Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

That Wondrous Roar

I remember those rare summers as a kid, the ones when the cicadas came. They came in deafening swarms, littering the ground with their crunchy shells. And now they're here, right on schedule for their every-thirteen-years' appearance. They're pretty harmless, but they are really weird looking with blood red eyes and large clear wings. I found this one in a bucket of water. 
Paul found thousands of these shells as he was mowing the lawn. They're kind of fun to examine, so I had the boys compare and contrast them to different insects in their bug book.
I also captured a bit of the sound they make. Peter identified it as a leaf blower, but it's actually much louder and more alien-like. Also featured in this film is Nora's signature crawl. She's speedy!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lesson Learned

Last night as I was putting Nora to bed (I was on my own since Paul had to work late), Peter started shrieking at the top of his lungs from the other room. He's been on edge the past few days with a cough, an infected finger (that I need to go pick up oral antibiotics for), and a big brother who knows exactly how to push his buttons. Assuming Benjamin was the instigator, I quietly gritted my teeth and finished getting Nora to sleep before coming out to "check" on things. As it turned out, Peter did this one to himself.
See this? It's a tiny orange Lego piece. He had shoved it up his nose, and there was no way he was going to let me pull it out with my tweezers. After about a half hour of drama, all it took was a good nose blow, and thankfully it was out. Afterwards, he came over and told me, very sincerely and thoughtfully that we DON'T put things in our noses. Good boy! Let's hope that lesson sticks.
And while we're on the subject of Peter, will you look at that smile? Remember how just a month ago, it looked like this? I'm amazed how quickly his teeth have corrected themselves after weaning from his beloved pacifiers. He's a handsome kid, if not a bit of a handful!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Benjamin is officially done with preschool. He has grown SO much this year! I have loved the Montessori program for Benjamin. Yesterday he brought home all of his international flags that he drew, and I was impressed! He used to never draw, and I could tell what each of the flags were. Suddenly he's really into geography, and tells me all about the places he wants to go to on vacation, like Canada and Cuba, because he's "never been there!" Today his teacher was bragging to me today about his math skills, and how far he's come with that. His reading is at a strong first grade level, thanks to all the extra help he's been getting there, and even his writing has caught up. He's a hard little worker, so I think he'll go far, no matter what the kindergarten curriculum is like next year. 

Here he is with his teacher, Mrs. Brown at the end of the year pool party. It was drizzly and chilly, and he didn't want to get out of the pool. :)
We had yummy pizza for lunch.
 Peter wanted nothing to do with the pool, and ended up falling asleep next to his friend Mason on the pool side benches.
Nora didn't get in either, but she had a good time.
 Benjamin with his best friend, Alex. They'll be in different schools next year, Alex in full-day and Benjamin in afternoon. And with school going as late as it does, I'm wondering if they'll ever see each other outside of church. We're really going to miss our friends! 
 ...all of them.
As they say in the yearbooks, have a great summer!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

This Week in Pictures

...plus a movie.

Benjamin proudly displaying his Lego
"broccoli" that he built for a the kids club
competition. We might work on a few
more before sending one in. :)
We worked for a while on the last one. This is
Benjamin's made-up animal that he built for
the last kids club competition.  He was really
hoping to win that $100 Lego money!
Oh, well. At least he's still trying! 
Nora modeling her new swimming suit for me
(what?! I had to see if it fit!) . She really likes it.
Nora's first pig tails! I hear this is a big
milestone in a young girl's life.
And last, but certainly not least,
Peter picked out Spiderman and Spongebob
underpants after he proved he could
stay clean and dry for 7 days.
We're SO proud of him!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Double Digits

