5.30.2011

Pretty Uneventful Week

Ruby finished off her first year of school this week. Woo got to go "help" with field day. I was envisioning mini-marathons, relay races between classes in each grade, 100 yd dashes, etc. But, I guess field day is now a carnival. Ball and bounce pits, a magician, a dance, etc.

She finished off the year with a whole lot of 4s (1-4 is the grading scale), and a handful of 3.5s. Neat handwriting and the word "with" seem to be her downfalls.

Herbie's most notable soccer skill is his ability to score goals for the other team. He does it several times each game, and even with every parent there yelling at him, he goes for it anyway. By now it's almost a source of pride for him.

I think that a) He doesn't have the skills yet to stop the momentum of the ball or change it's direction while running, and b) When he's alone in front with the ball, he doesn't care who's goal it is. He's going to go for it.

Moses had more success with Lil' Pinker this week. He can't start or really stop (other than crash) by himself yet, but with a push from Woo he can pedal it down most of our street.

Moses had an outburst in church today that would've normally made us mad, but because it was timed perfectly to end a boring, meandering meeting that was in serious danger of going WAY overtime, probably the entire congregation was grateful.
Moses (whispering): I need to go potty. 
Woo: Shhh, Moses. 
Moses (yelling): I'm going to pee my pants!! 
Woo: I just took you right before Sacrament meeting. 
Moses (yelling): I don't want to pee my pants!! 
Herbie: I'll take him. 
Moses and Herbie left the chapel (Moses simultaneously beaming and holding his crotch), several people chuckled, and the speaker got the message and quickly wrapped things up.

Linus has been doing quite a bit more standing without support. He did take two steps all by himself once, but as Woo predicted he would, he got so excited --- bouncing and laughing --- that he was incapable of repeating it. 

I tried out pediatrician #4 with him this week for his 15 month checkup. After an hour and a half, I told them that I really needed to leave, but it took me another 10-15 minutes to finally break free.

I didn't realize how good we had it in St. Louis. I don't understand why our appointments here take sooo long, why everyone freaks out about every little thing (this one actually mentioned "early intervention" (for autism, I assume?) because he isn't walking or saying many words yet.

What's wrong with waiting and seeing a few more months (especially if the parents aren't concerned?), and why do I always walk out of there with 4-5 prescriptions that I didn't ask for and I'm never going to use. Maybe the fifth time's the charm?

One of my failings as a parent is teaching my kids to tie their shoes. Ruby can do it, but it's painful, and she avoids it at all costs. Herbie has had one demonstration. I'd rather potty train, or make them memorize something, or teach them just about anything else, but whenever I'm reminded that they can't tie their shoes yet, it's just a bridge too far, and I'm overwhelmed. I'm kind of hoping that it's something they'll just pick up by themselves at some point. That could happen, right??

Woo's favorite wind down activity the last couple of weeks has been the game Coin Dozer on his iPhone. Coin Dozer is designed like many apps, in that the basic game is free, but then you need to pay money to get more coins or play a more advanced game.

Woo has found ways around that by downloading free versions of Cookie Dozer (which makes him hungry), Halloween Coin Dozer, Easter Coin Dozer, etc. There are so many different versions of Dozer, that he plays his fill without paying a cent. His love of the game makes us wonder whether he'd be a gambling addict if he weren't so cheap, knew the odds of actually making money, and a couple of other things that are standing in his way ...

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

5.23.2011

Just A Week

Hooray for Linus! He finally made it through all three hours of church without major effort on our part! He would've sat contentedly on my lap all of Sacrament meeting if Moses hadn't bitten his finger once (He decided to act like a lion while we were looking at a picture of a lion and a lamb. Thanks, Moses), and if the last speaker hadn't gone 10 minutes over. Linus started to get antsy right about when the meeting should've been over. It was wonderful!

