10.21.2013

WHAT WOULD YOU DO FOR A BAG OF CANDY???

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little boys and girls instagram
(Ruby may or may not have gone the entire Fall Break without brushing her hair.)

We learned at parent teacher conference that Moses is doing great in kindergarten and fits in really well with all the other kids, but bursts out into uncontrollable tears a few times a week. It's not a complete surprise, as it is Moses' way of dealing with stress, tiredness, etc. but it is kind of surprising that he does it at school. He usually saves that fun stuff for us at home.

Anyway, I rearranged his sleeping arrangements to see if I can get him to sleep in a bit more in the morning, and Woo's worked out a deal with him: a trip to the store for a bag of candy in return for a month of talking instead of crying in school. Hey, it worked with him and thumb sucking :).

Herbie and Ruby are still doing great in school, even with skipping a day. Both their teachers are supportive, and basically said they're not missing a thing the day we picked to keep them home.

Except, Ruby's teacher wanted to know if I'd consider bringing Ruby back to school for an hour that day to practice the song they'll preform for the school sing-a-long the last week of school, even though they also do singing on Tuesday. Ummm ...

Herbie's teacher told me that with kids that are as far ahead in reading as he is, they spend time working on elocution -- on reading with more feeling. Which, to be honest, makes me giggle a bit, even if it's something that I could benefit from.


We finished reading aloud The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Ruby, Herbie and Moses were incredibly good at recognizing the symbolism in it. I think I only got the very basics (like Aslan and the White Witch) the first time I read it, but the kids took it and ran. I think that they each shouted out something that made me think, "Yeah, I think you're right. I hadn't recognized that before."

(Also, I just learned this week that Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials series is in response to the Chronicles of Narnia? I wish I'd know that when I'd read it. It may have made a lot more sense to me. Or not. :)

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Linus is continuously fantasizing about his birthday (no pressure on anyone planning on getting him a gift ...)
Linus: ... and I want a fower (flower) for my birthday ... 
And a NellPea, a toy NellPea.  
Me: You want a NellPea for your birthday?  
Linus: Yes, a toy NellPea. What turns on and off ... A scary NellPea!
I would argue that he already has a NellPea, but a NellPea that turns on and off and is scary?? That's something else.

Archie doesn't just like to sit, and he's uncomfortable lying on his back. His position of power is on his belly, his arms propping his chest up and his head serenely surveying his surroundings. It makes me think of a tiny male gorilla every single time.

If possible, Penelope has become even more of a Miss Contrarian ...
Me: Etchie's my baby.  
NellPea: No! Etchie's not yours baby. Etchie's my baby!  
Me: No, Etchie's my baby, and you're my baby.  
NellPea: No! I not yours baby! I Dad's baby! 
Herbie came home to tell us that the parents of the girl he likes went on missions.
Herbie: Her mom went to Austria, and her dad went to Portugal.
It's really amazing how her parents went to the exact same places his parents went on their missions ...

P.S. Woo and I have been married 10 years this week! We ate more chocolate and pizza than we should, argued, laughed and watched Survivor to celebrate --- (Go Tyson!)

10.14.2013

FALL WEEK

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This week Alisa and Ken and family stayed a night with us, which meant: Alisa took some nice pictures for us; Sarah organized my living room and mudroom while she waited for dinner; Caleb spent several nerd sessions with Woo in front of the computer; Micah kept calling everyone a "coot, fat baby;" Ken slept outside in a tent; and Ez did some quality wrestling with Herbie and Moses.

They came for Caleb's high school mountain bike race at the ski resort. Going to the race brought back all sorts of dormant emotions and memories in me, most of which were positive, and Woo and I started to get excited that mountain biking in high school (and maybe jr. high? rumor has it they're starting races for 7th and 8th graders soon?) is something we could get our kids in to.

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little boys and girls instagram

Little Linus just loves babies: Mom, when am I going to turn into a Dad and get a baby??

You may remember that we have a lot of tomatoes and cabbage. I seem to have hit gold with a tomato and cabbage soup that everyone liked. I had been led to believe from my years of reading novels that cabbage soup is the most disgusting thing ever (Is it Roald Dahl I can mostly thank?). Maybe they were too poor to afford chili powder because with it, it's pretty tasty.

It even made Linus' birthday meal request list.
Linus: For my birthday, I want cabbage soup!
And cinnamon rolls! 
No, pancakes!
He still has 4 months to figure it all out.

Ruby likes it, but ... "My favorite soup is shark fin soup!" Which she's never even been close to tasting before, but it has shark fins in it, so it has to be good.

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I'm not sure yet, whether the day off of school is helping the kids. Actually, I do think they might be better. I *think* there's less arguing. Ruby's moodiness seems to arrive on Fridays and stay for parts of the weekend, instead of all the time. Herbie throws hardly any tantrums. Moses is probably the biggest handful, but he's still going 5 days a week. Anyway, Ruby and Herbie really are learning some German and Portuguese. I don't know why this shocked me, but it did.

