9.30.2013

SATURDAY (SORRY, IT'S LONG)

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Saturday was marathon day. As soon as they got up, all the kids excitedly waved at busload after busload of runners being taken up the road to the starting line for the half and full marathons. We could hear music and announcements pumping from the park. I left on my morning run to the tune of Led Zepplin's Immigrant Song, and dodged 5 and 10k runners on my way out of town. 

Woo and the kids (in their pajamas) were out in the front yard cheering on the last of the 10k stragglers when I returned. 


We discovered that they'd also be throwing a free kids run this year, and Ruby, Herbie, Moses and Linus ran upstairs to put on their fastest outfits and shoes as soon as we told them. They ran sprints outside in the street and around the house until Woo could go find where to register, and while I packed a lunch. 

Moses didn't want the honey and peanut butter sandwich I'd made him.
Moses: I don't want a sandwich! I'm going to run a race. I need something healthy! I'm going to eat carrots!
Ruby was super nervous and had to use the porta-potties a few times.  

It was the best free race we've ever done because they gave all the kids a t-shirt (a dream come true for Herbie), a race number with gold pins (a dream come true for them all), plus the kids got a creamie and a bottle of Sunny-D when it was all over. Even Linus got all that stuff, and he didn't even race. (He decided he didn't want to do it just before the start and joined Penelope and Archie in the stroller.)

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Before the start of the race, the director yelled, "Who's the fastest runner here??" Lots of tall and speedy looking kids raised their hands, but they weren't planning on the terror that was Ruby. She took the inside corner on the last bend, and sprinted, white-faced and totally focused, through the finish line as the rest of the boys in the lead pack faded.

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There were only about three runners between Ruby and Herbie, and he was much less focused, looking around for us as he approached the line. We told him that everyone that had beat him was older than him, of course.

Moses jogged in a bit later. We told him that we'd definitely seen him beating a six year old.
Moses: And I passed a seven year old! --Herbie!
He didn't seem to understand that nobody cares who you pass at the start of the race. I blame Lightning McQueen.

Herbie wondered whether he'd run faster if he'd been wearing Nikes instead of Adidas.

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After the race, Woo's parents dropped by on their way home from a lunch date. They seduced Woo with their tales of giant heads of cabbage for $1 and 50lb bags of onions for $10 at the local produce stands, so as soon as they left, we took off.

We stopped at several stands and bought a large box of delicious peaches, another of tomatoes, and some peppers. We still hadn't found the cabbages that Woo seemed to think were necessary, so we kept driving north. When we finally got there Woo bought 7 cabbages. The checkout girl said, "What are you going to make with all those cabbages?" "Nothing! We're just going to eat them!" She gave him a funny look.

Woo decided we needed to go back to the first place to get cilantro for lots of salsa, and he ran in the door past closing time, just as they were closing the door, and ran out holding up bunches of cilantro in his hand. He couldn't have been more pleased.

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We stopped at a Thai restaurant on the way home. The kids are really, very good in restaurants. They stay in their seats. They wait patiently. They talk quietly after a few reminders or Woo tells them to pretend their spies. Archie sits quietly in his little seat and looks around at everyone and everything. (Of course, it helps when there's a giant TV playing Thai music and showing crazy commercials like of a woman chopping up a pineapple and making a meal on the back of a moving motorcycle ... )

I don't even mind that Penelope hasn't figured out a straw yet, and keeps spilling water all down her front when she tips up her cup to get a drink, while her mouth waits expectantly on the tip of the straw.

But, it does get a little old when each kid needs to use the bathroom about 10 billion times during the course of the meal. And that is not an exaggeration. Ok, maybe it is, but I personally took kids to the potty 5 or 6 times. Woo went once or twice, and we moved countless times to let older kids out and in. Anyway, I did eventually get to finish my meal, which was very delicious, and we went home.

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This would be a good place to end my story, but there's more (sorry). It felt liked I'd just barely fallen asleep, when I heard blood-curling screams and panicky cries from upstairs. When I got to his bed, Herbie calmed down immediately and informed me that his belly felt a little funny. Hmmm. I was about to turn out the light, but saw Ruby's door open a crack. She also felt a little funny. I gave them hugs and kisses and went back to bed. It felt like I had just fallen asleep again, when Ruby threw up. I trudged back upstairs to clean the carpet and the bathroom floor, and the one toy in the hall, that she had managed to hit. I remember enough about throwing up as a kid to know you can't always control where it lands, so I wasn't upset, and I thought, I'd much rather clean throw-up off carpet in the middle of the night, than say, have an angry mob break into the house and steal my husband to tar and feather him and expose my newborn infant to the cold, so that he dies a few days later. I'd gladly get up in the middle of the night to clean up puke every single night, rather than experience that. And it only happens to us once every two years or so. Anyway, we have it pretty good.

9.23.2013

DAY BY DAY

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Monday: Penelope learns to put on her own footy pajamas. (aka "hammies!")

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Tuesday: Linus decides it's time he started making his own PBJs. 

