12.14.2010

Well I Guess It's Time...

As several of you who've seen me over the last few weeks have already guessed, we are having another baby. Unfortunately my days of not showing until the 5th or 6th month are long gone :(.

The plan is for this to be the last, but sometimes I lie awake in bed afraid that once the baby is 6 months old, and I've forgotten what it feels like to be pregnant, and every thing's running pretty smoothy, and I look at how cute the kids and the baby are, that I'll want another, and won't be able to stop! So I guess we'll just have to wait and see :).

I feel ok, but I can't quite keep on top of keeping the house clean, and I'm entirely useless once the kids go to bed, so I've been reading a lot of books (recommended by Moley's blog, thanks!).

That is all. Talk to you later!

12.09.2010

Video Montage

1. Ruby & M--: Beginners' Luck?
2. Moses & Herbie: School House Rock + an Accordion = Coolest Kids on the Planet
3. Linus: 10 months old and finally crawling with the best of 'em.


11.28.2010

Woo and His Children

We did get a blizzard last Tuesday night. There were about two hours of no visibility and impossible travel conditions, and Woo and Herbie were out driving in 1/2 hr of it.

We knew it was supposed to start snowing at 5pm, but didn't know the blizzard would immediately kick in.

Herbie and Woo were at the store and stopped to get gas before heading home. That's when the wind started, and almost immediately Woo couldn't see anything.

He couldn't see the road the entire way around the lake, but somehow made it around. He slid into a snowbank turning the corner by the library, and thought they were stuck for good, but was eventually able to get the car out.

A 5-10 minute ride took over 1/2 an hour. We were very glad to get them back.

little boy mountain biking instagram
(Blissfully unaware of the blizzard to come ... )

Let's face it. Ruby's a bit of a klepto. She comes home from school with some little pencil, eraser, pen, barrette, some other kid's school work, etc. almost every day.

We've made her return the bigger items (a hat, a cell phone case...).

Actually, it's not so much that she's stealing, it's that she's very, very attentive to what's lying on the floor and ALL of it's treasure.

Woo and I were discussing it, when he realized (possibly for the first time?) that he'd been exactly the same way. He'd had two pencil boxes just crammed full of precious pencils and pens in his desk in first grade.
Me: I can't believe this!
Why didn't you tell me this before we got married?!
Woo: Sorry.
You should've known.
You've seen my mission scrapbook.
(Yes, it's full of "meaningful" trash he found on the street).    
That also explains why picking up litter is his (and Ruby's) favorite family home evening activity.

I know that everyone thinks that Herbie (and sometimes Linus) looks exactly like Woo, but I still think Moses is the one who looks the most like him.

children brothers hiking instagram

Moses has his body, and his walk, and a lot of his facial features. Usually when Moses is sitting on his lap, I see it the most.

Today Moses sat on Woo's lap in Sacrament meeting. They both wore three piece suits, they had hair the same length and tossled in almost the exact same way, the same head shape, etc.

And Moses will never be considered because his hair is a different color than Woo's ... maybe he'll be grateful for that someday?

Linus is still the kid who loves Woo the most, or at least he's the one who gets the most excited when he sees him. Once, while Linus was sitting on the floor, Woo lay down in front of him to do some work on the iPad. Linus broke into a huge, huge grin, and it didn't falter or change for like half an hour.
Woo: How can you smile so long, Linus?!
I don't even have the muscles in my face for that kind of work! 
No matter what Linus is doing, as soon as Woo enters the room, and he hears his voice, he has to turn and grin.

It's really annoying when he's nursing, but really cute otherwise.

11.14.2010

Whew! (Part 1)

By far the worst week of the year in the life of a mother of young children is the week after daylight savings.

Those kids just CAN NOT let go and sleep in another hour!

Which wouldn't be so bad, if it didn't make them all incredibly grouchy. I've heard enough whining, crying, yelling and pestering to last a life time.

baby boy doll on head tie instagram

Thursday was probably the worst day. In the morning I had three kids (and possibly four) crying at the same time over ridiculous things like twisted socks, and not being able to find backpacks that are in plain sight.

It's hard to know what to do because punishment just makes them feel worse, nothing (other than the sleep they're missing) will make them feel better, and I know they'll be normal in a few days.

By Thursday, though, we'd had enough and just started putting them to bed again at the old time. Ruby, Moses and Linus bounced back pretty quick. Herbie is still finding his groove.

Friday Ruby greeted me in the morning with,
I don't ever want to do another bad thing again, Mom!
I want to follow Jesus, and not be cut off from God's presence! 
("Cut off from God's presence" happens to be one of her favorite fall back answers to gospel questions.)
Me (wondering what had brought this on): That's great, Ruby.
She ran in to Woo and said the same thing.

A few minutes later she said that she didn't want to go to school.
Me: You don't have school today, Ruby.
We're going to parent teacher conference.
Aren't you excited?
Ruby: No.
On the way there, she said that there were things we couldn't talk to the teacher about, but would never say what they were. She hid behind me from her teacher, sat on my lap the whole time, and then it finally occurred to us that she was very nervous about what was going to be said about her.

Woo's promise of an ice cream eased her fears (and her repentant attitude, unfortunately).

little boy snow clothes instagram

Herbie told me of a conversation that went on when the kids rode with Grandma and Grandpa.
Herbie: And then Grandma asked if Moses was cold.
He said no, and Grandpa said, "You were supposed to say 'es', Moses."
Herbie: (giggles)
Me: And did you laugh?
Herbie: No.
Nobody laughed. 
(thinks)
But, I was happy a little bit. 

Whew! (Part 2)

Before nap time one day, Moses asked me to tell a story of when I was a kid and went to the library. My story of wanting to learn French and checking out a book on French clearly was not entertaining enough because he sat up and growled,
AND THEN A MONSTER COME!!  
AND THEN CANDY...!!
little boy christmas pajamas excited running instagram

Tyson and his girlfriend came to dinner last night. He had Herbie and Moses convinced that he liked to drink toilet water. Both of them mentioned it in their prayers before bed, asking that Tyson would stop drinking toilet water.

In the morning they discussed it seriously.
Herbie: I hope Tyson isn't drinking toilet water right now.  
Moses: That's nasty! 
Linus really needs a bedroom to nap in. He's currently sleeping in the laundry room, which is right off the kitchen, which you have to walk through to go to the bathroom.

When he's supposed to be napping, his ears are tuned-in to the sound of anyone walking through there, and it prevents him from sleeping.

I think he only has a good morning nap, when the other kids and I leave the house for an hour or so.

The drywall in their bedrooms is done, and I can start priming tomorrow. Maybe he'll be sleeping up there by Christmas?

man ghetto home office instagram

Woo's had a horrible, no good, very bad week. It all started with a letter from "the Germans." Then a day or two later, he figured out why sales have been slipping. Basically, it's Google's fault.

Very frustrating.

After digging around for a solution for an hour or so, he gave up and went to bed.
I'm quitting!  
I'm never going to write another email!  
I'm never going to add another update! 
I'm just going to pay the Germans! 
I'm done!
After some silence,
I don't think you know how serious I am!
I'll admit I found the just-pay-the-Germans bit a little hard to swallow.

The next day I asked him,
So, did you write any emails today? 
Woo: Maybe. 
Me: Did you add any stations? 
Woo: Maybe.

(smiling) Are you calling me a liar ? 
It's hard to really give up on something you've worked so hard on for so long even when things get frustrating.

It was a Dark and Stormy Night ...

little boy wearing mustache instagram

Before nap time one day, Moses asked me to tell a story of when I was a kid and went to the library. My story of wanting to learn French and checking out a book on French clearly was not entertaining enough because he sat up and growled, "AND THEN A MONSTER COME!! AND THEN CANDY ... !!"

little boy in coat and rain boots instagram
Moses decided tonight that he wanted to go outside and jump on our new trampoline. He got on his coat and shoes and walked out the door.

It was dark and raining.

Woo looked out the window to see him doing a few jumps, falling flat on his face, getting up, jumping some more ...

After a little bit he came back in.

"Did you have fun, Moses?"

"Es!"

"Did you jump on the tramp?"

"Es!"

"Why did you come in, Moses?"

"I's scared. I's scared of the wind."

11.10.2010

And He Crawls!

10 hrs after admitting at Linus' 9 month wellness checkup that he was not yet crawling, he whipped out a pretty aggressive army crawl right after dinner.

