Summer Fun

Woo has decided that he's fat. He and I were weighing the same for awhile, which is odd. I've usually eclipsed him this late in a pregnancy. So he's been "dieting," and riding his bike every day and taking 10m swims in the lake. I think he's down about 6lbs and already talking about ice cream again.

One thing he decided to do was race in the Mt. Ogden weekly mountain bike race series at Snow Basin. There's nothing like a race to remind you how out of shape you are.

Before the race he was quite optimistic ... I don't think he realized that doing a race for your first mountain bike ride of the season (on top of not having raced in 15 years) is not exactly a recipe for success. He thanked me later for not telling him before the race how terrible it was going to be, and I'm glad that he's going to stick with it throughout the summer. I'm sure he'll get better.

Herbie, of course, wants to mountain bike too. On family bike rides he likes to ride on the side of the road in the dirt and grass and try to bunny hop. Not easy with a heavy bike and no toe clips, but he's getting better. He likes to do what he calls "smoothes" in the gravel patch in our front yard (hitting his brake and skidding his back tire).

He'll do those over and over again, and ask me every time how high the dirt and rocks went. And, of course, he still enjoys "skips" (jumps). We've started to call them smoothes and skips too, but it doesn't seem like he likes that, "I call them smoothes. You can call them something else."

Ruby has all the symptoms of a kid not getting enough sleep: moody, always bored, arguing with us about every. little. thing. and (her personal weaknesses) lying almost automatically to every question we ask her and sneaking stuff.

I don't actually know when she's getting up, but I'm pretty sure that she's getting up with the sun (or maybe it's the birds since her room's pretty dark). I'm grateful that she's been finding quiet things to do and has let the other kids sleep, but I'm really waiting for her to crash, and start sleeping in later herself.

This morning while getting Linus' church clothes I found that she'd snuck one of my paring knives and a mango upstairs, had successfully eaten about half of it, and then shoved the rest, and the peel under her bed. I can barely keep from slicing my own hand while cutting a mango. Today was definitely the worst day, so I'm hoping the end is soon. Very soon. 

Linus continues to make progress on the walking front, without actually becoming a walker. He's capable of probably 10-15 steps at a time, and occasionally is in the mood to practice, but most of the time he would just rather crawl real fast. Whenever he makes a big leap forward, and we all get excited for him, he gets so excited and laughs so much that he can't recreate it. Other days, he's just not in the mood. We tried all day today to get him to do something, and the most he gave us was about 3 steps, while ignoring us most of the time.

I forgot to order Bountiful Baskets last week, and we had a salad free week. Moses was glad; although, I certainly missed it. He told me almost every night, "This is a yum dinner, Mom! I like this dinner! You should make this dinner again!"

Of course that ended when we had Thai beef waterfall salad last night, and he only finished it with Woo's help. But, he surprisingly liked the tomatillo salsa I made today, commenting a couple of times on its lack of purple race car onions. Of course, we didn't mention the other type of onion in it, and he was just fine.

I had a bunch of signs of pre-labor Thursday night/Friday morning, but they've ended, and I've had nothing since. So, I guess I'll go back to my earlier expectation of having a baby in 2-3 more weeks. The good news is that I got myself entirely ready for the baby to come. The bedroom and our bathroom are entirely cleaned out and free of tools and anything that doesn't belong there, baby birthing stuff collected and at hand, etc. The only thing that would be nice, is to get some grocery shopping done, but since I probably have plenty of time, I'm sure that will get taken care of.

Anyway, I'll talk to you all later. I hope you are enjoying your summer!


A Week In June

Woo noticed a wound on Herbie.
Woo: Herbie, where'd you get that scrape on your chin? 
Herbie (shrugging shoulders): I think when I was watching a movie. 
Woo: Nooooo. 
Herbie (thinking): It started hurting when I was reading a book. 
Woo (look of disbelief) Herbie: I think the book did it. 

Herbie (after much contemplation, possibly trying to come up with some situation where he'd be able to use the master bathroom ... ): Mom, every time there's a spider on our toilet seat and the other bathroom's locked, I'm going to use your bathroom. 
Me: I think you'll be able to take care of the spider, Herbie. 