Herbie finally was asked to give a scripture in Primary. He's known the scripture for days, even trying to teach it to Moses occasionally, and Woo was able to give him advice on delivery (look at people's eyes, speak slowly, etc.) that he was able to follow. He seemed to be mostly excited, and not nervous --- waking up this morning to excitedly remind me about it, and picking out a navy blue suit, blue and red shirt, and cowboy boots to wear for the big event.

He had the same anti-climatic moment that Ruby had the first time she gave a scripture, where he finished and waited for a few long seconds for some sort of reaction from the audience, but got none. Except that Herbie had the good fortune to have his sister giggle really loudly when he was done. I guess she was proud?

I organized a little play group/soccer league once a week for the kids Ruby and Herbie's age in town. They were super, super excited the morning of. We were the first ones there, and I think they wore themselves out a little bit, since they ran and kicked the ball at full speed for almost 15 minutes before anyone else got there.

Ruby, apparently, is only happy if she's on the winning team. One little boy was the star of the show, and Ruby had a great time when she was on his team, but when we switched her over to make things more fair, she suddenly didn't want to play ever again.

When we got home she talked about how mean A-- was, and how I didn't blow the whistle on him for pushing nearly enough. We got a new, bigger pair of cleats for her on Friday, and I think she's raring to go again.

Moses has gotten his plip-plops out for the season (although, he's getting a lot closer to actually saying flip flops). He loves those shoes, and even found the race car ones from last year that he calls his "Lightning McQueen plip-plops."

He will wear those things in rain, wet grass, etc. as well as nice weather. He tried to sneak them on in the house for a day or two until I took them away for half a day. I haven't seen him wear them in the house since.

My visiting teacher came over Monday night to help me paint the trim in my bedroom.

The bad news is: she spilled half a gallon of paint climbing off the ladder (it dropped mostly on drop cloths, and we were able to clean up the splatters pretty easily).

The good news is: she felt so guilty that she bought new paint and came the next morning to paint while I took care of the kids, and then brought her sister-in-law in the evening to finish the second coat.

I also finished the ceiling that night and I installed, caulked and painted the picture rail moulding later in the week. I'd be ready to start the wallpaper tomorrow or Tuesday, if I hadn't just discovered that I'd bought the wrong wallpaper paste for my paper, and won't be going down to Ogden until Thursday. So close ...

Woo has been dreading the rain because every time he looks out the window the grass is longer and longer. Luckily, there was a break in the rain yesterday before the grass got too long for him to handle with the push mower. He still had to raise the wheels and mow it on the highest setting, and he anticipates having to mow it again in a day or two. It sure is pretty and green, though. I personally have enjoyed the rain because it meant that I didn't have to water the fruit trees or berry bushes, all of which have little buds or leaves, and seem to be establishing themselves.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a good week! I'll talk to you all later.

5.16.2011

Another Week

Herbie is my little man. He's one of those kids that thinks they're an adult or really wish that they were one.
Woo: Herbie, you're going to make a great dad one day. 
Herbie: Why? 
Woo: Because you think you're a dad already! 
We're starting to trust him with any task that he's physically able to do because he's just so happy to do it. He's been unlocking the shed, getting all the kids bikes out, putting them back in and locking it up when they're done.

When we were getting ready to leave for V-- and M--'s (Woo's sister and brother-in-law) farewell dinner, he put all our bags on the front porch, and then packed them into the car. He carried folding chairs out to the patio for Grandpa. He likes to carry the water jug and water the fruit trees, etc.

Woo has mowed the lawn twice this week, and Herbie has spent the entire time (an hour and a half) with him, following him around with his mower, removing branches and toys from the path, fetching and returning the gas can, fetching Woo a glass of water, helping Woo push the big mower, and if nothing else, just walking along behind him. Woo is thinking of letting him try the electric mower because it's so light.

Also, when given the choice of anyone to hang out with, Herbie always choses an older woman. Woo lost sight of him for a bit at the park during Ruby's field trip. He found him sitting on the swing talking to Ruby's kindergarten teacher and he often parks himself on a bench next to another mom at the playground or at least makes friends with an older girl.

