Thursday, January 24, 2013

rough and tumble

In a moment of unusual calm and relative peace in the house, I'm sitting and posting.  The Boy is at school, Boy2 had his very brief nap and is playing Angry Birds Star Wars, and the girls are both sleeping.  Dishes are currently done, laundry is in the washer, and I can actually see the living room floor right now!

I suppose it's a bit redundant to say that the weeks have been busy...  I've tried out a couple new recipes I've found (one for gingerbread but it's a cake, not cookies and one that is orange cookies) and they both turned out beautifully.  The Boy was given brownies in a jar, and he did those up on Saturday (I do have pictures, but they aren't on the computer yet).  We organized the basement play room, put another book shelf down there, and we've managed to keep it pretty tidy for the last couple of days.  Next step is to go through the toy boxes and sort out what is garbage because it's broken, what can be passed along to Good Will, and what we'll keep.  Living in one place for so long (I know it's only been 2 1/2 years, but it is the longest we've been at one address!) I really notice how much we accumulate.  It's time to de-clutter.

Girl2 is still working on those teeth.  The last two weeks have been pretty rough on her and, because she's not happy, it's been pretty rough on the parents too.  But she's just over 7 months now, no teeth, but she is rolling EVERYWHERE!!!  I can set her down on the floor, leave for two minutes and come back to her all the way across the room!  And, of course, she'll find the one small item on the floor that wasn't picked up and have it almost in her mouth.  Amazing how babies do that!

The Girl is back to her normal self.  Her appetite is back (finally) and she's full of sass again, so I'm happy about that.  She's also toilet training.  We came back from our holidays with that in mind, and so far it's been pretty good.  I'm not ready to take her out of pull-ups, but I don't think it will be very long before she is out of them.  She's even asked to sit on the toilet when we're out at church, and that's a pretty big step.  It was a long time before Boy2 was ready to do that.

Boy2 is back at preschool and enjoying it immensely.  I love watching him grow and develop his sense of letter recognition, and he's working with numbers too.  That's mostly because he sees the Boy doing his math and he wants to learn about it all too.  So I'm helping and encouraging him to count for himself when he asks a math question. 

The Boy is doing very well.  His reading is getting stronger and stronger every week, and so are his math skills.  They are starting to move away from equations accompanied by pictures so that's been a bit of an adjustment.  But the teacher is also equipping the children with tactics to solve those, so he's picking it up.  He's enjoying writing about his show and tell, and he's getting better and better with his spelling and sounding words out.  So far he's done exceptionally well on his spelling tests too.

He does miss being at home, so he'll be happy that there's no school next Thursday, or the following Thursday and Friday.  He misses playing with the other kids. 

It always strikes me at how wonderful my kids are.  I realize I may be a touch biased, but they really do get along quite well (most of the time) and if one is grumpy or sad another one will get them to smile.  The boys are fantastic with getting the girls smiling again, and vice versa.  Not so much the boys helping the boys, but when everyone is tired I can't say that I'm surprised.  But everyone is ready with love and affection.  And playing.  The boys love to "fight" Daddy and so they do that quite a bit.  The Girl even gets in on the action, and it is so fun to watch!  Hubby is such a fantastic teacher when it comes to the rough and tumble play.  And it's essential for children to develop that, so I won't be telling them to stop anytime soon.

There are times when the boys are doing it by themselves (very frequently!) and someone hurts the other, but that's when I tell them that they are playing rough so sometimes it happens.  They stop for a minute then are back at it.  As long as they aren't intentionally hurting to be mean, I'm alright with their play.

Last night, after supper, the boys took all of the chairs out of the kitchen and put them in the living room.  Then they grabbed a couple of flat sheets and I grabbed some clothes pins and we set up a fort in the living room.  We did bedtime stories and prayers in there, and they wanted it to stay up so they could have breakfast in there.  So we did.  The Boy was very careful to not spill onto the carpet, but the others had most of their breakfast in the kitchen.  And I promised we could try to set it up again tonight.  They want to sleep in it, but I said probably not.  Wait for Friday and we'll set up the two person tent in here and we'll try to sleep in it.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Holiday recap

On the road!
They were so happy to be heading out!

Well, I wasn't as faithful at taking pictures this trip, but I did get a few.  Most of them (I am sorry to say) were taken by the Boy,  and not me.

We spent Christmas up here with just us, having pizza Christmas Day as has been our custom for the last couple of years.  Santa thoroughly spoiled us, then we nipped down south and it seemed Santa made a stop at Amma's house too, so we were spoiled yet again.  We spent a few days there, then zipped for a few days to my parents' house, where we all gathered for a picture.  The last time we were all under one roof at the same time for a holiday was Christmas 2000, so twelve years and sixteen grandchildren later we finally got a picture taken.  I'm not sure where our copy is hiding on this computer, so I'll post it when I can find it.

Me sitting with the Girl.

Boy2 helping Poppa vacuum up confetti
But we had fun.  My parents, in a tradition carried on from my Dad's family, has always done a big New Years Eve party.  Popping balloons, throwing confetti, eating almost to the point of illness, and pouring lead.  The kids love it!  Okay, even Great Grandma J (my Mom's mom) loves it!  As we were getting into the confetti fight that happens every time, we noticed that my cousin and her husband (who live across the street from my parents) stopped by just to get into it for a few minutes before zipping back across the street to their sleeping little ones.

Hubby tackled me to the floor this time, but I didn't let go of him, so we were both on the ground, me shoving confetti down his pants, while he was pouring down my back.  Then the boys decided to rescue me and they tackled Daddy :)  So much fun!

Grandma holding her newest grandchild

But now we are back to the grind.  The boys have started school and swimming lessons again.  The Christmas decorations are down (we alway wait for Epiphany to get those down, or as some know it as Little Christmas).  We picked up totes and a few new bookshelves, so today was spent cleaning, building shelves, shifting furniture, and vacuuming.  Finally our living space (at least the main floor) is in some semblance of tidiness.  Next I tackle the toy room and then we'll be good to go.  Since we have now officially lived in this house longer than any other home since we got married, I'm going to treat this spring as though we're moving.  Every other time, we've had to de-clutter out of necessity, so this time I'm going to try this.  It is amazing the sheer amount of stuff you can accumulate simply by living in one spot.  Having four kids doesn't help :)

So the toys and books are going to be culled and sent on to others who could use them more than these kids.  I'm going to have to go through dressers as well.  Children grow so fast!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

It's ALIVE!!!!!

My computer is fixed!  Before Christmas, Hubby decided to put a new operating system on my netbook and it has been giving grief ever since, but it is now up, running, and fully functioning!  I have some holiday pictures to post, and lost of cute little anecdotes, but they will likely wait till this evening or tomorrow. 

Right now there is the smell of bacon frying for our fish chowder, the sound of Beethoven as Girl2 plays with her little toy, and the bigger kids are watching Hoowinked Too! downstairs :)  And I need to mend the Boy's snow pants before he goes back to school tomorrow!