I usually ask the kids what they learned about in primary/nursery while we eat Sunday dinner, and Moses usually tells me that he learned nothing. He insists that they didn't even have a lesson, but today he had an announcement to make.
Moses: Mom, we had a lesson today! It was color! 
Me: Color? 
Moses: Oh, no. It was Jesus. 
Moses likes to tell jokes, which are hard to write about because what he says is not necessarily funny, but his facial expressions are. He has a goofy smile and way of rolling his eyes when he's pulling your leg that reminds me of that character Squints in the movie The Sandlot.

Linus is really, really close to walking. He likes to stand up in the middle of the floor and take a couple of steps when we're all gathered together for story/scriptures before bedtime. I think he likes the audience. The problem? He won't lift his right foot off the ground, so once he stands and takes a couple of steps with his left he's pivoted in a circle. Which is excuse enough for him to fall to the ground and giggle. Next week or the next he'll have it.

He's also saying his version of Mom, Dad, shoe and no. I think he might also be saying Ruby. I'll have to pay more attention this week.

Ruby is going through a bit of a withdrawal from school, I think. The social scene at home is not quite what it was during the school year. She asks me almost everyday for me to arrange a play date, but the things that we do do (soccer, playing with other kids at the park, library summer reading program, etc.) she doesn't seem to recognize as her time to interact with other kids.

The play dates we have tried to arrange this week have not worked out. She's probably the polar opposite of me in this respect, and luckily I have Woo to guide me a bit on kids and their friends.
Me: What are you most excited about for 1st grade next year, Ruby? 
Ruby: My new lunch box (which she's already picked out). Eating lunch at school. And playing on the other playgrounds. 
Snow Basin reopened for the weekends because of record snow still in the mountains. Woo went yesterday for an hour or two. It wasn't the best snow, etc. but, I think he still had fun.

He received bad news from the lawyer he'd put on retainer for the U-- fiasco. As far as we know, all he did was send a letter and make one phone call, but he sent a bill for 22 hrs and over $7,000. That pretty much ruined his day, as you can imagine.

My goal was to finish my bedroom by the end of May. I've moved the deadline to the end of June (is it the 19th already?!). I'm done painting. The wallpaper is done. Our bed is put together. New doorknobs installed, etc. But, I still have a bunch of small details (like the light fixture) that I hope I can get done in a week or so.

Anyway, that's about it. Talk to you all later. Hope you had a great Fathers Day!


All About Food: A Riveting Account Of Our Eating Preferences

We started getting Bountiful Baskets a couple of months ago. For those of you who don't know, it's a produce coop, and we get fresh produce once a week that we pick up at the fire station. We like it because the prices are good, we get produce once a week (instead of once every other week, when I go grocery shopping), and we get to try new things.

The first week I ordered the basket, I also ordered an additional 40 lbs of bananas. The bananas arrived ripe and ready to eat, and it was a race for us to get them all finished before they went bad (and I was forced to make banana bread). Each kid ate about 3 bananas a day. I believe Woo once ate 6 in a day, and I'm happy to say that they got the job done without me having to eat any!

A much more happy extra order was 20 lbs of blackberries. They were gone in 2 or 3 days without any prodding. Woo even complained that we didn't save enough for him.

Herbie seems to have inherited my produce tastes, in that he's kind of picky about what fruit he likes, but he likes vegetables. The banana week was a trial for him. He also would rather not eat cantaloupe, mangoes, peaches, apricots, and occasionally apples. On the other hand, he loves salad, took thirds of asparagus, always eats his spinach, and a few other things I wouldn't expect a kid to like.

Ruby will eat anything. I'm mostly surprised that she loves and requests grapefruit (is that normal?), tomatoes, chives and sour cream. She says that she likes spinach, but I suspect that she's not telling the truth on that one. I think that someone somewhere got it into her head that it's cool/good to like spinach, because despite what she says it's usually the last thing on her plate. One thing she doesn't like that there's no pretending about is pasta. She never eats many noodles.

