Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A day of animals

Yesterday Benjamin captured a beautiful Pandora Sphinx moth. He kept it in a container for observation, and wanted to keep it forever, but I was able to convince him that it was better left in the wild.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Nightmares and Hopscotch

I just got Zoë tucked in again after her midnight pee. So far she hasn't screamed—all it takes is faith, trust, a back rub, a lullaby, fresh ice water, 100 reassurances that I'll "be back" (if only in the morning, or, more realistically, when she climbs into my bed in a couple of hours) the soundtrack from Moana, being tucked in a snuggly quilt. Oh, and something I forgot. Dust. Yup, just a little bit of pixie dust.

Truthfully, she usually screams. So there really must be a pixie in there.

Never mind. Thar she blows. Andrew's going in to comfort her. We'll see how that goes.

So, she's two and I think her grand record for "Most Time Spent In Own Bed" is three whole hours. But at this point I'm pretty much used to it.

What gets hard is when Benjamin wakes up in the middle of the night, which he usually doesn't at this point, but I've been making an effort to be a more emotionally-available, less-reactive parent after reading a book my mom sent me, called Childhood Disrupted.

Benjamin is a hard child to parent. When my mom was reading this book she thought of him (and me) because of his time in the NICU, because apparently even stress from those early, early days can effect someone for the rest of their life. It makes sense, I guess. That time was hard for me. I felt like I was being forced to abandon my baby—even though I knew that's where he needed to be to keep him alive. Being away from him was...hard.

I have to remember that it was hard(er) for him, too (and accept that it will always be part of who he is).

Long Weekend Fun

Andrew spent the day on campus—writing, of course. The kids spent the morning playing outside, which was fine for the most part, but it became clear that we'd have to do something to continue enjoying each other's company. The kids spent all day Saturday and Sunday pushing each other's buttons. It was a miracle they were playing nicely together at all, but I knew it wouldn't last. 

But what to do? Honestly. What. To. Do?

I had visions of taking the kids to the zoo or the museum or hiking or camping this weekend but, uh, that was all before The Toe. Maybe I'm a wimp but all of a sudden this didn't feel like prime time to be walking around at the zoo all day (plus Andrew decided to go to campus...perhaps because I'm a wimp). 

"You could take them to the pool still," Andrew said. "Just don't get in with them."

Truthfully, that idea stresses me out to no end. I'm a trained lifeguard (or, was...whatever) so you'd think I'd be cool with the idea but, actually, no. Being around water stresses me out 10x more than it does the average person. Putting my kids in the water...without me right there to save them should they need it?! Insanity.

But the children were very nearly ready to eat one another alive, so I decided to brave the pool. 

Monday, May 29, 2017


I got a substitute for nursery on Sunday because chasing around a bunch of two-year-olds sounded like a bit too much work with my poor wee toe in such a sorry state. It was nice to have a week off, and Memorial Day weekend was a good weekend to do it because so many people were out of town that the chapel was eerily quiet. We had eight kids, total—with both nurseries combined.

Zoë has never really gone to nursery on her own. I've left her for a few minutes at a time to run errands (eg. getting supplies from the nursery cabinet, which isn't in our nursery room) but she's always cried the whole time I was gone. And the one week (in six months of nursery attendance, but really nearly a year of being in nursery) that I stayed home sick and Andrew took her to church she ended up hanging out with him because she couldn't stop blubbering.

This Sunday, however, I sneaked away while she was investigating the toys and she didn't even notice. I took her potty in the middle of nursery and she cried for a minute when I dropped her back off, but recovered in record time.

"Stay, Momma! Stay!" she begged.

"I can't stay right now," I said. "But I'll be back. I'm going to come do singing time with you at the very end. It's snack time right now—you don't want to miss out. Look, there's your spot!"

She wasn't very happy about the idea of us parting, and she wailed as she ran across the room away from me, but by the time I'd walked around to peek in the other set of doors she was happily seated.

When I came back in to do singing time she said, "Momma—gack!"

"Yes, I'm back," I said, gathering her into my arms. "Of course I'm back. Mommas always come back!"

