Happy Birthday, Herbie!

Herbie celebrated his 3rd birthday this week. Finally, he was able to have his special day. He requested cake, ice cream, and donuts for dinner. He got Fettuccini Alfredo and ice cream.

His favorite presents were the backhoe truck, hard hat, and tool vest. Ruby's favorite presents were the hard hat and the tool vest (she's requested them for her birthday), and Moses' favorite presents were the backhoe truck and hard hat.

Herbie's been really very good about sharing them. There's only been a disagreement once or twice. 

And... Herbie also was dry (with some help from me) at night for the first time. I've spent the first part of the week trying to figure out exactly when he was peeing. I've known that I probably needed to do this with him for about a year, but I kept hoping he'd just figure it out himself (like everyone else's kids, dang it!).

I was expecting one trouble spot like Ruby, but no, he pees every 2-3 hours! I managed to get him dry Wednesday by taking him to the potty at 10pm, 12pm, 2:30am, and 4:30pm, and it's worked every night since. I haven't been as tired as I expected, but I'm not going to keep this up forever, of course. I have a few ideas on where to go from here, and I'll keep you posted.

Well, I don't think there's going to be any preschool for Ruby, but we've gotten her some workbooks. She loves doing them, and catches on to stuff quickly.

She spent a lot of time on Monday and Tuesday being President Monson, wearing suits, coming from and going to conferences, giving talks... I had to wonder to myself: "Is there another kid in the world doing this?"

She did break from tradition later in the week to announce that she'd like to be a monkey for Halloween.

Moses loves to do three things: stand on the armchair, get into Woo's records under the pinball machine, and get into the cabinets in the bathroom. I don't like him to do any of them, but I've decided to let him have the armchair. It's right in front of the window, and he loves to stare outside, even if there's nothing going on out there. Yesterday, he and Herbie were enthralled on the armchair for an hour, watching the man across the street mow the lawn.

Steven finally got released as Elders Quorum President and got called as... Young Mens President (again!). His dreams of being someone else's minion will have to wait until another day. I think he's starting to get excited in spite of himself, because he does love the young men. He's not sure he can be a fun leader anymore, though... he's gotten so old and boring (that would be my influence :).

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



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Yep, Moses is moving out of baby babble and into real speech. I first noticed him saying "ssss ssss" (our potty signal) in appropriate places on Monday morning.

I know, I know, it's not actually a real word, but a few hours later, he came crying to me, "Momma, Mom!" It was such a shocker to hear him say my name.

He surprised us again, before leaving for a run, when I said, "Ok, guys let's go say 'bye' to Dad." "Bye!" yelled Moses.

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Of course my mother's pride was effectively deflated today by the mother with a baby born the same day as Moses..."Is he talking yet?" "Oh, yeah, Dani's saying bike, book, momma, dadda, stop, go, (and on and on)..."

(Actually, I couldn't care less. I'm fine with Moses being a man of few words or a late bloomer, if that's what he wants to be.)

We finally got around to having our Easter egg hunt Friday night. The kids were ecstatic. After we released them into the backyard, Ruby raced around and found all her eggs in about 30 seconds flat. 

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Herbie's just barely beyond that stage, where he can't find something hidden, even if it's directly in front of his nose. He found a couple by himself, but mostly we had to guide him.

Ruby had gotten the idea somewhere that you're supposed to have a chocolate bunny for "Easter egg." I reluctantly bought two, but I think I know enough now to say no to that next year. Huge chocolatey mess, of course, and then, they were half done, when Woo realized that the chocolate was going to effect them.

They were still up whispering when I went in to take Herbie to the potty at 10!

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Ruby can strike in an instant, when it comes to treats. I think her senses are always tuned into the possibility of finding treats anytime and anywhere. She can salvage a half eaten piece of candy from the floor or from a garbage can faster than we can get to her. She polished off all her stash today before Herbie did, and circled around him like a vulture. He did drop one, and she was on it in a flash, but I was expecting something of that nature, and was able to retrieve it.

Herbie likes treats too, but he seemed to be more motivated by the hunt. He asked me today, if he could go hide the rest of his eggs outside to find again.

