Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I've been fired!

Milo, in a fashion that I must admit reminds me rather of me, has fired me from the position of potty trainer. The night before last he woke at midnight to cry because he'd leaked some pee and wanted to be changed (we still use pullups at night because I just don't believe in worrying about night training AT ALL. That'll happen when it happens.) and that was a pretty significant change from Mr. I-don't-really-care-if-I'm-dry-or-wet. I took him to potty and he finished his business.

Yesterday morning I think I took him to potty twice and then Chris caught him taking himself potty around 9am. I reminded him a few more times throughout the day, but in general, it was clear that he was taking himself potty. At 2pm he announced without any great concern but with some small amount of fanfare that he needed to poop. I followed him to the potty and hung out in the hall while he worked on the project. It was entirely successful and I had no part in it except to convince him to let me wipe him at the end.

I gave him some mini-marshmallows as a reward since we were out of M&Ms. Well, as it would turn out, Milo has been waiting his whole life for mini-marshmallows. For the rest of the day he emptied his bladder every fifteen minutes in exchange for some mini-marshmallows. He was dry this morning. I haven't had an important role in the potty business since. I just shell out the marshmallows when he comes to collect and hold his undies so he can step back into them.

:::tries to look unphased:::

::gives up::: YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And wah. My last baby out of diapers. Okay, no. I can't work up any sadness there. I did have a lot of fun with cloth diapers but I'm really done with the diapering business. From here on out I'll only diaper neices and nephews which means if it's TOO icky? I can hand the kid BACK!! ::happy dance::

I'm really awfully proud of the kid.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

MAX: This May Be My Greatest Day Ever!

The State College Ward meets in an older LDS chapel. It's clearly been there awhile. The parking lot was full when we arrived, about ten minutes late, but there were other late comers straggling in. We followed them into the meeting room and I saw a stuffed-to-the-gills meeting hall. Memorial Day weekend. There were more visitors than usual. They were singing the hymn right before Sacrament so I wanted to find a seat and get settled so as not to miss that. It took me a few minutes to spy a spot, but tucked in the back left corner, the very last pew, there was a nearly empty row. I couldn't believe my luck. There weren't more than two spots together anywhere else in the hall. We squeezed in and settled down as the hymn came to an end. I closed my eyes to listen to the blessing and heard an older black voice speak the blessing. This immediately told me two things. 1) The missionaries are finding people to talk to and the ward is growing (because the blessing is usually done by a very young priest (16-18 year old)* and 2) the ward is ethnically diverse. These are good things in my mind.

The boys were reverent during Sacrament and I got to note more than once during meeting that they're all maturing a little. It might have been the honeymoon stage, but we did great for the first hour (then I took the boys to the bathroom since Milo was in regular underwear and still can't be counted on to anticipate when he has to go. I then decided to listen to the rest of meeting in the hallway because the meeting is normally over at 10:20 and I didn't want to keep walking in and out if meeting was over in ten minutes. More on this later.)

After Sacrament the Stake President took the stand. A petite asian man, he followed an even more petite woman who gave the blessing. He grinned and motioned that the microphone be raised and then joked about how he always wanted to do that because it made him feel tall. People laughed. Then he launched right into a discussion about what it means to reorganize the bishopric. You could have heard a pin drop. I don't know if people knew or not, but I got the feeling that most people didn't know the old bishop was being released. When they changed the bishopric, they also changed the elder's quorum leadership. What a day to start church! The Stake President spoke at length about supporting the new bishop and seemed to enjoy drawing out the suspense. I think he spoke for a half hour before he proceeded with releasing the old leadership and calling the new leadership. The new names seemed well greeted.

About this time I took the boys to the bathroom so I missed the talks from the new bishop and his assistants. That is, I listened to them piped in over the speakers, but I didn't get to attach a face to the voice. The meeting ran over twenty minutes. By the end of the 20 minutes half the ward was walking at least one of their children in the hall. But people were smiling and noone seemed put out by any of it. A new bishop is only called once every four or five years, so it's a special thing.

