way home from the pool, we walked past the entrance of the cemetery at exactly the same time as two elderly women were leaving it. Ruby exclaimed, "Look, Mom! They're happy! They're living again!"

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Yesterday we walked to the church to meet Woo coming home from Youth Conference. It was 95 degrees, high humidity, and I felt lousy to begin with.

About half-way there I realized that walking had been a terrible mistake. I managed to gasp out, "Mom. is. tired." and Ruby reached her hand back to cover mine, and give it a few pats.

After a while she said, "When we get to the church, you can go to sleep under the bench, Mom. It's cooler there."

I'm comforted thinking that I might have Ruby to care for me in my old age.

Wouldn't it be great if tons of fun didn't wipe us all out so much?

RECOVERY WEEK

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I always forget that it takes us about a week to settle in after any trip, even if it's just for a few days. We've had tantrums thrown at embarrassing times by everyone (except maybe Woo). The kids trashed their bedroom one morning. Getting them to clean up the slightest mess has been like pulling teeth... Today was the worst day at church we've had in, I don't know, years (it didn't help that Sacrament meeting went over 30 minutes...)!  Anyway, here's to hoping that we'll will get back in the groove next week.

One morning on our way home from the pool, we walked past the entrance of the cemetery at exactly the same time as two elderly women were leaving it.

Ruby exclaimed, "Look, Mom! They're happy! They're living again!"

Yesterday we walked to the church to meet Woo coming home from Youth Conference. It was 95 degrees, high humidity, and I felt lousy to begin with. **pregnant with Linus** About half-way there I realized that walking had been a terrible mistake.

I managed to gasp out, "Mom. is. tired." and Ruby reached her hand back to cover mine, and give it a few pats.

After a while she said, "When we get to the church, you can go to sleep under the bench, Mom. It's cooler there."

I'm comforted thinking that Ruby might be the one to care for me in my old age.

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Herbie is my loner (although, I've been very careful to not mentioned this to him--don't want to label him, even though I don't have anything against loners, obviously). In nursery he plays by himself. At the park he plays by himself or with Ruby, and at the pool, he sticks very close to me. I think part of that is that he's still a little nervous of the new pool we've started going to. He doesn't realize that the entire pool is shallow enough for him to stand in. Yesterday he broke out a little with his ball, so I'm hoping in the next few days, he'll be happily playing all over the pool. By himself.

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I set the big pillows from my bed out in the living room for the kids to sit on while they watched their movie. Moses loves pillows, especially gigantic ones, and he kept running (Well, he can't really run. It's more of a stiff-legged speed walk.) to the pillows, belly flopping on to them, and sliding a few inches across the floor. He was having a grand ole time. I unfortunately never even thought of getting out the camera.

I'm at that unenviable point in pregnancy where I'm exhausted, if I do any work, and I feel queasy, if I lie around thinking about how bad I feel. Tragically, I feel the best while reading something entertaining. Luckily, Woo's sister has read and reviewed every YA novel known to man on her blog, so I'm set up with good reads until I'm ready to return to reality.

After two days without Woo, and a rough Sacrament meeting, I decided to offer to stay and help the nursery leader. It was very, very wild, and when I finally escaped, I was shell-shocked.

You'll have to ask Woo to show you the face I was making for hours afterwards. I believe my mouth was hanging open, accompanied by a blank stare.

Woo's really enjoying his iPhone. Mostly, the part about having the internet everywhere he goes. He's particularly pleased that he would've been able to pay the credit card bill on our bike ride to church, if he hadn't already paid it. He sent us several short movies of himself while he was gone. Most of them were while he was driving, which didn't make me feel any better about his safety :)

6.21.2009

CHICAGO

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Random Chicago Stuff:
  • Chicago is a lot more fun of a city than I thought. There's a beach, tons of stuff to do and any store you could ever imagine. I understood for the first time why anyone would go there for fun or even for their honeymoon. 
  • The 5 1/2 hr train ride felt shorter than a 3 hr flight---more space, more for the kids to look at out of the window, and we could walk around. 
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  • The kids sleep much better in a hotel room than they do in a tent. 
  • I can't believe I've gone 32 years without ever having Chicago style pizza... it's fantastic! Woo and I were both craving it the night we got back. I'm wondering how hard it would be to make. 
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  • The iPod costumes turned out better than I was expecting, and they were an absolute hit. We had people asking us if they could take pictures of the kids before we even got to the Apple store. 
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  • Moses was the most popular. Women would sigh and gasp whenever they'd see him toddling around in his little costume. 
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  • The local NBC station shot the kids and interviewed Woo, but we didn't see it on the news :( 
  • The kids had their picture taken about a million times, but by the time the photographer from Apple came out to take their picture, Herbie was at the end of his rope and refused to cooperate. 
  • Our biggest mistake was not slapping something related to Woo's app on the kids. They caught everyone's attention, but most people probably just thought we were iPod fanatics. 
  • Ruby was great at handing out flyers, which was lucky because neither of her parents were. 
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  • Herbie made us smile every time he said, "shee-(pause)-KAA-go." And he said it a lot. 
  • I was surprised by the large number of runners through the city at all times of day, and by the large amount of kids. 
  • Our kids LOVED the beach. We would've gone again, but I was physically not prepared to deal with that kind of mess more than once. They wouldn't have had any clothes to wear home. 
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little kids chicago instagram
  • Ruby ended up covered from head to foot with sand. 
  • Herbie kept the mess to his hands and feet, and mostly avoided the water. 
  • Moses spent most of his time on the walkway or in the water. He'd back off the walkway into a foot of water, cry the whole time it took to walk back to me, and then he'd do it again. 
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  • Somehow Ruby managed to wake up Saturday morning with gum in her hair. We're scared to hypothesize on where she got it, but I cut it out when we got home. She now has bangs.

