Sunday, February 27, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

Lost mah groove

I have completely fallen out of the blogging groove. I can't remember the last time I went more than a week without posting at least something. (I'm sure I could look it up, but I'm not going to bother.) It's been a while.

I don't even really know where to start, so I'll just do my usual "toss up a glut of photos" trick and try to start fresh later today.

Day 303

Day 28

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Day 29

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Day 30

Day 306

Day 31

Day 307

Day 32

Day 308

Day 33

Day 309

Day 34

Day 310

Day 35

Day 311

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Day 312

Day 37

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Day 38

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Day 39

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Day 43

Day 319

Day 44

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Continuing the trend

Moving along our stop-and-go blog trajectory for the month, here are some bits and pieces of what we've been up to, the past few days.

(In roughly chronological order.)

Wednesday morning, Tom took a few hours of leave, and the four of us went to check out the Open House at the Lee District Rec Center preschool. The program looks pretty great, and Soren wanted very much to dive right in and play with all the cool stuff in the classrooms. Unfortunately, space is limited, and there's a first come first served open enrollment next month. From what I've heard, people start lining up in the wee hours of the morning, well before the rec center even opens, like they're buying tickets to a friggin concert, sometimes just to secure a spot high up on the waiting list. Ugh. But it's a good program, and the price is better than pretty much anything else in the area, so I'll sacrifice some sleep to try and get Soren in. Fortunately, I'd only have to go through that once, since existing students, and siblings of existing students, get priority enrollment each year.

(Why do I assume it will be me waiting out there in the dark and the cold, instead of Tom? Because I possess the very helpful ability to nap during the day, and Tom does not. Oh, I'm pretty sure I'll be asking him to stay home from work that day so he can tend to the kiddos while I catch up on sleep, but I wouldn't ask him to stay up all night and then all day. That just wouldn't be nice.)

* * *

Eleri's becoming more and more talkative every day. Many times per day, she has taken to asking - accompanied by a pointed finger - "Oohuhzhya?" which seems to translate roughly to "Who (and/or what) is that?" She also gleefully calls to "Heeee-oh!" (Leo) and asks after "Daddya." (She only cries for "Mamamama" when she's upset.) One of her favorite pastimes is still playing "Bo!" (Peekaboo), and she's also been known to utter the occasional "Yeah!" or "Whoa!" And of course, dropped food or toys almost always merits a delighted "Uh oh!"

She's also ever the independent lass, just like her brother. This morning, we were at the open play time at the Barcroft Gym, and she just went off on her own, playing with whatever struck her fancy, for a good long while. She would periodically come back, grinning, to visit me (or A's mom) and get a hug, but for the most part she was perfectly content on her own.

* * *

Speaking of the Barcroft Gym, we spent about 90 minutes there this morning. Soren & A devoted a solid chunk of that time to running back and forth, pushing each other in a plastic play stroller, from one end of the gym to the other and back again. After that, we snagged some lunch and went to Zoom class (45 minutes of running/jumping/flopping/scamping). We followed up Zoom class with about 40 minutes on the rec center playground, since it was a freaking gorgeous day outside (60-70 degrees, most of the day). Soren was seriously tuckered out by the afternoon. We had to run some errands later in the day, and he slept - snoring - for about half an hour in the car. Tee hee.

* * *

Said nap is currently screwing up the lad's bedtime. It's now 10pm and he's wide awake. Boo.

* * *

Whew. 10:15 and he's asleep.

* * *

I'm going to sign off and get some sleep, too. I promise I'll get photos (and video!) posted again here soon.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Playing ketchup

February has not been a very good month for blog upkeep, I'm sorry to say. I can't even say where the time's been going, since I have fallen behind on my reading and calculus practice as well. And with Photoshop still on the fritz, I certainly haven't been spending my evenings editing pictures. Life just gets miscellaneously busy sometimes, I guess.

I have, at least, been good about remembering to take at least one photo of the kids each day, and I've been reasonably good about uploading said photos to Flickr every few days or so. So there's that.

We're still battling the snot monster of 2011 around here. It's mostly just Eleri who's still afflicted at this point, so I'm hopeful that we will finally, someday soon, all be healthy again for at least a little while.

Teething continues in earnest. The lass has all her central and lateral incisors, top and bottom, and just in the past couple of days, three of her molars have finally popped through the gums (and the fourth will probably make an appearance by the end of the week). The whole process has been an interesting contrast to Soren's teething experiences in that Eleri's not really tended to lose her appetite or her desire for solid foods. When Soren got his molars, he just wanted to nurse and nurse and nothing else, but Eleri is quite happy to tuck into pretty much whatever food she's presented with. We joke about her being our little carnivore, since she seems to really love chicken, beef, lamb, pork, basically any kind of meat, much more than Soren does even now. I don't know if she's just naturally less picky or if the earlier introduction of finger foods has been beneficial. Probably a bit of both.

Soren continues to amaze me with his ability to sound out words. Absent any tricky vowel combinations, he's generally able to figure out just about whatever Tom or I throw at him. It's pretty neat. He's also been really into acting out sequences from his current favorite show, Super Why. He did this, very nearly, all day long today. Which is cute, but less fun (for me) than you might think. ;)

That's all I've got for the moment. I know I owe you pictures and videos and stuff, but check out Flickr for now, and I'll have more things posted here soon. :)

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Photos to follow

Hello! I'm behind again (shocking, I know) on pulling photos off my camera, but here's what we've been up to.

