Saturday, August 20, 2016

Good News/Bad News

Bad News:  Baby T has mystery spots that I'm concerned may be hand, foot and mouth or one of the various infectious illnesses that causes spots.  Baby T may need to miss part or all of the first week of parents' day out, depending what the doctor says.  And school is about to start for the big kids, too, so I was really hoping to get some time to catch up my school papers and emails.

Good News:  We get more potty training time before she goes to the pre-k room where everybody wears cotton underpants.

Sunday, August 14, 2016


Here's some of what's happening:

  • The last 2-3 days Baby T has been using the home!!!  Not every single time, but very often.  C has been helping a lot with taking her.  
  • This process started about a year and a half ago when Baby T seemed to be interested and making progress--but that didn't go anywhere, and I was left with a big shelf of prizes collecting dust.
  • I switched things up a few weeks ago by starting to reward just trying, not succeeding, and eventually that led to her succeeding (initially with C).  Baby T has now earned every single one of the My Little Ponies that I had on the prize shelf.  
  • Initially, I was just giving her a small prize every time she succeeded, but she's now working toward a Melissa and Doug ice cream play set that Baby T has wanted for a long, long time.  She just needs one more successful visit to get it (it's a 10 point item).
  • Here's the recent process:  reward for trying > reward immediately for success > reward with larger item for a large number of successes.
  • Baby T also has a huge appetite for craft supplies right now (Scotch tape, Play Doh, etc.) so I should probably put those into the potty prize system.   
  • I also need to suck it up and put her in cotton underpants for a few hours at a time.  This is a scary step for me, but it has to be done soon.
  • The funny thing is that Baby T is 3 years 10 months old now, and this is just about exactly when an older sibling (let's not be too exact about who) potty trained.  
  • The heat is on because while we're on break from parents' day out right now and Baby T's teacher says that she's moving up to a new classroom and she should start trying the underpants.  So it's crunch time...But I think it can be done pretty soon.    

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Austin Ukulele Society

Here's what's been happening:

  • On Thursday the five of us made a long-awaited day trip to the Austin Ukulele Society.  
  • We stopped on the way at a large suburban indoor play gym with adult-sized habitrails, an arcade and surprisingly good food (fantastic fries and very good quesadillas).
  • My husband dropped me and C off at the AUS meeting site in Austin and the rest of the family (husband, D and Baby T) went off to play at the playground near the Thinkery.
  • A caution about the meeting--we arrived right as the meeting was starting and almost didn't manage to get chairs.
  • They opened with playing and singing Bob Marley's Three Little Birds and then there was a tutorial on how to play Elton John's Rocket Man.  Then they had open mike and finished with On the Road Again.
  • The open mike performances were very impressive:  there was a teenage virtuoso, a guy simultaneously playing the kazoo (he makes and sells kazoos) and the ukulele while singing St. James Infirmary Blues, a woman playing and singing City of New Orleans (which eventually turned into a sing along), and a couple of groups from Kevin Carroll's Austin ukulele school
  • I have a lot of interest in Kevin Carroll's school for C, as they have both weekly lessons (a bit too far for us) but also weekend workshops (which is more manageable).        
  • C had a very good time and really would have liked to do the open mike if she could have gotten on.  I asked her what she liked and she said she liked playing with other people.
  • We were in a back row, but it is a very interesting feeling sitting in the middle of all of these vibrating strings. 
  • Oh, and AUS has beautiful t-shirts.
  • They have at least several other children coming to the group, including the teen virtuoso.
  • For our geography, the AUS meeting date of every second Thursday 7-8:30 PM is kind of awkward during the school year, but we should be able to come again at least next summer.  My husband was thinking that in future he could take the younger kids to a movie.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Just a suggestion

Baby T, how about next time you not copiously glue stick your toy muffin pan?

Just a thought.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

C goes electric

My husband has set C up with a piezzo buzzer and some software on his laptop that allows her to play her acoustic ukulele as if it were electric.  The software is called Guitar Rig 5 and they have all kinds of musical effects to experiment with.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


C hasn't had a ukulele lesson, so she was asking me what to practice--a dangerous question.

I leafed through her Beatles for ukulele book and found "Yesterday."  This is her second day of practicing it, and it is starting to sound pretty good.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

He's back!

My husband is back after a business trip to the far north.  He left the day after C's birthday, so I just wasn't thinking past the birthday.  Some discoveries:

  • I'd better have a plan for any future summer business trips, because the kids' disparate sizes and interests, the awful heat outside, etc., having 5 days of nothing planned is a mistake.  We needed more exercise and intellectual life for the kids, more of a schedule.  (I hadn't run into this before, because normally when my husband is on the road, we have school or it's not so hot.)
  • C did work for a friend hanging pictures and D and Baby T had some water play there, too.  (Baby T's diaper was MASSIVE by the end of it.)
  • I think Baby T didn't do too badly, but she had parents' day out.  She did so much Play Doh, so much paper snipping and so much painting.
  • Also, just running house things by myself and managing Baby T consumes a lot of my bandwidth.
  • C is able to use the elliptical machine--she did that at least once.  D has been trying our recumbent bike.
  • C also did six days in a row of ukulele practice and a little playing today.  C normally does 4-6 practices a week, but six in a row is very unusual.  
  • So, now that I write this stuff out, a lot of stuff happened, but it didn't really fill the days up.
  • Also, there was a lot of Star Trek watching.