Monday, September 1, 2014


I somehow managed to schedule 5 days of extracurriculars a week for the month of September.  It all happened very innocently:  the therapeutic riding C has done for years, CCD for both kids, Greek Club at school for C (my husband will be volunteering with the club), fencing for both kids and guitar for C.  It's a little nuts.  But, on the other hand, it's not going to be like that all term--the riding is just a half term (with the possibility of more if we can manage) and we may drop the fencing and guitar by the end of the month.

Monday, August 25, 2014


Baby T, when she feels that she wants a parent or sibling to sit down and stop hovering over her as she eats, will say, "Ch!" and point in the direction of the chair.

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Here's some of what's happening:
  • Summer is over!  The kids are back in school!
  • C is a 7th grader now and is over at the junior high/high school building (it's a PK-12 school).  She has the full dignity of her own locker.  It's an 8 period day, 20 minutes longer than the 6th grade day, but she does have study halls in the morning.
  • C has an elective first period (study hall), a block of academic classes with everybody else in her grade, then a final 8th period elective that she has some freedom over (that's a little up in the air, as her first choice was cancelled for lack of enrollment).
  • There's going to be a Greek club!
  • D is starting 4th grade!  Latin!  Physics!
  • Extracurriculars are also up in the air right now.  We'll be doing CCD for both kids (at a different parish than the past 7 years).  We'd like for C to do therapeutic riding and weekly guitar and for both kids to do fencing, but we're currently figuring out the logistics for that.  
  • For reasons beyond our control, there's no PE for C this fall (complicated reasons having to do with C not being in official school sports and the school being small, so they can't afford both fall and spring PE for a tiny group of children).  That's kind of a pain, but we will try to compensate.
  • Baby T is talking a bunch and likes it.  She often makes funny comprehension mistakes--she thought that "fat" meant "cat" and that "on line" had something to do with lions.  She LOVES animals.  I have bought her clothes accordingly--she owns two cat shirts, a horse shirt, zebra pants and cheetah pjs.
  • Baby T is bummed out that the DVD player in the new-to-us minivan is broken.  She says "moo" for movies.
  • Baby T can make sad faces on command.  
  • Baby T was SAD to hear that mommy has no tail.
  • Baby T loves puzzles, but isn't yet up to doing jigsaw puzzles independently.    
  • Husband and C and D have been watching movies on our ceiling with the projector.
  • We now have a huge solid pine dining table from IKEA.  The old dining table (1998-2014) was set out on the curb and disappeared--it was simply not big enough for our family anymore, and certainly not for if we have any company.  I expect that the new table will dent up, being pine, but it is very generously sized--it's big without leaves, and with two leaves it's supposed to seat 10.  (We got the biggest brown-black Stornas table.)
  • The IKEA trip is totally different with a DVD player.  In fact, aside from driver fatigue, there's really no obstacle to our doing longer trips now.  
  • Furniture for D is next on the agenda.  Christmas?  We also will eventually be getting a larger leather sofa, probably in chocolate brown.    
  • C is still working at Scarborough Fair on the guitar.  She has also bought a ukulele with her own money and has been working at that, too.  I think D is softening up to the idea of music lessons.  

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Back from the West Coast

Here's some of what's been happening:

  • My husband and C and D are just back from an 8-day trip to the West Coast.  Baby T and I spent the week eating dinner at Panera's and doing this and that.  Baby T also enjoyed a huge leap verbal leap forward that is impressing everybody.  She now uses words to request things, a big step forward for her.  She's using more and more all the time.  She also knows a lot of animals (her current passion) and knows what a number of them say.
  • C went to a half-day babysitter training course at the YMCA and got a card from them and $20 from her mother and father.  In future, I'm planning on having both kids do First Aid courses there and C will probably do the junior lifeguard class next year.  The YMCA is really great for these life skill type classes.  They also have a teen physical training course that looks good that both kids could do next year.    
  • C is thinking about saving up for an embroidery machine.  
  • C turned in her reading sheet at the library and got her goodie bag, but was disappointed by her haul.
  • My husband has been under the weather, but is feeling better.  
  • Baby T is crazy about kitties.
  • We've finally starting having 100+ temps and are baking.  

Saturday, August 2, 2014


We've had a little bit of a regression with Baby T and food.  There was a long time when she LOVED eating fresh fruit--bananas, blueberries, apples, mandarins, etc.  She'd go through vast quantities of fresh fruit.  She still loves blueberries (we just finished off a 2-pound box) and she'll have the occasional banana, but that's it.  The good news is that 1) she will eat baby food fruit and 2) she's really good with a spoon.

Baby T is also much more verbally communicative than she used to be.  She is learning and using words, and enjoying it and we are headed toward being able to talk.  I imagine that by two, she'll have a lot to say.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Baby T's words

Our pediatrician had some concerns about delays in Baby T's speech a couple months ago and had us take her to a speech therapist for an evaluation.  Her comprehension was good, but her productive speech was a little slow (she was relying heavily on the point-and-grunt at that point).  Well, I'm happy to report that Baby T is starting to use words in her requests--more, cookie, blueberry, etc (that's not exactly how she says any of them, but that's what she means).  She also seems to say a lot of clothing words now:  shirt, shoes, and some word that sounds like "p" that may be either pajamas or pants--not sure which.

Baby T is also interested in dressing and has tried to put on pants.  She can put on her shoes pretty well (and sometimes goes and gets them).  She also heads over to her feeding seat at meal times.

It's a very interesting time--her speech is just starting to snowball and she has a strong sense already of how things ought to be.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Swim and quilt

Here's some of what's happening:
  • This last week, the kids did a morning swim class and an afternoon quilting camp Monday-Thursday, C had guitar Friday and a rollerskating b-day party (for her 12th) on Saturday.  C graduated from the top swim class, so next summer one of our options for her is the junior lifeguard class (open to 11-15 year olds).  D is in the class just below the top swim level.  C also managed to finish her quilt (with some overtime from the very nice teacher), but D didn't, as he was sick and missed a day.  The hope is that he'll be able to finish up at home with C's help.
  • When we have the option, I've been scheduling C multiple guitar lessons in a single week.  It's still kind of up in the air whether she'll do guitar during the school year--C is not much for practicing spontaneously and her parents are not into nagging her into music practice.  C has been given notice that complaining about practicing or not practicing could mean no guitar lessons.  C is very good at guitar and her guitar teacher often praises her efforts, but it shouldn't require an act of Congress for her to practice 2 or 3 times a week for 10 minutes if she likes guitar.  
  • Between her swimming, her guitar and the sewing, C now has many skills I've never had.  (My swimming is good enough to keep me afloat, but it's a basic dog paddle.  C has actual strokes.)
  • We threw a roller skate/laser tag party for C's birthday on Saturday and had 14 kids--C and D, a bunch of C's girl classmates, and a bunch of siblings.  A number of C's classmates have siblings in D's class.  And there were several moms.  It went very smoothly.  Now that we have two vehicles, it was a snap managing the party and Baby T's needs.  Baby T came late with my husband, had some pizza, enjoyed the flashing lights and then went home for her nap.  I stayed and wrapped up the party and handed out coupons good for free rink admission.
  • One of the classmates' families has invited everybody to meet for more skating later in the week.  Yay!  
  • Some friends are packing up for a move to Ohio this week.
  • The kids are almost done with their scheduled camps and classes.  C is going to have a bunch of guitar and she's doing a half-day babysitting course (that I'm paying her to attend) and there's going to be a week or so around Vancouver, but that's essentially it.  
  • School is starting in less than a month...