Thursday, February 25, 2010

A long night

Claire threw up four times last night. That was fun. But she got it all in the bathroom--hurray, Claire! And just before round three, while she was crying because she didn't feel good, she said, "I love you, Mommy." Melted my heart.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Damon Update

Damon has been taking gymnastics two nights a week at USU. He really enjoys it, but I am so glad March will be his last month (because soccer starts in April and I can't handle more than one activity per child at a time): it's tough finding coins for metered parking (and you can only park for 30 minutes, even though the class lasts an hour), buckling girls in their car seats then getting everyone out so we can run him across the busy street into class every Tuesday and Thurday right in the middle of dinner time. How did my mom survive having 5 kids who were involved in every extra-curricular activity possible? It gives me a headache just to think about it.

We are fortunate to live in a great neighborhood with several kids Damon's age right next door and across the street. He plays with them almost every day after school, snow or shine. Sundays are long because we don't let him play with his friends, except one Sunday when we woke up to 8 inches of snow. After church Damon and his buddy Andrew shovelled our entire driveway. After that, I could hardly say tell Andrew to go home because it's okay to shovel our snow on Sunday, but not to play with our son. It was probably Damon's favorite Sunday ever.

He's a very good boy. He makes his bed almost every day, is kind to his sisters, and is a peacemaker among his friends.

Damon's getting to be a pretty good chess player, or else I'm just really bad. He beats me more often than not. He also enjoys Trouble because he usually wins at that, too. But I'm proud to say that I always win at Pictureka--thank you Cat and Grant for a boardgame that makes me feel good about myself!

He loves having Roald Dahl books read to him. He also enjoys Prince Valient (you know, from the Sunday comics). A Harry Potter movie was on TV the other night and we made the mistake of letting Damon watch some of it. After that he peppered me with questions on Harry Potter and somehow he got fixated on Voldemort splitting his soul into seven pieces. He hasn't stopped talking about it for 3 days. I can't wait until he's a good enough reader to read the books himself. I'm having a hard time remembering all the answers to his questions, like "How could Harry be in the spirit world if he was still alive? Will the spell Harry's mom put on him as a baby last his whole life? Does someone have to kill you for a spell like that to work on your baby, or can you just die of old age? How do the dementors make you crazy?" I don't know, but I think I know how a 6 year old boy can.

Claire Update

Claire started taking a creative dance class in January. If I could figure out how to download videos to the computer, you could see how cute she is in her class. It was hard to get her to go at first--she doesn't really like to leave the house. But then I bought her some dance clothes, and now it's never a struggle, unless she's watching The Lion King and it's not over yet. Which reminds me: on the day I put The Lion King on only an hour before dance class (a dumb thing to do), I locked myself out of the house. It was probably 25 degrees outside and I didn't even have a coat on. I banged on the window and yelled, "Claire, open the door for me!" Simba was in the middle of a stampede, and Claire couldn't be bothered. "Sorry, Mom, I'm busy." "Please, Claire, I'm freezing to death. I'll give you some chocolate chips or a cinnamon roll." She ignored me. Luckily, Anne was more open to the bribe and let me in, bless her little sweet tooth. I hoped Claire would come crying for some chocolate chips so I could punish her for not letting me in by not allowing her to have any, but she only cared about her movie, and didn't say a word.

Claire's a little moodier than her siblings, but she's my easiest child because she can play by herself. Sure, I have to practically stand over her with a whip to get her to dress herself, but she can play with her dinosaurs and look at books without holding my hand. And, when she talks to me, it's only for a few minutes. Then she goes her merry way, or we have a little tea party, and she's done with me. I have to remember to offer to play with her, otherwise she gets ignored because the other two will demand my attention while she often doesn't.