6.14.2009

A WEEK

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One morning at breakfast Ruby was apparently weighing the pros and cons of doing bad stuff because the second I walked into another room, I heard her tell Herbie, "I wish Heavenly Father and Jesus were bad... because then they would like it when I did something bad!" 

Ruby is a very generous little girl. She gets two spoonfuls of ice cream after every successful reading lesson, and she always gives one of them to Herbie. 

Also, Ruby may finally be through with naps. She's only fallen asleep once this week, although she's laid quietly in bed while the rest of napped. I think I'll just continue to let her do that... a little quiet time never hurt anyone. 

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I couldn't wait, and went right out and bought a little travel alarm clock for Herbie. **This was an attempt to keep him dry at night**  The first night was very discouraging, because he didn't even stir with the alarm going off right in his ear, but a quick google search showed me that a child can be taught to wake up to an alarm, and I shifted my focus to that.

The next night I was thrilled when he woke up and turned off the alarm himself before I even got there. But the next time it went off, he was lost in a deep, deep sleep. "Herbie, Herbie! Your alarm!" He sat up, looked at the alarm, then laid down and closed his eyes. "Herbie, turn off your alarm!" He looked at me very confused, "Why?" "Because it's going off!" He stared again at the clock with complete surprise, "Oh."

I don't think he even noticed the sound until it stopped, and then a huge smile of pride crossed his face.

He really loves being able to control that clock.

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little kids ipod costumes instagram

For a few nights there Moses tried out a funny ritual for getting to sleep. He'd crouch right up with his head against the crib. Then he'd rock back and forth on his knees, so that his head went "thump, thump, thump, ..." against the bed.

All this while sucking his thumb.

He seems to have given it up. I don't think it was very effective.

I'm in the middle of transitioning Moses from two naps a day to one. I think we made too big of a jump today because he was pretty grouchy.

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The good news is: Woo finally took the plunge and bought an iPhone.

The bad news is: He won't get it in time for our trip to Chicago this week. The new iPhone comes out on Saturday, and Woo figures that there will be enough people lined up at the huge Apple Store there, that it's worth a trip to try and promote his app. He has visions of the kids dressed up as iPods... I'm still trying to figure out how to achieve that. We're taking the train up, and spending a few days to check out the sites. The kids are super excited, and I am too.

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And I've discovered that a warm glass of milk is my new best friend. I've had a hard time going back to sleep after being up with Herbie at 3:30 am a couple of times, and that warm milk always does the trick. I don't know why I never tried it before... didn't believe it would work, thought it would taste gross... I don't know, but it's awesome.

6.07.2009

#4?

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Well, I am pregnant again, and I feel like I've been hit by a truck--- very. very. tired. I don't think I ever mentioned here that we miscarried again in March, but this one has gone longer, and is certainly taking what he/she can from me. We are hopeful :)

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Monday I told Ruby that she would never again receive any treats/rewards/etc. for being dry at night. I told her that she already knew how to be dry, and didn't need to learn anymore, but instead she could earn treats/rewards/etc. for achieving goals in reading. She was very excited, eagerly picked out some books that she'd like to read, and has been dry almost every night since then.

The only problem is... it turns out that I don't really know how to make learning to read fun and effective. We had a couple of days of battles before I got smart and checked some books out on the subject at the library. I think things will be much better next week.

I also had a similar conversation with Herbie. He would no longer receive treats/rewards/etc. (although they still get praise... They really like when I jump up and down and clap, thanks for teaching me that one, Mom.) for having dry pants in the morning, but he could earn a reward every time he got up and used the potty before I came to take him. We also practice how he would do that a couple of times every night before he goes to bed. So far he's gotten up before I've come twice. Better than nothing, but still kind of hard to tell if it's working. If he doesn't get any better at it in the next few weeks, my next idea is to get him his own alarm clock set at the right time.

Mosie is definitely a walker now. There's no going back at this point. He saunters drunkenly around the house with a faint grin on his face, picking up objects and depositing them in another area of the house.

Perhaps he thinks he's cleaning up?

Moses really likes big trucks, motorcycles, etc. Whenever one goes by, he laughs and acts as if he'd like to chase it.

Moses laughs a lot at Ruby and Herbie too. Once when he was laughing at Herbie, Herbie said, "Dad, Moses is being mean to me!"

Woo, of course, explained that Moses was laughing at Herbie because he liked him.

There's not much new on the app front--- still holding steady at 4 or 5. 

Woo is very, very tired too. Whenever I mention that I'm tired, he says, "Let me tell you about tired... " It's become a joke by now. 

He works long hours, and sometimes forgets to eat breakfast and lunch. Plus all the stress makes him sick. He really would like to hire some part-time help. He envisions a brilliant high-schooler or undergrad, but hasn't really taken a lot of steps in that direction, as far as I know of (maybe he doesn't have the time?).