Flooring, Day Two

We have come to the end of our second day on the flooring project and the girls (I too, to a lesser extent) already have cabin fever.

I never realized how much more exercise (or at least movement) was available in a house this size, and suddenly being constrained to the least open areas has been a challenge. With all the great masses of stuff from the front rooms now redistributed through the house and garage, there is even less room than usual in what’s left to play in.

The girl’s room, for example, has about three square feet not covered with furniture and sundries.

Jay is getting plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, and doesn’t seem to quite understand the mental state of the rest of us, but fortunately he is very accommodating by nature and we’ve found reasons the last couple days to get out in the evenings.

It pulls Jay away from time he could spend on the project, but since they are also things he wants to do (we looked into getting a new range tonight) it’s still been enjoyable.

Or current range, on a side note, is very basic, with only one large coil, no window in the door, and (this is the biggie to me) no time-bake. The one we’d get (we haven’t quite decided to go for it) doesn’t have these faults and in addition to other virtues has no exposed coil in the oven. To me this was one of the coolest things.

Jay’s said having the appliances out of the kitchen is a nice excuse to look at new ones– but we’re only seriously thinking about the range right now.
The kids and I will try to go visiting tomorrow.

Christmas Eve Service

A family from our church did a “special” for the service tonight, with their pre-school son playing along on his 1/4-size cello. Natasha was riveted.

After it was over I asked her if she’d like to learn guitar to play like Beren does (the idea of early lessons has been batted around) and she responded with a delighted “Yes.”

Christmas Ornaments, 2006

Growing up each of us kids received an ornament at Christmas, usually representing something significant that had happened or changed. When each of us left home, Mom gave us our bucket of ornaments for our own tree.

I’ve started a similar collection (at least, so far I’ve managed a representative “first Christmas” ornament for each of them– I say representative because only one actually says “first Christmas”) but I don’t at this point expect to send them with my children when they leave.

Sarah and I, looking at our baby books, asked Mom when we were going to get them. “You don’t,” she said. “I made them for me.”

In the same way, I’ll still put the kids’ initials on each ornament, and have their stories connected to each (which I intend to expand on below). But I think those will be more for dividing them up after I don’t need them anymore.

Christmas Ornaments 2006

Elisha’s first Christmas: Mama bear packing baby bear on her back. This baby we were given an Ergo baby carrier, and have used it a lot. Other than being green, the bear pack looks a lot like ours.

Melody: A black bear sitting at the bottom of a crescent moon. For quite a while now she has had an “eagle eye” for any moon– partial or full– in the sky or a picture or ad, and immediately begins singing her “I see the moon” song.

Natasha: A bear on its tummy reading an open book. Both my girls love books, but this year Natasha began “reading” to her dolls, sister and brother (I got this great series of Natasha “reading” Prince Caspian to a fussy Elisha to settle him down.)

She has also made it abundantly clear she’s ready to learn in earnest. At this point, though, I think I will wait the 3-weeks until her 4th Birthday. Things aren’t likely to slow down much before then (what with Christmas dinner here, the floor being pulled out and a new one in, and Jay heading back to work on the 3rd.)

Last words

The girls (especially Natasha) are always trying to stretch out bedtime (as in, the amount of time it takes for me to leave).

Tonight I was leaning over the head of Natasha’s bed, while she tried to think of something to say. My face was less than a foot from hers, and she started studying me then said, “I like… your face.” She had her tender look just then, and it was really quite sweet.

Baby Book

I didn’t realize how long it’s been since I did an update on Elisha’s growth.

He’s mobile now, though only in reverse, so Jay and I are again being reminded how much we need to keep the floor clean and clear. We’ve had a few gagging episodes even after we cleaned up, and have found bits of paper his sisters have “shared” or just left lying in reach.

A couple of days ago he started “rocking” on his hands and knees, but it hasn’t resulted in forward motion yet.

The short blue laundry basket has become his playpen. It’s perfect, since he’s still learning to hold himself upright, and if he tips over he doesn’t have far to fall and ends up leaning on an edge.

He is an incredibly cheerful baby and his sisters just have a ball with him. They surprised me yesterday by asking to hold him, like the did when he was new. They talk with him all the time and like to pick up the toys he drops. Nice for me.

He has a fairly regular morning nap and (except for yesterday) has been sleeping during Sunday school for weeks. It’s been a nice combination: a ladies’ class and an empty lap so I can participate easily.

Sometimes he falls asleep in my arms (nursing doesn’t always put him to sleep, rocking/holding sometimes does), and these days he is just the perfect size for two-arm snuggling. I really need to remember to get a picture of it, but it is so sweet and comfortable right now. Such a nice size.

Setting it in Stone

(Posted simultaneously at Untangling Tales.)

I am officially limiting myself.

I “flipped a coin” (it wasn’t a literal coin, I was driving) and– as I’ve noticed in the past– found while it was in the air what it was I really wanted.

  • Storytelling is on-hold. Maybe for a decade. Lord willing, I will eventually return.
  • Piano is on-hold. I am tired of not moving forward as efficiently as I could in any instrument. I will be enjoying the beautiful Rainsong Jay picked out for me just after Elisha was born.

Jay and I have always known we wanted to homeschool our children, and Natasha is definitely ready and willing to learn new skills. So this conscious limiting is directly tied to the research and preparations I have begun in order to lay the groundwork for her schooling.

It is not so much the schooling that I see as the challenge, but maintaining a smoothly-running household at the same time. I have come across some very nice resources.

Vacation (at home) begins

I did a couple silly things this morning:

  • Meaning to press the ice lever for a cube in my hand (I usually put ice in Melody’s porridge so she doesn’t have to wait as long to eat it) I pressed the water lever instead

After cleaning that up (as I told Jay what happened)

  • I pressed the ice lever—forgetting the icemaker was still in the sink from thawing during our trip last week.

Jay laughed. “I did that during our first day home,” he said. “I wasn’t going to say anything.” I chased him with the ladle a few laps around the island.

“Put something else cold in it,” he said after I started ladling stuff into Melody’s bowl.

“Like what—Peas?” Jay went off to clean in another room (we’re working on our backlog of cleaning during Jay’s time-off), and I remembered the bag of frozen strawberries in the big freezer.

Jay returned as I was adding one to Melody’s cereal.

“Look at this and tell me I’m brilliant,” I said.
“Oh I’ve never doubted you were brilliant,” he said easily. “Only your higher math and organizational skills.” I had to laugh.

A little bit later he came back into the room and said, “Now me, I’ve got the higher math skills, but I’m just as ‘Organizationally challenged.’” Continue reading