Me: "Oskar's baby book. I want to finish it before Flannery is born."
Timothy: "Her name is not Flannery."
Me: "You haven't thought of anything better."
Timothy: "I will! I'm working on it."
Then he left. I would love to say he left in a huff because that is fun to say, but my husband never really gets in huffs. He is pretty irritated that he hasn't found any names I like better than Flannery. We tossed around Vivian and Lucille. I really like them both and would probably go with Lucille except I don't like nicknames for my kids and Lucy is pretty much inevitable. So. Flannery it is! Unless Timothy comes up with something brilliant. He has three months left.
In case you were wondering, I finished Oskar's baby book. I even like it. Thank you mixbook.
My doctor retired precipitously leaving me--a high-risk, trying to VBAC after two c-sections patient--without a doctor. Three months before I deliver. When I first found out I was so freaked out that I couldn't sleep and called Kayli and talked to her for an hour. What are we going to do when Kayli is in the same time zone and there is no one to call at 1:00 am?? Although, truth be told, I'd rather have her in the same time zone.
There are not many doctors willing to take a patient with my history, but Megan has come through again! Seriously, she always wins sister of the year. She talked to some of her very favorite doctors and found one willing to take me as a patient and try to help me VBAC. I haven't met him in person yet, so there is still the chance it might not work out between us, but I feel a lot calmer now. If Megan likes a doctor, that is a pretty good recommendation because she sees them in action constantly.
In other news, Timothy found some free cabinets on KSL so he has been fixing up his garage. Yay for him. Sometimes I wish he'd focus his attention on helping me get the kids to do their Saturday's work, but since I don't know of any husbands who do that--I think that's what my dad would call a pipe dream.
I'm not complaining about my husband. He doesn't complain that I cook one meal a week and we eat whatever we can scrounge together the rest of the time. He doesn't complain. I don't complain. If I was going to complain about him, I might be tempted to mention the movie he chose for last night. Unfortunately, the movie I chose last (a few Fridays ago) was also a complete waste of time. Sad, sad.
Do you ever feel like saying, "Stop having a life and comment on my blog!"? I do.
I'm having a new baby girl in three months. Weird. It always surprises me when I think about having seven kids. How did this happen? When did this happen? Why don't my children do their Saturday's work without my following them around with a wooden spoon? So many existential questions to be asked when avoiding helping ones children get their Saturday's work done.
Have a nice Saturday. I hope your house is cleaner than mine. And that you have food. Maybe they'd work better if I fed them? So much to ponder.
In the van ready to drive the two minutes to the trailhead at the top of our street. Yes, we did drive when it only takes ten minutes to walk. It is uphill and I'm pregnant. Once we park at the trailhead we walk along the nice, flat, canal road. Totally worth it to drive the two minutes. :)
I love where we live. I also love watching children race along the mountainside. I also love to watch Patsy bound around like she's more rabbit than dog. Mostly, I love to be outside with my family.
I'm in this picture! The older children were taking their dad to see one of their favorite little caves. The younger children were trying to catch grasshoppers.
Entering the cave. (Emeline is wearing the birthday shirt grandma Beckie purchased for her. It is so cute with a boatneck top and polka dots. Love it!!)
Oskar and I didn't enter the cave. We played with sticks and rocks on the canal road.
Baby girl was there.
Patsy was there.
You can kind of see how large it is. Not super large, but large enough to be cool.
Emerging from the cave.
More come out.
And more come out.
This is when the kids told Timothy to play "explorer" with them. That was fun for me because Timothy kept saying things in a deep, dramatic voice like, "I claim this rock because I explored this rock." Maybe you had to be there but it was pretty funny.
I tried to get a picture of everyone. They cooperated about as well as yo'd expect.
Harriet did not want to cooperate at all. She is in the picture, just trying hard not to be in the picture.
Where are Emeline and Eli?
Cutie patootie with a birthday and baptism coming up.
Heading home--with much whining. The older kids whined about having to go home so soon. Harriet and Oskar whined because they were tired. Cowen whined because I told him not to kick up excess dust. Eli was sad because he accidentally wet his pants and he was embarrassed. Good family times.
Another Where's Waldo. Find Eli and Cowen. Isn't my backyard beautiful!
Tonight Timothy played a game with the four oldest called Say Anything. It is sort of like Apples to Apples in that the judge picks the best answer to a question. You aren't limited by pre-written answers. Instead, you write your own.
The question was, "Who is my favorite artist?" and Miriam was the judge. Five year old Eli decided to write, "Dad is the best artist." He didn't quite spell it correctly.
He also didn't quite understand why Timothy and I laughed so hard.
I haven't posted much lately because we have been trying to get back into the swing of full-time school. It has been awesome! Really, routines save a mom's sanity. The best thing I've done in the last little while is changed Miriam's morning chore to making breakfast. While she makes breakfast, I help Emeline and Cowen practice their piano. We have gotten so much more done in the morning!
