Remember my Rabbit's singing? It wasn't a fluke. She sings a lot and it sounds more and more like real songs. She has also discovered the piano and she is passionate about it.
She adores climbing up on the bench and playing. She seems to feel very strongly that she should be able to play it proficiently.
The other day when we got the violins out (and unfortunately it had been awhile) she clearly let us know that she wanted a turn too. I tried to let her hold our little 1/8 size violin briefly, but as soon as I put it under her chin she immediately began sucking on the chin rest. It was very humorous. I think I'll give her a little while longer before I call the Suzuki school!
During this last week we got out the costume box again. It has been in the storage room for awhile (I rotate my kids' toys so that they appreciate them more). They were very excited to see their costumes again.
They've been putting on plays for me, which is something that they've never done before. For a long time I've hoped that they would, so I'm excited. I want to encourage a lot of theatrical production in our home. I can see it being a huge part of our homeschool. They haven't seemed very interested in the past, so I'm thrilled that they're taking to it now. Bean, of course, is the ringleader, telling the other kids what to say and where to stand, but he's very good at getting everybody involved, even the baby.
It's been just a little bit hot here on the prairie this last week. The kids haven't seemed to care-- they still want to ride their bikes and play in the backyard, but they come in so red and sweaty. Yesterday the Badger went out and bought them a wading pool (and some more squirt guns). They were thrilled!
The boys have been playing with squrt guns constantly lately. I had to confiscate them yesterday evening because they were shooting at each other at the dinner table but I'll give them back to them today if they're polite and help me pick up the living room.
The Badger decided to see how the Rabbit would like the pool.
She preferred sitting next to it and splashing the water with her hands.
This week the Rabbit finally began using walking as her primary mode of transportation. She is 16 months old, which is later than my other kids (but not much later). As I've been watching her stagger around the last few days it has occurred to me that she really is a "toddler" now. Then I realized that she is my only toddler, because in recent weeks Roo has definitely arrived at the linguistic and developmental markers that place her as a "preschooler." And Fish, my former preschooler, has recently been showing a lot of desire to tackle the more rigorous mental exercises of school-aged children. Bean, for his part, just finished his math book that took him through multiplication and division and factoring.
So it seems all my children have moved up the ladder. I shouldn't be surprised, but in a way I am. You know your children are going to grow, but sometimes it seems like they're stuck at a certain place (like my Rabbit crawling for more than 8 months). You get used to things being a certain way and it seems like it will be that way forever, yet you know that eventually they will move on. Then one day you wake up and realize that they have moved on. And you're sad and happy at the same time.
After I first wrote this post I then checked my Google Reader and viewed this post from my friend Janet, which, while not on exactly the same vein, resonated with me stronger than it normally would have if I hadn't just written this. I really enjoyed it, so I'm sharing it here.
When Roo says she wants a "haircut" it means she wants a hairstyle (we're working on the distinction). Her hair is slowly getting easier to work with. She's very good at holding still while I do her hair. She whimpers a little when I put the elastics on, but she won't let me stop. She does a similar thing when I wash her hair: she cries, but she insists that I do it anyway.
We think the end results of all this hair grooming are pretty cute!
It had been a long day behind the camera. I was running out of steam, but the wedding reception was winding down. Someone came up to me (I can't even remember who!) and said "You've been taking pictures all day. How about a picture of you with your kids?"
What a great idea!
I started trying to round them up and quickly realized they were in full free-radical mode. You know how they get when they're completely exhausted and yet full of sugar? My kids have gotten pretty good at obediently sitting and smiling for pictures with only a little bit of coaxing, but this night they would neither sit still nor smile. Even Roo. Even with strong coaxing.
When we left Idaho at the end of 2006 I left my double stroller behind. I've managed to live without one until recently. I was trying to put off buying one but the shenanigans I was pulling off to avoid needing one were getting a bit ridiculous. Finally when I was planning a trip to the Temple with my cousin prior to her wedding and my babysitter wanted to take the kids to the zoo I decided the time had come to take the plunge.
Other than the fact that double strollers are very expensive, the other thing that was holding me off was that I could not decide which stroller to buy. If I was going to shell out big bucks I wanted to have the right stroller.