Perhaps now that she's two she's getting over this separation anxiety thing...

Saturday, May 27, 2017


My walking mileage has significantly decreased this week (while my biking mileage has significantly increased). I'm not going to blame that on Tuesday's little toe incident, but....oh, wait. Yes, I am.

Still, the kids like going for walks and so we've gone on a few painfully slow walks (literally painfully slow). I think it was Wednesday afternoon when Benjamin begged to go on a walk between cloud bursts (we've had a rather rainy week). I told him that we could, but only a "one speed bump walk" (because that's how we measure walking distances (except we ignore the speed bump closest to our house)).

As I was hobbling along pushing the stroller, Benjamin skipped and bounced beside me.

"Looks like there's another storm coming," I said.

"Well, when this storm ex-storm-inates can we play outside some more?" Benjamin asked, quite seriously.

I looked at him sideways, not sure if he was making a joke or not. He was definitely serious.

"What does ex-storm-inate mean?" I asked.

"It means that the storm gets calmer and calmer and calmer until it uses up all its storminess and then it's gone!" he explained.

Cleaning out the attic

As I mentioned, we cleared out the attic on Monday night after FHE. What I didn't mention was that I made the girls come up with me to help out, and help out they did!

We had a few mishaps along the way. For instance, Rachel, who was quite timid up there and found the whole experience slightly traumatizing, was passing a box down to Andrew but was too afraid to close enough to the hole in the ceiling to actually reach him. So she just...dropped it.

He tried to catch it/shield himself but it ended up hitting him, sending him sprawling, and then crashed on the floor (busting a corner of the box in the process).

It wasn't a great experience, but the good news is that things only went up from there. And we learned a lot about communication (because remember how I would say, "Do you have it?" and Dad would say, "Ok, go it," before I let go of any boxes? That's called communication).

Miriam surprised me by being very brave. She was so comfortable getting right over the hole to lower boxes down that she was making me nervous. I was afraid she was going to end up tumbling through the hole (with her box) on top of Andrew. I had to tell her to not lean her whole entire little self over the hole.

She was—rather excitedly—climbing back in the shelving unit and pushing boxes to the front and then hopping down to help heft it off the shelf. Rachel was climbing back in the shelving unit to help maneuver boxes around but she took a little more coaxing/prodding/threatening.

"No, you will go back there with your sister. It won't break. I was just in there and I'm much heavier than you. All the heavy boxes we already took out were in there as well. You are just one little girl; you won't be the straw that breaks the camel's back (or the shelf or what have you). You'll be fine, I promise. Seriously, get in there and help your sister now."

It's great to have such big, capable helpers now.

Even if one was too brave and the other too timid.

Or, what if it's not them? Maybe it's me.

I will never be satisfied.

For example, now that "empty the attic" is crossed off our intimidatingly long to-do list, I'm a little dissatisfied by the maze of boxes that have taken over our house. But, oh, well. It needed to get done and it's giving me plenty of time to go through the contents to make sure we really want to keep what's inside.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Budding photographer

I went to get the pictures of Zoë's birthday off the camera and, much to my surprise, instead of only tens of pictures on the camera there were hundreds

A certain little boy found the camera this morning and decided to record life at his level.

Toe problems

Below are pictures of the toenail that I'm sure cost me an arm and a leg to remove, but I just could not pull it off myself so I texted Andrew and begged him to come rescue me (he'd taken the van to Duke today since it was raining). While we were waiting, Benjamin and Zoë stroked my arms and kissed my cheeks and brought me a nice glass of ice water.

"Happy, Momma! Happy!" Zoë pleaded. 

"I'm trying," I assured her.

Andrew's hopeless when it comes to this kind of thing, but he drove me to the doctor, so that was nice. 

Lidocaine is also nice. 

Once my toe was numbed up, the doctor grabbed a big pair of scissor-tweezer things and wiggled and yanked until my toenail popped off. Honestly, it didn't make anything feel better (except for the lidocaine part) but at least it's gone now.