He graced our claps and cheers with a few smiles, but mostly seemed surprised that we would care at all, and pulled himself towards the next nearest object.

baby boy sitting smiling instagram

We have absolutely no concern about him swallowing what he finds on the floor because he can't even get finger food to his mouth yet. He attempts it while at the table, but stops about an inch from his mouth, and then opens his mouth wider and wider expecting the cheerio to just fall in.

Josey suggests that too many muscles are blocking his movement.

brothers instagram christmas tree

This morning we got the car's safety and emissions tests done. Moses found a couple of those car classifieds magazines, and sat peacefully in a chair looking through them the entire time.

Moses is still very sweet, and has started to compliment us,
Linus is so cute! 
You's cute, Mom! 
You's nice!
while smiling his sweet little smile.

Herbie (and Ruby) really, really wanted a Boy Scout's of America belt like Woo's, and Herbie finally got one on Saturday. We got home just in time for bed, so he put the belt in a safe place in our bedroom for the night. First thing in the morning, he picked out and put on a special outfit for church based on the belt.
My belt is green, and my shirt is green.
I didn't have green pants, so I had to wear these brown ones.
brothers and sister instagram

No one was more excited to see Linus crawl than Ruby.

She was all over him, encouraging him, getting him toys, giving him kisses, getting in his way, crawling with him, getting in the way of the camera...
Woo: I think we have video of every child learning to crawl and Ruby. 
And me saying, "Get out of the way, Ruby!" 
We've all been a bit irritable the last week, what with drywallers in and out of the house, the constant mess, and the time change.

I'll be happy when they're done and the kids aren't waking up an hour early.

We bought one fruit tree in time for fall planting. We wanted to plant it for Family Home Evening, but it was so dark and wet and cold, that just Woo went out in his flourescent orange, insulated jump suit, new cowboy boots and wool hat to dig the hole. The rest of us watched from the window.

We don't honestly have high hopes for survival, since a peach tree is what we planted, but at least we tried? Herbie told Woo that the tree was growing and looked bigger to him already, so we'll see.

11.01.2010

When You're 18 (er, I mean, 64)

little boy on big wheel

I know you're expecting a Halloween email, but don't have much to write about it. We went to three Halloween parties this year (including Ruby's Kindergarten party). Ruby and Herbie were firemen. Moses was a worker. Pretty generic, but turned out to be great costumes for the pouring rain we ended up trick-or-treating in. Woo was a baby. Linus was a fire dog, and I'm still not sure what I was. 

Herbie frequently uses the age 18 to describe severe, decrepit, old age as illustrated in this conversation with Ruby.
Ruby: And then I'll be 6!

And then 7!

And then 8! (They giggle.)

Herbie: And then you'll be 18! (They laugh.)

Herbie: When you're 18, you can't walk!

You have to lie in your bed ALL the time!! (lots and lots of laughter).

Ruby's experiences at school have led her to make some comments on bum size ("Bum" is a bad word in Kindergarten, btw.)
Me: Ruby! Her bum isn't big! You just think everyone has a big bum because your bum is so little! 
Ruby: No, I don't! I think you have a little bum. And my uncle. 
Me: Your uncle? 
Ruby: T--. You and my Uncle T-- have little bums. 
Congratulations, T--?

Speaking of T--, I'm reminded of another story...

We were all out sitting on the front porch, when a man wearing skinny jeans and white patent leather shoes walked by. The kids watched him, fascinated, until he was out of sight.
Herbie (still looking after him): Mom...Why was that man wearing girl pants? 
And speaking of bad words, Moses has discovered that he can make his siblings laugh by saying all the bad words he/they know when they think I'm not listening.

**CONTENT WARNING**
Moses: Butt! (laughter) 
Crotch! (laughter) 
Hip-bum! (even more laughter...) 
I've tried to tell them that "hip-bum" is not a bad word, but no one believes me. Moses even sang a song one day that consisted of the sentence, "Hip-bum is a bad word!" over and over again. You'd think the fact that I didn't care at all that he was saying it would be some indication...

And lest you think my kids are always crude, I caught Herbie standing at a table, pretending to give a talk this week, "And when Jesus was 9 years old, He played games and had the Spirit. He played ring-around-the-rosy, and gospel truth, and hide-n-seek."

And the second we lose anything Moses always says, "Maybe we can pray about that!"

Linus is still winning everyone over where ever he goes. I can hear people whispering, "He's so cute!", "Look at his little tie!", "I love his cheeks!" all through church.

I've learned by now that no one is ever smiling at me, there always smiling at him. Linus will be 9 months next week, and he's still not crawling. Is that normal? I can't remember. He is getting up on his haunches and scooting backwards, but no moving forward yet.

He's eating everything except the wait-until-one and too-hard-too-chew foods, so I just usually feed him some of whatever I'm eating.

Woo's Dad came up Friday to help with the last of the insulation, and the drywall guys are coming tomorrow. Woo's almost excited, but I don't think he can quite believe it, and it's not like he gets to relax, but start work on the ooTunes iPad app, which is way overdue.

I finished the picture rail and hung up my first picture this week. Onward to the bedroom!

I hope you all had a great Halloween! Talk to you later!



10.18.2010

A Good Week

In our branch in St. Louis we were front-row-joes, and assumed we could do the same thing here. We soon discovered that the 1-4pm meeting time with Sacrament meeting last was going to be a bit more than our kids could handle, and we moved to the back row after a couple of weeks.

This week we sat a couple of rows behind the deacons, and I was reminded why we starting sitting on the front row in the first place. Ruby was absolutely mesmerized, eyes wide open, hands folded under her cheeks, faint smile on her lips as a young woman sang "How Great Thou Art" (it was quite lovely), and was almost equally mesmerized during the entire final talk.

I have a feeling it helped that the final speaker was a striking Polynesian boy recently returned from a mission in Mexico. We passed the Elder and his friends on our way out of the chapel. Ruby totally rubber-necked him, and then clasped a hand over a giggle and ran out the door.
Me: Ruby, why did you do that? Were you thinking to yourself: I'd like a suit just like his? 
Ruby: No! He is so... crazy! His hair is crazy! His skin is crazy! 
Steven: Did you find him... attractive? 
Ruby runs away, and we laugh.

Herbie needs two things every day to be happy. First, he needs enough sleep, and second, he needs to do something meaningful. By meaningful, I mean that he needs to spend a portion of the day doing something that is worthwhile enough that Woo and I spend time doing it.

We're not perfect yet, but Woo and I have made an effort to put him to work whenever we can. I've bulked up chore time in the last week or so, and given Herbie more responsibility.

He's great at sweeping the floor (getting as much in the dustpan as I would), cleaning the sink, the toilet, mopping, unpacking and vacuuming (of course). I recently decided that he and Ruby need to start washing dishes, and will start as soon as I get a couple of child friendly supplies.

Woo tries to give Herbie little jobs whenever he's doing something (Herbie carried 20lb bags of rice into the kitchen for him yesterday), and Herbie always requests mountain biking for his Daddy Day. Partly because he likes it, and partly because it's something Woo does for fun, I think.

I'm starting to think that there really isn't much that he can't do, even though he's only four, and I should take advantage of his willing attitude while it lasts.

Linus has a smile for just about everyone. Now that he recognizes that there are people he doesn't know, he waits a few minutes before warming up to them, but usually rewards them with a smile before too long.

But yesterday he finally met his match. We stopped in the park to chat with our neighbor Brother D--. Linus was in the backpack on Woo's back, and when Brother D-- smiled at him, he burst out crying. There's nothing especially frightening about Brother D-- other than he's old, and has a big smile, big nose, big mustache and big eyebrows, but I think it was mostly that Linus was tired.

Woo tried to move Linus out of view, but he refused to take his eyes off of him, crying afresh whenever Brother D-- smiled. After a few minutes he finally got down to just a lip quiver in response to a smile.

Moses has started a funny bedtime ritual where after we put him to bed he yells, "I'm a baby, Mommy!"

After I respond with, "Good Night, Baby!" he'll settle down, maybe yelling it again one or two more times after a few minutes before he falls asleep.

Occasionally, he'll be a broken record, and won't be pacified by my response, but will still yell, "I'm a baby! Mommy!"

Which inevitably causes Woo to bark, "Be quiet, and go to sleep, Moses!"