Woo, on the other hand, thinks he's an old man. He spent most of his leisure time this week either picking dandelions out of the lawn, complaining about them, or complaining about his back after pulling them.

The weather has been heavenly, and he's spent a lot of time in his outdoor office (the hammock with his iPhone).

He went on his first bike ride of the season up to Causey Reservoir, and he built two bike jumps for the kids. A big one for Herbie (and occasionally Ruby), and a tiny one for Moses (and occasionally Ruby).

I've always assumed that Ruby could make friends with any kid anywhere, and win them over eventually, but I started to have my doubts in recent weeks. The other little girl at our bus stop blatantly ignores Ruby whenever she talks to her, and I've even seen her get up and move to another seat turning her back to Ruby while Ruby is talking to her.

Even though I'm sure I was more like the other little girl as a kid (and possibly still am?) it was hard for me to not be mad about it. And then Ruby came home with stories of some boys in her class making fun of her. This concerned me for a bit until I realized that boys this age frequently make fun of girls they like (and, well, girls they don't like too) so it doesn't really mean anything.

But then one of Woo's Sunday School students told us of how her niece just loves Ruby because one time she was crying on the bus, and Ruby came up and gave her a sticker and a hug. I like that Ruby is compassionate and likes everyone --- no exceptions. I wish I could be more like her.

Moses loves Lightening McQueen. Whenever we say that we're going to get some shoes or pajamas or anything, he always says, "And a Lightening McQueen one for me?!"

I think he's only seen the movie once or maybe twice, but it certainly made an impression on him. 

Woo likes to play that "Would you rather... " game with the kids. As in: Would you rather eat a giant bowl of spinach or wear a pair of pink, frilly underpants?

Yesterday he was asking Moses: Would you rather have a Bigfoot ...
Moses (butting in): Bigfoot!!! 
Woo: Would you rather drive a race car ... 
Moses: Race car!!! 
Woo: Would you rather go to the celestial kingdom or be Lightening McQueen? 
Moses: Lightening McQueen!!! 
Woo: Would you rather have a righteous wife or a backhoe? 
Moses: Backhoe!!! 
Woo: I'm concerned with some of the choices you're making Moses. 
Linus has not been fun in church lately. Those last couple of months before they're old enough to go into nursery are always the worst, but he seems especially bad. Maybe I just can't remember. Anyway, he always gets tired and wants a nap in about the middle of Sunday School, and of course, he's not going to fall asleep in church anymore. He throws stuff, cries, etc. and will only be happy if someone is walking around holding him. He hasn't made it through Sacrament meeting in months now.

I've recently switched him over from two naps a day to one, in an effort to get him in the habit of being awake during that time we're at church. He's does great during the week, but still gets sleepy in about the middle of Sunday School during church. Grrr ...

Last Sunday or the Sunday before, Woo couldn't take it anymore. He walked home, threw him in bed, opened the video baby monitor on the iPod Touch, and returned to Sacrament meeting. We watched him lying there on the iPhone. We're not sure that we're totally comfortable with this solution, but Sacrament meeting sure has been nicer :).

I've felt a lot better this week, thanks to my iron supplements. I finished wall prep on my bedroom, and started painting the ceiling. I no longer have circles under my eyes, and I've been much better, according to Woo.

I still seem to be the biggest pregnant woman some people have ever seen. I occasionally have to explain that I have big babies when someone asks when I am due, and says, "July??" while looking incredulously at my belly.

And, of course, I've had the gratuitous, "Are you having twins?"

It doesn't bother me much. I'm mostly just glad I don't have to be like this the rest of my life.

Anyway, that's it for this week. Talk to you all later.

5.09.2011

Miscellaneous Miscellany

Ruby had her kindergarten program last week. You might think that a group of kindergartners on stage would be a riot, but no. They all sat quietly in hypnotic trances staring into space, a kid or two smiling widely or concentrating hard on the words of the song.