Next time I'll be sure to rip the whole thing off in one blow. And there will probably be a next time because this toe has no hope. It's the toe I broke in high school (and by "I broke" what I mean is "Jake broke") during ballroom, causing "profuse" bleeding and, a few days/weeks later, the nail to fall off. It also took a beating during the "Halloween Half" marathon a few years ago—seven miles of downhill running was harsh and, yup, a few days after the race I started shedding toenails, this one included. At this rate I'm almost positive there will be a next time for this particular toe.

The doctor suspects I may have broken my toe as well (fun times) but we decided to forgo an x-ray because the treatment would be nothing, so knowing for sure whether or not it's broken is...pointless. 

And now for pictures (feel free to skip this part; I kind of don't like my feet anyway but they're extra unpleasant in these pictures):

Happy Birthday to Zoë!

My plans for the afternoon involved fixing the blinds in Miriam and Benjamin's room, wrapping presents, squeezing in a quick nap, and then spending some joyful after school hours letting the kids help me finish decorating Zoë's birthday cake—a beautiful ocean scened, Moana-themed cake. 

Instead what I ended up doing was tipping the stool over as I was trying to fix the blinds and ramming my toe somewhere on the way down, ripping my toenail almost off (but not quite) and then spending the next four hours at the InstaCare waiting doctor rip it the rest of the way off because neither Andrew or I could stomach doing it at home.

I didn't fix the blinds, wrap presents, take a nap, or finish decorating the cake.

When I finally got home (around 5:00), the kids and I set to work moulding ocean critters out of fondant while Andrew (my hero, who drove home from campus to take care of me...missing a meeting with his advisor even) made enchiladas for dinner. 

The kids all had a lot of fun playing with (and eating) the fondant. Needless to say, the cake didn't end up quite as pristine as I was hoping but, under the circumstances, I'd say it turned out wonderfully. And we had a good time together, which is really the most important thing. We based our cake off this one; here's our finished product:

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Potty talk

We've had a few accident-free days this week, so I guess you could say that potty-training is going well (which still boggles my mind after spending years potty training that Benja-boy). Just tonight Zoë wouldn't go to sleep, evidently because she had to go potty. She kept crying "la-lo" so Andrew went in and refilled her bedtime cup (which she'd already finished) but she still kept crying "la-lo" so I figured that instead of water she wanted to use her yellow potty. And she did. And then she went straight to sleep.

We really need to get that child to say something—anything—for "potty" (other than "la-lo").

At nursery I have a pretty steady stream of children coming up to me to announce they have to go potty. Today was no different. We had twelve kids in there today (and not even everyone was there) so it was pretty exhausting. I felt like I spent half my time texting parents "so-and-so needs to go potty," which is way better than the olden days when you'd have to walk the child around the church to find their parents so their parents could take them potty (except, I guess, if you have one of those little kid-sized bathrooms in the nursery; I worked in a nursery once that had one and it was rather awesome).

Zoë's never very far away from me at nursery. She keeps me on a tight leash. I don't know what we're going to do when it comes time to send her to nursery without me.

Anyway, since Zoë has no words for pottying yet, she'd just piggyback on with whoever was asking whenever she had to go.

"I need to go potty," someone would whine to me.

"Dup! Dup! Me!" Zoë would emphatically add ("dup" is how she says "yup").

So I'd text the well-spoken child's parent to come get them, and then I'd text Andrew to ask him to take Zoë (sometimes I'll just take her myself...but not when there are twelve kids in there).

Once we get this girl some appropriate vocabulary we'll be golden!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Chickery chicks and ducklings, too

We picked the girls up from school this afternoon, planning on killing some time with them between school and ukulele practice. We knew that Mr. A. had some little hatchlings in his room but hadn't been down to see them yet, so we figured we stop by to take a gander. I warned Benjamin that it wasn't a sure thing, however, because sometimes on Fridays kids take the hatchlings home to babysit over the weekend (something our children have been dying to do for the past four years...but something I've always said no to).