Nora is officially in her double digits- in months, that is. I got curious this morning, so I did a little math. You are in your double digits from 10 months until you are 8 years and 4 months old, when you enter your triple digits (100 months). From there, you are in your triple digits until you are 83 years and 4 months old (1000 months), or roughly until the end of your life.
So humor me for a second and follow me through my crazy theories. Nora, who is now ten months old is just barely beginning to understand right from wrong. And she has roughly until her triple digits to learn right from wrong before she becomes accountable for her actions. The triple digits make up the bulk of a person's life, until you reach 83 years, which is about when I think you've made it. It's like your mental and physical capability become like a child's again. So I don't know, but maybe the quadruple digits don't count as much- kind of like the double digits? ;) Ok, I'm a little crazy.
Anyways, Nora really is growing up. She claps, plays peek-a-boo, understands "no," and is always on the go. She has also become really fond of sparkly things, and loves to take necklaces and headbands on and off. Her favorite spot in the house is on the child-size rocker in Benjamin and Peter's room. Lately, she almost always has a bruise somewhere on her face from climbing or falling. She just barely cut her first tooth a few days ago. Uninterrupted nights of sleep are also becoming less of a rarity for her. Last night, Peter was up screaming from 3 a.m. until 4 a.m., but Nora even slept through that. She loves to be held, and will nuzzle her face in Paul's or my shoulder. She also loves to sit on my lap and read stories. She's a sweetheart, and I can't imagine life without her!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Debt Elimination

So Paul and I recently finished reading this together, and we're feeling committed to getting out of debt for good. So far, we've completely eliminated our credit cards and student loan debt (WOOHOO!), and now we're tackling the remaining debt we have on our van. It already feels so liberating (even though my scheming for the front-room-redesign has been put on the back burner for a bit). I don't think we've ever been frivolous, but I think this book has made us a lot more focused. And I do feel liberated when I think about our financial future. Was it a well written book? Not really. But I would recommend it, especially BEFORE you buy a house (which we obviously didn't do).

Friday, May 06, 2011


I took all three kids to the kids to the zoo by myself today, a feat worth noting. I thought the initial adjustment to three kids was pretty easy, but it seems to be getting harder. I had my share of people watching while we were there, noticing all the wonderful moms of two who were patiently explaining all sorts of fascinating facts about the animals to their kids, and I sort of miss those days. I felt like I was running around, chasing Benjamin (who always seemed to be at least 50 feet ahead of us), trying to interest Peter in anything (he has been perpetually exhausted from weeks of missed naps), and keep Nora from throwing herself out of the stroller (she was tired from missing her morning nap)...sometimes I miss just having two kids. 
I guess most of us are prone to comparing ourselves to others, which is never healthy. My thing right now is trying not to compare myself with who I was before, like when I had all the time (and energy) in the world to just focus on one kid. 
I'm sure this is just one of those temporary phases of life, one that I will laugh about in the future. Right now, I feel stretched pretty thin. I have to remember to take it one day at a time, rather than fearing the long summer ahead of me with three kids under 5 at home all day every day.
Life is what it is. I'm not really complaining, just noting that this is an especially challenging time, and navigating my way through it. I really am blessed to have these three cuties all to myself every day. 
And time really is fleeting. I'm always marveling at how fast they grow. Nora is quickly becoming a delightful little girl, Peter talks in full, deliberate, annunciated sentences, and Benjamin will practically be owned by the public school system in a few short months. Motherhood is one of those things that is perfectly designed to help you grow each and every day of your adult life. I'm sure I'll never have this all figured out, but that's ok.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Benjamin Funnies

I've been wondering about my good standing with Benjamin since I got my hair cut yesterday. His first reaction was a look of complete shock, then he said, "You look silly." Last night, I thought it was weird that Benjamin didn't give me a goodnight hug and kiss like he always does. Then this morning he slipped out the door, leaving before our usual hug and kiss on his way to preschool. Hmm...But I think we might be ok now. During lunch he told me that I used to look like myself, but now I look like Daddy, which officially gives me permission to be in the "Cool Dudes" club. Thanks, Benjamin. I'm honored! :) 

So Benjamin's Primary class has been learning the prophets by playing Memory each week, and now he probably knows them better than me. 
His teacher told me that Benjamin identified Lorenzo Snow as "Snow White." :)  I always thought his beard looked nice and snowy white too.

Then the other day, Paul asked who John the Baptist was in this picture, and he told him "John Taylor." At least the names are sinking in!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


I finally did it. I cut my hair...
I've been wanting to try a pixie for a while, and I finally got the guts to do it. I'm still getting used to it, but so far, I like the way it feels. I had to do something about the 1 1/2" post-baby wisps that were framing my face!