Tuesday, July 30, 2013

30 July 2013

My bad driving habits came back to haunt me on a bike ride with the kids last week.  Nut Brown and I with Bobo in tow were riding home from the park.  We're coming up to a light at a fairly busy road.  It's green, and then it turns yellow, and Nut Brown speeds up.  I yell at him to stop stop STOP and he does, sliding to a stop with his back wheel turning to the side- very dramatic.  But the important thing was that he stopped, because by now the light was red.

I explained that when I'm driving in the car, sometimes I speed up for yellow lights.  But on a bike, yellow ALWAYS means stop.  ALWAYS.  He was a bit grumpy, I think because he felt he could have made the light, but I insisted.  When he was under two, Mr. Brown and I used to say to each other that we'd be surprised if he made it to eighteen, because he was constantly climbing on things and jumping off of things.  He got better at that (now he climbs and jumps more safely) but now it looks like it may be his bike that keeps him from getting to eighteen.

A few days later we were riding to the farmers' market (we ride our bikes kind of a lot).  A big yellow garbage truck had pulled up and was blocking the sidewalk while waiting to turn, so I called to the kids to stop and wait, rather than trying to go around it.  Nut Brown grinned big and said, yeah, Mom, because yellow always means stop for bikes!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

28 July 2013

Nut Brown is getting really good at Connect Four.  He's a challenge to play.  I have to try hard to win, and sometimes I lose.  Lately we've also been playing Sequence, which is a great game because the rules are so simple and it's all about strategy.  Rose Pink gets some of the strategy, and Nut Brown gets none of it, but they can still play and they really enjoy it.  Also we've been playing Go Fish with some alphabet cards.  Instead of counting up who got the most pairs at the end of the hand, the kids enjoy the game based on who got their favorite pairs during the hand.  Did Rose Pink get the Jaguars?  Did Nut Brown get the Narwhals?  Who got the Umbrella Birds?  These are the questions on which the success of the hand hangs. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

26 July 2013

Bobo loves socks.  Whenever he finds them, he picks them up and carries them around the house with great affection.  Occasionally he will get into my dresser and get out pairs of socks and carry them around.  This morning I got out a pair to put on to go to work and he insisted on taking it from me.  I had to buy it back by trading him a cup of milk.  On Sunday I put his Lightning McQueen socks on him and he thought that was pretty awesome.  When I went to take them off at the end of the day, he fussed so much that I left them on.

He also loves to cook.  (See above photo: he's wearing an apron)  Whenever Mr. Brown starts moving pots around, Bobo is right there, demanding to be picked up so he can watch.  He says, 'hot! hot!' because he thinks thats what cooking is called.  When we make toast in the toaster, he cries to get out of his chair so he can come over and watch the toast toasting.  It's so funny.  Mr. Brown is getting good at cooking one-handed.

This baby has made me realize what a mystery babies are.  I really don't know anything about him - I know a couple things that he likes, but not how he makes decisions, or what his preferences are, or why he screams for some things but not for others.  He's such a mystery.  I look forward to watching him grow up so I can learn more about him.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

24 July 2013

Nut Brown, going to bed last night:  What's on the bottom of the ocean and in outer space?

Me: I don't know.

Nut Brown: Stars!  Because there are stars in outer space and starfish on the bottom of the ocean!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

23 July 2013

On Saturday we ran out of ice in the Igloo drinks cooler that we keep on the kitchen counter.  Shopping day is Monday, and since it's summer we decided that we couldn't wait until Monday for cold water.  The kids and I decided to ride a mile and a half to the grocery store to get a 20 pound bag of ice.  When Bobo went down for his afternoon nap, we strapped the cooler into the bike stroller and set off. 

We rode past a park and Nut Brown asked if we could stop, so we did.  There was a brother and sister playing there, and when we rode up the little girl said, "Oh, look, some friends just arrived!"  Her older brother said, 'Do you know them?' and she said, 'No, but that doesn't mean they're not my friends!'  The playground was built to encourage climbing and swinging, and Nut Brown was having a fabulous time.

(Side note: he can do those monkey bars that are made up of swinging rings on chains instead of bars.  Mr. Brown said to Rose Pink, watch how Nut Brown uses his momentum to move from ring to ring... but then we watched, and Nut Brown doesn't use momentum at all.  He waits until the ring is still, and does the whole thing strictly based on upper body strength.  Wow.)

So anyway, the other kids suggested playing Lava Tag, which involved more swinging and climbing to stay away from the lava monster.  Right?  I'm laying on the picnic table watching the sun and sky through the leaves on the tree over me.  Very restful.  Suddenly Nut Brown starts screaming and crying and runs over to me.  His hand is hurting.  When I look at it, he's given himself a blister from all that monkey-bar-ness, and now it's popped.  Then it starts to bleed.  Ow ow ow ow ow ow.  Poor little guy!!

