2.23.2009

A Week

Ruby had her first week of soccer this week. I guess we failed to prepare her for the fact that she wouldn't be constantly kicking a soccer ball into a goal because that is all that she wanted to do. Before the coach actually started, Woo tried to take her aside, but she was so intent on kicking that ball --- she didn't hear a word he said.

Once they got started, doing some warm ups and drills, she followed along reluctantly, but you could tell she still really wanted to do her own thing. (If you ever get the chance to watch a group of 4 year olds do jumping jacks, you're in for a treat, by the way). And who can blame her? Why would you want to do stretches when there are soccer balls lying around waiting to be kicked? I think she'll have a better idea of what to expect next time.

Herbie is a very particular little boy. And by particular, I mean that he likes to have his things just so. He likes to have his cup, his plate, and his utensils to all be the same color (usually orange, but he's not mad if they're not available), and if his shirt matches them too, that's even better! (He's getting his colors right about 80% of the time now). He carefully places each item on the table, just how he wants them.

I've mentioned before how he is when we eat out, and today we got complimented on his Sacrament meeting habits. He was carefully sitting on a stack of 3 hymn books that he'd arranged, leafing page by page through one of my manuals or looking at the speaker. For a song he'd carefully remove a book from his stack, turn to a page, and "sing" with us.

Moses is on the road to walking. It seems like he's pretty capable, but not very motivated at this point. He can push the walker around and maneuver it, but usually only goes a few steps before we spot him and cheer for him. Then he immediately stops. Maybe that's it... he'd rather not have an audience. He also is capable of standing without support, but is not super excited about doing that for us either. 

Moses has discovered that Herbie is the one he can follow into the bathroom to get to that open toilet. I've discovered them in there together a few times this week, and luckily only had to clean up one finger painting project.

Steven continues to work hard on ooTunes. Downloads are staying consistent. We won't be millionaires... or even close, but it does seem like this could support a family. ooTunes hovers around number 26 in the top music downloads. Steven thinks it could be top 20 with a new icon and a little promotion, but he doesn't think he'll be ready to handle that for another month or two.

He's assembled a team of two other people for his other idea --- Who I Knew, which seems like it will start making progress. He wonders what to do about school.

I've been recovering the plastic chairs that I used to have at the table. They're in the living room now, and needed to be a different color. I didn't want to paint them again because the paint wears off and because there are some dings/cracks in the plastic, so i've been covering them with spray adhesive and some fabric. It was easy to do and covered the blemishes effectively, so I'm pretty happy. I also spent time designing a baby shower invitation and knitting a baby hat.

Well, that's about it. Talk to you later!

2.16.2009

Happy (Late) Valentines Day and Friday the 13th!!!

We were able to get out and celebrate Valentines Day without the kids on Thursday. It was our temple day, so we dropped the kids off at the G--'s, did some initiatories, and still had plenty of time left to go eat at The House of India. It's been a long time since we've eaten out without the kids, and it was very nice.

Steven remembered that sometimes he does like to eat out. He thinks that having to pay, and having to worry about taking care of the kids is too much for him, and he can only have one or the other for it to be completely enjoyable for him (but I still make him do it occasionally).

Tonight Ruby asked me to spend some time with her going over the words and letters in some of her books. I haven't pushed her learning in that area at all, in fact, I've done nothing but read her stories unless she's asked for something else. She is very interested and seems to get a lot of what I'm telling her. I think she could start reading simple things very soon.

I also signed her up for Little Tykes soccer this spring. It's for 4-5 year olds, and doesn't seem to be competitive, but more of a clinic to teach little kids. She is VERY excited, and even wore her special soccer outfit for the walk to the rec center to sign her up. Every day she asks me, "Do I get to play soccer today?!"

Herbie got new shoes this week, and he LOVES them.
On the way home: "Dad is really going to like these new shoes, Mom!" 
Dressing to go to the G--'s: "Do you think R-- will like my new shoes?" 
Later, in the car: "Mom, can we please go to the airport tomorrow? Grandma and Grandpa will be happy to see my new shoes!" 
Overheard between Ruby and Herbie...
Ruby (getting frustrated): Dang it! 
Herbie: Don't say that, Ruby! That's dangerous! 
I don't think I've ever mentioned before that Moses doesn't cry. He trills. It's not very loud, and doesn't look very efficient, but it works for him. Our house isn't very big, and we always know when he wants us.

Once this week Moses tripped (over his hands), and there was a long silence as he gathered his forces to give us his trills, but the silence lasted really long. Too long. Woo and I got up to go look at him around the corner, and that red thing on his head and his lips were blue. As soon as I picked him up, he took his breath and immediately pinked up again.

We weren't really too scared because of other kids we know who regularly have to pass out first, and then they breathe, and are fine, but he sure looked ghastly for awhile there.

ooTunes has been out a week. We're pretty happy with the download rate. It's enough to be encouraging, but not too much that Woo can't keep on top of customer service and the like. He's had some negative feedback about the "nerdlinger" icon, that he refused to believe at first. He really has a soft spot in his heart for that nerdlinger, and he really doesn't want to get rid of it, but now he is starting to reconsider.

Woo has also spent the past three Sundays trying to dress exactly like Herbie for church. They wore their blue and brown three piece suits with similar shirts and ties, and today they wore brown sweaters and blue pants. It's unmistakable that they're trying to be the same, and they've attracted a small group of admirers.

I hurt my back this week... sleeping. At least I was fine one night and in the morning it was out. This seems to happen to me if I haven't gone running or ridden a bike for too long. At the same time, I've found that all I have to do is go for a quick jog, and voila! it's solved.