We were in luck, however, and they were still in the classroom. Mr. A. let the kids spend a good 45 minutes playing with the ducklings and chicks (and looking at the snails and beetles the class is studying and playing with puppets and reading stories—"once your classroom, always your classroom," is Mr. A's motto). It was a fun afternoon!

Here are the girls taking a peek at the chicks:

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Pickles and Guckles

One night at dinner last week Zoë wanted something. We knew this because she kept pointing and grunting, "Ah more! Ah more!" We kept offering her the wrong things and each time she had to tell us "No!" her frustration grew. She pointed harder she grunted louder. Her dense parents simply couldn't figure it out.

Finally she, quite exasperatedly, shouted, "PICKLE!"

Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say.

I don't know why she didn't come out and say it sooner. Perhaps because she's never said that word before so she wasn't sure she could (though she definitely knows a lot more words than she lets on).

Pickle makes sense to me, though, because she knows the word "buckle," though she pronounces it, "guckle," and pickle isn't too different from that.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The pool is open!

Even though Saturday's high was, like, 67°F, the kids insisted on going to the pool because it was finally, finally open. So we all got ready to swim and trekked over to the pool, only the find that our pool key wasn't working. 

The kids were all upset by this. I, honestly, wasn't because swimming when it's that cold outside isn't that tempting for me.

On Monday the kids wanted to try going again. We had done a little investigating during the day and had found that our pool privileges had been revoked because, well, our house sold, so the key was "turned off" until they management company could verify that the pool key was in the right hands. So we just had to prove that our new landlord knew that we had the pool key and—presto!—our pool privileges were restored.

And there was much rejoicing, believe me.

The kids were so excited to go, and I was, too, because, aside from this weekend's cold front, it really is getting warm and humid enough that being outside is rather unpleasant unless you're in the pool. 

We did do quite a bit of swimming in the big pool, but I did't take any pictures of that. So here are the kids chilling in the baby pool (with a friend). And by "chilling" what I mean is "warming up." The baby pool is usually much warmer than the big pool. 

Me: Go sit by the kids. Zoë: No. (That is always her answer, to everything.)

Monday, May 15, 2017

I've got a head like a wiffle ball

Yesterday evening we went for a walk after dinner when I was struck in the head by a rogue wiffle ball. It came out of nowhere, pegged the top of my head, and sailed off again—clearing half a yard and a driveway before landing on the grass on the other side.

Two kids came running out to the street, one was holding a bat. They apologized and made sure I was alright, which I was...because it was a wiffle ball.

Still, I was a little dazed. It hit hard enough to make an audible 'bonking' noise and caused me to bite my tongue (out of surprise or because of the impact? I'm not sure). My head was a sore for a a little while, but I'm fine now. Had it been a baseball it would have been a different story, I'm sure. Mostly it was just...surprising.

When I put the kids to bed last night Rachel said, "Good night, wiffle ball head."

This made me think of the "theme song" for Camp Cariboo, a television show we'd occasionally watch after school when I was younger—I've Got a Head Like a Ping Pong Ball. I suppose it's really just an annoying camp song...but it was also their theme song. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

I'm so glad when Daddy comes home...

Andrew's home!

He was out at BYU again, this time for an LDS scholars political science conference, which he said was awesome. And I believe him, even though it meant that I was, once again, left at home with a handful of children. Really that's fine because I'm a stay-at-home mom, so staying home with children is something that I expect to do (and enjoy doing). But it's nice to have someone to spell you off at the end of the day, someone to spar with child #3 at bedtime while you're busy sparring with child #4, someone to say, "You look tired; I'll make dinner tonight," someone to carry on an adult conversation with.

For those keeping track (just me?), he was at BYU May 10–13 (he arrived home around 1 AM on the 14th, technically). He was at BYU April 12–15. He went to the ISA conference (in Baltimore) February 20–25. And he was at BYU February 1–4.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

More adventures in potty training

This afternoon the big girls were invited to a friend's house after school. He's on their bus route, so they just had to get off at an earlier stop, which meant that the kids and I had a "free" afternoon—an afternoon where we didn't have to be home to meet the girls after school. Benjamin has been begging to go to the museum for quite some time now, so that's what we decided to do.