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Herbie likes to say, "a mulher come uma maca," which is the very useful phrase, "the woman eats the apple."

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Penelope is at that stage, that all of the older kids (except Ruby) went through, where she's personally offended if any other kid says that I'm their mother.
Linus: That's my mom. 
Penelope (crying): No, Liney! That's my mom!
She doesn't seem to get that I am mom to the other kids too.

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Archie can crawl, but he's not very aggressive yet. In fact, he's had that annoying week before he feels confident crawling all over the place, and instead sits and cries when we move all over the place and he doesn't. 

There is one thing that will get him to crawl across the room every time. All anyone has to do is set up a game of cards on the floor, and he'll do anything to get himself in the middle of it.

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Woo has been all about the free and cheap produce this fall. I have a freezer full of chopped fruit and vegetables -- I feel as if we've gotten ourselves all stocked up for winter. This Monday, we went to an apple orchard to pick 4 or 5 boxes of apples for free. 

As soon as we got home, and the kids were in bed, Woo got to work making some apple crisp. It was delicious. The crisp I made the next night was not as good. We eventually realized that the apple crisp recipe I'd been making for years because Woo had told me it was the best, was not the one Woo had made, and we've quickly switched over.

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Moses really does seem to have quit peeing in unauthorized places. Maybe all he needed was to be found out. Another of his I'm-still-adjusting-to-kindergarten vices is sneaking food out of the fridge, as in, drinking all the maple syrup out of the bottle, or the rest of the whipped cream in the jar, or taking a bite out of the cube of butter. 

He likes to talk a big talk about eating healthy, but his true loyalties still lie with the sugar. And the butter. Who can resist the butter?

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Anyway, that's all for this week. Hope you had a great week!
Love,
Chelsey

10.06.2013

ODDS AND ENDS

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It looks like we dropped the ball on the picture taking front this week. This is the only (and best) one we got.

Penelope takes her name very seriously.
Me: Are you my good little girl?
Penelope (angry): No! I NellPea! I NellPea, Mom! 
Me: Are you trying to be funny?
Penelope (almost crying): No! I NellPea!
Which, of course, has led to us teasing her.
Penelope: I NellPea!
Me (or Woo): No, I NellPea. You're Etchie (or Mom or Dad).
This does not make her mad, for some reason. She gets it.

One advantage of having the toilet hooked up in the back bathroom now, is that Linus and Penelope like to use it. I can hear them in there, Linus instructing Penelope and trying to help her position herself, every single time one of them needs to go, and really, they've done very well. Instead of dumping the little potty a million times a day, I now only dump it occasionally, and have something to clean up in the back bathroom every few days.

Herbie seems to have discovered humility this year. His entire life, he's told us that he's the best at everything, and if he is obviously beat at something, he'll make up some story or be very upset. But, now he regularly points out when other people are better than him, and he does so graciously.
Herbie (telling Moses what DI stands for): It's Deseret Injuries, Moses.
Moses has narrowed down his crush from all little girls in Kindergarten to one in particular. He was very anxious to sit by her on the bus, and was upset that she kept sitting by other people, so he came up with a clever plan where he'd duck down in his seat so she'd think it was empty and sit there. It apparently worked at least twice. But, the plan wasn't flawless, "But then I don't get to see her cute face when she gets on the bus!"

When Woo grilled Moses about it we learned that they play together at recess. She likes to be Spiderman, and that they keep picking each other to be helpers. Woo was very surprised that she seems to like Moses back. He's already ahead of both of his parents.

Linus has been very excited for conference all week. Well, that's probably not exactly true. He's been very excited for the candy, and for having church in the living room in your pajamas in a blanket. He picked himself a blanket out that he wanted to use, and kept close tabs on it, and everyday he asked me, "Can I eat candies for conference, Mom, when I hear the word? Can I keep my candies on this blanket?"

Archie, Penelope and Linus have been sick this week. It's the kind of sick where they just want to be held, so I've spent a lot of time on the couch just holding kids in my lap. When it was time to make dinner,  Archie got a ride in the baby backpack, and Penelope got to lie in our bed next to Woo (who was type-type-typing away at the computer). Also, Archie's crawling.

I noticed that Ruby was mostly wonderful except when it was time to clean up for dinner or bed, and it seemed to be because she resented her free time being cut short. I taped a paper to the fridge that said, "Stuff Ruby Wants to Do" for her to list the stuff she wanted to finish, but couldn't at that moment. She immediately wrote down things like, "Play Star Wars with Herbie (Padme)," and "Make pencil holder," and "Build a fire."

Woo's been working A LOT. He's at home still, so we do see him quite a bit, and he doesn't work from dinner to bedtime, but other than that, he's taken very few breaks, and isn't getting much sleep. 

Anyway, that's our week. Hope yours was great!