On cue, Moses will cry, then yell "I'm a baby!"

I'll say, "Good Night, Baby!" and he'll go to sleep. He's nothing if not predictable.

This week was mostly an organizing week for me. The kids and I spent a lot of time in the basement unpacking food storage and setting up shelves to place what we need to still get.

We met Grandma S at Ikea where I got clothes organizers for mine and Woo's closets and my Christmas/Birthday present from last year. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

It feels so nice to have our closets looking nice. I've finished painting the molding for the picture rail, and hope to put that up in the living room and dining room this week. After that I can start working on the walls in the master bedroom. The insulation is on it's very last legs, and I get to start collecting bids for drywall installation!

Woo got our furnace up and running. It's been quite cold in the mornings now. We originally thought that just the pilot light was out, but it turns out that a hose had been disconnected either by the plumbers or someone else who'd given us a bid. Woo found and fixed the problem after a couple of hours of effort, and we've been enjoying the heat in the mornings.

He's been doing lots more research on solar power after we lost power for a couple of hours today. Even if we just had it as a back up would be nice. He's looking into the idea of putting panels on a pole in the pasture since they could follow the sun, and our roof is partially shaded by the neighbor's huge tree.

Anyway, that's it for this week! Hope everyone had a good week!

10.11.2010

Christmas in October!

K-- and P-- (Woo's sister and brother-in-law for those of you who don't know) came for two days to help us with the insulation. Besides the 3.5 hr drive and P-- taking a day off of work, they also endured the rain, our cold house temperatures, my finicky house rules, and crammed themselves and all five of their kids in the living room for the night. P-- and Woo got a lot done. Thanks, guys!

Feeding 9 kids and 4 adults for several meals (and one including L-- and her kids on their way back to Idaho) was a new experience for me, but went without major incident except for the hasty purchase of sirloin burgers for dinner. K-- and I forgot that running to the store with 9 kids was not going to be easy, and once we were there I just wanted to get out. It isn't the worst mistake I've ever made, since they were quite delicious.

Herbie developed a romance with his cousin A--. She's 3 years older and a foot and a half taller, but those things don't mean anything to Herbie (or maybe added to her attractiveness?). I hypothesized that A-- first caught Herbie's eye when she burst forth from the bathroom wearing her pink leotard and tights, "I wore these here under my clothes!"

But K-- said he had stolen a kiss earlier in the day. He held her hand wherever they went, spent a good part of the afternoon pretending they were married (pretend marriage consists of a lot of dancing in circles, falling to the ground, and dramatic looks), and they both talked about the other in their bedtime prayers.
Me: What was your favorite part about the cousins coming? 
Herbie: When I was pretending to be married to A--. 
J-- (another cousin) brought a few cars that Moses was enthralled with, and played with almost constantly. Almost immediately after K-- and P-- had driven off Moses kept asking when we were going to visit the cousins. Then he wanted to know when they were coming back. He was still at it this morning, and finally on the way to church I clued in.
Moses: When are we going to our cousins' house? 
Me: Moses, do you miss your cousins or do you miss their cars? 
Moses: I miss them's cars. 
Moses also graced A--'s pink leotard dance performance with a loud guffaw and a flattering, "Her's funny!"

While reading a book to Herbie and Moses, I discovered that Linus thinks the word "voomaroom" is really funny. I keep saying it too him just to hear him giggle.

He also likes to hear, "mom, mom, mom, mom, mom," but that just gets me a huge smile, no giggles. 

Linus didn't seem to be at all bothered by the extra people. I just sat him up out of the traffic, and he was quite happy with the entertainment.

Ruby could not have been more thrilled that M-- and T-- were coming to visit, and then later more cousins were staying the night. She loves, loves, loves people, but also doesn't know when to take a break. She was a mess most of today. She really wanted M-- to come to school with her, but was still pretty excited that he got to see her off at the bus stop.

Woo spent A LOT of time this week working on the insulation, and, of course almost constantly while K-- and P-- were here.

Last night he stayed up late writing an app for Ruby to practice her sight words. He was so excited about it (at 3 in the morning), but Ruby didn't even like it, and he's so tired.

He fell asleep while reading the kids a story, and then while listening to their prayers. He vehemently denies falling asleep during his own prayer, but I think he did. He just rededicated himself to getting to bed on time, and then fell asleep.

That is all folks. Hope you had a good week! Talk to you later.

9.28.2010

Another Week

One night at dinner Ruby hesitantly mentioned that she'd had to go in time out. Some inquiry revealed that she'd yelled at recess, was sent to time out, sobbed, "Herbie woke me up early!" to her teacher (because she never would've yelled otherwise), got a hug, and spent the rest of recess playing alone because she didn't feel like playing with the other kids.

Steven: "It can be embarrassing when you get in trouble, huh, Ruby?"

I don't think she was expecting that.

"Yes."

Then I told her about the time I had to go put my nose to the wall in 1st grade for talking during story time (a much better choice than sharing Woo's kindergarten indiscretions btw), and she seemed to feel much better.

Herbie wanted to go mountain biking for his Daddy Day this week. Woo took him to some dirt hills with jumps by the reservoir (not the nice gradual path I would've taken him on, but I guess that's why kids have dads). Herbie came back VERY excited. He'd ridden fast down some big hills, ridden up some other ones, and rode over some "skips" where his bike had gone in the air, but he hadn't fallen off.

Me: Do you mean jumps?

Herbie: Yes, jumpers.

Linus has been sitting up by himself for a few weeks now. When he first started Moses would try to push him over, "Him not a kid! Him a baby!" "Don't sit, Linus!"

Linus is already showing an early inclination towards balls, cars and paper.

Moses has been working on some bike tricks of his own.
Me: Show Dad your trick, Moses! 
Moses pulls his handlebars up in a wheelie, and Woo goes for the camera.
Woo: Ok, Moses, show us your trick! 
Moses sprints down the road holding one hand straight out to the side.
Woo: No, Moses! The other one! 
Moses quickly puts his hand back and sticks the other hand straight out.
Woo: No, the other one! The other trick! 
Moses switches hands again...

I don't think we ever got that wheelie on camera.

ooTunes was finally featured in the app store under staff favorites. Woo's seen a bump in sales from that, so he spent most of this week at the computer working.

Insulation is moving slowly along. I finished sanding the bottom half of the china cabinet, and can start staining it tomorrow. I hope to have the whole thing finished and in the house at the end of this week.

Anyway, that's all, folks!

9.20.2010

Just Pictures

Getting ready for Ruby's 1st day of school

Herbie and Moses taking the bus to school

Linus

Herbie's accident: Day 1

Moses

Herbie's accident: Day 2

Herbie's accident: Day 3

Ruby

Linus and Me before church 

 Sorry, no pictures of Woo. I better get on the ball.

9.14.2010

Another Week

We made a visit to the monastery yesterday.
Ruby: What's a monastery? 
Moses: A monastery says RARRRR!!!! 
Me: No Moses, that's a monster... 
Moses: Oh. A monster says RARRRR!!! 
Herbie had a bad bike crash this week. Most of the left side of his face was scraped up and swollen. He's not afraid of his bike, but he is afraid of people's reactions to his face. He was mobbed by a group of little girls at the park, peppering him with questions about it. He didn't answer, but kept ducking behind Moses' bike until they left him alone.

On the way home he said, "Mom, I don't want to go to church."
"Oh? Why not?" 
"I don't want people to look at my face." 
The plate of cookies he got last night from a family of little girls in our ward may have changed his mind.

We got our first bit of non bus or recess related school news from Ruby today. She learned how to spell "CAN"
Woo: Did you learn how to spell anything else, Ruby? 
Ruby: I learned how to spell "I" 
Great?

Linus is still rolling around on the floor. He likes to get ahold of a sheet of paper and crinkle it all up. He's not really big on putting objects in his mouth. In fact, I'm not sure that I've ever seen him do it. But, he does like to open his mouth and dive for your face, if it's close enough.

Earlier today he caught a chunk of my hair and laughed as if he was being tickled. Hilarious, Linus. Hilarious.

Woo and I have been looking into fruit trees. It looks like we're pretty much limited to apple trees, and maybe pear. Seems kind of boring, but I guess we'll also be able to grow berries and grapes, and vegetables, of course.

Woo also wants chickens, which I'm surprisingly not as opposed to as I would've been, say five years ago. It helps to have neighbors to show you the ropes and resolve your concerns.