Also, I learned why Herbie occasionally asks to go by Herbert.
Herbie: The other kids make fun of my name. Even my friends. 
Me: Oh? What do they say? 
Herbie: They say it's a girl name. Because of the way it ends. And because it starts with an H.  
They say the same thing to Henry.
Which only cements the fact that 2nd graders don't know much, and that every kid gets their name made fun of at some point -- even the Henrys of the world.

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Wednesday: I drove down for Tyson's Survivor Premiere party leaving Woo and the kids at home. I had fun. He "survived." (His joke :).

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Thursday: Grandma and Blake drove up for the day. They took kids to the park in the morning while Woo and I worked on installing the toilet in the back bathroom. In the afternoon, Grandma weeded around my porch and planted mums.

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Friday: The mystery of the carpet pee-er was solved -- Moses. Woo kept his temper enough to google it and find only about 80 million other people having the same problem with their 5 yr old boys. He laughed, had a little talk with Moses about the difference between man and dogs, and Moses is totally over it -- just kidding. We don't actually know yet.

I drove to the school district office to place Ruby and Herbie in dual enrollment. My plan is to keep them home one day a week and start work on a language. Ruby has wanted to learn German and Herbie has wanted to learn Portuguese for a very long time, and I found highly praised language courses available through our library. 

I'm *hoping* that they'll be less over-stressed after their long school days (They're gone just shy of 8 hours a day, with less than an hour recess total), the actual school work they do at school will be a bit more challenging, and as an added benefit, we'll get some foreign language learning out of it. (I personally am very, very tempted to learn some more Arabic.) Anyway, we won't know for sure until we try it, so we'll see.

Woo had a little camp out in the back yard with Herbie as a reward for not throwing an atomic bomb tantrum in a long, long time.
Woo (chatting while gazing at the sky): What's your favorite part about school, Herbie? 
Herbie: Hmmmm ... Math! And tests!
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Saturday: I felt great thanks to my nice, long run. I went faster and farther than I have in a long time. 

Woo was depressed (work stress and lack of sleep). He came home from an errand with 3 tubs of ice cream and a large bag of Lays potato chips.

Sunday: Archie continues to be a treasured and rare commodity in Sunday School. Today he was held by a BYU professor and played with his wife's bracelets. His brow was furrowed in concentration the entire time.

Well, that's all for our week. Hope yours was great!

9.16.2013

BREAKTHROUGH

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I'm not so surprised that Herbie has a girlfriend this year. I'm more surprised that he didn't ever have one last year. The most important quality for Herbie is that she's tall. He likes the girl who appears to be the oldest kid in the class, and maybe there weren't any girls like that in his class this year. 
Herbie (grinning): Mom, I have a girlfriend. 
Me: Oh? 
Herbie: Yes. (counting off her positive qualities ... )  
She has nice handwriting ... 
And her birthday is Sept. 1st ... 
Me (nodding knowingly): So she's older than you ... 
Herbie (whose birthday is in April): No! I'm the oldest kid in my class!
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We do not live in one of those congregations where there are 50 other babies. In fact, I think that Archie might be the only baby. Needless to say, any sound he makes in Sunday School is adored by pretty much everyone in the room. He gets a lot of people turning around to smile at him.

He stares back.

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He's also still excited to get his hands on pretty much anything and just stare at it.

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Except he loved this doll and kept attacking it with his mouth. I actually think he was trying to kiss it, since he's been attacking me with his mouth a few times in the last couple of days.

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Overheard:
Ruby: Herbie, can I be a cop and a robber?
While discussing Greek gods and goddesses:
Ruby: And what about Lady Gaga from the Blue Lagoon?!
Woo: Lady Gaga is not a mythical creature, Ruby. 
Sadly, she is a real person.
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Ruby is going to be so excited the first time she's assigned a diorama as a school project. Maybe we can get her out of using the recycling as a medium too.

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Penelope's been putting on her own underwear for awhile, but she's just now getting the hang of her pants and shirts. We went to the bus stop once this week with her wearing her pants and shirt inside out and backwards, tags flapping in the wind behind her as she ran along. 

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The car broke down while Woo was at the cannery. Long story short: The car works now, and we have lots and lots of canned meat, and even more powdered milk. You can never have too much powdered milk, right?

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Moses made himself a cheese and jam sandwich that he claimed was, "Delicious!" but I found a few remnants under the table, and he hasn't made it again.

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little boys and girls instagram

This week has been much, much better for us. At the end of last week, I made a rash purchase and sent a rash email, in desperation. I purchased some relaxation stories for children on iTunes that teaches them how to tense and release their muscles, breathe deeply and clear their minds. Ruby and Herbie had been struggling up to two hours every night to get to sleep since school started, but with the stories they usually get to sleep in about 1/2 hr, and they sleep in longer. Whew!

The email was to their school principal. I'd noticed that those school weeks where they had all early out days or stayed home for a holiday were just about perfect, and I wanted to talk to him about getting the kids out early all the time, and maybe doing the district's online language course at home. 

