Natural Storyteller

Natasha has for a while now been “reading” familiar books aloud (something that Melody is also very prolific in), but in the last couple weeks she has also begun inventing stories based on the characters or components of what she’s read, and what she’s thinking about.

I used to say I loved the girls’ original songs because they let me see the girls’ minds. Now Natasha’s stories are letting me do the same thing.

One thing I’m very thankful for is that she prefaces her stories with “I dreamed” or “Here’s a story.” She also “reads” her creations from blank or wordless books.

A friend has a son with a similarly vivid imagination, and a tendency to tell stories as if they actually happened, no matter how fantastic they are.

With Natasha there’s never been (as far as I can remember) any confusion for her distinguishing between “real” and “imaginary” in the stories she relates.

I wonder if that’s a personality thing (I distinctly remember having Bible stories and Greek myths in separate categories in my mind), or the result of reading a lot…

Most likely (now that I think of it) it’s the result of telling stories of our day and story-stories too, exampling the difference. And maybe from fracturing the story-stories, too (The three bears going for a walk and discovering a moss-covered rock).

I like to think that we have to have a strong grounding in what is before we can play with it, and maybe that makes the play more fun and at the same time keeps reality secure.

One of Natasha’s Stories

She told this to me and Melody during lunch on Friday 4/14. We were at the church that morning for Jay to do some work, and sat longer together than we would have at home, having other things to do.

Once there were 9 children, all in the same family.

One day they they all made hot chocolate for a snack and decided to go for a walk in the woods, because it was too hot.

While they were out walking…

THREE BEARS came into their house and drank up all the cocoa!

When the 9 children got back they saw all the cocoa was gone, but the Daddy said, “That’s okay, we can make some more.”

But the teapot was out of water, and there was no cocoa in the box.

“That’s okay,” said the Daddy. And they all went to the store to buy some more.

But there was no chocolate at the store either!

So they all went to the Easter palace to visit Papa, and found chocolate easter eggs all over the yard.

Before the children ate them, they found Papa and told him about their day, and he told them about his day.

Getting closer to 3

Melody is talking more, more fluidly/understandably, and sleeping-in when she’s been up too late. All things I (because of Natasha) associate with being three.

She continues to have both a larger need for time alone and a greater (or at least more vocalized) need for one-on-one/touch/”snuddle” time.

Got it.

Went to ride the bike for the third time (confirming which I wanted) and bought it tonight.

I told Jay it could be my birthday present, and he said, “Great. I had some other ideas, but hadn’t ordered anything yet.”

Sounds like me right before his b-day.

I’m silly-excited about the new bike, and looking forward to getting more familiar with it.

I’ll be riding to our monthly women’s meeting tomorrow morning, only, I have no idea how long to expect it will take and will probably leave way-early.

Realized I have a list now, of other thing I need to buy.

  • A floor-pump from a bike shop (the valve is a style used only on bicycles, thinner than that for a car tire).
  • A helmet (I suppose…)
  • A U-lock. (We were regaled with stories of stolen bikes before we left the shop: “No cables!”)
  • A pant leg strap might be nice, though a rubber band’s working fine for now.

Jay chose not to get one for himself “for financial reasons.”

I know he also hopes getting me a bike (a means of outdoor exercise) will reduce my immediate desire/use for a new dog as a running partner (I won’t go out running/walking alone).

He’s half-right in this.

I still do want a dog, but with a bike and Jay not leaving for Antarctica in the next year my main two reasons to get a dog this spring are dissolved.

If we don’t get a call from one of the breed-specific rescues before fall, we’ll probably end-up waiting again until spring and reevaluating.

New Bikes This Year?

Jay and I are looking at road bikes. The skinny-wheeled, self-propelled kind.

Visited all three of our local bike shops today. Interesting how each of them have their own personalities….

I thought the one I test-drove was just *amazing* and probably would have bought it on the spot if dividends came in spiring.

Jay says I could have ridden anything in that shop and it’d feel better than what I have.

Really, I just went with Jay at first in a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses sort of way. I don’t dislike my bike as much as Jay does– I’ve just only ridden it 5 times in the last two years.

Interesting to me, that shop had the least-expensive bikes, but the least-expensive was still nice quality.

At the next shop the sales guy assured us that nothing came cheaper than $100 over what we’d already seen, and was nearly junk at that price.