Fortunately someone from our ward lives nearby, so we walked over to her house and she drove Nut Brown home.  I put his bike in the bike trailer next to the cooler, and Rose Pink and I went home as well.  So we didn't make it to the store to get ice.  Mr. Brown had a hard time believing that Nut Brown played on the monkey bars until his hand bled.  That's some serious dedication to climbing.

Monday, July 22, 2013

22 July 2013

In which I behave in a very juvenile fashion.

In the car on the way to church on Sunday, stopped in a turn lane at a red light.  Rose Pink was in the front seat with me and Nut Brown and Bobo were in the back seat.

Rose Pink: Mom.  Turn on your blinker.

Me: No.  I won't.

Rose Pink: Mom!  Turn on your blinker!

Me: You can't make me!

Rose Pink: They'll get mad at you!

Me: Who will get mad at me?

Rose Pink: The people behind you!

Me: There's nobody behind me!

Rose Pink: HONK!  HONK!

Nut Brown: No, I'm behind her!  HONK!  HONK!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

18 July 2013


What does homeschooling look like at our house?  Doing math homework on the couch.  And yes, Bobo is a chronic cheater- he's always copying the older kids. :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

15 July 2013

I took the older kids to a program at the library about all the layers of ground underneath our feet in Michigan.  It started by talking about soil and what's in soil and the insect life associated with it, and then moved down into the dirt and various rock strata, with samples from each to look at.  It was a really great program.  One of the things the presenter told the kids is that a great place to find fossils is in the gravel in parking lots.  The next night I was out poking around the yard, and the kids decided to look for fossils in the gravel I have down between my raised beds.  What do you know? They found some!  They were occupied hunting for and showing off fossils for at least an hour.  Totally awesome.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

14 July 2013

That's showing the temp inside our house at the moment (9:09 pm).  Today is the first of what is supposed to be 90-95 degree days for the whole week.  It's going to be a long week.  Lest I sound ungrateful- it has been much cooler this summer than last - last year it was over 90 for almost half of the days in July.  So far this month it's been over 90 twice.

Friday, July 12, 2013

12 July 2013

We had folks over on the 4th for food and chatter and fireworks in the backyard.  The food and chatter was fun, but the fireworks were a little nervewracking - much more powerful than I anticipated and it felt unsafe, so we didn't end up setting off the biggest ones that I bought.  The fireworks also terrified the baby.  Then to top it off we gave sparklers to the kids, but things got a little crazy and Nut Brown got a pretty bad burn on his foot.  Mr. Brown gave him a blessing with the assistance of one of the other dads, and the burn is healing just fine.  Altogether, a mixed holiday for us, though.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

3 July 2013

This afternoon Mr. Brown took the kids to the zoo to meet up with our friends the Truskies.  As they pulled in to the parking lot, Rose Pink saw a Texas license plate and said, I was born in Texas!  But you know what's weird?  Madison (our next door neighbor) was born right here!  And Nut Brown said, at the zoo?

Tonight Rose Pink went out and grabbed a fly swatter to get a fly.  Bobo toddled out a few minutes later and also returned with a fly swatter, very pleased with himself that he could be like her.  Then he doubled his efforts during family prayer and came back with TWO fly swatters, dual wielding.  He's so silly.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

2 July 2013

Happy news about Bobo's blood work: he doesn't have a rare blood disease, and it looks like his iron levels are going up.  So we're back to making his milk taste weird in the morning by adding polyvisol and they'll check again at his 18-month checkup.

Nut Brown's gymnastics lessons have started, and he's really enjoying them.  There are 2-3 other little boys in his class, and they do things like headstands, forward and backward rolls, and cartwheels.  They also do some basic stuff on some of the equipment like the rings and parallel bars.  Yesterday they jumped on the trampoline.  Nut Brown enjoys all of it, and it's right up his alley.  He has a lot of upper body strength, and this is a good outlet for it.  He's always had an extra awareness of his body and its capabilities, and it's great to see him making use of it and enjoying it so much. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

1 July 2013

It's amazing what a little motivation will do for kids.  I promised them a batch of cookies each if they would clean the basement before Mr. Brown got home from his meeting on Saturday morning.  The basement was tidied in about half an hour.  Then Saturday night Mr. Brown told them that if they got in and out of the shower in the next twenty minutes, both of them, they could watch an episode of whatever show they're watching now before bed.  And they did, proving that both of them are actually capable of taking a shower in less than ten minutes, something I have always suspected.

As the days have gotten long, the kids stay up later and later, and Rose Pink was sleeping late on Sunday morning.  I have to be at church half an hour early for choir, and I kept thinking she was going to wake up but she didn't.  Finally I went in to wake her and she said, but Papa says that if you're tired you should keep sleeping.  I told her, any other day of the week, I would not be in here having this discussion with you, but it's Sunday and today is the only day we have to be somewhere, so I'm afraid that you have to get up.  I was grateful again that one of the benefits of homeschooling we enjoy is the lack of schedules and deadlines: the day starts when you get up, not with an alarm clock (well, for everyone but me).