I did make one tactical error in that I assigned the upstairs bathroom to Cowen. That means he can't straighten up, clean the sink and mirror, etc., until everyone has bathed. At first this drove him nuts because he's the kind of kid who gets up and going and usually has all his chores done before everyone else is fully awake. He didn't like having to wait on other people. But I fixed it. I showed him that he can have almost all his school work done (spelling, xtramath, his piano notes, piano practiced) before breakfast. Then he's not losing any free time. That changed his attitude pretty quickly.
Eli has his first real job. He's on tidying the downstairs and his Saturday's work is vacuuming all the carpeted rooms downstairs. He's doing well so far. It is still a novelty, so whining has been minimal.
I made Emeline very, very happy because I assigned watering the plant to her. I always forget to water the plant until it looks mostly dead (sorry Kami), but then inspiration struck and I pawned the job off on someone who thinks it is a cool job. Sometimes I amaze myself. Now I want to buy more plants because I feel like they might live if Emeline is in charge of their maintenance.
I assign jobs for a whole year so it is a bit of work initially since all the kids need trained in their new jobs at the same time. I just barely showed Cowen how to deep clean a bathroom yesterday. Once the kids learn their chores it is just a matter of my staying diligent at checking up to make sure they do a good job daily/weekly.
In other news, Eli crashed his bike. I couldn't get a good picture of the cut under his nose, which was deeper than these pictures make it look. He was pretty sad, but then he recovered.
Eli, you are the cutest boy. Also, you are an excellent geographer for a kindergarten kid.
Look at that diligence! We mapped what Europe looked like at the tail end of the medieval period. This year we are studying The Age of Exploration (Renaissance/pirates/explorers) and chemistry. It is going to be so much fun!!
Let's see, I haven't talked about Oskar. Oskar is . . . growing into his own. He's still the easiest kid on the planet, but he's a lot more imperious now. For example, when he wants more of something he squawks and jabs his finger at his plate. I would say he points to his plate, but it feels like an understatement. He's very emphatic. When he's done with supper he screeches at full volume and jabs his finger toward the floor. Very communicative. Very loud.
Oskar is in the throes of the bruised and bloodied climbing stage. I can't keep him off the kitchen table. He likes to carry around Harriet's bathroom step-stool, put it down various places, step on it, and crow triumphantly. His favorite place to climb is the bathroom. He pulls the step stool over to the toilet and climbs on the toilet. From the top of the toilet he can pull himself into the bathroom sink. He loves to sit in the sink and think grand thoughts about his accomplishments.
What drives me the most nuts, however, is that he likes to hold onto the handrail and walk up and down the stairs instead of climbing them on his hands and knees. He falls constantly. I keep hoping he'll give up, but he never does. I'm sure, in the future, that kind of tenacity will serve him well. Right now it is bruising his brain.
What else does Oskar do? Well, he folds his arms for prayer and kneels for a few seconds. He can say lots of words and he understands far more than he can say. Whenever I say "shoe" he hustles to his room (where we keep his shoes) in great excitement. He loves being put in the backyard with the dogs and will play outside happily for as long as I leave him. He eats by himself and is surprisingly dexterous with a spoon.
So that's what has been happening around here. Lots of school, lots of chores, lots of playing, and lots of loving on Oskar.
A little while ago the kids and I had a bunch of fun determining how many kids we were all going to have, their genders, and their names. We used the pin stuck into a pencil eraser and placed above the wrist method. Good times. I recently found the paper where we wrote down everyone's kids and the names picked for the babies. It was too awesome to not record for posterity.
Emeline's Future Family
Girl: Stella Nicole
Girl: Dora Emeline
Boy: Timothy Oskar
Boy: Doodles Eli
Girl: Tulip Harriet
Boy: Arnold the Adventurous (Timothy helped her with that one)
Eli's Future Family
Boy: Tooth Ring
Girl: Flying Tooth Dove
Boy: Hawk Tooth
Girl: Badger Dove
Cowen's Future Family (Cowen was very upset that there were only four kids and two of them were girls)
Girl: *Cowen refused to name this child because he wouldn't acknowledge the possibility of having a girl first
Miriam's Future Family
Girl: Dove Maple
Girl: Rose Georgia
Boy: Derek John
Girl: Violet Priscilla
Boy: Winchester Timothy
Girl: Petunia Nicole
Boy: Badger Marion
Harriet had five children: boy, girl, boy, girl, boy. She didn't want to name them.
"The story is told that in ancient Rome a group of women were, with vanity, showing their jewels one to another. Among them was Cornelia, the mother of two boys. One of the women said to her, 'And where are your jewels?' To which Cornelia responded, pointing to her sons, 'These are my jewels.' They grew to be two of the most persuasive and effective reformers in Roman history. It is so obvious that the great good and the terrible evil in the world today are the sweet and the bitter fruits of the rearing of yesterday's children. As we train a new generation, so will the world be in a few years. If you are worried about the future, then look to the upbringing of your children." Gordan B. Hinckley, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints