Wednesday, July 30, 2008

a rainy day

Today was hot and humid and overcast. This evening we went to the park. My boys played for all of two minutes on the huge, fantastic playground, then wanted to go see the waterfall. (This particular park is situated in a narrow valley with steep sides and, in one spot, a waterfall). I am always tickled when my boys choose nature over big playgrounds. :) So we crossed the street and went down the long, windy trail through the woods to the waterfall. It was drizzling rain and the light was dim in the woods, which were much more lush and green than the last time we went--how long has it been? When we got to the waterfall, the boys entertained themselves by climbing around on the slippery rocks and throwing pebbles into the water. Well, they were supposed to be throwing pebbles, but Elijah preferred to throw rather large stones, which made me nervous as his aim is still a little wild. After a bit we headed back down the trail and out of the woods.

And then, we came to the highlight of our trip: the mud puddles in the gravel parking lot. Yes, the mud puddles were the highlight, apparently more interesting than either the huge playground, or the beautiful waterfall. The boys started out by watching the ripples caused by the raindrops hitting the puddles; then they made ripples of their own by tossing in some gravel...and then Noah accidentally stepped into the puddle with a splash, and a look of sheer delight crossed his face. Of course then I had to take off his shoes and let him splash away. Elijah quickly followed suit. I watched and smiled and looked around at the trees and the water and thought about how much I will miss Bloomington when we leave. After a while I packed my very wet boys back into the car and brought them home and put them to bed.

As Elijah was going to sleep, he sat up and whispered loudly, "Mama, I want to watch the Willum Tell Overture tomorrow." I said "Okay dear, now go to sleep." But he wanted to clarify: "I want to watch it lots of times." "Yes dear, we can do that, now go to sleep." He laid back down and whispered, "I like that kind of music, Mama." Yes, the William Tell Overture (our "piece of the week") has been a smashing success in this household, and before lunch every day we watch this clip over, and over, and over:

The William Tell Overture, as played by the Berlin Philharmonic, conducted by Claudio Abbado.

We like the part where the rain begins to fall, and all the umbrellas open up. :)

Okay, I have a sewing project to complete.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

An Apology

I know my blog has been short on pictures lately. It seems that I am always missing either the camera or the USB cord. Well, I will be more diligent about trying to find the two so that I can post some pictures. Thanks for your patience. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Noah's new word is "cookie." This afternoon, he spotted the chocolate cookies on the counter and said carefully, "Cookie?" then made the sign for "please." Of course I had to give him one! As soon as he had one in his hand, he pointed at the cookies again and said, "Bubba cookie?" (Bubba means brother.) Awwwww! So I gave him another cookie and he took it to his brother.

Noah has been very sweet lately about sharing things. If he has anything nice, he wants to make sure that Elijah has some too. So cute! He is being a good example for his big brother, who is not always so generous!

Noah lately has been a bit rough with his brother and with the little girls I watch. He will sometimes hit, or pull hair (I think he's just doing it to get a reaction, as he doesn't seem to be angry or upset when he does it). If they get upset, or if I rebuke him, he smiles sweetly at me and then gives his victim lots of little kisses to make it "all better." It's hard for me to be strict with him when he is so cute! Fortunately he is more gentle with the baby than with the older two--I guess he senses that she is more "fragile" (her big sister's word).

I am very much looking forward to visiting my family in August. We will be in Texas for nearly two weeks--our longest visit yet. And yes, we get to fly down again--thanks Mom!

Well, we are off to take a walk before it gets too late.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A typical day