The last month or so of Bountiful Baskets we've gotten 2 heads/bundles of (mostly) romaine lettuce or swiss chard or spinach. That's meant a lot of salad for us (basically as a side for every dinner).

This has been really, really hard for Moses because he HATES salad! Included with that has been Woo's favorite onion, the red onion, and coincidentally, Moses' arch-nemesis. Woo got him to eat them one day by calling them "purple race car onions," which fooled Moses once, but not twice; although, the name has stuck.

But, I *think* that Moses has started to resign himself to his lot, eating his salad the last couple of days without too much complaint. I'm tempted to say that he loves all fruit and hates all vegetables, but he does like corn, peas and carrots in any form.

Woo has always wished we had more fresh produce, and I think in a lot of ways, he's in heaven. The range of stuff that we have in the house has greatly increased over what I was buying just on my own, and he loves to just snack on it. He's the kind of person that peels and salts a cucumber or grabs a leaf or two or three of lettuce for a quick snack or eats a peach after dinner. The only thing we've gotten that I've had more of a taste for than him is the jicama. He thought it was too sweet for what it is. 

Linus hasn't really shown a lot of preferences/dislikes yet. He eats pretty much anything that his 8 teeth can handle (He's also currently getting 3 molars!). He'll even eat a few purple race car onions dispersed in a black bean salad. He is eating fewer bananas then he was accustomed to, but he's not complaining about the cantaloupe and other fruit that has replaced it.

Anyway, that's about it. Maybe I'll have something more amusing to write about next week :).


Memorial Day

Our town had a special Memorial Day celebration where they dedicated the new veterans' memorial in the cemetery. Marlin K. Jensen gave the dedicatory prayer. Our neighbor read a poem. A horse and soldier sculpture was unveiled. There was a 21 gun salute, the pledge of allegiance, the Star Spangled Banner (which Ruby sang with gusto thanks to learning all three verses in kindergarten), and it was just generally a pretty nice ceremony for us to take the family to.

We decided to ride our bikes, and it started to rain on our way there. A cold rain. Ruby cried up the last hill because her little hands were cold. One of our neighbors pushed her up the hill while I rode beside her, and after a couple of minutes wearing my gloves, Woo's hat, and sitting on my lap, she was fine.

Herbie was very nervous when he saw the the veterans standing in a line with their rifles.
Herbie: Are they going to shoot us? 
Me: No. They're going to shoot into the air. 
Herbie: But, then it will fall down on us. 
Me: No. They'll shoot over us, and they won't be shooting real bullets anyway. 
Herbie (after some thought): So, they're not bad? 
Me: No. They're good. They fight for us. 
And he didn't have any fears after that.

Moses is the one who cried while they were shooting their guns (I guess we forgot to prepare him?). Woo held him, and finally got him to cover his ears, but then he refused to uncover them after they were all done.

Linus didn't do more than blink an eye. He was busy playing with the handle of an umbrella that another neighbor had left by us. Soon after the neighbor returned for his umbrella. Linus looked up at him. The neighbor looked down and smiled. Linus burst into angry tears, and I had to stand up and leave, missing the entire dedicatory prayer.

The rain started up again for our ride home. Some other neighbors tried to convince us to let them drive us home. They probably thought that Woo was hard-core, but they definitely thought I was crazy for a) riding a bike while pregnant, and b) riding a bike in the rain.

"No" just wasn't cutting it until I finally said, "I know it's hard for you to believe that I want to ride my bike home in the rain, but I do."

They said, "You're right. It is hard to believe", but they finally left me alone.

We did let Ruby and Herbie ride home with them, though. Woo and I enjoyed our ride home, wondering what was so bad about it. Linus fell asleep and Moses sang in the trailer. Ruby and Herbie weren't at home when we got there, because they'd taken them home to feed them each their own personal "volcano" cake.

That's the kind of thing that makes our kids think they drew the short stick in the parent lottery. Parents who make you ride your bike in the rain and eat lettuce for a snack (ask Woo) vs. parents who drive you around and make you fun little lemon or chocolate cakes. Which would you choose?

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