Saturday, August 29, 2015

Friday night

I've been a little stressed out (that might be an understatement) about the talk I'm supposed to give on Sunday but it's finally coming together so I feel like I can take a break and write about something else for a while.

After the girls got home from school we headed to the pool because it's Friday so there was no homework to worry about. Yippee! It's starting to cool down already—some trees are even deciding it's full-on autumn and are dropping their leaves—so that means the pool is, too. By no means is the pool cold; it's simply not as warm as it has been. By the end of summer my kids have been conditioned to believe that outdoor pools should feel like taking a nice, warm bath, so by the end of August, when the pool's likely warmer than it is in the beginning of May, the kids aren't so sure about getting in, even though they're totally game when it comes to swimming in cold water in May.

Anyway, it took a little while for them to get in, but once they were in they had fun. We haven't gone for a while because Miriam had swimmer's ear and Benjamin had croup, but I think we're all just about healthy again (thank goodness).

I was sitting on the side nursing Zoë before getting in when Miriam started screaming that a fly had landed on Benjamin. Sometimes we're pestered by horseflies at the pool—and horsefly bites are no laughing matter!

"What kind of fly?" I asked.

"A dragonfly!" she screamed. "Get it off him! Get it off him! Benjamin! Swim to the side! Dunk your head under the water! Get it off!"

"A dragonfly?" I repeated. "Are you sure it's not a horsefly?"

"No! It's a dragonfly! It's long and skinny and it's right on his head! Oh, what are we going to do?!"

By this time, Benjamin had frantically paddled over to the side of the pool and was freaking out.

"Turn around so I can see," I said. "I can't get it off if I can't see it."

He turned around and there, indeed, was a dragonfly just hanging out on his head.

"Oh, it is just a dragonfly," I said. "It's nothing to worry about. Dragonflies don't hurt people."

Though in her defense dragonfly sounds a lot scarier than horsefly...

We left it there because having a dragonfly resting on your head is kind of cool. It stayed on his head for several more minutes—right up until he attempted a back float.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Almost mobile, but not quite

Zoë's not quite mobile yet but she's starting to get keen on the idea. She can roll from side to side, just not over, and she pivots on her little play mat, running around in little circles while still laying down, kind of like Homer Simpson here:

funny gifs

Basically, if I put her down and walk away for a minute I never find her quite where I put her. 

Last night I caught her purposely playing for the first time! She rolled to her side and squirmed around until she caught one of her toys. Then she batted it around and pulled it up to her mouth to suck on it. She was having a lovely time!

Before dinner she was sitting in her bouncy chair and Benjamin was rocking her gently, which was fine, but then he said, "I'm going to rock her harder!" and started really making that chair move.

"No, Benjamin! Don't!" I said. "You could hurt her! And we don't want to scare her!"

But when I looked over she was smiling at him. I still made him stop because her head is still way too big for her little neck to support fully...but she was having fun.

She's growing up right before our eyes! Part of me is sad because I want my snuggle buddy back (she actually enjoys floor time now so doesn't want to be held all the time) but another part of me thinks it will be really nice when she can entertain herself for a while because then, perhaps, I'll get a few more things done around here...

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Today's Adventure: Three Three and Under

I've flaked out on visiting teaching the past couple of months, but my companion's been keeping up with things, which has been nice. I guess turn around is fair play since the same thing happened in reverse when she had her baby...but, honestly, I should be starting to pull my act together by now, right?

Anyway, my companion emailed me to let me know that she met with two of the sisters (she had a craft day with one and then her husband home teaches the family of the other sister we visit so she just went with her husband and chatted with her then) but that she hadn't seen our third sister yet, so I said I'd contact her and set up an appointment.

Unfortunately, Marian (that's our third sister) was super busy this week and said she didn't know when we could get together for a visit (though we are having book club at her house this evening (part of her busyness, I suppose)) but that she needed a babysitter for Jay on Thursday morning and...would I mind? And of course I didn't because Benjamin adores Jay.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Would you like to swing on a...swing?

I took the little ones to the park yesterday morning. Benjamin's been up with croup—coughing and crying—every night since Saturday and yet he somehow manages to bound of bed in the morning and play all day with seemingly endless energy resources. It seems a little unfair!