Anyway, I met with him, but they did so well with the relaxation stories this week, that I don't think I'll pursue that any further.

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9.09.2013

WEEK OF TEARS

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1. Several times a day I find Archie crying in the living room. He's on his belly, both his legs straddling a leg of the couch, unable to scoot himself backwards any farther.

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2. "Nell-Pea, we eat all of our toast, not just the center."

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little boys girls instagram

3. Linus fell over backwards sitting on the bench at the deli. Everyone even remotely nearby winced at the sound of head hitting concrete. He cried really loud for a bit, but after a few hugs, was ok.

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little boys girls instagram

4. Moses (bursting into panic-y tears during our drive up a winding mountain road): THIS ROAD IS SUPER SCARY!! YOU'RE GOING TO MAKE ME HAVE NIGHTMARES!!

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little boys girls instagram

5. Herbie's been very attached to objects this week, crying or whining when someone else was playing with something he wanted, or when we wouldn't get him some other thing he wanted.

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6. I assumed that Woo had taken all the older kids to the park, but I heard someone out crying in the shed. It was Ruby unable to pump up her bike tire. I pumped it up and returned to the house, but then I heard crying again. Ruby was out in the front yard, sitting by her bike and crying. I'd pumped her tire so high that the wheel wouldn't move. I let out some air, but she cried some more because of the funny sound the tire made on the pavement. Long story short, I don't think she quit crying until she finally went to sleep that night. She's had a rough week.

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7 & 8. Woo and I found ourselves getting teary-eyed during assorted talks in church. Woo swears there was sawdust in the air. Or maybe someone was chopping onions nearby?

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I hope you all had a good week!

9.02.2013

YAY, SCHOOL????

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Earlier this year I decided to make a little mark on my calendar when we were having what I would  consider a bad day. 

I didn't think it was happening often, but I was curious to see just how often it was. 

I felt pretty good to see that they were happening only once or twice a month, and I was super excited to see none in July or the first part of August, but that was apparently just the calm before the storm, because my calendar's showing five for the last couple weeks of August.

Darn that school! 

We've learned a few tricks by now, but it still isn't easy, and it takes a lot of energy. 

And it still isn't over. Here's to hoping we survive the next two months.

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Moses finally got to start Kindergarten. He was super nervous, and it mostly seemed to be bus related issues. He told me he'd had a nightmare the night before that he was on the bus, but didn't get off at his stop, but just kept on going. 

He was also paranoid that we would be late to the bus stop and that he'd miss the bus. Half his worries were gone when we made it there on time, and he bravely marched on the bus. I've been through this two times before, but I still got a little lump in my throat, and a little wet in the eyes when he left us.

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So far, he loves school, he's comfortable on the bus, and he's making friends. But, everyday he's still certain that we're going to miss the bus. Because of that we usually end up going to the bus stop early and just sitting in the grass. These have been some of my favorite times of the week, because the weather has been lovely.

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Archie's had something going on this week (maybe a new tooth we can't feel yet?), where he's just not happy unless he's being held. 

He's really grabby, going for everything within reach, and successfully picking up bits of food from the table, but not getting them to his mouth. He's not even trying to get them in his mouth, because he never tries to put anything in his mouth for a good gnaw. He's perfectly content to just stare at the objects in his hand.

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Penelope has kind of a funny relationship with Linus. There's definitely some rivalry, because she won't let him do anything she's supposed to do, and also some idolization, because anytime he's crying, whining, laughing, talking, etc. she's doing the same thing, but in an obvious watered-down, copycat version.

She occasionally tries to teach Archie (whom she now calls Etch!) how to talk by bringing him objects and repeating their names to him.

Penelope's decided it's time to pull some tricks on the low rider, "I ride one-handed!"


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I don't know what Herbie's eating at school, because he's bringing home almost all of his lunch. Maybe nothing since he's eating nonstop when he gets home, and I haven't gotten any calls from the school counselor yet. 

Herbie gets very, very tired every night about 5:00P.M. it starts by rowdy, giggly play and ends in yelling and tears. 

Here's Woo bizzing off of Herbie.

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Ruby started school determined to be extremely responsible and well-behaved (She was encouraged by the start-of-school pep talk from her teacher.) But it all caught up with her the end of this week. There's been a lot of crying, a lot of spaciness, and a lot of rudeness. 

She still loves to help in any state that she's in, and I've still been able to get her to do many things that she should by letting her know that it's a help to me (or someone).

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Linus decided in the last month or so to be dry at night, which was unexpected and has been awesome. 

During dinner on my lowest day, Woo told Linus to smile at me. I tried to stand firm in my crankiness, but the strength of his smile was too strong. I had to smile back. 

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The startup Woo's working for is a couple months late on their launch, and is riddled with bugs and arguments. On the one hand, it makes things a bit stressful. On the other, it's somewhat expected when you sign up with a startup. 

Woo's contract ended this week, and he's put in a good 12 hours since then. I think he'll renew in some form next week.

Well, that's all for our week. Hope yours was great!