Friday, March 15, 2013

Luck of the Irish

Last night I stayed up late to finish embellishing a shirt for Rachel to wear to school today. She told me earlier this week that for "Fun Friday" her class was planning a St. Patrick's Day Parade and that everyone was supposed to wear green. The only problem was that she doesn't have any green clothes (besides a green velvet dress that I wasn't about to send her to school in) so we got out the little knifty knitter she got for Christmas and she set to work making a little green tube. She didn't get very far and we kept putting that project off in favour of others until it was literally the midnight hour.

I pulled it out last night and worked on it while I rocked the baby and read some articles and eventually got the baby to sleep and finished a tube long enough to work with. I fashioned a little clover (initially she asked me if I could make a camera for her to wear to school—some odd meld of (clover + shamrock)—and was very upset when I couldn't understand why she needed to wear a camera to school) and then I sewed it onto her shirt (which she was very worried about because sewing is rather permanent in her mind).

She was quite happy with the results this morning, though her face doesn't quite show it (she's not entirely a morning person):

She had a blast at school and now dreams of being an Irish dancer—their feet move so fast, she kept telling (and showing) me.

Benjamin's becoming a more permanent fixture at the head of the table. We've reintroduced him to the booster seat and he's loving it! Yesterday we gave him some nectarines in this neat little feeder Grandma sent to us:

My sister gave us some with a mesh bag instead of the silicone top. The silicone is much easier to use so I think we'll be passing along the mesh ones we have (since they've gone through Olivia & Sabrina, Rachel, and Miriam I don't feel too bad parting with them).

Benjamin loved eating with it!

I've been practicing using the rucksack carry with Benjamin. I learned how here (though the most useful tutorial was a random Danish video I got to from one of the videos on this blog—I have no idea what that lady said but her demonstration was excellent).

I never really carried my girls on my back; they were always carried in the front. Rachel was walking at about the age Benjamin is now, so she didn't want to be carried too often and was always getting into things. Miriam was such a snuggle bug that if she was in the carrier she'd be guaranteed to suck her thumb and sit tight. Benjamin always wants to be held (always) but also wants to get into everything—when he's in the front he'll grab at my face and glasses and hair and everything else we pass by and he wiggles around and so on and so forth. It makes it very difficult to get anything done, besides the fact that bending over is much more difficult with a child strapped to your front.

So onto my back he goes!

He's spent a few hours up there every day this week and has loved it. He doesn't whine at me and he's not in my way. Win, win. (Though he does get to be heavy after a while and I can't nurse him when he's back there, so win, win, lose.)

We put a clothesline up in the yard! I'm really excited about it (as you can tell from my exclamation mark), though I didn't think I ever would be because drying our clothes in Cairo was a real pain in the neck and I was so happy to have a dryer again when we got back to the States. But dryers use so much electricity and we're trying to make efforts to live a little greener so we decided to cut down on our dryer use. We already put a line up in our laundry closet but it's not very long so I can't hang many things on it. This one, though, is long!

And, surprisingly, everything has come off the line smelling fresh and clean!

That might not come as a surprise to you but after drying my clothes in Egypt, this came as a huge shock. In Egypt our laundry always came inside a teensy bit dusty, smelling like the polluted air we put it out in, so nothing we wore was ever clean.

It might take a little longer to put it out on the line than the time it takes to put it in the dryer but it drives us outside, which is a huge benefit because then everyone gets to enjoy some sunshine! Yesterday when I was taking the clothes down, Miriam and her friend Miles joined me outside (and then stayed outside for two hours). Miles was so funny.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

"I'm folding the laundry," I told him.

"Outside?! That's awesome!"

That sweet boy thinks everything is awesome. I kind of want to keep him.

Anyway, as of yet no one has complained about the laundry line. We checked the HOA rules before we put it up but couldn't find anything about laundry lines there and it doesn't seem to be against city ordinances so I think we're okay.

This afternoon we didn't have any friends over to play so we played in the backyard together after I put out the laundry (before heading to the park). Here's Benjamin getting ready to take his first solo ride down the slide:

And this is right before he scooted forward and slid down, which I didn't get a picture of (because I was catching him, of course):

We had so many friends over this week: Claire, Miles; the 3 girls across the street; Timothy, Carolina, Joseph, & Rosie; Lily & Andrea! That's nearly a dozen friends (with half a dozen of them over this morning)! And my kids have still been begging to have friends come over to play!

Fortunately, we had a little reception to go to this evening and there were many little friends there. Hannah Rubow, one of Miriam's Sunbeams teachers, is leaving on her mission next week so her family threw a little gathering at the church tonight (and had the best maple walnut bars (and lemon cupcakes) in the world—as Andrew said, "They taste[d] like Canada."). Miriam adores Hannah and will miss her terribly but is so excited that she knows someone going on a mission!

She made Hannah a card after dinner and took great care in crafting a thoughtful message inside:

She had me help her spell it letter by letter:

Dear Hannah,

Have a good mission. 

Love Miriam

The other side has a bunch of random letters strewn together that Miriam said meant a whole lot of other stuff (I hope you have fun on the plane and that you can carry your suitcase and that you always remember Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam and thank you for being my teacher and you will have fun and...and...and).

We had a fun time at the reception and when we came home the kids all (even Benjamin) were in bed by 9:00! This hasn't happened in a long maybe even hasn't happened ever! Our evening plans consist of a haircut for Andrew, sitting down to watch a show together, reading articles, writing, and cleaning the kitchen.

We haven't had any successful (when defined as "not involving wrangling screaming children") evening plans in a long time, so wish us luck!


  1. I love using my clothesline. Your clothes all look pretty hanging there. :)

    And, I love the picture of Benjamin on your back. Sweet smile.

  2. Nice shamrock for Rachel! You are so talented, and remember to use your talents to make cool things. Lucky kids to have you for a mom.