My camera cord is missing. I don't seem to be able to blog without photos. I've ordered a new one from ebay, so in a few days, get ready for a flood of updates. Briefly, though...
My camera cord is missing. I don't seem to be able to blog without photos. I've ordered a new one from ebay, so in a few days, get ready for a flood of updates. Briefly, though...
K: nursing less (plugged duct/infection to show for that), talking more, daddy-love all the time, can spend long periods at the kitchen sink playing, never forgets his vitamin.
Our friends from Alabama visited yesterday. The boys miss them a lot! They always seem to pick right up where they left off.
In other pressing news, Ja bought new shoes.
Jeremiah had his first practice last night for his new team. He got a huge workout! I haven't had the chance to ask him if he enjoyed it, but he's certainly going to be learning a lot. The other parents who were there seemed really friendly and helpful. (Evan, I thought to ask about our question wrt tournaments and what is ok to do between games. Robert said nothing usually happens between, and that some coaches even like the boys to not hang out together, because they should really be resting and not running around. fwiw)
[from this point on, this post is for planning purposes - nothing interesting]
I'm thinking ahead about school starting - it's only a few weeks away. I think we'll try a new routine that will accomodate 1.Jamie's new adolescent sleep routine, 2. the availability of our primary childcare helper for Ryan, and 3. the timing of most toddler/preschooler gatherings around town.
Mornings (7-11am) are for housework, playing with littles, storytimes, errands, playgroups.
Middays (11-2) are for book work with the big boys and housework. R visits S and K naps.
Afternoons (2-5) are for finishing up chores (mine and big boys'), preparing dinner, and sometimes Ryan might still be at S until 5:30??
Soccer practices will be in the evenings, at least T/H, and possibly others for rec league.
Friday playgroup from 9-12 - will people attend the Mon/Wed playgroups before noon?
What day will be story time?
Will there be a homeschool phys ed at Sportsplex?
What time is band for Jeremiah? When is art for Jamie?
When will Carlette come?
MWF morning, we have K and J here until 9 or 10am.
Our birdhouse is broken. It was awesome - totally stumped the squirrels. If the feeder had the weight of a squirrel, the whole outer frame would slide down and cover the openings. A bird is too light so they could get the seed. Something is busted, and it won't stay up now... poor birdies. The feeder was expensive, ugh! But I guess we had it over a year and that's as much as I can expect.
Speaking of birds and their feeding, Ryan has discovered my secret birdseed stash and finds it to be an improvement over his huge sandbox. sigh.
Ever since I snuck a single moth ball into the dirt under our tomato plant containers, the rabbits haven't been back to chomp down the plants. Yay! I did spot this hungry creature in our back yard last night.
Jamie got his first paycheck today in the mail. He plans to save all his garden job money, and that's no small feat considering how badly he wants/needs a new cell phone. His second laundered cell phone is now in the toddler toy basket, and he's saving up.
J and J are going to try out for the select soccer team in the neighboring town. I think the time commitment is going to be huge and the workouts unlike anything they've experienced, but they are excited to try. I'm assuming they'd have to practice through the summer, but they also want to play the casual pickup games on weeknights in town. I'm told Je was out ball-handling the high school kids at the park last night. wow.
Ryan is back to daily napping. I think he must have some kind of allergy issue - seasonal, or strawberries or both. I've decided to give him some claritin daily for a few weeks and see if things improve. He is so blinky and twitchy, and seems generally drained of emotional reserves. The weekend was hard. One afternoon last week, I thought he'd make it through the day and have an early bedtime, but apparently he really needed to sleep sooner.
K is still weighing 20 lbs, crawls with great speed and occasionally takes a few steps. He popped his next top tooth this morning (that makes 4), so we now have to have a really good latch, or the top teeth sink in, and yow. Sharp, those new ones. K likes to play with Jane and Ryan, is not happy to see me walk away but seems easy to distract if I'm gone. I've done a couple 1-2 hour errands in town without him and it's gone smoothly. He eats a lot more solid food in the past two weeks, so that's helpful. He really likes pasta, lentil soup, banana, and in moments of desperation Yummy Organic lollipops in the car seat. Sticky infant, anyone?
E and I are still looking at houses, considering moving versus adding, and trying to figure out what we can really afford. None of the houses for sale have really been right for us, so far.
Fynn spent the night again last Friday. He and Ryan played tee ball and had a blast.
This time last year:
This goes back several weeks... a lot of little details, just to keep track. Thank goodness for calendars!
Speaking of keeping track, if you are a blogger who knows how I could search my blog for key words, I'd like to know. I do have some kind of widget addon thingie that is supposed to do that, but it doesn't work very well at all.
A couple weekends ago, the big boys took a tour of Bash0, a local business that does screen printing. The owner was more than willing to show them around and Jamie was impressed with the shop. He says he'd like to do something like that for a living - he seemed to appreciate being able to produce art and dress comfortably. (Jamie, do I have that right?)
Evan, Jamie and Je have a plan to start a small business offering tees (and other things?) which feature Jamie's art and some of Je's ideas for storylines, jokes and catch phrases. This tour was a good start to understanding the whole process, and Bash0 was willing to cooperate with them in their venture - very cool.
At the same time, I was at a birthday party with R and K for R's friend T. The boy does love his birthday parties. He's got two more this weekend! Who are these adventurous people who have kid parties for 3-year-0lds??!
Next day, I had a very nice visit with another hsing mom, about an arrangement we'll have next year. I will do some childcare for her while she teaches at the local college, and she's going to do some science/anatomy/dissection stuff with the kids that would be nearly impossible for me to do here right now. She also provided me with some no-nonsense parenting advice and calm reassurance about the teen years soon to be upon us.
The next week (of the 16th):
- we visited the new art exhibit at the Glen Helen building. There were some lovely paintings there of local places.
- did a paid research thing at anthrotech, testing out how easy/difficult it was to replace the handles on an infant carseat
- visited the children's center with r, didn't seem like it would work for us
- potluck at orion organics
- Ryan went to Shelly's house and had a great time-Mimps turned 80 - we are visiting this saturday for a big group picture
1. Some Ryan talk first - anyone care to guess?
2. Our new friend Jane is offering us a family yoga opportunity with one other family. The other family has one toddler son who is a friend to R. I really hope this works out and that the big boys can also enjoy it. I know she teaches a very relaxing and spiritual style class.
3. Ja started work at a nearby intergenerational garden, which is also a CSA in which anyone can buy shares of local, organic (I'm assuming) produce. As they are quick to remind all the middle school gardeners, this is a Real Job, to which they are expected to arrive on time and commit to the end of summer. He has gone to his first work day and seemed to enjoy it. Hard work, but satisfying, he says. I was particularly impressed because he was feeling pretty bad that day with sinus pain and congestion, but got himself up and went anyway. Each kid is assigned two beds, and there will be some ongoing training in engaging with the elders as well. The garden is literally just around the corner from our house.
4. Gold Cup soccer has started for Ja, and Silver Cup begins this Saturday for Je. I hope his coach calls to tell us when the first game is! I'm not sure whether R will play copper cup. I think he's technically too young, so we'll have to see what they say.
5. Je has a new snare drum, a book and CD curriculum, and no drumsticks! We have to get those today so we can begin. He's also hoping to run with the track team this year, although the coach hasn't returned my call. I'm not sure if it's still too early for track or if he is possibly gone on spring break? We;re also considering some sculpture lessons for Je - our friend Jade has her art degree in sculpture and hopes to teach in the future, so this would be a good match for both of them.
6. R is really stretching himself these days. Leaving behind the diapers is a happy transition but still definitely not mastered. The first week was a bit more successful than the last two. He's also been having some scary dreams and fears at night about spiders in the bed. Poor sweetie. Yesterday, we attended a library program in a couple towns over - I'd heard they have a very active, musical program. They did, indeed. It was crowded but fun.
R really loves the organized group activities like that. I've considered Kindermusik for that reason, but it's very expensive and this library program is pretty similar, at least for this young age.
I still struggle with being out with R when there are other small children around. He tends to want to love on them a little TOO closely, in their face, and occasionally in the form of tackling them. It gets old, protecting other kids, the disapproval of certain other parents, apologizing. And apologizing. Every time I show up at a playgroup and leave feeling bummed, I say we are not going back for a few months, but then we really want to get out and DO things... I've always felt that we should stick with the younger age group activities because he IS so active and a bit immature for his age, but then I had another thought - maybe it is the older kids (4+) we should be getting to know. They're all a lot less likely to be hurt by him - he's less likely to get in their face (he tends to go for the delicate one-year-olds) - and maybe he'd follow their lead a bit.
Napping seems to be over. I'm sure he'll still have a nap here and there, but he seems to be able to get through the day without one, and we're having very early bedtimes. This week we started "quiet time," during which he hangs in the bed with books. He's doing surprisingly well. He's stayed in there about 20 minutes, and I'm hoping to gradually increase it over the next few months so that we're getting an hour if possible. He has been enjoying books a lot these days. Also singing... the alphabet song is on Repeat in that child's mind, with a sprinkling of Row Row Row Your Boat and Twinkle Twinkle.
Throughout the day, out of nowhere, R will often stop what he's doing, turn to the parent or brother nearest him and say "I really yike you." If we respond with definite understanding, that will do. If we simply "mm-hmm" or smile, he will have to repeat: "I really, really yike you." It's pretty adorable.
7. Small-child K. What can I say? He's busted out - in the past 2 weeks he's gone from immobile, toothless infant to crawling, standing, cruising, babbling, toothy, toy-playing pre-toddler. I don't think I've ever seen such a sudden developmental leap in a baby. Go baby!
Above, he appreciates the grass at ML playground with his Grammy. He prefers mulch, though. Less ticklish, and apparently also tastier.