The boys were thrilled to race off to find their classes. I didn't see Max again until I was waiting outside the primary room for Ben and Milo to come out so I could snag Milo for a quick trip to the potty. When I did he had clearly bonded with another St. Bernard puppy by the name of Zachary. They weren't bringing out the best in each other. Charmed, they were deaf to their teacher. I watched for about two minutes and then, after directing my son to the position that the teacher had been asking him to take for the last few minutes, I took ahold of the boy's ear and whispered that while his friend seemed very nice, he wasn't making good decisions and that Max needed to stop following his lead and make better decisions. I reminded him that he knew how to behave and that I expected him, in short, to knock off the messing around right this instant. [Insert Mutual-of-Omaha footage of irritated mother tiger nipping an out-of-line cub.] I gather that the boys managed to keep themselves out of trouble after that. At least, Max claims he did.

I went to relief society after helping Milo and that went fine. There's a gal there that I already knew through Jill and I got to talk to her afterwards and feel like I already knew someone. In general, everyone was, as Chris told me last night "a MORMON! They're just not mean people!" Instead I spoke with a whole lot of enthusiastic, kind, harried mothers that reminded me of all the other enthusiastic, kind, harried LDS mamas I already knew. I rounded up my cubs (took some doing as much to my surprise, they'd split up Ben and Milo into separate Sunbeam classes. I mulled this over since, in general, I don't approve of splitting up young twins -- research says it does more harm than good -- but I decided not to say anything since they'll be together in preschool and they'll be together at home and in virtually everything else they do, so a few hours in Sunday school might be a nice break.) Anyway, I rounded up the boys and we headed out to the car. It was as I was loading the boys into the truck that Max announced that it was conceivably the best day of his life as he had just made a new friend and expected to play with his "new best friend" this afternoon at Jill's house. And that warmed my cockles because I know that this move has been hard on him and it's good to see him fearlessly putting down new roots.

Which is good because we're never, ever, ever moving again ;)

* I had written deacon earlier because I knew that the kids who pass sacrament are all deacons, and I thought the older male teens who bless the sacrament were deacons, too. But, Sarah clarified for me in an email: "priests (16+) bless the sacrament, teachers (14-15) prepare the sacrament, and deacons (12-13) pass (only). It’s confusing, I know you’ll get it." This means, essentially, that my first assumption wasn't necessarily correct -- except that I've never seen anyone other than a 16-18 year old do it unless it was a convert coming up through the priesthood ranks. So either the gentleman in question WAS a convert coming up through the ranks or he was filling in because there weren't enough young priests there that day. Some other life-long church member will have to educate me :)

Saturday, May 28, 2005

"Oh dear," said Pooh

I'm really anxious tonight. I decided last Saturday that last Sunday would be my last slacker Sunday for a bit. That I would get up and get the kidlets dressed and get myself off to meeting on time.

Well.

So tonight Max and I went to Sears and bought the boy new pants, a new belt, new dress socks, a new casual-dress shirt (cause he's only nearly nine and I don't think he *really* needs the white shirt and blue tie yet), and then I picked up similar things for the twins who insist on continuing to grow.

Then we came home. And I started thinking about going tomorrow morning and I just worried more and more and more.

What if we don't fit in here? It's never really seemed to matter much to me before. I haven't tended to be a fitter-inner most of my life and why should I start worrying about it now?

But -- we're never moving again. Ever, ever. So this is it -- this is where my twins will be baptised, where they'll go to Seminary, where they'll come home to visit when they come home to visit.

And what if it's HORRIBLE? What if they think I'm fat and homely and comment on the fact that my last home dye job didn't take exactly the way I wanted? (I'm more than 50% gray now I gather and I think Ihave to pay the good money most of the time now. It's okay. It's just not pretty.) What if they think only goobers homeschool and that I wore the wrong thing to church? What if I don't pass muster? What if I don't make any friends?