Anyways, talk to you all later!

9.06.2010

Ruby -- Hearbreaker?

This evening after dinner we all went on a pleasant stroll to the other side of town. It was a madhouse--littered with bikes, skateboards, ladders, car seats, strollers, dogs, goats, shrieking kids, and a little boy Ruby's age stepped around a corner. "Hi B--!"

(His name's actually B--... she can never get it right).

He broke out in a smile and was about to respond, but turned sheepish, gave a little tug to his shirt, and suddenly realized that he wasn't wearing any pants.

He was quickly hidden behind a pillar after a swift turn and a few hops, but the turn unfortunately revealed that he was wearing a diaper (?!). He apparently felt safe behind the pillar because his top half soon emerged waving wildly and yelling "Hi, Ruby!"

After about a block we were passed by another little boy Ruby's age on a little motorcycle. The next time he buzzed past he gave us all a hard look, and we gave him one.

The third time he passed he yelled, "Watch this Ruby!"

After we'd deciphered what he'd said, Woo asked, "Is he showing off?"

And yes, yes he was. He buzzed by several times and every time he'd narrowly avoid wrecks by doing something crazy like putting both his legs out spread eagle or raising both arms in the air, yelling, "Hi, Ruby!"

We never could figure out who he was because he was wearing a full face helmet, and the mystery was engrossing Ruby for the rest of the evening.
Woo: I'm sorry, Ruby. You're much more likely to end up with the nerd without the pants, but know that whoever you choose we're pleased. Very pleased. 
Herbie is our child with fashion sense. A couple of days before school started, he was the one who lined up a couple of outfits on the floor in anticipation of his own first day of school. And I'm not going to lie, they were some pretty good outfits.

This morning after his bath he went upstairs to put on an outfit that I know he planned beforehand: a brown striped sweater with some light brown pants. He wore the sweater for a couple of hours, but eventually took it off. I noticed his back was sweating. You can only take so much discomfort for looking good.

Moses hates tomatoes. Probably more than anything else, but he also hates potatoes. "Mom, they're yucky!"

I don't know who taught him that. Certainly not us. Anyway, he will do anything he can to get out of eating them, unless, I've now observed, there's ketchup on the tomatoes (his idea) or pats of butter on his potatoes.

We had banana squash tonight for dinner. I thought for sure he would have problems eating it, but he actually had like fifths, making very sure every time that there was butter on it.

Linus got his second tooth this week. It was rougher on him than his first, at least he did a lot more whining. He's rolling and pivoting all over the floor, but no real forward motion yet.

Woo spent most of the week working. Either on the insulation or his latest update (mostly the update).

He did actually find a friend to go mtn. biking with, but unfortunately scheduled the ride on Ruby's first day of school and had to cancel. And he found someone to carpool with to Powder Mountain. Maybe now he'll take the plunge for the season pass.

I finished sanding the top half of the china cabinet and got one coat of stain on it. I also spent a bunch of time unpacking boxes.

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

9.02.2010

First Day Of School

Ruby's had a rough couple of days... I assume in anticipation of Kindergarten. Yesterday she had three wrecks on her bike and about five just walking around. She could never sit still or hear a word we said, which didn't make things go too smoothly with Mom and Dad, but today was finally the day.
Ruby's the kind of kid that sprints for the bus the second the bus driver waves her forward and pipes, "My name's Ruby!" so I knew she'd be fine, but I'll admit the saying goodbye was a bit sadder than I expected.

One consequence of her short hair cut is that Woo and I control her dress choices more to make sure she looks like a girl. It doesn't always work, as today there were apparently some girls arguing that she was a boy until the teacher said, "Ruby's a girl." 

I asked Ruby what she said to the girls, "I i-nored them."

She seemed to be the most excited about the bus ride where she saw lots of friends from church and the neighborhood, and overall loved school---asking what time she gets to leave tomorrow almost the second she got home.

She was all tuckered out after a new day and the retreat of her feelings of anticipation. She actually went upstairs to lie in bed while I made dinner, and when Grandpa Kip called to see how it went she couldn't bring herself to say more than a few words (a first)!

Woo is everyone's new favorite person after his talk two Sunday's ago. It helped that he got to speak about something he's passionate about and had lots of fun personal stories---some that I'd never heard.

For example, did you know that the first time he got an answer to prayer was praying about whether he should buy an issue of baseball cards or not? I didn't. (The answer was no, btw.)

He was in heaven last Saturday when Huntsville held their annual town-wide garage sale. We biked around all morning, and he was pleased to find a wooden tie (another hit when he wore it on Sunday) and a kayak.

Herbie was almost as excited about Ruby starting school as she was. All morning he yelled, "Ruby's starting school today!" to all passersby, and graciously offered his backpack when she couldn't find hers.

He had a hard time for about five minutes after she left when he kept saying stuff like, "It's not Ruby's first day of school. It's my first day of school." and "Ruby's not the first kid. She's the second kid." 

But it didn't last long. He seemed to forget all about her once he hopped on his bike.

Moses hasn't quite clued into the fact that all questions about church can be answered with, "Jesus."
Me: What did you learn about in nursery, Moses? 
Moses: cars. trucks. 
Woo: No, what did you learn about? 
Moses: treats. 
Me: What did your teacher talk about? 
Moses: cuz 
Linus is doing so well with solids now that I no longer have to feed him before I go to bed. Even though it was just a little thing, not having to do it anymore feels like freedom!

Linus is also the first kid of ours to say, "mom, mom, mom, mom" before "da, da, da, da, da." Which is odd because he really loves Woo. Maybe it's just an easier sound for him to make. Or maybe because he hears it 5 thousand times a day (that's Woo's theory).

I've had kind of a fun week. I read the two first Hunger Games books in anticipation for the third book, which I read the day after it came in the mail. I bought an orbital sander, which I've wanted for a long time, and started working on my china cabinet. It got pretty scraped up in the move, plus I've never been a big fan of the finish.

My old roommate T-- was in town for her sister's wedding, and we got to eat lunch with her and her family.

L-- and kids dropped by on their way home.

Helping Woo cut insulation on the table saw was a less fun thing, but not too bad once I settled into it... which is good because there's still lots to do.

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

8.23.2010

David Bowie

Well, it's finally happened. Ruby gave herself a "boy haircut!" The best part about it? I was lying right next to her, and I mean right next to her when she did it.

We were napping, and Ruby doesn't usually nap, but instead fiddles quietly with something in bed. Once or twice while I was dozing I thought I heard scissors, but I thought, "Nah, it's just a piece of paper."

Of course, when I woke up, Ruby jumped up, "Guess what Mom! I gave myself a boy haircut!"

I just didn't have it in me to be mad about it. She was so proud and pleased (Woo sent her to the mirror to try to shame her... she came back very, very pleased with her work), plus I just don't care that much about hair.

The worst part about it? The haircut she gave herself looked better than the trim up I did. Before she looked like a 80s rocker (dubbed David Bowie by Woo), now she looks like a boy with a few well-placed gashes.

Anyway, message received: Page boy haircut = not good enough. Pixie haircut = until further notice. 

Bonus question: awesomest Kindergarten debut ever?
Herbie (upon seeing Ruby's haircut for the first time): Um. Did Ruby do something? 
Woo: Yes, Herbie. Doesn't she look ridiculous? 
Herbie: No. 
Woo: Doesn't she look silly? 
Herbie: No. 
Ruby: Do I look nice, Herbie!? 
Herbie: Yes! 
You're not helping, Herbie!

Woo has decided to take action against Moses' thumb sucking. He's been duct taping Mosey's thumbs and calling them "Super Thumbs." He has Moses fooled into thinking it's something cool, and it seems to be working for those awake moments when Moses sucks out of boredom. And then he pulls the tape off to go to sleep.

Linus is rolling all over the place. He has a lot of fun until he gets himself stuck in a corner, or under the couch, or against the desk. Tonight he rolled into the pedal of Woo's bike, and managed to escape only to find himself smack up against the tire. That was too much and he had to be rescued.

Woo and I gave our talks this week, had a bat fly into our bedroom, and finally got to unpack our clothes!

Anyway, talk to you all later. Hope things go well for J--, T-- and baby tomorrow!

