Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Man Now

Rigby is three.  And precious.
Look how much he has grown in the last year.  He was a baby last October!  Friday night, he reported to Nick that he does his part around here by staying home and taking care of Mommy while Bethelle is at school.  And he does.  What would I ever do without him?

This next picture is his actual birthday.  I never let on to him that he was three now.  We spent the day with the pediatrician getting shots.  Bethelle was more scared than I had ever seen her.  She lucked out with just a nasal mist.  Rigby had just one shot in the leg.  He didn't put weight on it for the next 36 hours.  C'mon, Rigby.  Really?  I had to carry him around all the next day.  Curie had three shots.  She screamed like death.  No, wait, that was Bethelle screaming just watching the shot go into Curie's leg.  Thanks for the help, Bethelle.  The prize goes to my mom for meeting me at the dr's and helping me through the torture session.
 I'm pretty proud of this one.
 We had Rigby's party at the children's museum.  It was nearly a last-minute decision, and I am so glad that we did it.  The stress was minimal and the party was memorable.

Which of these boys is the real Nolan?  It was honestly twins day at the museum.  The boy on the left is a twin, but not with our cousin on the right.  These two looked identical and it was pure coincidence that they wore the same outfit that day.  Rigby kept trying to play with the boy on the left and calling him "Nolan."  He did not understand that this was not his cousin.  I don't blame him.  They were even born in the same month.
 Here's the party.
 Rigby changed his mind at least 30 times regarding the theme of his party.  He only settled on Lightning McQueen because I bought paper plates and made a cake.  He would have liked to change it 20 times more.
 Look at these girls.  Cousin-love is the best.

Playing Outside

This is my journal, and I want to document some outdoor play.  We will only live on our island for about nine months before leaving for San Fran, so here are a few pictures taken while playing lately.  The sun has seemed to really hold out this season, and we've been taking advantage while we still can.  The leaves are changing, but the rain is holding back.  Nick keeps talking about how great the colorful trees are.  Over and over.  To the point of annoyance.  He told me I could write that.  Love ya, Nick.  I tend to prefer the green, living trees.  But that's just me.

This helmet came with Rigby's scooter.  Also included were knee and elbow pads.  Even though the scooter is the three-wheeled, preschool kind, the knee pads swallowed Rigby's legs.  I gave them to Bethelle and put the elbow pads on Rigby's little knees.  Perfect.
 What a face.
 I can't remember why I took this picture, but I need to include my first baby in this post...
 This one is for you, Grandpa Frank.  You'd love her.
 I'll introduce you someday.
 Don't I look tall?  That is a first for me.

Joee Visits

Living a bit farther from family than we are used to, and being confined to a school schedule, I now find it more important to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.  Bethelle had a few days off for parent/teacher conferences, so we invited our cousin, Joee, to spend a couple days with us.
I took the kids to our local children's museum.  I planned to get there as soon as they opened.  We could not have survived otherwise.  The place was a zoo of children because school was out.
 The upstairs of the museum is all kinematics.  This translates to golf balls and every kind of ramp a child can enjoy.  If you know us, you know that this room could be a representation of my marriage.
Here, Bethelle is learning how to make a ball roll up.  C'mon.  All you have to do to roll a ball up is to push it.  This is not rocket science.  Or is it...

Sirens Blaring

On our quest to become true citizens of our little island, we joined in on the local tradition of pancakes and fire truck rides at a firehouse fundraiser.
Prices were good, food was plentiful, and the ride was such a treat for the kids.
Bethelle rode in the front of the cattle-packed people on the top of the truck.  She froze and loved it.  Curie and I were smack in the less-desirable center.  Nick and Rigby cuddled in the back.
We were pleasantly surprised to run into our good friends, the H's.  I casually run into more people that I know here on the island than I have in other placed we have lived.  This is a strong community and we are enjoying its many benefits.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

When They Parent You Back

I've been singing the blues lately.

About two months ago, I had an incredibly painful sore throat accompanied by a day and a half fever.  When all was well again, I found that I couldn't sing some of the notes that I used to.  OK, a lot of the notes that I used to.  I pride myself on being a high soprano and I love to sing, so as the months went on and the notes weren't back, it got a bit depressing.

I was asked recently to sing a solo for a meeting at church and I thought I could do it.  I pulled out a song I had done before and that would be perfect for the message of the meeting.  The other day as I was practicing, I was pretty frustrated.  I was on the verge of calling off the number completely.  I didn't like facing the fact that I could no longer perform a piece that I had loved so well.

I came out to our family room to look at the music again, and Bethelle approached me.

"Mom, can I tell you something?     ...      About Cat in the Hat?"

Well, I don't know.  I'm trying to figure out this song right now...

"Sure, Honey.  What is it?"

"The kids on Cat in the Hat were trying to sing a song and they just couldn't get in right.  The Cat in the Hat took them to the whale.  Do you know what they learned?  It's not how you sing that matters, it's what you're saying in the song."