She didn't want to go to pre-school, so I didn't make her even though she's supposed to start kindergarten next fall. That might have been a mistake. She's doing all right learning letters and their sounds at home, but she has no interest in learning to write her name. She also doesn't care to learn to recognize numbers greater than 7, although she can count to 20. But, I've stopped worrying about her. She's a unique little soul, and I think she'll be all right as long as we don't let her siblings hog all the attention.

Here are a few Claire quotes:

Mom, go away, you're bothering me. (After Damon, who would be my Siamese twin if he could, those words are music to my ears.)

Mom, even when I grow up, you'll still be my mom, and I'll still be your daughter.

Mom, I want to stay with you forever.

Mom, I don't like you! You ruin everything! I want to live outside!

Anne Update

Since my last Anne blog, she has improved by leaps and bounds. She tries really hard not to get into trouble, and I can't remember the last time she hit, bit, or pushed anyone. Well, she did pinch Damon tonight, but he was being a pest and she's sick, so we'll let it slide.

She is also a prolific artist: she paints about four abstract pictures a day. Below are two samples of her work. The one on the left is called "Ducks and Frogs Running Away from Me." The one on the right is untitled.

I love her independence. She dresses herself without any encouragement. (A word to the wise: if you see a little kid with his/her shirt on backwards or shoes on the wrong feet or mismatched, keep your smart comments to yourself. Kids should be praised, not criticized for doing things for themselves. The other day some guy, a father of young children I might add, said to Anne, "Hey, your shoes don't match." I ignored him, but I wanted to tell him to shut his fat mouth. Let me tell you something: if two shoes are black, they match to a little girl. A mom really appreciates a child dressing herself, and you can bet the mom has encouraged the child to try putting on shoes that match, but independent children like to do things their own way. So, if you don't want me to despise you, put a sock in it.)

Here are some darling Anne quotes:

I'm a great artist.

What da heck?

Mom, can you talk to me?

Mom, I slept all night and I didn't woke you up!

I'm a great cleaner.


Whew, this has been a busy, traveling month. It started with my first girls' trip since getting married--thank you, Lynsey, for journaling for me.

Then we went down south to visit Jake's family over Presidents' Day weekend. The company was as fabulous as the weather (sunny and 65! It was like Heaven). I hate bragathon blogs, but I have to say I have really great in-laws: kind, fun, and everything good.

Kohl's was having a great sale while we were there, so I bought some Chucks. While I was trying them on, I asked Jake if he wanted a pair. "No," he said with disdain. "Why not?" I asked. "Because I'm not trying to look like a teenager," he replied. That very day, with the help of our musically talented teenage nephews, he bought an electric guitar, maybe because trying to be a teenager is better than trying to look like one--I don't know.
And finally, Jake is going to England for a week for work! Neither of us have ever been there (if it were summer, I would have insisted on going with him), and I forgot to send the camera, which should surprise no one. I forgot the camera on our Presidents' Day trip, too, which is why the only pics on this blog are of shoes and a guitar, taken at home after the fact.

Monday, February 1, 2010

New Dos, or You Get What You Pay For

Scissors be praised, I'm back to short. Imagine spending 5 minutes on your hair and having it look better than when you spent 30 minutes on it when it was long. It's fabulous. I wish I could show you how I look in the mirror. I look so much better in the mirror than in photographs. Incidentally, I never cared about how unphotogenic I was until I watched Clueless and found out from Cher that mirrors are not as accurate as cameras. No wonder I hardly ever got asked out on dates: I wasn't as hot as I thought I was. Fortunately I realized my weakness and bought a hand-held mirror. That's how I won over Jake. I carried a mirror around with me and told him to talk to the mirror. Eleven months later, we were married.

Back to the main point, I went to a licensed stylist who knew what she was doing. Being an evil, cheap mother, I took the girls to get their hair cut at the local beauty college. Ironically, the child that couldn't hold her head still to save her life got the better haircut,

while the one that had the student of the month and never moved a muscle ended up looking like a male native from The Mission. That's what you can expect from a $4 haircut. But on the bright side, it's even and will look cute in two months.