A Week

We currently have some cold or flu thing going around the house: achy, congestion, exhaustion, etc. I was actually the first to get it, and I just happened to be the most achy in my neck. Woo and I considered meningitis for about half an hour, and I realized for the first time that I'd actually rather not die right now or anytime soon.

After a nap it became pretty clear that I didn't have it. I got a new calling today: counselor in Young Women's. I've never had a real calling in Young Women's before, and it's probably safe to say that they're just as scared of me, as I am of them.

Woo's trials bike arrived from China this week, and he's ridden it almost every day. It's handy that the park is so close because there's a lot there to keep him busy, and the kids are always excited to go with him. He thinks he's just about as good as he ever was now, but he may have overdone it for the first week. He's battling tennis elbow, blistered hands, and a kink in his wrist. Herbie, of course, is now attempting to ride up stumps and the front steps, and Woo's attracted the admiration of some kids around town. It's probably only a matter of time before he has a posse of little boys following him around.

Linus' new thing is throwing trash away, which is pretty awesome when it's small bits of paper and fuzz, less awesome when it's toys and books. Linus got off to a good start in the hurdles at the Family Olympics at the elementary school until he reached the line of plastic buckets, where he was compelled to stop and stack them into a nice column. The lady supervising the race thought it was so cute, and kept talking about how it was such "an 18 month thing to do!" She's probably the only person ever to correctly guess Linus' age because he's such a shorty.

Herbie's extra good behavior at school has taken a toll on him at home, and he, of course, caught the bug I had. I got a call from the office to come pick him up on Friday. By the time I got there and he retrieved his backpack and we said a quick hello to Ruby in the lunch room, his teacher and class were walking out to the buses to go home.

Both Woo and I emphasized that he was sick because he was too wound up at home and not getting enough sleep, but he insisted, "No! I keep hitting my head on the wall in my sleep! That's why I have a headache!"

I asked Ruby if she liked her new teacher, Mrs. C--.
Ruby (sounding extremely bored): No. 
Me: No? Why not? 
Ruby: She's not funny. She makes us do work. 
Me: So, she's like me? 
Ruby: Yeah. It's like being at home. 
Of course, the night before we'd had one of her friends over to play and for dinner. We'd also had a visit from a friend of Woo's who drives a FedEx truck nationally. The kids got to tour the bunks and kitchen in the back of the cab. We rode the clown bike, and pogo sticks and skate boards while waiting for him. Her friend was certainly impressed. We heard all about it from his mom.

At school they got to bring a blanket to drape over their desk and read a story to their teddy bear in their fort. They do math with fruit loops, m&ms and cookies. Occasionally, Mrs. C-- disappears and they get a visit from "Mrs. Lee-diculous." Sounds kinda fun to me, but what do I know. Kindergarten was better?

For all my babies I make up a little ditty about them. Penelope's is to the tune of O Canada (O Penelope). It's kind of slow and a little grand, and Woo's not impressed, but he hasn't come up with anything better, so it stands.

Penelope got a bunch of shots this week, and had absolutely no reaction, not even grouchy, just like our other kids. She's still gaining weight, but is dropping in terms of percentile. I'm trying to feed her more than the other kids, but my efforts appear to be futile. I'm already dreading the six month visit where her weight will plateau for a bit, and despite being healthy and happy in every other way, the doctor will tell me I should be concerned.

Moses has certainly learned how to push Linus' buttons. In church today Woo was looking through the Friend with Linus. Whenever he'd see a dog or a car, he'd make the appropriate sound, which would prompt Moses to whisper, "No, dogs." or "No, cars." Which would apparently hurt Linus' feelings because he would cry.

Moses earned a sleepover with Woo for going to bed so well this week. They built a fort in the playroom and slept in sleeping bags. Woo started off by telling Moses a story, and then asked him to tell him a story. And then Moses told story after story, "When I was little, I had a car. And the car drove in the mud. One time when I was seven. I had a friend, and her name was ... Chelsey. And she was my Mom, and she was nice. One time when I was little ... "

At some point Woo thinks he fell asleep because he remembers Moses saying, "Dad! DAD!" before he too, apparently fell asleep. In the morning when I told Moses that I'd heard he'd told some good stories, he got an extremely proud look on his face, "Yeah."

Well, that's about it. I hope everyone had a great week! Sorry we missed the hike!


Labor Day And Other Stuff...

We spent this Labor Day doing actual labor. In the morning we went next door to watch our neighbors extract honey from their hives. Woo was hesitant to go at first, and then ended up staying a few hours there manning some thing that did some other thing that connected to some other thing that drizzled honey into buckets and jugs. He received a large bowl of honeycomb and honey for his efforts. Or maybe they gave it to us because the kids couldn't get enough honeycomb.

Afterwards we cleared out the carpet in the kitchen. Our friends had a dumpster we could use through Labor Day, and we wanted to get the carpet and bathroom vanity in it. Woo thought it would take 20 minutes. I thought it would take all day. So I estimated that it would take somewhere in between, which it did. But, it's gone---hooray!!

R--, the guy we hired, put in most of the floor yesterday, but can't finish up until Tuesday, so we have a few more days of the stove, the fridge, and everything else in the dining room. This may be the most uncomfortable arrangement yet.

Disciplining Linus has taken a pleasant turn this week. Whenever he cries because we've told him no, or he doesn't want to share or whatever, we say, "Go to bed, Linus. When you feel better come back down."