I refrained from asking if he ever checked out the competition.

The second two places suggested hybrid bikes as being more suitable for Fairbanks, but those are 50-70% more expensive too, and don’t have the rams-horn handlebars we both wanted.

I’m ready to go with the first bikes at the first store.

I rode something from the mid-range rather than bottom (as Jay did) because that was what they had built-up that would fit me.

If I decided I was serious (something Jay’s not yet sure about) I’d need to call the shop back and have them build up something in my size, so I could see if what I’d be buying was as good as I expected.

Three Steps Forward, One Step Back

Last night Elisha was down in 15-minutes.

The two nights before were only 35-minutes each, and two night-wakings (one each night– I was anoyed and convinced– because of whiny sisters).

Truly, he ate heartily both times, so it was probably needful.

He still hasn’t been eating many solids, and was actually getting a nursing blister for the first time since he was brand-new.

Down in 15-minutes last night. Utterly exhausted.

Then up at 3, and 5, and 6:30, and from there sleeping and waking on Daddy’s chest in the living room. (“You still holding me? Okay, life is good.” Zzzzz)

Elisha’s pushing his front teeth through swollen gums today. The meds wore off about 3 a.m. (I’m guessing) and we just weren’t able to get back on top of the pain.

He’s been comfort-nursing today more than he has in a while, and I really can’t blame him. Really, I’m glad to have something to offer him.

General Update

We are (Lord willing!) coming out of a black hole of sleeplessness.

Natasha was having frequent night terrors, Elisha would wake 4-6 times in the night, and Melody would take forever just to get to sleep.

Melody still takes the longest of anybody to pass-out, but she’s generally quiet about it, and now that I’ve quit trying to shift the kids’ schedule earlier, Natasha’s been napping again and the terrors seem to be past.

For a week or two, I was attempting to nap the girls from Noon-2, hoping the earlier nap would help them sleep earlier at night. The mixed results (they would go down earlier, but wake more in the night) have since made it not worth the effort. The rhythm we fall into naturally seems to work much more peacefully.

~ ~ ~

In other news, Melody has become the resident singer. She will join in whenever I start singing, and keeps singing even when she doesn’t know the words. ;o)

Natasha is more disinterested now, in general, but has learned all the words to “Papa’s Song” (the first verse of The Star Spangled Banner). She’d be interested in learning more verses if I knew them, but since we returned the picture book to the library before I memorized all the lines, I don’t have whole verses to offer her.

Elisha signs and says “All done,” now, and sometimes tries to use it when I’m changing his diaper. He loves to clap when we’re singing, and sometimes tries to sing along too.

He crawls everywhere, “cruises” along whatever furniture he can grab, and will stand independently for a brief time (he pulls himself up than lets go, grinning ear to ear before he plops back to his bottom).

We’ve tried to get him to walk with the toy hippo Gma H gave Melody when she was learning to walk, but I think the wheels are still a bit too fast for him. He ends up leaning forward until he’s walking on his knees.

Everybody is glorying in the warming weather, asking frequently to go outside (the girls) and dashing cat-like onto the front porch (Elisha) whenever the door is left open.


Jay got home Tuesday from his 3-day snow-machining trip.

We did okay here, but I’m really glad my sister was in-town for the weekend. She helped with bedtime Saturday night then came back and helped with baths Sunday morning. She also joined mom in helping shine the house before Jay got home Monday night.

The tough parts were Elisha giving up solids (he hasn’t finished a jar since Friday, and he was going through 2-3 a day), and waking up a gobzillion times every night. It was hard on the girls too, culminating in night waking for Melody, and a long cry before nap for Natasha.

Jay stayed home Tuesday and Wednesday, so I was able to catch-up on some sleep and started in hard on “teaching” Elisha how to go to sleep in his own room Tuesday night.

This generally involves laying the child down over and over again and listening to a tired baby cry no matter where he is (in the crib, the rocking chair, etc.) because he expects to nurse to sleep, even though he’s not hungry.

We had about an hour and a half of him fighting sleep, and another half-hour of his giving-up before I was down about Midnight.

Four wakings that night, the last I was able to pat him back to sleep without taking him out of bed.

Last night we had about a third of that fight, much less vigorous, and three night-wakings, again, with one where I was able to rub his back to settle him again.

The marked improvement is very encouraging, and quite motivating to continue the exercise.