Happy Birthday, Herbie! Happy Easter Everyone Else!

Herbie finally turned five. He spent the whole day yesterday smiling. We think in anticipation of his big day. He opened presents from us first thing in the morning, and we ate ice cream for breakfast, since we wouldn't get a chance to celebrate later in the day. He was thrilled to be sung to by the whole primary, blew out candles on cupcakes in his class, got a present from the Bishop, and was wished Happy Birthday from everyone everywhere. It doesn't look like a Sunday birthday was a drag.

Woo finally finished and submitted his iPad update this week, so he was able to take a bit of a breather and relax a bit this week.

He was one of the first on the scene at the park after our short microburst that blew over a half dozen large trees in the park. One or two vans from every news channel was here, as well as major state newspapers, which we thought was hilarious because trees blew over in the park every spring in St. Louis and it was never news unless one of those trees killed someone.

We did like clean up here better. Friday a crew from Weber Co. correctional facility came and did a lot of chainsawing for free. Then Saturday morning doughnuts and orange juice were served to everyone in town who came to help clean up.

Ruby gave a talk this Sunday. I kind of dropped the ball in that I forgot about it until Saturday, but that was enough time for her to memorize it. We were luckily able to come up with something that included President Uchtdorf, Easter and our current scripture.

Sunday morning she gave us some grief, which I finally recognized as her way of dealing with nerves, so I mostly ignored what she said and gave encouragement instead.

She did a wonderful job, getting stuck on only one word. She asked Herbie for help, but he wouldn't so I walked up to give it to her and sat back down.

One thing I like about kids memorizing talks is that their delivery is so much better. Two other kids also gave a talk or scripture, and I have no idea what they said, but Ruby took her time and was very clear.

A couple of evenings this week, I walked into the bathroom to get the caulk gun to start wall prep in my bedroom, but the siren song of the jetted tub lured me in, and I ended up taking a hot bath instead. I've slowed down quite a bit this week, but still managed to completely clean out our bedroom and unpack four more boxes.

In some ways Moses is our most affectionate child. He'll often say "Mom (or Dad), I love you!", "Mom, I like you!", and "Mom, I want you!".

We're not quite sure what he means by that last one, but a hug or hand squeeze seems to satisfy him. 

Moses is also very concerned about what I'm making for dinner, and asks me what we're having a couple of times everyday. When he finds out he either says, "That's a yum dinner, Mom!" or gets mad and says, "That's a yuck dinner!"

Linus always stops whatever he's doing and comes to rapt attention when he hears the baby's heartbeat at my midwifery appointments. Does it trigger some memory or is it just an interesting sound to him? He's quite intrigued by it.

Anyway, that's about it for the week.


Best Week Ever ???

Well, it depends on who you ask. I'm sure Herbie would say yes. Woo would say no.

Herbie was consumed with Kindergarten Round Up the first part of the week. He finally got to go on Wednesday, riding in the bike trailer with Woo. I think it met his expectations: play-doh, cookies, meeting the teachers and other kids, getting the kindergarten rooms tour, etc. He was given a packet of worksheets to do over the summer, that he immediately sat down and finished in about an hour after getting home.

After that he looked forward to the Elders Quorum pie party on Friday night, and the day after that was his Pretend Birthday! Grandmas and Grandpas and Grandma Marva were able to come and have dinner with us.

Herbie requested Strawberry Shortcake and salad? And he thanked me a couple of times during the day for making the salad. He was too excited to nap before they came, and had a good time while they were here.

Woo's snowboard woes continued... He decided to return the one from last week, and ordered a new one which came on Thursday. Thursday and Friday were his last snowboarding days of the season, so he put it all together, got dressed, and went in the afternoon. When he got home, he sat in the car for a long time.

We were all out enjoying the sunshine, so Herbie ran over to talk to him, and ran over, "Dad ran over a rock and broke his new snowboard!"

Oh, no?! Oh, yes!! 

I had a hard time not laughing, because honestly, could it have been any worse? But, Woo made a valiant effort to think positive. "Well, before this happened... I had more fun on this board then my old board. And it was faster then my old board. And I was having one of my best days. And not everyone gets to go snowboarding during the day..."

Paying a boatload of taxes, U-- threatening more legal action, slipping sales, and there's probably something else I'm missing (a grouchy, pregnant wife?), rounded out his week.

Linus and I got to go up and watch Woo take the other kids down the bunny hill one at a time on Friday. We left in a rush once we decided to go, and I forgot to pack a snack or lunch (and let's be honest, remembering to bring food on outings has never been one of my strengths).

We sped back, flagging down the Kindergarten bus at the last bus stop in the town, so Ruby could be on time to school. When she got home she informed us, "My stomach was hurting because you guys were mean and wouldn't let me have any food. They gave me chocolate milk and a granola bar in the office."

Great, now child protection services will be picking her up in the morning.

Ruby's been kind of moody this week. She cried as church was ending and the whole way home. I don't exactly know why, something Woo wouldn't let her do.
"I'm going to live with a different family!" 
Woo: Ok, you do that, Ruby. Go find a family that will let you do everything you want... talk through church... stand on the benches... 
It was too fun not to join in...
Me: A family that would let you eat candy all day... stay up all night...
She sulked outside in the rain, while the rest of us went inside, but she found it hard to keep up her scowl with everyone waving cheerfully from the window. She eventually came in, apparently feeling better.

I've reached the second cranky stage of pregnancy. When I'm in that middle part, I always think, Oh this pregnancy stuff is no big deal, I could do it 10 more times. But when I'm in that first or last three months, I'm glad to be through with it soon.

One reason why I've tried to have the kids so close is in the hope that none of the kids will remember me being pregnant. I'm just not my best mom, wife, person, well anything, except maybe baby incubator while pregnant.

Earlier in this pregnancy we thought I was getting better. Woo said, "You know, you've been grouchy, but not as grouchy."

And it was a compliment, but I think I'm starting to make up for it.

Linus decided this week that throwing tantrums was the new awesome. I started to put him in bed until he had calmed down. Luckily, it only took three times before he got the idea because carrying a screaming baby up a flight of stairs is a little rough on my pregnant body.

Linus cried while being carried by or sitting next to each of our visitors yesterday. The best was when an unsuspecting Grandpa Kip, who was just about to take a bite out of his hamburger, and Linus happened to look over and realize he didn't know who he was.

Grandma Marva eventually won him over by tickling his toes. Grandma Sandy won him over by yelling, "Rar!", and I don't know what the others did, but he seemed to decide they weren't as dangerous as they looked after a few minutes.

Moses is speedy gonzales on his little skuut. We put him on the bigger one that we have with the wheels full of air, and he loves to get going as fast as he can, and then veer off the side of the street into the grass. I think he thinks he's off-roading. He keeps asking us, if he's going to get to ride the pink bike this year (our smallest pedal bike), and the kids have named it Lil' Pinker (after the Lil' Rippers that the two older kids have). I think we'll probably get him started soon. Maybe when Woo's done with his update and has more time?

Anyway, that's about it. I hope everyone had a great week!



We had a couple of days of pretty heavy snowfall at the end of the week. Woo stared at the window, and said, "I hate this. I just hate this," and then went snowboarding for a couple of hours.

His new snowboard came this week, but was missing some bolts for the bindings. When he called, they said they could send some in a couple of weeks... errrr! He may have to finish out the season on his old board.

I suppose I should be mad about the snow, but I'm really not. For me spring means some awesome days, some so-so days, and some lame days, and the snow is much prettier and less depressing then rain. It's all gone today, anyway.

I did happen to buy a kids' snow shovel on clearance at the store earlier in the week, and Herbie's been able to get some good use out of it. Since the snow wasn't sticking to the walk, he shoveled a path all around the house, a path for the bikes out of the shed, and he cleared off a good patch of grass for us. He shoveled pretty much any free second he had... running out immediately after his nap before even having a snack, "I need to go finish shoveling, Mom!"

Woo told him that someday he might be able to earn money shoveling for the neighbors, and the first chance he got, he went over to the neighbors to see if they needed him to shovel their yard. He was told that they didn't want the grass shoveled, and there wasn't any snow on the sidewalk, but to come back, if we got more snow. 

The kids took a week to get used to their new beds/rooms, which means they had a hard time settling down, and woke up an hour early every morning. It was like a bonus daylight savings transition for me! Wednesday and Thursday were pretty obnoxious (also in part to an Ikea run Tuesday), but they finally broke down and slept in on Friday. Yay!

Moses was having a particularly hard time staying in bed. We could hear him running around upstairs, turning on lights, opening curtains, slamming doors, etc. We eventually came to discover that Herbie was telling him to do all those things, and Moses was too scared to say no.

Moses also had a severe phobia this week that anything Linus had in his hand was going to hurt Linus. He did a lot of crying and confiscating, which then had Linus crying. I'm hoping that a lot of it was due to sleep deprivation.

Ruby was invited to a birthday party this weekend. We originally thought we were going to miss it because we'd planned to go camping in Southern Utah. But, we cancelled (again!) last minute, when we realized that the weather was going to be bad.