But mostly, what if they don't like me? In my next life I'm coming back as an extrovert. I don't like feeling like this.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Friday Night

First, for Sarah: There is no tofu pudding recipe. You go to your healthfood store and you buy a pack of mori-nu "mates". It's a pudding/pie filling mix that they make. You buy a block of mori-nu FIRM tofu, add it and a quarter cup of water to the blender, and blend till creamy. Then you add the mix and blend till creamy and chocolatey. Then you pour it into four containers, stick in fridge, and eat after dinner. It's REALLY good. We're trying the lemon this weekend. MORI-NU TOFU MATES

Today the twins had their speech evaluation. We think that went well. I'm not sure Ben is going to qualify for services. Actually, I'm not sure either one of them will, but of the two, I'll be surprised if Ben does qualify. I won't get results until next Thursday though. Anyway, the boys passed their hearing tests with flying colors and they seemed to enjoy most of the evaluation. They both burned out on being away from Mom (I wasn't in the room with them. I ran back and forth between evaluation rooms watching through the two way mirror.) about fifteen minutes before the end. I ended up going in to the room with Milo and sitting on the floor so he could sit in my lap and do the last ten of the picture cards.

Gosh my kids are cute.

So then we left and came home and I made everyone lunch and then got back to work. Chris worked on getting stuff to organize the living room this weekend. We made an executive decision earlier this week to hold off on painting that room until the middle of July because I really need to work and he really needs the room to be clean and organized. I feel better about this since I really DID go back and put that last coat in the basement (and yes, it really does look a lot better). So I know we'll get it done. Just not now.

We had our piano practice and then Chris and Max went to swim practice and I made baked Salmon and curried rice (which was really spicey!) and steamed green beans. The boys came home, we ate, we had sugar-free jello for dessert. Yum!

Oh! Milo said three times today that he had to go to the bathroom -- and he did! This is a first. He did still have one accident today, but I'll take it. It wasn't at the speech and hearing clinic and that's what matters :)

This evening after all the boys were in bed I drove over to Jill's and picked her up. Then we went to Meyer's Dairy for milkshakes and gossip. Jill had found a note we passed in a class. It doesn't make a lot of sense and I sound unreasonably arrogant, but it's funny in its own way. She gave it to me to show to Chris.

So that's it! Another nice day here in central PA. Beautiful trees, beautiful weather, good day with the kids, good evening with a friend. Life is good.

Friday Feast

Appetizer
Name 3 things that you think are beautiful.
*My husband's eyes
*Teeny Tiny baby toes
*Emily the poodle

Soup
What was the last concert you attended?
My son's piano recital

Salad
What is one thing that frightens you about getting older?
My maternal grandmother suffered from senility for many of the last years of her life. Every joy I have in life is wrapped up in the people I love. I don't ever want to live not being able to recognize them when they walk in the room.

Main Course
Tell us what cookbook you use most frequently.
I use Betty with a copywrite around 1982.

Dessert
If you could extend one month to 50 days (instead of the normal 28, 29, 30, or 31), which month would you want to lengthen?
April with it's lengthening days and gradually increasing warmth -- but still cool days to cool off and rain to make the grass grow.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Slimming Teacher

ARGH! Lost a huge post. Now you get the reader's digest version. Not nearly as funny.

Today we:
  1. Saved George, the bird who ran into our kitchen window. Not sure what exactly was wrong with him but he couldn't fly away. I took him to the wildlife refuge place in Lemont.
  2. Met our swimming teacher and swam for an hour. It was exhausting and wildly successful. Ben said, "That was the best swimming time, EVER!" Max worked his tush off the whole time. I was incredibly proud of all three of them. I'm so blessed.
  3. Ate healthy food. Milo is the most adventurous of the gang, but noone has skipped two meals in a row yet. Funny how the next meal always looks more appetizing. The tofu pudding we tried turned out to be totally edible. It tastes and looks like chocolate pudding, only it's nearly nonfat and full of protein. Thumbs up to that dessert. Ben was TOTALLY bummed that he'd refused dinner and didn't get any. Poor kid.
  4. Milo stayed dry all day
  5. Ben and I hit the library together. We got a lot of books.
  6. I mowed the front and back lawn. That was really hot. I was suddenly aware that this lot is the largest we've ever owned. And it's only a quarter acre. I'm such a wimp! Oh well, at least the grass grew enough to need mowing.
  7. Chris folded a ton of clean clothes and continued to tidy and put things away.

And that's about it, but it was a great day. Now, back to work.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

One Thousand Words



STILL LIFE WITH PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE FRUIT BOWL
photography by Mom

Friday, May 13, 2005

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