Watching the neighbors swim... hours of entertainment

From the back

From the front

Woo with the bat he caught in our bedroom

Brothers

having

fun

Moses proudly displaying the "plip plops" he put on himself

8.16.2010

Summer Fun

We spent most of the week at Bear Lake this week. It was a lot of fun, and we especially enjoyed the beach. The kids are getting better at traveling/family gatherings, and I'm getting more relaxed about things not going perfectly. The kids were only crazy for about 1/2 a day after we got home, which is sometimes the worst part.

We brought four kites with us on the recommendation of a friend, and we're glad we did. Ruby and Herbie have always been fascinated by kites, and we've never been able to get one up for them, until we tried them out on the beach.

The wind there was perfect and we got three kites high into the air almost instantly. Ruby walked, skipped, danced around on the beach and shallow water with her kite in hand singing her version of "Let's Go Fly a Kite" at the top of her lungs.

Herbie spent most of his time in one spot staring at his kite, and Moses lost interest right off the bat.

Herbie was anxious to recreate the magic the next day at the lodge, but the wind was funky, and we couldn't get anything to stay in the air until Woo had the gall to let go of the string of the kite he was flying.

You would've thought someone had died. Ruby started to scream and cry. Herbie yelled at Woo. Even some of the cousins got really upset as the kite drifted off to eventually tangle in a telephone wire. Lucky Woo's Mom was on hand to give Woo a spanking. That seemed to satisfy everyone.

We took a Sunday drive up to Powder Mountain Resort and saw a kid (maybe 6 or 7?) on a tiny motorcycle practicing on the motocross course.
Herbie (when we got home): Dad. 
Woo: Yes? 
Herbie: Um, why did I see a kid on a motorcycle? 
Woo: I don't know Herbie. Maybe you did something extra good in the pre-existence. 
Moses is at that stage where everything has to be just so and he likes to argue with us if we don't have it exactly right.
Woo: Moses, pull up your pants! 
Moses: I not have pants! I have shorts (or wim suit)! 
Moses' nursery leader walked by on her way to church and invited Moses to walk with her. He avoided eye contact and took her hand with his chin down on his chest, but I could tell that he was very excited by the way his left arm, bent at the elbow, was swinging rapidly back and forth as he walked.

Linus is grabbing for everything. The days of sitting peacefully with him in my lap while eating or reading are over. He wants a part of anything I've got, and he wants it now.

He spends a lot of his time on his belly alternating between what Woo calls coasting and swimming. Coasting: hands on the ground, arms straight, upper body and head in the air. Swimming: belly on the ground, legs and arms in the air, kicking and waving wildly. One of these days he'll mix the two together and crawl.

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

8.09.2010

Clothes, Vacuums And Solids, Oh My!

We've had a good week. We visited Grandma Marva, K-- and the W--s down in Utah Co. We got the "bones" of our cabinets/wardrobes in. All the prep work for the insulation is done. We got most of Ruby's new school clothes, and everyone is excited for the family reunion at Bear Lake next week.

Ruby and I managed to pick out plenty of clothes that we're both happy with. She was SO, SO, SO excited---she couldn't keep still and practically shouted the whole day. I actually took her straight to the boys section to start off, and she couldn't have been more pleased.

"I'm a girl, and I'm buying boys clothes!!!" she shrilled so that anyone within a 200 ft radius could hear.

I don't think you need to be too scared for her. Her button-up shirts and "suit pants" are actually for girls, but the real jewel in her crown is a scout shirt covered in patches (one of the patches says Old Navy).

She insisted on wearing it home, and let us all know, "I really, really like my scout shirt! I've always wanted a scout shirt!" 

Herbie has practically taken over our new vacuum. I just assign him a new room every day we do chores and let him loose. He'll vacuum the whole room (in kind of a haphazard manner, but it all gets vacuumed eventually), and then he'll take out all the attachments for a more thorough clean.

He loves that thing and most of the time would rather vacuum then go out and play when chore time is over. I have a hard time vacuuming anything when he's in the house. As soon as he hears it, he's next to me wanting a turn.

The new vacuum is light enough that I've even been able to get Moses to use it to clean up a few of his messes. He vacuumed up (with a little of my help) a box of septic system powder (basically a huge pile of sand in the bathroom), a million pieces of torn up garbage bag, and a handful of dirt in the carpet.

Linus turned six months and started solids this week. He's the only baby I've ever had that actually ate his first meal. He did squish a little out with his tongue, but it was minimal, and I managed to stuff a full meal in his mouth that made it down his throat.

I've been doing a lot of relaxing in the evenings. I'm kind of in limbo right now, since there's not a whole lot I can do until the cabinets are finished or the sheet rock is done. Of course, they'll probably be done at the same time, and there will be too much to do all at once, so I've been trying to enjoy my break.

Woo gave his debut lesson today. He was a little bit nervous, and (surprisingly) a little concerned with what he should wear. I vetoed the first outfit on grounds that it didn't match very well. The second was fine, but when he walked out the door Moses started laughing.

Then all the other kids started laughing, and Woo hung his head in shame. "Everyone is laughing except you, who says I look fine! Who should I believe?"

Well, that's all folks! I hope that you all had a good week. Talk to you later!

8.03.2010

This Week

1. Linus
a) Sat up by himself
b) Started to crawl
c) Got his first tooth
d) Started solids
e) All of the above

2. Moses
a) Started to be dry at night again
b) Went boating
c) Was stung by a bee
d) Two of the above
e) None of the above

3. Herbie
a) Had full days of being obedient and kind again
b) Rode down a steep dirt hill on his Lil Ripper
c) Went boating
d) Two of the above
e) All of the above

4. Ruby
a) Woke Herbie, Moses, Linus, M--, T-- and L-- up at 6am
b) Went boating
c) Gave herself a haircut
d) Two of the above
e) All of the above

5. Chelsey
a) Went to girls camp
b) Got a root canal
c) Got a hair cut
d) Two of the above
e) All of the above

6. Steven
a) Went boating
b) Was featured on CNET
c) Had a sales boost
d) Spent a lot of time in a sweltering hot attic removing nails
e) All of the above

Answers 1:c 2:a 3:e 4:d 5:d 6:e

7.19.2010

Happy Birthday, Woo!

We've had a full two weeks here: plumbers for 4 days, electricians for 2, window guys 1. It's good to see stuff actually getting done, but didn't really help the kids settle down. I've resigned myself to 2011 for that to really happen...

Woo spent his 31st birthday ripping out windows for new ones to be installed the next day. The plumbers were also here working their magic, and the kids had a melt down before dinner.

Woo has a history of bad birthdays, so relatively speaking, I think it went pretty well. The plumbers cut a hole right in the middle of his office without asking (not on his birthday) after he'd tried so hard to preserve the wood floors there. That was a huge disappointment, but the thought of finally having a bidet seems to get him through most days.

Woo was able to go camping with his high school friends in Zion. He said it was 90% fun, which sounds pretty good to me.

I thought that I might be able to take off with the kids somewhere while people were here working, but it seems like they need my input a couple times a day, and it's best if I stick close. I've been repairing damaged furniture in my work-on-the-house time.

I can't really work on any other rooms until the cabinet guy comes. He's in our ward and every week he tells us, "This week!" and when we call, he says, "Soon!" or "A day or two!" hmmm...

I did go buy a few new clothes. I feel like I wear the same two outfits all the time, and I feel that way because it's true. Part of that is because my clothes aren't unpacked yet, and part of that is because so many of my clothes are maternity clothes.

Ruby is now a towhead. The sun has bleached her hair white in some parts. She is sooo excited for school, but is still being quite patient. She asks how many weeks are left fairly often, and is also really excited for the two of us to go shopping for school clothes. She wants a suit or two and some button up shirts. And some shoes like Herbie's. Ruby and Herbie went boating with Woo and some people in our ward last weekend. Ruby was very brave and rode the surf board and the tube. She really, really wants a life jacket of her own.

Herbie also really wants a life jacket. This evening we were discussing all the snow we're going to have in the winter.
Me: We'll get you new snow pants, Herbie, and give your old ones to Moses. 
Herbie: Mom, I want snow pants that look like a life jacket! 
Me: Oh yeah? 
Herbie: Yes, that will be really warm! 
Me: Ok. We'll see what we can find... 
Moses is talking up a storm. He's finally saying more than "Father. Food. Amen!" in his prayers. Right now they usually consist of "Herbert be good and Dad be good and Ruby be good and Linus be good and me be good..." listing every member of the family a couple of times.