As I mentioned my dilemma to my friends, everyone told me the same thing: "get a Sit 'n Stand." I didn't think I wanted one, but after hearing that emphatically five times I started to pay attention. I did a little research and settled on the Joovy Caboose. Then I found one on Craig's List in nearly new condition for a lot less.
And I LOVE it! It has been so fabulous. It pushes easily and folds up easily and compactly. I can tell it's quality-built. And Roo loves her little spot in the back. She can get in and out as needed, stand up, or sit down. I can also buckle her in if I want to. It has been perfect for our around-town outings (like the wedding reception, as shown above.)
The one thing that it isn't perfect for is long walks around the neighborhood. Roo likes to put her feet down and drag them on the ground and she gets a little squirmy being rear-facing for so long. I eventually intend to buy a bike trailer that converts to a jogging stroller which will cover all our exercise needs. But I'm so very very glad I bought my Joovy Caboose!
I've been spending all this time processing my cousin's wedding photos and I realized today that I never finished blogging Father's Day.
We had a huge breakfast of biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, fresh canteloupe, and smoothie.
Then we gave the Badger his Father's Day presents. The Badger and I each sleep with one of those huge body pillows and a few weeks ago I bought a really soft fuzzy cover for mine. The Badger told me at one point that he wished he had a soft fuzzy cover too, so I bought him one. I think he was kind of surprised to unwrap a pillowcase on Father's Day when most men are unwrapping drills and grilling spatulas, but later on when we got it on his big pillow he was most appreciative. After all, he and I both take sleeping very, very seriously.
His other present was the game "Apples to Apples." I actually bought him the Junior version because we've found it's just as fun for the grownups but we can play it with the kids. He was really excited about that. So were the kids. We can't wait to play it together!
The Rabbit was the smallest guest at my cousin's wedding luncheon, held in a private room at a buffet restaurant. There's plenty for everyone at buffets, especially one-year-olds. I made her a nice plate of finger foods.
This was okay until Cousin S sat down next to her with his plate of spaghetti. She attacked it. So much for non-stainables!
She really had a great time.
In the end, she was one sloppy, happy little Rabbit!
When my cousin Michelle announced her engagement a couple of months ago, we were all thrilled, as is typical when such an event occurs. But something else happened too. Everyone who knows Michelle knows that she is sweet, kind, thoughtful, hard-working, and spiritual, and that it has been hard for her since she lost her dad to cancer six years ago. There are many, many people who love her very deeply and would tie themselves into knots for her. When she announced her engagement, people started volunteering their time and talents to help with the wedding. It was truly heartwarming to see the hours and hours of time people put in to do things like make her dress and her cake and decorate for her reception. There was so much love involved from start to finish.
I volunteered to be her photographer. I've always wanted to be a wedding photographer. I was a little surprised when she actually took me up on it. And then I was a little nervous when the huge responsibility of the assignment hit me. What if I totally messed up and none of the pictures turned out? What if she just didn't like the pictures?
I called my sister Crocodile and arranged to borrow the camera that I used as a back up at Heather's wedding last year. It wasn't the ideal camera for a wedding, but it was good enough. Then I spent quite a bit of time researching wedding photography tips and techniques. It was a little overwhelming as I realized that I didn't have as much skill and practice and good equipment as was optimum. But I bravely went forward, knowing that Michelle was grateful for my willingness to give it my best effort.
Heaven smiled on Michelle yesterday, and some of that radiated over to me and my camera. I got some really nice shots. I haven't had time to look at them all yet, let alone process them, but overall I'm pleased so far. I wasn't the perfect wedding photographer and I didn't take anything like the stunning, clever, artsy example pictures I looked at online, but I think I did a right decent job.
For my first wedding, I was so blessed to have such an easy-going, happy, photogenic couple to work with. They were great. They were patient. They were fun. And so was their family. There was always a willing pair of hands to move my equipment and hold my baby. It was the perfect situation for a greenie.
Thanks, Michelle, for letting me fulfill my dream of being a wedding photographer! It really meant a lot to me. I had a great time!
Hello from the prairie! I love it here. Big skies, good dirt, friendly people, down-home values, and violent storms. What more could you want? It's a great place to raise a family, and family is what I'm all about.
It's what this blog's all about too. Whether you are an old friend I've moved away from, a family member, or a complete stranger, I hope you will enjoy this peek at the every-day doings of my noisy and unusual houseful in the heartland of America.