But not Ruby. She hopped, fiddled, waved her arms, giggled, her mouth gaping in a huge smile on the back row. When it was time for her part, her mind went blank, and she covered her mouth for several seconds before rattling it off.

Her teacher: I don't know what got into Ruby! She always did her part perfectly during practice.

The other parents: That Ruby sure has a lot of energy!

After getting off the phone with K--, Woo made an announcement at dinner, "Well, kids. We've just turned down a mini van. A free mini van."
Ruby: "Yay!!!" 
Hmmm... something tells us you didn't really understand what he said, Ruby.

Herbie noticed the G on the mountain driving up the Wasatch front. "Gee. j-j-j. Junior High!"
Ruby: "Mom!! Herbie's not ready for kindergarten!!" 
Herbie's primary teachers absolutely love him. Every time they see us they tell us how wonderful he is. They love his answers and that he brings his scriptures every week. They thought it was hilarious this week that he knew who Laman and Lemuel were, and he'd told them that "Laman was a bad boy!"

They were so impressed that he could name President Uchtdorf in a picture of the first presidency. I guess they're not aware of the enduring popularity he enjoys among certain young members of this family.

Although, Herbie can also identify Boyd K. Packer. I personally would've been more impressed with that. The kids once asked to watch some of my seminary videos, and they love the "Spiritual Crocodiles" one.

Woo once asked, "Who do we know who's been to Africa?" And Boyd K. Packer and Curious George topped the list.

Moses has really been tearing it up on his little skuut, so he got to try out "Lil Pinker" the pink pedal bike a little bit for his Daddy Day this week. He was super excited, jumping up and down and shouting, "I get to ride Herbear's... (bike. I assume. He didn't finish the sentence.)"

Ruby and Herbie were equally as excited for him. Woo and Moses worked on it for a half hour or so, but Moses' doesn't seem to be quite ready. He doesn't really get the pedal motion, so it looks like it will take a bit more work to get him riding a two wheeler then the other two (he is a year or two younger then they were, though).

Woo used Linus in his object lesson in Sunday School today. He cut a small hole in a box and placed a treat inside. The idea was for Linus to stick his hand in, grab the treat, and then be unable to pull his fist back through the hole with the treat still inside. Linus outsmarted him though. He refused to even put his hand in the hole, and kept trying to crawl around to the other side of the box, which was open. We weren't expecting him to be so smart.

He's at that stage where he loves to pick things up and put them in a bowl or cup, etc. He's great at helping to clean up game pieces, but you have to put the lid on the game as soon as he's done or he'll reach in, grab a fist full, and scatter them all over the floor for some more pick-up fun.

U-- refuses to give up. They've doubled down and threatened suit if Woo doesn't remove their streams by Monday. All the other companies that have threatened have given up when shown how ooTunes is doing nothing illegal, but these guys don't seem to get it.

He had a rough day or two trying to decide what to do (just back down and remove their streams even though he'd done no wrong, or stand strong), and not hearing back from any of the lawyers he'd tried to contact. He did get in touch with a lawyer in St. Louis (recommended by his good friend) and decided to stand strong. I think he's a peace with his decision because he's been a lot happier since then.

I had my birthday this week. For my actual birthday I decided to do as little work as possible. We ate donuts for breakfast and had ice cream with strawberries for dessert. Mom drove up with some plants around noon, and that was about it. Woo watched the kids for several hours on Friday for my birthday/mothers' day gift, and I spent some time by myself shopping, and killing time --- something I don't get to do very often these days.

I found out my iron is low at my last midwifery appointment, which I should've known if I'd thought about it at all. I've been really tired the last couple of weeks, with things like climbing stairs, standing to do dishes, going for a walk, etc. totally exhausting me. I started taking supplements Friday, and today is the first day that I've started to feel better. Yay! I had to supplement my iron while pregnant with Linus as well, but not with the other three kids. I wonder if it's partially caused by having the kids close together because I don't think that my diet is significantly different now.

Anyway, I hope that everyone enjoyed their Mothers' Day or Sunday, whatever the case may be! Later!