Tonight when he finished he smiled up at me, but his smile dropped, "I forgot you, Mom!" and hastily added, "And Mom be good. Jesus. Amen!"

Linus got a haircut. I really didn't want to cut it, but his hair was so patchy from the cradle cap, that it had to be done. He looks a bit like Uncle Fester, but he's still happy, and people on the street still think he's adorable because he still has his winning smile. His hair near his scalp is quite light, almost blond. We may have another blond kid in the family. He also started rolling over. He's quite pleased with himself.

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

7.18.2010

Woo's Bad Luck Birthdays

dad baby boy in hammock instagram

Steven spent his 31st birthday ripping out windows for new ones to be installed the next day. The plumbers were also here working their magic, and the kids had a melt down before dinner.

Steven has a history of bad birthdays, so relatively speaking, I think it went pretty well. The plumbers cut a hole right in the middle of his office without asking (after he'd tried so hard to preserve the wood floors there). That was a huge disappointment, but the thought of finally having a bidet seems to get him through most days.

7.16.08

mom dad baby boy instagram
This week was Woo's birthday. Unfortunately for Woo, pretty much everything has gone wrong for him today. As far as I can tell, this seems to be typical.

My favorite "worst" birthday is the one where he walked straight into a pole, and then a few hours later stepped on a piping hot oven rack with his bare feet. Did I mention that he put the oven rack there himself? Just minutes before stepping on it?

Really this whole week has been a bad week for him. We both renewed our drivers' licenses. I'll spare you the gory details, but yes, it did include multiple trips to the DMV, long lines and swears.

7.12.2010

CAMPING

This week we went camping with some members of Woo's family.

We hiked in 1.8 miles, stayed a night and hiked back out. 1.8 miles doesn't sound like a lot, but I'd forgotten that I rarely walk half a mile with Moses. He's usually in the stroller or bike trailer, but we had him hike the whole way since I was packing Linus and dinner, and Woo was packing tents, sleeping bags, etc.

He did great on the way in, holding Woo's hand, he kept with the group.

On the way out he was obviously very tired (after a late night and an earlier hike). I held his hand and we went very, very slowly. He whimpered a little going up hills with big rocks, but he never whined or complained unless I told him what a good job he was doing. Then he'd say, "Don't say that, Mom! Don't talk to me!"

I guess he prefers to suffer in silence.

Ruby and Herbie each hiked with a backpack filled with their own clothes. Herbie also had his sleeping bag, and Ruby also had a small bag of fishing gear.

We think we discovered the secret to getting them to bed on time: promises of swimming in the morning and putting them each alone in an empty tent. We didn't hear a peep after putting them down at their regular bedtime, and they woke up at 6:30am, which is by far the best they've ever done.

Linus is usually a great camper, but he had a few rough spots. He had a hard time falling asleep alone in a tent after being lulled to sleep in the pack whenever I took him somewhere. But was great when I needed him to sleep most (while I was sleeping).

All the kids fell asleep almost the second we started the car. We ate dinner at Steph's Drive In in Morgan, and made it home for bedtime. They all fell right asleep once in bed.

Actually, maybe making your kids hike tons is the secret to sleep while camping.

As if I can't get enough camping... I've been called as the ward Camp Director. I'm going on a overnighter this week (taking Linus with me), and then I'll be working on camp for next year.

Steven has been called as a Sunday School teacher for the 14-15 yr olds. He's excited. But he's really excited for our talks in August. He practically shouted for joy when they told us the topic: Provident Living. I guess he thinks he knows something about that...

Anyway, that's all I've got. I hope you're all doing well.

7.05.2010

Happy 4th of July!

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July! We really enjoyed ours. The town really does go all out (as I write this about 10 adults are driving up and down the streets in a red, white and blue kiddie train), and we live in the perfect location for it.

In the morning we walked two houses down to watch the parade. It had something for everyone: tractors and bikes and firetrucks for Herbie and Moses, plenty of candy to chase for Ruby, and lots of things for Woo and I to laugh at.

We walked home for lunch, naps, then BBQ. Returned to the park for a hypnotist show, skydivers, and fireworks. Returning home several times for things we'd forgotten (like jackets---much preferable to our sweltering, humid St. Louis 4th of Julys). No traffic, no lines, no huge crowds. Just fun. The only thing I didn't like was the sirens at 6 am which woke the kids up (more on that later).

Linus has been awake during dinner time a few nights this week. He sits on my lap with his mouth open wide in a smile as he looks from person to person. He's so thrilled to be sitting at the table with everybody. He's also winning the ward over with his antics. In Sunday School he spit up all over my lap and then immediately turned to give a huge smile and laugh to the woman sitting across the aisle. 

Moses started riding his Skuut yesterday. He keeps his motor (lips) going at all times. Woo was afraid he'd hyperventilate. He mostly just walks it at this point, but does a little gliding when he's trying to get off to the side of the road when there's a car two blocks down.

Waiting for the fireworks yesterday is the hardest thing Herbie's ever done. He started asking at 7 am for them, and didn't quit until a half hour before they started when he announced he wanted to go home. I think he'd given up on them, but we convinced him to wait just a little bit longer. He says his favorite part of yesterday was watching a girl fall in the water at the dunking booth.

I bought a bag of Cheetos for the first time for us to enjoy on the 4th and when Woo's friend R-- and his family came to visit. Ruby was obsessed with those Cheetos. The first thing out of her mouth when they got out of the car was, "We're going to eat Cheetos!!"

They knew they were in for a good time then.

She also loves the new "Wacky" book that Grandma and Grandpa brought with them when they stopped by.

I had a hard time getting enough sleep this week. Either Linus or the kids got up early or I shot myself in the foot going to bed too late. Once I went to bed on time and I didn't hear a single kid stir until 8 am, but Woo (of all people) was up around 6:30 moving around and waking me up!

I did get enough sleep last night, and it felt so good, I spent most of the day laughing at everyone else who hadn't: Ruby bursting into instant tears at the slightest provocation and complaining about watermelon making her sick, Herbie with his surly knitted eyebrows and pursed lips, and Woo making cranky old-man jokes which really started out as complaints, but turned into jokes when he could see I was laughing.

Woo enjoyed a visit from his old friend R--. S-- (R--'s wife) and I had to take a million pictures of them riding the tandem together in their swimsuits. I hope they're happy with the results.

His special insulation was also delivered today. Do other people get excited about insulation?

Anyway, that is all. Talk to you all later.

6.28.2010

Another Week

Things are starting to move along here at the house. The framer came this week, and got all our walls framed in a day. We got two bids from electricians, one and a half bids from plumbers and our built-ins should be in this week! It will be wonderful to really make some headway unpacking! Woo's dream bathroom includes a 6' soak tub, and a bidet. We found a brand-new jetted tub for half the usual price on ksl.com, and the guy delivered it for free.

Woo's latest update was accepted in record time, and it's been a success. Sales had been lagging a bit, but are now back up. Of course, it means he spends more time doing customer service when he has more sales, so it's not necessarily a win-win situation.

He also spent a couple of days laughing at himself. Remember that sweet deal on a stereo he got? When he finally got around to googling it, turns out it was a scam. He's glad that the garage sale proceeds were for charity, that he didn't buy it from a guy in a white van for much more, and he's thinking of donating it to the same garage sale next year.

I still have one or two evenings of painting before the living room will be done. I'll take a break from painting for while when it's over.

We went camping this week with our friends the K--'s. We like camping with them because they always make the most amazing food for dinner, and don't complain at all while eating the squished donuts or cold bagels or moldy blackberries that I've brought for breakfast. But, I was tired of being outdone, and planned a respectable campfire breakfast that turned out quite well. Yay, me!

Ruby has had probably the filthiest week in her entire life, and loved every second of it. Woo had to take a picture of her before we even left to go camping because she'd decided to sit in the dirt and kick it up all over herself while waiting for us to pack the car (I guess in gleeful anticipation of camping?). While we were there she managed to become completely drenched in mud at least once. Luckily, I know what I'm dealing with, and brought four changes of clothes for her for one over night trip. It turned out to be the perfect amount.

Woo finally found the pedals for the kids bikes, and they ride up and down the street whenever they get a chance. Herbie is still riding the tiny $3 bike we got for Ruby to transition between her skuut and her dirt bike.
Herbie: Mom can you take the pedals off my bike? 
Me: Why do you want the pedals off? 
Herbie: So you can paint my bike blue. I'm getting a little tired of the pink. 
Herbie also really likes to ride off curbs. He's tried riding up the curb a couple of times, but that hasn't been working out so well for him.