Woo's been working really hard this week on his app update. He really wants this to be amazing so that he can start promoting his product. He finished that last night, and will submit in the morning.

He thinks he'll be able to take a breather after this, and if he's lucky, be able to listen to music for fun again.

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We went out to eat last night to celebrate, but it ended up being nothing like a celebration. Steven and I were grouchy, the kids were unable to sit still and keep their hands off each other (thanks to their late night the night before), the food was overpriced and the service was horrible. Steven threatened to leave no tip at all. I'm not sure if he actually did or not.

I haven't done really anything of note this week. The weather's been great. I've been running around town to do my errands. I did a couple of small things in the yard. (City plant sale next weekend, that I'm looking forward to.)

Oh, one evening the kids asked me to play a "Great-Grandpa song" so I played the "O Brother Where Art Thou" album for them. Ruby had similar reaction as my Grandma to the chain gang song. She slipped out of her chair to turn it off, and told me she didn't like it. Herbie, on the other hand, loved all of it.


Happy Easter!!

Herbie's lastest thing is a loud, gruff voice. He thinks it's hilarious, plus it really gets his point across. 

Steven was telling the kids the Easter story, "And then some mean men killed Jesus..."

Herbie gasped audibly, and rasped, "That was a BAD I-DE-A!"

He was being serious that time, but he's discovered that often the trick to a good joke is to say the unexpected. We can see him going over responses in his head when asked a question before he blurts out something totally unrelated and chuckling heartily.

One of Ruby's finest moments came last week after Herbie hit her. He was totally unrepentant, unwilling to talk about their argument or apologize, so Ruby came over to him, gave him a big hug, and said, "I forgive you, Herbie!"

He instantly melted, hugged her back, apologized, and they ran back together to work out their problem.

For her worst moment... she skipped her nap the day we watched the G-- kids, which means everything she did was a little over-the-top. One of the kids pushed her slightly, and she dramatically collapsed to the ground with an ear splitting wail.

I'm blessed to have a no-nonsense husband who said, "That's a fake cry, Ruby."

She shut her mouth, stood up, and went on with her life.

Moses (with the encouragement of his Dad) has been standing up unassisted in the middle of the floor. Of course, he refuses to perform for the camera.

I've also turned up the potty training a notch by giving him 1 fruit snack for success. He usually lets me know when he's already gone and occasionally (very occasionally) before he's gone. He's been totally weaned for a couple weeks now... just in time for Easter chocolate! 

The only problem with that is that I've become aware that I'm 10-15lbs overweight. (Thanks for making me stand on that scale, Tyson). He suggested that I run with all three kids in the stroller. I immediately dismissed that as ludicrous, but started doing it 2 weeks ago. The trick was to embrace the slower pace, instead of letting it be frustrating. It's felt really good to be running again. I've gone every day it hasn't rained.

I also started to give the kids more autonomy during chore time. The first day was great. I left Herbie vacuuming the dining room and Ruby washing windows to go tell Woo, "They're actually doing work out there!"

But it backfired on me a few days later when Herbie ruined the phone in an attempt to clean it. I think we've got most of the kinks worked out now, and it continues to be one the kids' favorite parts of the day.

Remember that spur of the moment land purchase we made a while ago? Well, someone approached us to buy it. We're not sure yet that we'll sell, but it's good to know that it wasn't the biggest mistake we ever made.

Steven had the brilliant idea to run conference on ooTunes so iPhone users could listen to it. He got something like triple the amount of downloads he normally gets the first half hour of Saturday's morning session. He was also approached by someone from the church about working on an app for them... i don't know whatever happened with that. I haven't heard more about it. But, he's currently upset that there are 5 other radio apps selling better than his right now. He's very sensitive to the fact that he's sixth (occasionally muttering "Sixth!" incredulously to himself), and he's gotten pretty competitive about all this. He's working hard on an update. It should be out in the next couple of days.

Whew! That's pretty much it. I hope everyone had a great Easter! It would have been fun to be closer to family... hopefully those days will come. I'll talk to you later.