Sunday, January 19, 2014

It always goes back to that

Blaine (to me): "Act your age, not your shoe size. Remember that...?"

Jamie (to all of us): "Remember this?? Poop! Poop! Poop!"

Friday, January 17, 2014

Early mornings with E-yi-ya

Baby Eliah wakes me up bright and early every morning.  On rare days I get to sleep until 7:00-ish, but more commonly we are up at 6:00-ish AM.  Looking back at all the brudders' baby calendars, I see that early mornings were common with at this age with all of them without much exception (though I only really remember it with Jamie).

It whittles any solitude and/or down-time down to an hour (on the good days).  Ramifications include the lack of any real contemplative thought, a serious down-sizing on planning time, no quiet mornings, etc.  But the sweetness.  Oh, the sweetness.  I realize this time is fleeting and by and large, have been able to accept it with grace and affection.

 The folded cloud sheet is to block the books from the afternoon sun

Most mornings are just like this (though more frequently by lamp-light).  We sit with a basket of baby toys or blocks and he plays while I stare and hand him toys or stack blocks.  In more recent weeks, he likes to climb up on me and practice kneeling or standing up with all kinds of baby burblings and drool.

A few different times he has gotten up earlier than he should and has snoozed, snuggled in my arms, before anyone else even wakes up.  These early morning naps are precious to me.  Precious.

The udder brudders generally wake up anywhere from 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM.  When Jamie is the last to rise we read our school books in the morning peace.  Sometimes I have Diego sit with the baby while I take a shower (he's been the first one up in recent months - it is usually Truen).

I love the peace-filled acceptance of these early mornings.  It helps me to remember to savor the time.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Slugs and snails and puppy dog tails

I've been trying to remember to have Diego shower every couple of days.  He stinks.  Seriously: an eight year old with heinous B.O.?  I am so sad.  (Though I do remember one of my brothers being especially stinky around that age.  EDO.)

In the summer, the fellas just take a shower with Blaine at the end of the day.  But in the winter, it is up to me to remember to ensure that they get semi-regular washings.  Otherwise the smells start getting a little "off", even in the udder brudders.

So this morning, I had Diego take his shower after me.  He asked me to get the goggles for him so he could lay down and pretend he was being rained on in the amazon.  I love that.

We are working from the ground up as he learns how to check the water before he gets in, make sure it is the correct temp, how to adjust the water flow, that kind of thing.  And I still need to double-check with him to ensure that all areas get a good scrub.

I'm also trying to instill the habit of getting dirty clothes in the hamper before the shower, but I forgot about it this morning.  Oh well, I thought, I'll follow up afterward.  When I checked the floor and didn't see anything, I was so pleased that he had taken the initiative to put them away himself (he's really good about hanging up his towel).

So I went into the living room and said, "Diego, thanks so much for picking up your dirty clothes without me having to ask.  That is really great!  I really appreciate it."  Right as I said it, he looked up with a sheepish grin as I saw that he had put the same dirty clothes right back on.

So we really do have to direct and redirect every. single. life skill.  Note to self.

Friday, January 03, 2014

The Big Brother Effect

See the glee? They were totally bugging him in this picture.

"That dummy Trwuen is dwiving me cwazy!"

Jamie told me this in a play voice this morning, just joking, and continued to tell me that Truen had destroyed his "thwift" store.  I was focusing on getting breakfast made so I'm still not quite sure what he was talking about but it definitely made me laugh, then gave me pause for reflection.

Because really . . . neither Diego nor Truen would have ever talked like that at three years old.  (I would have been appalled!)  They wouldn't have had any frame of reference for that kind of language.  But three year old Jamie?  With two big brudders?  Oh my.

His target is usually Truen and I've heard him call him "dork" multiple times in recent days.  But today?  Dummy.  Oh dear.  This is definitely the year we've started the "You are an example to your younger brudder(s)" talks.  We have been on patrol and there has been plenty of reprimands and redirection, but man . . . it still leaks through somehow.  Eegads.

I will comfort myself with knowing this is normal (I could hear my mom laughing as I composed this post in my mind while finishing breakfast), aside from the fact that he sounded so darn cute and funny while saying it, of course.  I will also choose to remember this afternoon, when he came into the kitchen and exclaimed, "Trwuen! Your bawling game is totally awesome!"

Danie Blizzard indeed.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

2013 Booklist: Completed

  • Heidi - Johanna Spyri (audio)
  • Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons - Kimberly Harris
  • Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less - Kristine Koh, Asha Dornfest
  • Healing Spices: How to Use 50 Everyday and Exotic Spices to Boost Health and Beat Disease - Bharat B. Aggarwal, Debora Yost
  • Future Men - Douglas Wilson
  • Stay Home, Stay Happy: 10 Secrets to Loving At-Home Motherhood: Rachel Campos-Duffy
  • Slow Family Living - Bernadette Noll
  • Little Lord Fauntleroy - Francis Hodgson Burnett (audio)
  • Good Poems - Selected by Garrison Keillor (audio)
  • Skellig - David Almond (audio)
  • The Golden Compass - Phillip Pullman (audio)
  • The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (audio)
  • The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery - Rebecca Katz
  • A Christmas Blizzard - Garrison Keillor (audio)
  • Your 8 Year Old - Louise Bates Ames
  • Not Your Mother's Make-ahead and Freeze Cookbook - Jessica Fisher
  • Storey's Guide to Raising Poultry - Glenn Drowns
  • Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks - Dave Holderread
  • The Help - Katherine Stockett (audio)
  • Cold Mountain - Charles Frazier (audio)
  • The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (audio)
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne (audio)
  • Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life - Gretchen Rubin
  • Room with a View - E.M. Forster (audio)
  • Anne of Avonlea - L.M. Montegomery (audio)
  • Hatchet - Gary Paulsen (audio)
  • Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense - David Guterson
  • The Unschooling Handbook : How to Use the Whole World As Your Child's Classroom - Mary Griffith
  • Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens (audio)
  • The Cricket in Times Square - George Selden (Read Aloud)
  • Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montegomery (audio)
  • The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie - Wendy McClure
  • Lengendary Learning: The Famous Homeschoolers' Guide to Self-Directed Excellence - Jamie McMillin
  • The Horse and His Boy - C.S. Lewis (audio)
  • Your Five Year Old: Sunny and Serene - Louise Bates Ames, Frances L. Ilg
  • Your Two Year Old: Terrible or Tender - Louise Bates Ames, Frances Ilg Your Seven Year Old: Life in a Minor Key - Louise Bates Ames, Frances Ilg