Jamie: a lot of new art
Jeremiah: getting ready to start learning drums, reading this with Mom, aloud
ryan: potty training, 75% success rate, day 6 (100% success when it really counts, and you know what I mean, and if you can't figure it out, you probably don't want to know) - after visiting a church nursery with small toilets: "That is my favorite pottty that I ever met."
kellen: drooling, screeching, fussing, almost-crawling, teething?
We have so much snow! The roads are dreadful, as the rain and sleet followed the inches of snow. Fortunately, Evan came home from work early and has been clicking away on his laptop at the dining room table. Jeremiah and Ryan are climbing the 'monkey house,' and Jamie is hanging out with Kira... a very typical afternoon here.
I placed an ad in the local newspaper seeking a very part-time childcare helper to come in the mornings, and occasional afternoons or outings, and amuse Ryan while I get some work done on the house or with the boys. I actually didn't expect to get any/many calls, but have had 4! I overlooked an important aspect of this process... I will have to say no to the people we don't choose. What was I thinking? That's very hard! They have all been very nice and qualified women - each in a very different way. I don't know what I'm going to do.
Jamie is itching for a drawing tablet to use with his graphic art software. I have no idea where to start, choosing something that will work for him without breaking the bank. His art teacher is going to try doing some research and making some recommendations.
When the snow stops and the schools open, I am going to call the band director and get Jeremiah set up with a loaned snare drum and make use of the school's band curricula for percussion players. If he likes it, he can join the band at the school next year.
Speaking of band. A friend of the boys was over after school last week and brought his trumpet. He played a bit for Ryan, who cannot get over it. Every day, "I want a trumpet now, ok?" "Where is my trumpet." "I'm going to play a trumpet! Let's go get it!"
Kellen is in one of those developmental stages when he can't even stop practicing his skillz in his sleep. Middle of the night, he wakes to nurse, but no, first he has to get up on his hands and knees and rock back and forth. Can I crawl yet? no? dang! OK, how bout that milk, then?
yea yea, it's not friday. I haven't been doing this on Fridays, and I don't think I'm even going to do it weekly anymore. This blog just isn't what it used to be - primarily for homeschooling record-keeping. Occasionally, though, a little post about studies.
The boys are both reading about US government, the three branches, Constitution, elections etc. Jamie plans to compare the checks and balances in our government to something in the Matrix, which I haven't watched (except maybe once a long time ago?), so that should be interesting. I found a set of books that are very straightforward, probably written for 3-5th grade in mind, but for Jamie they are zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. They're working well for Jeremiah but we're open to suggestions if any of you readers have suggestions.
We're all doing Rosetta Stone spanish. At some point, I really want to find an opportunity to study with an actual human so we can practice conversation. I'd like to use it in daily life enough that the babies pick up some. I knew it so well in college, many years of study, and now of course... well, 15 years of not practicing a language pretty much kills it.
Jeremiah wants to drum. I need to call the school band director because they have a drum to lend and the percussion "curriculum?" they use with the kids. I forget if they start in 5th or 6th grade in the school, but if Jeremiah chooses, in the future he could participate in school band. Right now he just wants to drum. He's also planning to run on the track team in the spring. He's a speedy kid.
Jamie is continuing his art lessons and adding a little art history. His spelling and grammar are developed enough now that he fakes out Katie on instant messenger, pretending to be me, saying absurd things. He gets a little too absurd and she busts him. He's reading the Narnia books and has found on online forum for discussing all-things-Narnia.
Yesterday the boys played soccer out in 6" of powdery snow. It was great to see them out there with the soccer ball again - it's been so cold.
Ryan: still very much into Oz, has the scarecrow's song (AND dance) practically memorized. Is fond of telling us: I have a birsday coming up.
A day early.
We've had painters here all week. We have a wonderful newly-green room for the babies, blue, moldless bathroom, and a great shade of orange in the big boys' room and one wall of the dining room. As soon as I put the house back together and hang some pictures, I'll take pictures.
Having people in the house for three days is stressful for all of us. Having all our stuff piled up and covered with plastic was really stressful. We tried to get out, but this is not the time for hanging out in public places and catching lots of Christmas viruses. So mostly we were in the way, or they were in our way... something.
Yesterday, one outing we did take was to playgroup at the BC gym. You know those big padded panels on the sides of gym walls, meant to withstand the full-force impact of grown men? Well, in our wonderfully kept gym, one of these fell on my baby :-( I was blathering on about something to someone, and I looked over to see one of this big wooden panels on top of Ryan, and Ryan howling. He was, between sobs, able to tell me that his head hurt but nothing else. He even did one of his little sideways hops to show me that his legs worked. So, we went upstairs to let someone know, and found a very nice man named Kelley, who took my name.
Mimps is in the hospital. He'll be having surgery on his spine so that he can regain feeling in his legs. I know he is unhappy. I hope that anyone reading this will be thinking of him and picturing him calm and feeling safe. I hope that this surgery restores him to comfort.