Saturday, November 27, 2010

11.27.2010 -- Milestone

From Gabe's birthday

Gabe's birthday tomorrow!

He is so darn cute!

He says he wants a vanilla cake ("nilla.")

I had forgotten how determined and persevering he has proven himself to be. This is something I noticed when he was a baby. When he was working on rolling over, or grabbing his feet. Whatever it was, he went after it whole-heartedly.

Now he is after physical independence. (Da da daaaa.)

Eleven Random Things That You May Not Have Known About Me

1- I have a secret belief that I, personally, know and am surrounded by, the most interesting and praiseworthy people on the planet. These are people in my neighborhood, in my family (near and far) and my far-flung friends. The kicker to this belief is that I ALSO believe that the same thing is true about everyone else. I know. Impossible. But true.
2- I am in love with words. I love to read and to write, to listen and to talk. I spend a decent amount of energy suppressing or delaying my urges to read, write, or talk. Listening is less of a challenge to suppress; I use podcasts and audiobooks as an outlet.
3- My kids are the cutest and the best and the most talented. The kicker is, so are yours.
4- I love Christmas but am lazy and have a bad attitude about Christmas decorations, at least when it comes to me and my own house. That said, I do appreciate the storybook loveliness of a well-done Christmas mantle and tree--even if I'm the one that puts it up and takes it down.
5- My favorite holiday is Thanksiving, because of the people and the stuffing.
6- I secretly love and admire you more than is appropriate to indicate. Sometimes it leaks out, and that's why I act strangely at times.
7- I almost never willingly re-read books or re-watch movies.
8- I love music and (dancing and singing), but only really feel comfortable dancing ad singing in front of my kids. We'll see how long that lasts.
9- In many ways, I have the stereotypical mentality of an elderly person. For example, I really have to work to implement standards for myself as far as self-presentation goes, and to motivate myself, I tell myself that it's for my family's sake that I should not wear shapeless sweats to the grocery store.
10- I love to draw. One of my favorite things to draw is profiles of people. Not portraits, but made-up profiles. I like to see how wide a range of looks I can represent with a simple line drawing. I think I started doing this about 15 - 20 years ago.
11- I have an unnatural affection for games. Not "counting, move-your-piece games" but "deeply involving, move-your-brain games."

Monday, November 22, 2010

11.22.2010 -- Snowy Sunday Recap

How sad. One post per month?

Yesterday was pretty wonderful. We got a lot--A LOT--of snow.

Brian and the kids spent part of the morning downstairs watching television. This is something I'm not opposed to, as it is a true break for me, and something they all seem to enjoy. I made puff-up pancakes, then we all went outside while Brian cleaned the walks and driveway with the snowblower. Lucy used the opportunity to get to know the new guy next door, Tyler. I spent every moment with Gabe, who seemed to think it was a perfect time to ride every bike and "bike" in our growing collection.

We made it to church. Late, but not egregiously so, and Lucy gave a talk in Primary. Such a people person. She is quite composed and effective in front of a crowd when she is assigned a talk in sharing time. I find it amusing that I can use her opportunity to talk as leverage when I negotiate with her. As in, "Lucy, that's fine if you don't want to take a bath, but you may not give a talk without taking a bath." Instant panic/action.

Not everything went smoothly yesterday. We had a lot of drama about hair. Lucy wanted her hair done "in ringlets," which I was happy to do, but she didn't come in from the snow in time. ...And Gabe was pretty upset too, although I can't exactly remember what about.

It's the status quo these days to have someone truly upset. With Gabe it's all related to his desire for and frustration with carrying out his autonomy: getting his own snack, dressing himself, being in charge of what he wears, etc. With Lucy, it's more likely to be related to wanting more hands on time or more attention or help with something she's fully capable of herself, like buckling up. Another common sticking point with Lucy is just plain resistance to things she's asked to do that she's always done, like going to bed, brushing her teeth, bathing, etc.

So yes, we had a fair measure of tears and crying yesterday, but it went fine.

We got home and Lucy, Gabe and I made lunch--open-faced hot turkey and cheese sandwiches--before Brian headed back to church to do his time as the assistant financial clerk. Hours in that position get much longer at the end of the year when tithing settlement rolls around.

The next few hours included a peacefully-entered nap for Gabe, lots of one-on-one time for me and Lucy designing outfits with a fashion stencil kit, and playtime.

When Brian got home around 7 pm, dinner was ready and the house was actually tidy. After dinner, the kids took on Brian in a wrestling match that sounded very happy from where I cleaned up the kitchen.

Brian then took over while I zoned out, and I entered the picture again after the kids had pyjamas on and teeth brushed. I took over reading to Lucy and Brian took Gabe to read in our bedroom. They will soon be able to focus on the same books, but it's still a little struggle to fit Gabe's attention span into what Lucy is interested in at bedtime.

Lucy and I spent about an hour reading. I made her read a lot of small words in some of the stories, which seems to be tiring for her but also very gratifying.

*And cue the bedtime music.* Lovely day.