He was excited to go without his older sisters because when they go with him he never gets to decide where to play. Not that he doesn't enjoy going with them, because he does. It's just that sometimes he also likes to go without them.

It was supposed to be super crowded today with twenty-three school buses, but we went late enough in the afternoon that most of the field trips had left already, leaving the museum relatively uncrowded for once.

Benjamin led the way and Zoë and I followed. Soon we ran into some friends and they all played together nicely in the outdoor playground before moving into the treehouse area. We weren't quite ready to leave when our friends called it a day, so we stuck around to play some more. Benjamin and Zoë were climbing all over the treehouse. I was watching them from below.

Benjamin would pop out of one of the little tree houses and appear on one of the suspended walkways, Zoë toddling along a few steps behind. Then they'd disappear into one of the houses and I'd watch the bridges until they appeared again. And so it went.

There's Benjamin, there's Zoë.

Where'd they go?

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Shady Acres

A couple of weeks ago, Miriam told me about a spot in the schoolyard where she and her friends like to play. Drawing heavily from Anne of Green Gables, they have called it "Shady Acres" and there's a rock, a stump, a hill (originally an anthill, they changed it to be the big hill), and a couple of bushes nearby. They named everything in Shady Acres as follows, respectively:

  • The Rock Obama
  • Donald Stump
  • Hillary Clinton
  • George HW Bush
  • George W Bush

When I was out with the kids at recess last Thursday they gave me a tour of Shady Acres. Noting the fence bordering their magical world, I said, "What about Abraham Chain-Lincoln?"

They loved it. And now I'm totally cool in the eyes of a bunch of grade twoers (or second graders, whatever you'd prefer to say*). Woohoo!

Yesterday when we were walking past the playground to go to Rachel's chorus performance (because we always park in the front parking lot and end up walking the whole way around the school (parking in the bus lot just feels wrong)), Miriam told us that she and her friends have since added two more presidential places:

  • James Garfield (the little field below Hillary Clinton)
  • John F. Can-nedy (the garbage can; why not James Buchanan?) 

How she and her friends got to be so hilarious, I'll never know. But I love it.

* In Canada we tend to add -er onto the grade number. When I first moved to the states and would talk about "grade teners," my friends thought I was talking about "great tenors" for the longest time. Because we also don't use the terms freshmen, sophomore, junior, or senior to refer to high school students in Canada (at least, not at my high school) so to me people were grade niners, teners, eleveners, and twelvers. Totally not related to this post at all, except that's still often use the -er suffix instead of using ordinal number followed by the word grade (eg. first grade, second grade, etc. vs. first grader, second grader, etc.) and because "great tenors" kind of has something to with choir and I mentioned Rachel's chorus performance (she gets upset whenever I call it choir rather than chorus; I'm not sure what the difference is, really). But there you go: it's tangentially related.

Benjamin's future children

In case you're wondering, Benjamin is going to have 100 daughters—including eight sets of twins—and, at the very end, one son. He has already named the first several daughters, drawing from a number of books, movies, musicals, and inspirational people in his life:

  • Heather
  • Buttercup
  • Jo
  • Rose
  • Crystal
  • Elizabeth
  • Annie
  • Rachel
  • Miriam
  • Zoë
  • Mommy
  • Nancy

His son will be named Andrew.

I don't know why he didn't think to have two sons and name the other one Benjamin. I mean, I think Benjamin's a pretty great name, personally. And I know when I was four I thought my name was so beautiful that I named stuffed animals after myself.

He also told me that when he gets married, Miss Annie will come to his wedding (which will be in Utah (Miss Annie missed preschool last week because, incidentally, she was away for her nephew's wedding)) and give him a big and beautiful bouquet, which he will then give to his wife. Unless his wife doesn't want it, in which case he will give it "to one of [his] ancestors."

I don't think he knows what an ancestor is...but he's going to give once of them his wife's rejected bouquets.