Also, all my dentist fears were for nothing. As I was lying there, I remembered that I like going to the dentist. There's something about lying there doing nothing, while everyone else does everything for you that is comforting.

There are a couple of couples from our stake serving missions in our branch. One of these is a dentist and he wouldn't allow me to pay him a thing. So instead, I gave him a few books (that you had given me a few years ago, Mom) that were right up his alley, and he was thrilled with them.

2.09.2009

IT'S HERE!!!

FINALLY, the ooTunes app is on the market! I mostly feel relief. Woo has been a bundle of nerves. Friday night we scurried to finish the tutorial and a couple of other things before it's first day (yesterday).

For those of you who are still wondering just what in the world ooTunes is, you should check out our tutorial. http://ootunes.com/app/tutorial/ You can click on the iphone screen to move through it and see just what Woo's been up to. I also made every image in the app (except the volume button. Yes, i even made the triangles, back-button, etc.)

My best work, I think, is in the playlist (click on "login", then "no"). I also did the layout for the web page (I'm seeing now that a couple of my links are the wrong color, dang!), and put all those hotspots in the screenshots (I was ready to tear someone's head off by the end... and I may have...).

Woo did the javascript on the page, and of course, everything else Woo did is described in the tutorial. It too much/complicated to describe here. I think he's done a wonderful job, and there doesn't seem to be a single detail that he's overlooked.

I failed to write about our special "Saying No! to Strangers" FHE a couple of weeks ago. After the lesson we took turns putting on a ski mask and pretending to be a stranger. Ruby did an excellent job of forcefully saying "NO!!!," although I'm less confident of her abilities when there's actually candy involved.

Herbie, however, was an absolute sucker.
Me (looking suspicious in a ski mask): Hi, Herbie! 
Herbie: Hi. 
Me: Herbie, did you know that I have a backhoe truck? 
Herbie (perking up): Yeah? 
Me: Would you like to come ride with me in my backhoe truck? 
Herbie (jumping off the couch and running to me): YES! 
At this point Woo had to step in. But Herbie got the hang of it eventually, and "stranger" has become one of his favorite games.

Moses is reaching my favorite baby age. I've never been one who could stare for hours at a sleeping newborn, but I could probably watch Moses for hours now (if I didn't have anything else to do, of course). Every thought in his head shows on his face, and I love when he's accomplished something that he's proud of. Something like successfully crawling over a large toy or being the first kid to reach something awesome. I love how he smiles and dances when he hears music, and of course, his baby jabber.

Here's a conversation between Steven and Ruby before I go.
Steven: Where did you get your good looks Ruby? 
Ruby (scowls, turns away, tries not to smile) 
Steven: Was it from your Dad? 
Ruby: NO! 
Steven: Was it from your Mom? 
Ruby: NO! 
Steven: Then where did you get your good looks, Ruby? 
Ruby: From another family! 
Well, that's about it. I hope everyone has fun watching Tyson this week. Good luck, Tys!

2.02.2009

Truth and Consequence

Herbie's learned a lot about consequences this week. He missed going outside to play with Woo in the snow twice, and going to seminary with me.

The worst one (for me) is when he didn't get to go to seminary. It was his week to go, and he'd been talking about it all day. In the morning, he put on his favorite outfit, "Do you think TaLeisha will like my camo jacket at seminary, Mom?" (FYI there is no TaLeisha, but it was a good guess anyway).

The rule is that the kid going to seminary with me has to finish their dinner quickly so I can make it on time, but even with reminders he didn't eat a bite. Instead he blissfully talked about what he was going to do at seminary. It was really hard to leave him, but in the car I remembered that I'd rather have him learn about consequences now, then later when the stakes are higher. Plus, I want him to believe what I say. Anyway, he's gotten the message and has done a lot better yesterday and today.

Ruby is showing a huge interest in letters, words and writing these days. She surprised us a couple of months ago by showing us a paper with her doctor's appointment written on it, "Look Mom! Somebody wrote my name!"

She sees Rs everywhere she goes, and she calls them hers. Just like all Hs are Herbie's. She's written a couple of very simple letters by herself, and whenever she gets a card or letter in the mail, she grabs a pencil and tries to "write" on it.

When we say random words, she usually can tell us what letter that word starts with. She also is surprisingly good at coloring in the lines in her coloring book. At least I was surprised, maybe it's something all kids her age can do. I don't know, but I'm still impressed.

Moses loves that bathtub. He makes a beeline for it every time someone's in the bathroom. He's still too short to topple in, thank goodness. He's been doing more walking while pushing chairs and benches and his little scooter thing, but still crawls mostly.

It's hard to believe that he'll be a year old this month. He's been such an easy baby. He and I have spent some fun one-on-one time this week while Ruby and Herbie have played with Woo in the snow.

Negotiations with Y--.com broke down on Wednesday. Two hours later ooTunes was accepted and put up for sale. Woo had to disable it because parts of his program relied on them. I guess that no step of this is going to come easily. It felt like a death knell, and Woo wondered if he should just quit. But, of course, another day, another mood. Woo had some new ideas, took an extra trip to the temple, and came up with a good plan. He's proposed some new things to Y--, and he made changes to ooTunes so that he can disable Y--' stuff or use it depending on what happens, and he's not dependent on them. He submitted the new ooTunes last night.

In other events, he made a gigantic snowman in the backyard, and named it in honor of me. He's pretty pleased with his snowman making skills.

I finally got my hands on some Shannon Hale books. These days, part of me likes to have a fun novel around, and part of me avoids it. Mostly because I just keep reading and reading and I stay up way to late. I read Goose Girl in one night. Then I decided to take a day off... so two nights later I finished Princess Academy.

Well, that's pretty much it for our week. Talk to you later.