The last time we went camping with the K--'s Moses spent the entire time in their little kid-sized camp chair. The K--'s have had a little girl since then, and they brought a new Tinkerbell camp chair with them this time. Moses thought it was the most wonderful thing ever, and had a couple of little tiffs with M-- over it.
Me: You really like that chair, Moses. 
Moses: Es! 
Me: Why do you like it so much? 
Moses: Cuz. It's cute. 
Linus has had kind of a rough week: shots, camping, more driving then he likes, learning to fall asleep without the swaddle, and then Sundays are always a little hard on him. But, he's been mostly smiles. He just had a hard time settling down and getting to sleep tonight. That's about it.

I hope everyone enjoys their 4th of July. Everyone's been telling us about the celebration here since we moved here. I hope they haven't built it up too much for us. Talk to you later!

6.21.2010

NIghtmare Week For Woo. Ok Week For The Rest Of Us.

Woo's had a rough week. Some of the highlights include:

  • Modem dying right before submitting a new update. 
  • Staying up until 6:30am to get it in using the iPhone as a makeshift modem. 
  • Driving to Ogden the next day to get a new one, and then spending the next night answering all the emails he missed. 
  • Poor reviews. 
  • Tearing out the paneling in the master bath/office with his new best friend S--, which took off the plaster, which left exposed brick, which he's actually kind of excited about. 
  • Tore out the brick chimney remnant in the attic and lugged each and every brick down the stairs and out the back door by himself. "I don't think I've worked this hard before...ever!" He's having a hard time moving today. 

The bright spot in his week (and blot in mine?) is the huge new stereo system worth $5,000 that he got at a garage sale for $100.

Thursday night Moses decided that he's K--:
Moses: I K--! 
Me: K--? 
Moses: Es. 
Me: Your dad is J-- and your mom is T--? 
Moses: Es. 
Me: You have a little sister named J--? 
Moses: Es. 
Me: Ok...K--. 
Moses: Es! 
Later...
Moses: I K--! 
Woo: If we call you K--, are we going to have to start calling K-- Moses? 
Moses: Es. 
Woo: What if she cries? 
Moses: Cuz. 
He's also added the words dang and dang-git to his vocabulary this week.

Herbie (giving me a compliment): Mom, I like how you just put Linus to bed without anyone even asking you to!

Our ward is making the teddy bears for humanitarian service.
Ruby: Let's go get a teddy bear for Linus. 
Me: Those teddy bears are for kids that don't have any toys. Linus has lots of toys. 
Ruby: I have an idea! Let's put all our toys out on the grass and leave them so Dad will take them. Then we won't have any toys, and we can get a teddy bear for Linus! 

Quite a few trucks and boats on their way to the reservoir passed us on our walk to church.
Ruby: Look! Those people ride their boats to church! 
After thinking a bit...
Ruby: Their church is very far away, that's why they have to take their boats. 
I don't know if it's because I'm on my fourth or because we've moved to Huntsville, but my danger paranoia seems to have gone out the window. There was a time when I never would've let Woo ride a bike, even the low rider, with a baby in the baby carrier, and this week I did it myself. I strapped Linus on for one of our rides around town. He seemed to enjoy himself---wind blowing through his hair as he stared passively around, and then eventually fell into a pleasant slumber.

Woo and I finally figured out our temple attendance strategy and were able to go this week.

I finished painting the dining room and walls in the living room (still have the ceiling in there to go). We have a framer coming on Tuesday to frame two bedrooms and a bath in the attic, and put a wall between the master bath and office. We hope to hear from the electricians and plumbers next week, and choose who to go with for windows. Woo's ordered the insulation he wants and plans to install it himself... stuff is starting to move along, slowly.

Anyway, that's about it. Hope everyone had a great Fathers Day!

6.13.2010

A WEEK

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The first part of this week (or two) was like heaven. The weather was beautiful. We spent tons of time outside. Woo went fishing and on bike rides. I started running again, and gave the kids rides around town on the low rider. Woo gave us all blessings, dedicated the house, and gave Linus his name and blessing.

The library (2 blocks down) shows a movie on Friday (with treats), has an activity day or story time on Tuesdays, and passes out prizes every week for summer reading. I also attended a book discussion there one evening where I was served a delicious dinner and met a couple of fun ladies.

The last few days have not been heaven, though. I thought the kids were beginning to be normal, but I woke up yesterday morning to find that they'd snuck our large first-aid kit up to their room, and had lotioned, iodined, and bandaged themselves up.

Herbie was attempting to cut Moses' hair with a small pair of scissors in the kit. Moses was putting up a protest, and that's what alerted me to the fact that something was going on. By some stroke of luck, I picked out the most stain resistant carpet known to man. In the couple weeks we've been here that carpet has had iodine, throw up, half a dozen eggs, mud, yogurt, mustard, lotion, blood, etc. on it (definitely more abuse than our carpet in St. Louis got over a period of years), and it has all come out. 

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Woo had a long discussion with Herbie about choices, consequences, happiness, agency, repentance, etc. It seems to have helped after we remind Herbie that HE's about to make a choice that will determine what happens next.
Woo (asking all the kids before dedicating the house): What do you think we should pray for for our house, Moses?  
Moses (short pause before the light goes on): Back hoe truck! 
Also,
Woo (giving Moses a blessing): ... You will continue to be a good big brother to your brother Linus...  
Moses: O-KAY! 
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Linus continues to be a happy well-mannered baby. Nothing stressful's been going on at all, as far as he's concerned. He no longer needs a feeding between his dream feed before I go to bed and when I wake up in the morning, and he's eating every four hours (instead of three), so that has been nice.

Ruby has immensely enjoyed her time outside. She's been very patient about getting registered for school. I keep telling her that today is the day we'll do something about it, but then it seems like everyone at the school or who would know anything about it fled town, and we end up not being able to do anything.

Not much has happened at the house. I'm still not done painting the dining room! But, I just have touch up work, I should be able to get done this week. I'm not sure how I feel about the violet in the living room... we'll see. We finally signed a contract with the cabinet guy... he gave us a three week time table for our shelves and closets, and we still haven't heard back from anyone else about anything else.

5.31.2010

Long, Long Day

Just wanted to make sure everyone knew that we're blessing Linus next Sunday. Everyone reading this email is invited, and we'd love to have everyone who is able join Woo in the circle. Church starts at 1, but Sacrament meeting is last so it's at 2:45. Please let me know soon if you plan on coming so I can plan food. Will write more later.

5.24.2010

We're Here!

Wow! This move has been hard. I used to love moving, but I guess it's a different story when you're single, renting, and just moving to another part of town.

The pattern since we've gotten to Utah seems to be one really hard day, two rest days, one really hard day, two rest days... Today was a peaceful day, and the kids were almost completely normal. I'm hoping that the end is near... or else we're up for a hard day tomorrow.

The kids were absolutely phenomenal on the drive out. They stared contently out the window 99% of the drive. We didn't watch a movie. I didn't give them a single book or toy. We didn't even listen to the radio. I think it helped that we had to stop every 3 hours for Linus. They got to run around a bit and eat a snack while I fed and diapered him.

Herbie got excited about the mountains. "There's some mountains for Ruby to ride her bike on! Wow! Look at those crazy mountains! (gasp) A road on the mountain!"

Moses occasionally listed off cars and trucks with their colors for us. He saw something new in Denver. "Uh-oh car, Mom! Uh-oh car!" I couldn't figure out what he was talking about until I looked out his window. Sure enough there was a car driving next to us with a huge dent in the front.

Ruby was pleasant until we got to Utah, and she started quietly going through our bags in the back of the car. Apparently we never learn because we kept putting her back there with several temptations right within her reach. She managed to open a box of macaroni, a bag of shredded cheese, a canister or two of film, applied triple antibiotic ointment to her lips, mascara to her eyes, toothpaste to the car window, and some unknown substance to her hair.

Linus did not make a peep---just fell asleep or stared around depending on his mood. He did have way more blow outs than usual, however, and all of them were well timed. Most were at church, but the most memorable was in the mountains of Colorado. It was snowing. Clean clothes and blankets were almost impossible to find in the car (I never did find enough clean blankets). The restroom where we'd stopped had no counter or baby changing station. He got cleaned up on the floor in front of one of the stalls.