Ruby was thrilled to be able to go. The morning of, she got up, picked a present out (an old book we never read), and wrapped it with a piece of orange plastic and blue masking tape. Then she made about 15 birthday cards. Woo and I were concerned that she'd end up being embarrassed by her present at the party, and Woo suggested to Ruby that L-- might not be excited about getting the book. 
"But Dad, it's a book we never read!"

Woo picked up a couple bags of candy on the way, and had Ruby seal them back up in her orange plastic. On receiving his cards Logan said, "Ruby! You can write much better then that!"

I guess he didn't realize that she was going for quantity over quality.

Linus has started to stand a little bit by himself. If he walks this month, he'll be right on track with all the other kids. But he crawled later, so I'm kind of expecting him to walk a little later too.

While at the pediatrician I filled at one of those questionnaires asking about health history --- asthma, allergic reactions, etc. One of the check boxes was "failed to walk by 14 months." I've never had a kid walk by 14 months, and frankly found that to be a pretty ridiculous cut off line.

Take your time, Linus. I'm sure you'll be fine.

Anyway, hope you all had a great week!


Random, Scattered Thoughts...

Well, we've decided to take the plunge and start shopping at Costco. One, we're now buying enough food to make it worthwhile and two, our Visa that was giving us 5% back on groceries has decided to no longer offer us that deal. I guess they finally figured out that the $20 something they made off of us wasn't worth the $900+ we made off of them. So we no longer have any hang ups about using the American Express.

I finished painting the other kids' room, put a new coat of paint on the crib and bunk bed, and got them set up (one of the few jobs that's taken less time than I estimated, yay!). The kids are now settled in their bedrooms.

Linus finally graduates from the bouncy seat to crib at 15 months, and Moses graduates from the crib/playpen to bunk bed at 3. 

Ruby is actually sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor of her room. We're still working on a twin bed for her. Herbie has been so, so excited to finally sleep on the top bunk, and asked me everyday this week when it would be put together.

He helped me carry the pieces into the room, and watched my every move and handed me whatever I needed, until they were put together.

Spring seems to be here finally. We just have a tiny patch of snow left in the yard. Herbie and Moses have gotten out their shorts and sandals, and have insisted on wearing them any day where the temps have been in the 50s or higher.
"Mom, it's summer now!" 
Moses is constantly asking to go for a bike ride. Even today during the snow flurries.

I was awakened Friday morning by Ruby.
"Mom! I'm all grown up now!" 
"Happy Fools Day!!!" 
She's been so excited for April Fools, she even told her teacher all her best jokes the day before.

Herbie memorized our new scripture (Jn 13:34) after we read through it twice. Wow! Memorization seems to be one of his strengths. While Ruby seems to understand what is being said better.

Woo and I also notice the difference between the two while watching them play with TinkerToys. Herbie always whips out the little bike that Woo and I have made in the past and he's memorized. Ruby fiddles around making assorted things.

Yesterday she made a family that I was quite impressed with. You could actually tell a man, woman and baby before she even told me what they were. Of course, Herbie eventually gets down to creative play, and Ruby gets stuff memorized, but their initial preferences are different.

Woo wonders if Moses is going to be the best snowboarder or if he's the perfect size for the board or something else. He's the best kid at turning, can do it on demand, and hardly ever falls.

Woo is quite pleased with the fact that he can now coast most of the way home from SnowBasin. He only has to use the gas twice in strategic areas. That will probably save us $.50 a year...

He also bought a new snowboard yesterday. He's not really pleased with that, but he finally realized that he was wasting time trying to find the best possible deal, and should just get one. He immediately had some regrets, but didn't cancel the order. I think he'll get over it.

Linus was sick again this week, but it only lasted a couple days, and he felt better in time to crawl around outside on the days when we had nice weather. I've come a long way... putting him in dark colored pajamas and letting him crawl through slushy snow patches (which he didn't much like), damp grass, whatever he felt like.

Woo, Herbie, Moses and Linus got their annual haircuts in between sessions of General Conference. 

When Woo said, "Ok, kids! Everyone who got their hair cut get in the picture!" And Ruby started to cry. She really wanted another haircut. I thought about giving her a short haircut, if she let me pick out all her clothes, and she liked that idea, but Woo said that her current length was the shortest he wanted it to go.

Sorry, Ruby. I guess you're going to have to wait until you're 18 to get the buzz cut you've always wanted.

Ruby put on her suit to watch conference in. We went to the park Saturday evening, and Woo heard some kid ask Ruby, "Did something special happen today? Why are you wearing a suit?" Unfortunately he didn't catch the reply.

I'm officially in the big, awkward stage of pregnancy. I don't much want to move once I've parked myself down. Luckily, my kids are still young enough that they enjoy fetching me things when I need them.

Anyway, sorry for the stream-of-conscientiousness letter. Hope everyone had a good week!