Rachel had a lot of energy as a toddler/preschooler so I secretly enjoyed it when she came down with an illness because it would knock her out. She'd sleep. She'd rest quietly on the couch. She'd be quiet. She would ask for little and demand nothing.

Miriam was the opposite. She was a quiet, calm child, but when she was sick she was a lot of work. She was clingy and whiny and melodramatic about everything. I'd have to work hard to keep her happy when she was sick, so I was always grateful when she got better and we could get back to our regular routine. Of course, I was also always grateful when Rachel recovered from sicknesses...but her recovery meant more work for me, not less.

But Benjamin! Oh, man! He's a lot of work when he's healthy and when he's sick! In fact, he can be a little overwhelming—loud and energetic—when he's feeling healthy, but when he starts to feel sick he will kick things up a notch—be extra loud and energetic.

I don't know where he finds the reserves to do this.

Anyway, Andrew and I have been pulled from bed several times every night since Saturday to deal with either Zoë or Benjamin—changing diapers, filling humidifiers, nursing (that's just me), turning on lullabies and patting backs, and so on. But then the day is just a regular day.

"Don't you want to rest? You were up all night coughing and crying," I'll say to Benjamin.

"I seel sine!" he'll assure me with a croaky voice.

So I took them to the park yesterday morning shortly after the girls were off to school. It's nice and cool in the mornings lately, I feel like, so we walked there and played until nearly lunchtime.

I put Zoë in the swing and gave her some very gentle pushes (since she's really too small to be sitting in a bucket swing with that bobbly head of hers) and she seemed to really enjoy it. So I took a million pictures of her...

Ukulele Christmas music

When I was still a senior in high school but simultaneously a freshman in college I roped Andrew into take a music notation class with me where we learned to use the program Finale. I think I was only taking it because my mom was taking it and the class was going to be dropped unless x-number of people signed up—so she recruited the number of people required.

I'm not sure how much I learned, honestly. My musical theory background was/is fairly non-existant so I felt like I was duplicating some pretty crazy stuff. And it was my first time using a Mac, really, so the entire computer lab felt foreign to me as well as the program and the music and everything. I managed to squeak out a good grade, but I really struggled.

And then I never used Finale again because it's like $600.

Andrew, meanwhile, breezed through the class. He'd waltz in late, grab the assignment, bang on the keyboard for a few minutes, print off his finished copy, and make a quick exit. Easy A for him. And you'd think he could have at least spoken to me. Once. But he didn't. We sat in the same room twice a week for an hour for an entire semester and he didn't ever speak to me. Sheesh.

And then he never used Finale again because it's like $600.

I've since forgiven Andrew for not paying the least bit of attention to me that semester.

Oh, and I married him.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Good things come in threes

Zoë's three months old! Crazy how time flies!


Our little ukulele choir is already looking at Christmas music. Yes, in August. And, yes, because we need that much time to prepare and not only for the eight and under crowd either because we're trying to stretch ourselves—to move beyond C, G7, and F, to add more difficult strumming patterns (and maybe even some finger picking).

We've been playing for so long that Benjamin's no longer a baby and is starting to think he needs a ukulele of his own to play with. He and Miriam are pretending these ukuleles are violins, currently, but you get the idea (and it drives Rachel crazy when he borrows hers):

Friday, August 21, 2015

So, this happened...

I met with the principal, AIG coordinator, and Miriam's kindergarten teacher today and we unanimously decided that moving Miriam into grade one would be a good idea. More on that later, but until then, here is the face of the world's newest kindergarten graduate:

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Tummy Time

Zoë's really warming up to tummy time. Sure, sometimes she'll still bury her face on the floor and scream about it ("Please don't make me do this!"), but other times she's all smiles. This morning we tried some tummy time and she was not in the mood so she was screaming and rubbing her face on the floor.

"Why doesn't she just turn her head to the side and rest if she doesn't want to lift her head up?" Rachel asked.

I don't know because that would make more sense, wouldn't it? But since when do small children make sense? I'm betting this is one of many reasons the back-to-sleep campaign was started—babies don't just think of turning their heads to the side to breathe.

Anyway, Zoë thought tummy time was a pretty okay activity for this afternoon and spent a few minutes "playing" with us from her tummy:

Artwork Palooza

For an assignment, Rachel had to write a cover letter for a job application. It's basically fantastic: