little girl holding lizard instagram

Ruby's teacher started sending the class pet, Leonardo, home with kids on the weekend.  Ruby signed up for the very first weekend, which just happened to be fall break (4 day weekend).

It's been tons of fun for the kids to have a pet for a little while.

Linus pattered around the corner in his jammies every 5 seconds to keep Woo updated on the Leonardo happenings.
'Ado, awake, Dad!! 
'Ado, eating, Dad!! 
'Ado, moving. head, Dad!!
'Ado, open. mouth, Dad!!
Moses was so, so excited to hold him ... 

Until the actual moment came.

little boy holding lizard crying instagram

little boy holding lizard crying instagram

little boy holding lizard crying instagram

But, apparently, playing with Leonardo's tail while Herbie held him was ok.

kids holding petting lizard instagram

Linus opted out of holding Leonardo because someone/thing had convinced him that,
'Ado, going. to. eat. me. Dad!
But, we won't be getting any lizards for ourselves in the future.  It's been stressful for Woo and I, worrying about keeping him alive for 5 days.

Almost the second we got Leonardo home, he fell "asleep" for about 5 hours. Herbie insisted that he was dead.  

Woo and I finally decided that maybe he was cold, so we set his cage on the space heater, and covered it all with a blanket. 

Leonardo woke up and started moving. 

The next time we checked on him, his mouth was wide open, and the glass was hot to the touch.  

Afraid we would roast him or freeze him, Woo got up 2 or 3 times during the night to check on him.
Me: Wow. Leonardo's been through quite the roller coaster with us, hasn't he?
Woo: Somehow, I think Leonardo gets to experience a roller coaster ride every weekend.
And I'm afraid he's probably right. Poor, Leonardo.

He's still alive as we speak ... wish us luck ... until I can deliver him back to the school tomorrow morning.

little boy holding lizard instagram

We also had Parent Teacher Conferences this week, and we heard pretty much what we expected to hear. Ruby is an excellent student and is off-the-charts social. Herbie does well socially, and performs off-the-charts academically.

His teacher suggested that we let Herbie enjoy life as a six year old, and that he'd get lots of opportunities to help and be a leader in class. That was basically our philosophy anyway, and nobody enjoys helping and being a leader more than Herbie.

baby girl crawling smiling instagram

Penelope might be our first child to say "Yes!" before she says, "No!" 

She's definitely got her "Es!" down, as well, as "eese" (cheese), and anything that rhymes with "Hi" (i.e. bye, eye, fungi ... )

baby girl crawling smiling instagram

Hope you all enjoy your Halloween this week!


Cupboards Next!

Ok, painting cupboards is daunting. Almost to the point of overwhelming, but experience has shown me that if you do little bit whenever you can, the job eventually gets done.  

And I'm excited for the cupboards to be done, so I'm excited to finally be starting on them! Plus, I'm painting them a fun aqua color, which makes me that much more excited to see the reveal. 

The first thing I've had to do is actually empty the cupboards.

I thought this was going to be a piece of cake job, done in an hour, but no. It has not been.

Part of the problem is that I stuffed all sorts of junk in there 2 1/2 years ago when we moved in, just to get those boxes unpacked, and I've never organized them.

I've found baby shower gifts, pipe cleaners, novels, parts of Halloween costumes -- you name it!  Anyway, this "one day" project is turning into a whole week project.

Just a reminder: This is my kitchen inspiration image.

And this is my wallpaper (currently living in a tube under my bed).

I've removed the doors from this portion of the upper cabinets for sure; although, I'm not entirely convinced that I'll wallpaper the backs of them. 

I am, for sure, wallpapering the wall to the left, above the paneling (where that old yellow, flowered wallpaper is now).

My concern is that I have a lot of turquoise and green and (not just) white dishes that I can put in those shelves. The plan is to paint it first, put some dishes in, and then make the wallpaper decision.

Anyway, next time we meet I'll be on the next step -- I'm so excited to feel like I'm finally getting somewhere in this room!



Ruby Red

little girl red leaves instagram

Ruby really likes to talk about all her new and exciting ideas.  Especially when she's tired, she can just talk and talk and talk ...

This week she started off describing a great idea she had for a new club,
Ruby (breathless with excitement): I'm going to start a new club! 
Woo: Oh? What kind of club? 
Ruby: Well, it will be an American club! 
Woo: So, people from America? 
Ruby: Yeah. 
And for people who like sharks! 
Or be a boy! 
Woo: So, it's a club for Americans who like sharks or are boys? 
Ruby: Yeah!
Completely switching gears ...
I met a mean girl once at the park. 
She was huge!
(Then for added effect ... )
And she spanked my bottom!
Hmmmm, doubtful. But I'm now realizing that this was probably given as anecdotal evidence for not inviting all girls to her club??

little girl paper hat breakfast instagram
(How Ruby showed up for breakfast ... )

Ruby's also started a bit of a Great Brain enterprise, trading junk from home with the other kids. As far as I know, she's been getting the better end of the deal. Some kid gave her a ton of matchbox cars, and another time she had handfuls of Werthers caramels.

I think we've caught her whenever she's tried to trade anything remotely valuable ...
Me: Why on earth is your backpack so big??
Ruby (sheepishly): My soccer ball.
Me: Ok, take it out.
Another time, I caught her with Moses' car rug rolled up inside.

Ruby really likes to tease. While skyping Grandma and Grandpa in Hong Kong:
Grandma and Grandpa sitting in a tree!
(Which is quite a bit closer to the actual spelling of kissing, then she was doing last year ...)