Thank you, Bethelle.  She's so right.  And do you know what else?  It's not how wide your vocal range is that matters, it's how your kids grow and learn and face challenges.  And how they help others to do the same.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Friends Worth Emulating

Bethelle and Rigby are excellent playmates.  They love to dress up and pretend.  Most days, they can be found calling each other names of famous-to-them pairs: Cinderella and Prince Charming, Aurora and Prince Phillip, Anastasia and Demetrius, Super Girl and Superman, or Peter Pan and Wendy.  The rest of the family is then projected with appropriate characters.  Recently, we have been Captain Hook, Tinkerbell, and Wendy's mom (whoever that is...).

Last Friday, they were running around pretending, as usual.  And then I caught on to the names.  They were our dear friends Tom and Alaina, for whom they were flower girl and ringer bearer a year ago!  I never would have come up with that option, but I love how creative those kids are and how they show love for some of their real life heroes.
You can see why Tom and Alaina have attained Prince and Princess status to my children.

Friday, October 8, 2010

They're Watching...

Curie likes to be where I am.  She is often content to play next to me, which is a blessing, as the other two liked to be held.

As I was ripping lettuce for tonight's salad, Curie was at my feet, whining to be held.  I slipped her a small lettuce leaf to chew, hoping that it would buy me some time at the salad spinner.  When I next looked down, here is what I saw.

I did not give her that bowl.

Looks like we'll have extra salad tonight, if anyone wants to join us for dinner.

Birthday Shots

I had a couple headshots taken of Rigby and Curie to mark their birthdays, and Bethelle came along for the ride.  I can't believe how much the two younger kids have matured since our portraits in March (see the blog header above).

Here is my sweet Curie.

And my handsome Rigby.  What a heartbreaker.

And my big girl, Bethelle.

I just love them.  How could I help it?

Thank you, Aderyn Photography!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Our Next Stage

He did it!  He did it!  He did it!  He did it!  He did it!  He did it!

Nice work, Nick!

For almost two years, Nick and I have been planning on a temporary move to San Fran, contingent upon getting a promotion that leads to training in the Bay Area.  The earliest that could happen would be January.  We have made many big decisions and future plans based on this move.

All along the way, co-workers have been telling us that Nick is a shoe-in, we don't need to worry, etc.  Then we found out that there were over 200 applicants, but only 33 positions.  If we didn't get in now, we could not try again until June.

For the lasts few weeks, Nick has been interviewing and testing locally and in San Francisco.  And today we got the great news!  All our planning and Nick's hard work have paid off.

Nick feels blessed to work for such a great company and hopes to be with them for the duration of his career.

Congrats, Nick!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Plug for Power

I recently blew the dust off of a piece of my childhood with this favorite:
... and the accompanying music found here.

Every little kid should be listening to this music.  Check out the song titles:
  • 1. Attitude
  • 2. Trying Again
  • 3. Enthusiasm
  • 4. Determination
  • 5. Patriotism
  • 6. Industry
  • 7. Integrity
  • 8. Family
  • 9. Dreaming
  • 10. Courage
  • 11. Cheerfulness
  • 12. Caring
  • 13. Creativity
  • 14. Sportsmanship
  • 15. Overcoming

The title of this collection struck me recently.  I generally loath the word, "power."  I think of it as referring to power over someone, generally taken rather than given.  I think of power struggles and power grabbing, abuse of power and power hungry.  But look at those song titles again.  These are the sources of real, righteous power.  Enthusiasm.  Patriotism.  Industry.  Caring.

The book and music have been a real hit at our house.  My kids have me turn on the "tunes" and then sit with the book through the whole album.  The songs are then stuck in our heads for the rest of the day, but they're not annoying.  Instead, they are reminders to care and to overcome.

I can remember calling these songs and images to memory as a child when faced with decisions, and I've heard the same from others who also grew up with these.

I don't think that the book is published anymore, but buy a used one.  It makes the experience complete and more interesting for kids.  It involves them completely in the message, rather than as a passive song in the background.

And let me know how it goes over with your kids if you take my advice.  You won't regret it!

Baby Tears

Curie is quickly becoming a picky eater.  She loves fruit and any kind of treat (which are very new in her life).  Oh, and cheese.  She loves most common cheeses.  That's about it.  She's not big on breads, vegetables, or meat.

Her pickiness has been escalating lately, so last night we gave her strained beef stew (from Deceptively Delicious, so yummy!).  It had tons of veggies and beef.  She wouldn't even touch it.  She cried and cried and we wouldn't budge.  Eventually, we got her out of her chair, but whenever she acted hungry that evening, which was often, we only gave her back her stew.

I did give her milk, as usual, before bed, but she was a very sad camper last night.

And then I did it again today at lunch time.  She went down for her nap very sad again.  I do keep offering food, but she won't take what I'm giving her.

It's OK, right?  I'm being a good mommy, right?

It seems that whenever I have applied the stick-to-it approach to parenting (taking away the pacifier, sleeping through the night, or teaching that Mommy is making dinner and you need to play on your own now), it has generally taken about three sad days to accomplish the task.

But she will eat if she needs to, right?