I just asked him what an ancestor was and he said, "A sister who's an aunt. So Josie is an aunt-sister because she's my aunt and your sister." Basically he has no idea what an ancestor is but Josie can expect rejected bouquets in the future, I guess.

He also was just "reading" over my shoulder and noticed the lack of Benjamin on the list.

"Mommy, where's my name on that list?" he said.

"It's not," I said. "This is a list of your daughters."

"Well, go ahead and add my name. I'll have two sons: Andrew and Benjamin."

I knew he'd come around to his own awesomeness. And, in all honesty, his list of names isn't bad. I mean, there's no "Wonder Woman" or "Cupcake Breath" or anything weird like that on the list. And a whole lot of the names sound like names I would choose for my own children...oh, wait...

Rachel's spring concert

This evening we went to Rachel's spring chorus concert for FHE (because what option did we have, Earl? None.). We were happy to go, of course, and she was excited to sing with her friends. 

They sang a lot of fun songs and even had a few numbers with some choreography.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Summer Book Exchange

Our kids' school is doing a "summer book exchange" for the kids. Last week they could bring in books from home to donate to the school collection—for every two books donated they earned one ticket to use at the exchange (with the possibility of earning five tickets total, though no limit to the number of books they could donate).

We went through our books and selected twenty books (plus a few more) that we felt we could part with. It was actually pretty easy for the kids to get rid of a book or two (or ten) when there was the possibility of choosing new books on the horizon.

Today was Rachel's day at the media center, which meant she got to use her five tickets to choose five books. She was very sweet and carefully selected a book with Zoë in mind (a "Llama, Llama" book), one for Benjamin (a "Black Lagoon" book), and one for Miriam (a "Princess Pony" book). She used her two remaining tickets on herself.

I thought it was so sweet that she kept her siblings in mind while she was "shopping."

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Moving nerves (yes, already)

Today in sacrament a visitor got up to share his testimony—and to talk about the experience his family had in the six short, but memorable, years they spent in "the Durham ward" (there was only one ward back then). Hearing him speak made me tear up a bit.

He mentioned how the old-timers in the ward said it was difficult to invest time in relationships with the rambling students who blow in and out so quickly. It is also difficult for the rambling students to invest in relationships where they go. Your heart gets broken over and over again when it comes time to leave. But these relationships are so very worth it.

He lived next-door to an older couple who filled the role of parents for him and his wife, and grandparents for their children, and when they were getting ready to move, he remarked that he would never be able to pay back the kindness their neighbours had shown them. Their neighbour said that wasn't important—but paying it forward was. So he's tried to be that "spark" wherever life has taken him, reaching out to people, and so forth.

It was a touching testimony.

This evening Rachel was having a bit of a meltdown about our impending move. Our move is a temporary move. We have a one-year plan and then...who knows?!

"How" she asked, "do you make friends if you are just going to move in a year anyway?"

An excellent question with a difficult answer: it's hard...but put yourself out there and forge new relationships.

Fortunately, I relate to her very well.

Le-le, La-la, La-lo

Zoë's vocabulary is surprisingly large and diverse. She is always breaking out words we had no idea she knew and her vocabulary covers an astounding number of topics. However, she also doesn't talk much. She's kind of a screamer by nature, so she's perfectly content communicating solely with grunts, squawks and screeches as well.

She doesn't use any words to communicate about her potty needs yet. I mean, she has words, but she doesn't necessarily use them. Mostly she'll say, "Uh-oh!" or "Yucky!" but for the life of me I can't get her to agree to say, "Potty!" or even just "Pee-pee!"

Today before church I took her potty and then asked her what she was going to say if she needed to go potty.

"La-lo!" she said.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Another newt

This morning we came across a red-spotted newt eft (juvenile) as we were coming home from our morning walk. It was slowly meandering across the driveway between cloudbursts. I knew what it was straight away because this is our second red-spotted newt eft sighting. 

They're bright orange (the adults are really green—the red-spotted part is because they keep their red spots, not because of their overall colouring) so you'd think we'd spot them more often but apparently we only spot them on rainy spring days every few years or so.