Not to be outdone, Moses chimed in with:
Mater and Lightning sitting in a tree!
little blond boy blue shirt instagram

What's better than being able to put on "mine. doggie. jammies!" all by yourself?

little boy too small pink pajamas instagram

Being able to put on "Nel-Pee's. pink. jammies!" Of course.

little boy too small pink pajamas instagram

Linus is just now noticing how big I am in comparison to him. He most often talks about my big feet and my big pinky finger. He hasn't mentioned my bum or my belly yet, but you know that's coming ...
Linus: I. have. big. under-pants. like. you. Mom-my!!
I got to substitute Herbie's primary class today. He was so excited to have me there. He answered tons of questions and volunteered to do lots of reading, and then would look over at me to give me a huge grin and see if I was impressed. I was.

little boy eating apple instagram

I made my own ricotta cheese with some past due milk this week. As I was making it, I thought to myself, "I should receive some sort of award for this ... " But, I don't think that I did. Well, besides a good feeling inside.

And in an effort to use lots of that milk, Woo got to enjoy a couple of batches of his favorite rice pudding too. He probably wishes we had more gallons of milk approach it's use-by date.

dad kissing baby girl hammock instagram

Penelope has suddenly decided that she really likes to sit in my lap. And she doesn't want to share it with anyone! 

Hope this phase wears off soon, or we're going to have our first case of sibling jealousy when the new baby comes.

Hope you've all had a good fall week!



Painted White

Hey! Remember that time when I started a project, and then I made a mistake?? 

I think it was like 5 months ago.  

Well, you'll never believe this but, I finished it!

The problem was that I'd foolishly believed that I could paint over the paneling above my cabinets without priming first.  It was a no go. The varnish on that stuff was leaking an orangey tint right through the paint.

So, while I was priming the mudroom, I also primed that paneling.

And then I painted it white. And then the ceiling.  

This is a big room; painting that ceiling was not fun, and even though it was already "white" it still needed two new coats (grrr ... ).

I'm going to be honest with you: painting stuff white is kind of boring for me.  I love color so much; I can't get excited about it, but I do have to admit that those newly white parts look so new and fresh and clean! Definitely a big improvement!

Maybe these before photos will show you a bit better what I mean?

Ok, that picture was more of a "progress" picture.

Are you seeing it??


Happy Conference Weekend!

little boy watching lds general conference instagram

This weekend was the General Conference for our church. We have our kids watch all four, two hour sessions of conference (unless they're young enough to be napping -- I'm talking to you, Penelope), which is probably way too much church for kids this age (they certainly are crazies afterwards), but we do it anyway.

baby girl pajamas lds general conference instagram

We do try to make the Saturday sessions a bit more fun, and we've done pretty much everything: let them play with legos/tinker toys while listening, play listening games with treats, etc. We've even had them all dress up in church clothes and sit in a line on the couch with their arms folded (probably the most effective, actually).

But, this year we went for the lie-around-in-your-pajamas approach (there may or may not have been some chocolates and cinnamon rolls involved).

toddler little boy pajamas lds general conference instagram

Moses probably had the hardest time of anyone sitting still this weekend. One session, as soon as the closing hymn hit, he started dancing around and chatting.
Linus (growling at him with self-righteous anger): DING-ING! A!! DONG!!! (singing a song) 
Woo: No, Linus. We are not dinging a dong.
toddler little boy pajamas lds general conference instagram

And a special thanks to Herbie for pointing out every black person in every choir and every speaker with a foreign accent. He thought most of them were french.

He would also tell Ruby that her comments on speakers' appearances were rude, and then would say things like:
Elder Holland looks like a bulldog. (Herbie considers this a compliment, since his school mascot is a bulldog.)
Elder Oaks is named Oaks because his head looks like an oak.
little boy couch blanket lds general conference instagram

Last year at this time was one of the worst weeks we'd had with the kids. I don't remember a lot of it except that before Sunday's morning conference we had three kids pee on the carpet in their rooms. 

It was pretty obvious that everyone was having a tough time making the transition to this school thing, and although, this year has not been perfect -- they still have a few nights a week where they're loud and obnoxious (Don't tell them I said that!), and are often tired -- I think it's been a lot better. 

I'm hoping that I can take last year as a model, and expect this week to be the very worst, and for it to only get better from here.

little girl pajamas couch lds general conference instagram

Part of what has made this week hard for me is the three phone calls I got this week from the school counselor.

Ruby and Herbie have learned that if they say they don't have enough lunch, or don't have one, the lunch lady will give them a school lunch. (Which they put on a bill that we'll finally see at Parent Teacher Conference -- next week.)

We actually learned about this first from someone who'd heard second or third hand that someone at the school was concerned that we didn't have money to feed our kids.

Meanwhile, Woo and I are wondering why our kids bring home their lunch partially or not eaten.  Grrr. 

The counselor gave me lots of condescending advice, and I tried to make clear to her that we thought the "free lunch" was the problem. 

We did work out a system where if Ruby or Herbie came through the lunch line again, they would be told to go recheck their backpack for a lunch, and in the case that there really wasn't one (Unfortunately, Herbie really did forget his lunch for the first time, one of the days she called.), they should be sent to the office to call me.

Which, really, why hadn't that been their policy all along? I get called for lots of other things ... why couldn't they send them to the office to call me? I'm sure the kids would've just eaten their own lunch the first time it happened, and we wouldn't have had a bill rack up, judgements made against us, etc.

Also, in case you were wondering, 5th grade is the age that the school counselor thinks a child is ready to pack their own lunch.

Anyway, I'm hoping we've got it all worked out now ...

Hope you all had a great week!