A typical day:
7:00a.--Noah wakes me by crawling out of his crib into my bed. I take him downstairs and have a bowl of cheerios, sharing a few bites with Noah. I brew a pot of coffee and do my hair (take it out of its braid, comb it, put it into a bun).
7:45--The girls I watch (K., 3 1/2, and A., 10 months) arrive. The older one is still in her p.j.s so I get her dressed for the day. Then I drink my coffee, supervise kiddos, and read the free newspaper that I found on my porch.
8:30--Elijah finally gets up and we eat breakfast--cinnamon raisin bagels, cream cheese, and o.j. After breakfast I find an old video of the BBC orchestra playing Beethoven's 5th, 1st and 2nd movements (our "piece of the week") on Youtube. The kids watch while I clean up the breakfast dishes. Then I give A. her breakfast and put her down for her nap. I do some more kitchen work, then read to/talk to/play with the remaining three for a while.
10:45--I have the kids pick up all the toys, put on shoes, use the bathroom, and we go outside. The big ones ride tricycles up and down the sidewalk, and Noah pushes a push toy. I water the plants on my front porch. Noah tries to escape a few times and giggles when I chase him. After a while we go back in (I couldn't take the heat, though the kids didn't seem to mind it).
12:00--I fix lunch. Peanut butter & strawberry jam sandwiches on whole wheat, and carrot sticks. We eat (carrot sticks first, to make sure they get eaten). By this time A. has woken up and joined us. After lunch I have the kids help clear the floor/move chairs, and I vacuum the main floor. The kids think vacuuming is very fun and exciting. We put on naptime diapers, read a story, and have a glass of milk. K., as she does every day lately, asks me to tell her where milk comes from. I say "from cows" just to tease her, but she says, "No, tell me the story," so I tell her the long version. I put K. down for her nap, feed A. her lunch, put Noah down for his nap, and put A. down for her nap.
1:30-3:30--a relaxing few hours with just Elijah to keep me company. I clean up from lunch, have another cup of coffee, check e-mail, etc.
3:30-4:00--K. gets up. Noah wakes up. A. wakes up. We read/talk/play/the usual.
4:45--the girls' mom picks them up. Once they leave, I cook dinner (chicken dijon, brown rice, green beans). We eat. Noah decides that he really likes green beans (has strongly disliked them until today). I have a cup of green tea. The boys drink the last drops (our tradition). Supervise kids--Noah in the evenings gets mildly fussy and needs a little more attention.
6:45--we get ready for a walk (shoes, hats, etc.) We are headed to a local rails-to-trails conversion. To get there we have to cut through a few parking lots, cross a busy street, cut through a couple more parking lots, go over a pedestrian bridge, and cross another busy street. Finally we are there. The trail is straight and level (as you would expect, seeing as it was once a railroad). It's well lined with trees, which keep it cool even on hot days. The sun is low in the west and slanting through the trees--very pretty. We go about a mile down the trail, and see runners, bikers, dogs, rabbits, and birds. Elijah collects handfuls of pebbles and tosses them into a creek, which Noah finds very funny. Now it's time to head home. We stop at Dairy Queen and wait in line, only to realize that they don't take debit cards. Fortunately, my bank is right down the street. I feel funny walking up to the drive-through ATM with a stroller, but I get over it. We go back to Dairy Queen and get ice cream (note to self: in the future, one small cup/cone/blizzard will be more than enough for all three of us). Then it's back through some parking lots, across the strip of grass, and home again. The sun is slipping behind the trees and it is now 9:00p.
9:20--the boys are changed and ready for bed. I take them upstairs to put them to sleep.
10:00--Noah is FINALLY asleep. I come downstairs, eat leftovers, and type this blog entry.

Well, that's a typical day in brief. I did leave out some things, like the diapers I changed--seven (yes, seven!!!) poopy diapers. And of course I mediated squabbles, supervised potty trips, nursed my little one, answered dozens of random questions, fielded phone calls, etc. etc. :) it's past my bedtime and I still need to shower. If you have actually read all this, I am quite impressed. :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Yes, I switched to cloth!

In response to a comment on another blog...

Yes, I finally did make the switch to cloth diapers. I'm keeping it simple with Chinese prefolds (a few bleached and a few unbleached) and I fasten with Snappis. For now I'm using some Gerber vinyl pull-up covers and they actually work really well except that the vinyl rips too easily, so I think I'll try to find some Dappi nylon pull-ups. I do have one Thirsties wrap cover in blue which is sooooo cute, but it's much more expensive, and doesn't work any better than the pull-ups, so not worth the extra $$$ in my opinion.

All right, that's it--I would be happy to discuss further if any of you cloth-diapering fans have any comments or questions. :)