Here's Zoë saying, "Hi! Hi! Hi!" to our little newt friend:

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Potty training...again

Remember that one time I potty trained Benjamin and it took like four years? Because we'd started with elimination communication with him when he was tiny—which had worked great with both his older sisters, but not so well with him—and then just kept trying everything. And I kept being like, "Okay, now he's potty trained." And then I'd be like, "This time for realsies." And then I'd be like, "By Jove! I think he's got it!"

But then, inevitably he'd start a pooping-in-his-pants streak or a wet-the-bed-five-times-a-night streak or a what-is-this-toilet-you-speak-of streak.

Even now I'm like, "Is he potty trained? Really?"

I'm totally afraid to call it because I know I'll jinx it.

Getting that child to use the toilet was such a full time job when Zoë was little that we didn't really do elimination communication with Zoë. Benjamin was such a problematic potty-goer that I couldn't waste any effort looking for newborn potty signals. So Zoë's just been in diapers, which is...fine. It's not my preference, but it's fine.

She's on her second full day of underwear today, though, and...she did amazingly well. Like, I'm basically in shock because...what? I guess after the Benjamin fiasco I was expecting a living nightmare for the next however long (months...years?).

Zoë had one accident today. One. The whole day long.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Potty training, take 4

Zoë has been very vocal about her wants regarding potty training. When she wants to wear underwear, by golly, she wants to wear underwear! When she wants to wear a diaper there is no changing her mind. She so unlike "the lamb so mild" that I have mostly been letting her have her way but recently she's been showing signs of potty training readiness, whether she wants to or not.

Yesterday she pulled off her diaper, which she had already pooped in, and then ran to sit on the potty, smearing poop all over it in the process, and then tried wiping her own bum, well...I knew it was time. So I told her that she was done with daytime diapers and could wear underwear again.

She wasn't happy, but she did it—and she didn't have a single accident the rest of the day!

So this morning I went ahead and put her into underwear again. She went through seven pairs in less than two hours. How, even, does one do that?! But I finally got her to use the potty and then she didn't have a single accident the rest of the day! She even ran to the potty for #2, which is kind of a big deal for her. 

Swimming surprise

This afternoon our neighbour rang the doorbell to see if he could borrow our bicycle pump, so I went and got the bicycle pump for him and only closed the storm door, knowing he'd be back to return it shortly. I was rather surprised when, a few minutes later, I heard the storm door open and someone clomped into the house.

I was helping Zoë in the bathroom so we hurried back out and were surprised to see Rachel and Miriam home! It's an early release day. I've got to stop forgetting about those! 

Our potential new school has early release days every Monday. I should be able to remember that—at least better than I remember these once-every-couple-of-months early release days. 

I was wondering what to do with the kids on a lovely afternoon when they all disappeared. I found them "helping" our neighbour (a different neighbour) wash her car. Really, Benjamin was spraying the honeysuckle bush* but was actually spraying his sisters. Really the bush is not supposed to be a honeysuckle bush either, but did you know that another name for honeysuckle is "woodbine"? I didn't either until I looked it up. There's a nursery rhyme in a book I picked up at a library discard sale when Rachel was a baby that seemed rather new to me when I first read it, but now I have it memorized and I often find myself imploring my babies (and children) to, well, sleep, but also to "be always like the lamb so mild / a calm and sweet and gentle child."

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Nature wreath, take 2

On our walk this morning Benjamin asked if we could collect things to make a "pretty thing like we did that one time." So that's what we did. There were a lot more colours around in people's gardens but we didn't want to pick their flowers, so we stuck to wildflowers and fallen petals. We found some colours that we couldn't find in the fall, which I suppose is the way things should be in the spring when everything is coming alive. 

Monday, May 01, 2017

The cute, the sweet, and two-ness

Can I take a moment to brag about how cute my baby was for church today? Good. Because she was adorable. She even wore shoes to church for the first time in a long time (she's always so eager to run out to the car that she goes barefoot and then one of her big sisters will buckle her in and then I'll leave the house and never check her feet (which is probably better for her sweet baby toes, truthfully))! And she let me do her hair.