And he toddles off to the stairs crying all the way. We hear his cries going up the stairs and turn into his bedroom, where they stop. A minute later he appears at the bottom of the stairs with a huge smile on his face. So much easier than carrying him up the stairs ourselves. I hope it lasts awhile.

Herbie continues to tell us everything that's going on in school --- the route through the school he takes to get to the bus, the routine of the class, the relay they did in gym, etc.

I was wrong about him getting Student of the Month. That's what the explanation I got sounded like, but was some other award --- not as prestigious as Student of the Month --- and much more believable for the first week of school.

Herbie takes his schoolwork very seriously. He brings home everything to finish coloring every last detail at home, and gets very upset if anyone even thinks about throwing any paper he's brought home from school out.

I switched up the bedroom arrangement, and the good news is: Moses and Linus are getting more sleep because the trouble makers are contained in one room.

The bad news is: Ruby and Herbie still are having trouble settling down. We let them read in bed for a half hour, which worked like a charm the first night, but dissolved into a giggle/chat fest the next. They still haven't earned it back.

Other than that, Ruby seems to have kicked off her start-of-school spaciness and selective hearing, and has behaved exceptionally for the last couple of days. There's yet another boy that Ruby's talking about marrying. This boy has promised to become a pilot, and they'll live in an airplane in the sky. An irresistible offer, if I do say so myself. I'd forgotten how obsessed first graders are with who they'll marry, but I seem to remember the same at that age.

It took a whole summer, but Moses can now eat salad or vegetables without complaint. He saves it for last, but he gets it done. He's even decided that he likes tomatoes, and took seconds of those the other night, which was surprising to me.

Yesterday we had the town-wide garage sale. I rode the tandem with Penelope strapped on my belly for the first time. She did fine except for a few times where it was windy. If you blow in a newborn's face they'll hold their breath for a second or two, and the wind was causing her to do that more than she was comfortable with. I was starting to wish that I'd brought something to shield her with, and then it ended.

Well, that's about it. Hope you all had a good week!


First Day of School

boy and girl first day of school instagram
The day Herbie's been waiting for his ENTIRE life finally arrived!

Starting Kindergarten!!!

Herbie came home and told us every detail. I felt almost like I'd been there with him.

He told us:
  • of trying to get off the bus when it arrived at school, but being unable to because of the big kids from behind rushing past (some of them pushing him back into the seat),
  • of things the bus driver had said over the intercom,
  • who he sat by during story time,
  • everything.
He told us that his teacher tied his shoe at recess when someone stepped on one of the laces, and then later his teacher read a story about a girl who went to Kindergarten for the first time and didn't know how to tie her shoes.


Herbie is in serious danger of becoming the teacher's pet, what with his affinity for older women, his ability to sit still, and his desire to do this school thing perfectly.

two little boys first day of kindergarten instagram
(Herbie and Linky)

Ruby, on the other hand, has been working on her love life.

Henry is her new best friend,
Ruby: I think I'm in love with him.

I'm going to marry him.
Which, of course, is almost as good as done.
Ruby: Parker says he's going to marry Melissa.
(When we smile) It's true.

He's really going to marry her.
Except for later this week she appeared indecisive.

It appears that another boy has entered into the mix, as well as memories of her old flame, Evan, from Kindergarten.

I'm sure she'll work it out before the time comes.

Ruby had library day this week and brought back the same book she first checked out last year, A Day in the Life of a Police Officer.

It shows a female police officer who helps a lost boy find his way home and captures an escaped bear from the zoo in a garage.

kids at bus stop first day of school
The first morning Ruby and Herbie climbed onto the bus, Moses frowned at me,
There's no kids left.

Me: What's Linus?

Moses: A baby.

Me: What are you?
He laughed and pitched his voice high,
A baby!
And I haven't seen him being sad about being left at home since.

He was very excited when we drove down to town that same day while they were in school, and he saw "a giant m&m", an ambulance, and ate a donut.

He told me he was going to tell Ruby and Herbie all about it when they got home, and he did.

I've discovered that when Ruby and Herbie are gone, Moses is pretty good at cleaning up. Part of it is probably the individual attention and part of it is that no one else is going to do it, if he just stands around or slips into a corner to play with cars.

Linus has largely replaced his "No! No!!! No!!!!" with an adorable scowl. When he first started saying it, Steven said, "He thinks he's in charge." But, I think that he's now realized that he's still an 18 month baby, and he's not in charge of much. Yelling no at us is not going to change the outcome. He still has his moments, but I hope he's on the road to also learning the word, "yes."

Penelope was blessed today. We had both sets of grandparents and the families of A-- and S--, J-- and T--, and L-- and B--. Woo was very nervous. He told me he was more nervous for this one than he'd ever been. He did a great job, like I knew he would. Two of my favorite things he said in the blessing were that she'd learn the Christlike attribute of turning the other cheek and loving others even when they didn't treat her as they should, and to know that her trials were not curses, but blessings to help her grow closer to Jesus Christ.

Penelope, for her part, was a model baby: sleeping through the entire thing and the rest of the meeting.

I've been very tired this week. Waking up an hour earlier than I have for 6.5 years to get Ruby and Herbie to school, and not wanting to give up an hour of my alone time in the evening to go to bed, has not been a good mix.

L-- tells me I'll adapt. She's probably right. Woo and I also played Ultimate with some people in the park Friday night. I had to rotate out to keep an eye on the kids in the playground, and stop early to feed Penelope, but I got my fill of play and loved it. Woo had fun, but not as much fun as he'd have playing with his old team. Not many people play at that level, unfortunately.

Well, that's about it. Hope you all had a good week!