Now that we're here in our house, I think we're happy with our purchase. The area is beautiful. Everything we need except a grocery store and elementary school are within walking distance. Everyone has large yards and big, old trees. Church bells ring on the hour and a play a song at 6pm. Neighbors frequently stop by to welcome us, and tell us how happy they are to have a family move in.

The house needs a lot of work, but could be nice, when it's done. As long as it doesn't fall over on us... We moved in as soon as we had carpet and patched walls in the front half of the house. We still have a completely gutted room on the ground floor and half the attic is unfinished. The back part of the house is really dumpy, but livable for a month or two. We've managed to move most of our stuff into the general area where it belongs, so we now have an absolute mess in every room.

I've concentrated mostly on the interior. The living room and dining room are all primed and ready for me to paint. I was going to paint the living room a light aqua like our old house, but I'm liking the thought of a light violet against the dark grey I have planned for the dining room. Most of my chairs have been scuffed up from the move and will need to be recovered anyway. I think it will be fun to try something new.

Steven concerns himself with the outside of the house. He's removed old fence posts, installed a mailbox, secured the garage, arranged for the neighbor's horses to feed in our pasture, temporarily solved the problem of our wash machine run off, and ordered a hammock. He's also in the market for a grill, a weed wacker, and a riding lawn mower. I believe his next project is to solve the drainage problem around the front porch.

He's really excited to ride his bike again. He took the three older kids in the trailer to check out the elementary school... it turned out to be a lot harder than he thought, but I don't think he's discouraged. "I thought getting in shape was going to be easy!"

I was a little bit nervous about what the people here would be like, but so far they seem to be incredibly friendly. Church has been very enjoyable... almost everyone seems to have a sense of humor, and a few people that we've met are a real kick in the pants.

Anyway, that about does it for this week. Hopefully, our life is calming down a bit. I've had enough excitement for a couple of years. Talk to you later.

4.26.2010

Wild Week (Warning: Long)

Monday:

  • I put large trash items out on the curb for "large item pick up." 
  • Our house fails city inspection on about 12 things ranging from burnt out light bulbs to cracks in the cinder block garage. Our buyer can't get their FHA loan without our house passing city occupancy. 
  • The kids and I make a quick trip to Home Depot 
  • Steven calls: His laptop has been stolen! 
  • I put the kids to bed, and replace bulbs, install storm door closer, remove freezer from extension cord, install two smoke alarms (we have 8 smoke alarms in a 900 sqft house---we can't even make toast without one going off!), and work on broken knob in shower all before Woo's flight comes in. 
  • We're grateful to be alive. Woo helps with the shower knob, and makes several laptop related phone calls. 

Tuesday:

  • I tackle overgrowth from neighbor's yard growing on our fence. 
  • The kids and I run to city hall to get permits for the furnace (that's already been installed) and the garage. According to them, the garage doesn't need a permit. Hopefully, the inspector who reinspects agrees... 
  • Steven says University city reminds him of the DMV. 
  • Woo calls Weber County police. The laptop is missing under curious circumstances---out of Woo's backpack and rezipped---iPad and friend's laptop were not touched. He either misplaced it, or it was stolen in Huntsville. 
  • We make offer on house in Huntsville. Probably everyone reading this email will think we are crazy for making this decision. We have our reasons... 
  • After the kids are in bed, I go to a girls night out and watch Emma. 

Wednesday:

  • Gas man comes for gas inspection. We fail because our stove does not have anti-tipping device (new requirement since 2 years ago). He can install one for $100 or we can go buy our own at Home Depot, install it, and have him come reinspect ($75 fee). We choose to let him reinstall...probably a mistake. 
  • Woo vows to never buy or sell another house again. 
  • I call to get tuck pointing bids on the garage. 
  • Ruby and Woo take their Daddy Day to feed the ducks. 
  • Neighbor drives by, looks at our trash on the curb and yells, "They already came! You'll have to call the city!" I look at other neighbors' trash on the curb and decide not to believe him. 
  • Woo finds identical laptop to his for sale under suspicious circumstances on ksl.com. He calls the police who investigate. It turns out not to be his. 
  • We're under contract for the Huntsville house. 
  • After the kids are in bed, I tackle the basement, piling old boxes out on the curb. 

Thursday:

  • 2nd contractor comes by and says he can tuck point the garage for $250 and do it that afternoon. We tell him the job is his. 
  • Woo fixes leak in kitchen sink. 
  • I schedule city reinspect for Monday morning.
  • I drag vegetation from backyard to front to be cut/bundled/hauled. 
  • There's a stalemate. Lender requires an engineer report on our foundation. We think buyer should pay for it (per our contract). Everyone else wants us to pay for it. 
  • In the evening, I pack food storage and tools. 
  • Steven comes down and declares, "Our house is never going to sell :(." after looking closer at the crack in the basement. 

Friday:

  • Moses was dry at night! I've never had a kid do this all by himself. 
  • City official rings the door bell first thing in the morning and presents us with a citation for the vegetation I'd neatly piled next to the garage just the afternoon before! Also, no one is coming to pick up our trash on the curb. 
  • I am done. I spend the morning lying on the couch with my eyes closed. Kids (thankfully!) play quietly. 
  • Herbie requests the song, "Happy Birthday, Tomorrow" before nap time. 
  • I decide to quit thinking about the house and enjoy Herbie's birthday. 
  • We go to Target to let Herbie pick out his birthday presents (a truck with worker and a microphone "like Sid (the science kid) has!"). 
  • Steven calls for permission to dump garbage in the church dumpster and goes out to bundle twigs. 
  • In the evening, Steven goes to a fireside a friend is speaking at on same gender attraction, and when he gets home we watch "A Man Named Pearl," and I wrap Herbie's presents (I include some chocolates as a surprise). 

Saturday:

  • Herbie wakes us early and reminds us it's his birthday. 
  • He opens and plays with his presents. 
  • Moses calls Herbie's new truck, "My black truck!" and Ruby repeatedly requests a baby doll with bottle that she saw at Target for her birthday. 
  • We load the top of the car with boxes to drop off at the recycling center and make it to the zoo in time to get in the children's part for free. 
  • Moses stomps on a butterfly in the butterfly house. 
  • Woo and Herbie go visit the hospital where Herbie was born and eat lunch in the cafeteria (delicious?). 
  • Herbie: "I saw the nurse that I peed on when I was born. But, she was wearing clean clothes."
  • Herbie requested lasagna and "strawberry cake" (which I assume is strawberry shortcake) for his birthday. 
  • I decide to fast. 
  • In the evening, Woo finishes up with the twigs and loads up the wagon with cardboard and trash. I fix the window screens the kids had popped out. 
  • Woo is upset about his most bitter rival: Pockettunes. They've dropped their price, and are back on his tail in the rankings. 

Sunday:

  • Herbie insists that now that he's 4, he is in Ruby's primary class. 
  • Ruby sits with Woo on the stand. 
  • At just the moment Linus woke up, I had both Herbie and Moses want the same book and to sit in my lap. My friend behind us hands Moses a penguin and Herbie a coloring book with crayons. I'm very grateful. 
  • I'm just about to nurse Linus in the mothers' room when a brand-new male member barges in to say something to another mother. He leaves, and I settle down, but then he swings the door open wide again. I have no patience at the moment, and I yell at him while shooing him out with my hands. He glares at me and then leaves. 
  • Later, I apologize and explain to him what mothers do in the mothers' room and why he should stay out. He apologizes, and it ends well. 
  • Everyone (but Woo) takes a 3 hour nap after church. We needed it! 
  • Woo tells our realtor that we'll pay for the engineer report ($350). 
  • Herbie tells us: Rayon was standing on a chair at church. Woo: Did you tell him not to? Herbie: No. Woo: Did you think to yourself, "That is not a good idea!"? Herbie: No. I just looked at him real mad! 
  • Herbie gets a blessing from Woo for his birthday. 
  • Woo goes to a leadership meeting. 
  • I put the kids in bed, make peach cobbler (mmm) and write this email. 
Tomorrow is a big day for us. Everything depends on whether the city inspector decides our garage is stabilized enough for us to get an occupancy permit and whether the lender will complete the buyers' loan after the engineer's report. Thanks for your prayers!