Horse day! It was damp, but a touch warmer than it's been these past several weeks, out at the barn. I was assigned a horse named Stringbean, a somewhat elderly former-prelim-level eventer who is, shall we say, still very much young at heart. Dude's 20 years old, but still enjoys acting like a silly colt and occasionally trying to buck people off. I used to ride lots of goofy horses back in my hey-days (hay-days?), with confidence and competence to spare, so you can imagine my chagrin when I found myself battling nerves over Stringbean's antics. I know, I'm not 18 anymore, but sheesh. Anyway. I've been missing my buddy Chaka, so I asked if I could ride him again for a week or two, and then I'll get back on Stringbean. (Because when he's not being a dork, he's quite a nice mover and a lot of fun to ride.)

As for the rest of Saturday, I'm not sure there's much to tell. I'm not remembering anything especially noteworthy at the moment, anyway.

Chores, errands, etc. When the guys got back from a trip out to play at the park and bring home lunch, Eleri greeted them with a "Hi!" So that was extra cute. She's also started saying "Hee-go!" (here you go) when she brings us things. That and her "Bo" - when playing peekaboo - just slay me. :)

It was a bit warmer on Monday, perfect weather for our planned outing to the zoo. We had a great time! We saw the elephants doing yoga. We saw the panda out getting some sun. We saw the lion cubs frolicking and playing. We saw the orangutans out for a walk along their O Line. We saw the octopus playing with a ball and the spiny spotted lobster getting fed. The kids had a great time with their friends, and I enjoyed hanging out with the other moms.

We drove to the zoo this time, instead of taking the metro, and our drive took us along the Rock Creek Parkway. It's a surprisingly pretty route! Very scenic, and somewhat surprising, located right there in the District.

The kids both woke up with disgustingly snotty noses, so it's probably a good thing we didn't have any big plans for the day. We did make it out to run an errand in the afternoon, and Eleri, who had been awake all day up to that point, finally fell asleep in the car on the way home (about 3:30 in the afternoon). So I took an extra long and circuitous way home, so that she could get a decent nap. Soren eventually fell asleep too, resulting in the rare delight of tiny snores being the only sounds coming from the back seat of the car. ;) Hehe.

The day's not over yet, obviously, but I don't expect to have much to report from this afternoon/evening, anyway. We went walking at the mall this morning, but we didn't stay to play afterward, on account of the lingering snots. Soren was pretty bummed about having to leave, but he was a good sport about it. One funny thing from the morning - there's a dance studio we pass by in the mall while we're walking, and they have a Zumba class going on Wednesday mornings. Each time we passed, Soren started dancing along to the music, in the stroller. Hehe. I'm sure he would have just joined right in if given the opportunity.

I'm hoping the little weasels are well enough to go to Zoom class tomorrow, though I won't be the mom who brings her kid to class with rivers of snot issuing forth from his nose, wiping with his hands and then touching all the stuff in the soft play room. So we'll see. They are both looking quite a bit better this afternoon, so perhaps it's not completely a lost cause.

Speaking of lost causes, Photoshop is mysteriously refusing to open, despite repeated restarts of the computer. I'm not sure what's going on there. But I will endeavor to post at least some of the pictures from the past few days.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Year in Review - 2010

2011 will already be marked as the year I was forever behind on stuff. Here it is, February, and I still haven't managed to send out thank you cards from Christmas. Sigh. (I should probably be working on those instead of another blog post, but the cards are in the room with Eleri, who is napping, and I really don't want to risk waking her up. I know, excuses, excuses.)

2010 was a pretty good year though! Here are some of the highlights. Oh! And this year I'm adding some links to previous posts, and maybe a few pictures. So it'll take twice as long for me to write, but maybe it'll be twice as interesting.

Here goes.

January: Eleri was born! At home! And so began our journey of learning how to navigate the world with two children in tow.

February: Snowmageddon! Snowpocalype! I'm having some trouble finding the actual final numbers as far as snowfall totals are concerned, but it was pretty epic. Set a new record, all that. Here are some neat and pretty aerial photos of DC area landmarks all covered with snow. And here's a picture of Soren's hair at maximum shagginess.

March: Soren started getting his 2 year molars, so there was a lot of teething-related grumpiness this month. This month also marked the beginning of the end of Soren's willingness to take a daily nap. Eleri learned to roll over. And we finally got around to taking down our Christmas tree.

April: Happy second birthday, Soren! My cousin Shannon came to visit us. We started our first rec center class. Tom & I got to go shooting together for the first time in a long time (though, sadly, we haven't been back again since). Soren started speaking in full sentences, and I took this ridiculously cute picture of Eleri and Leo.

May: Whoo-hoo, back to horseback riding again! We bought Soren his first pack of big boy underpants and started making tiny inroads into the joys of potty training. I started the Couch-to-5k running program. And, in honor of our 4th wedding anniversary, Tom & I took the kids to Chincoteague and Assateague over a long weekend.

June: Soren got to take his first ever pony ride. I gave Eleri her first (and only, thus far) haircut. I began my 30th year of life. And Soren got a good start on his bright future as an academic liberal elitist.

July: I started Soren's Twitter feed at the beginning of this month. We had some super fun days wherein both kids were teething. We kept working on potty training, and I finally relented and bought a Froggy Potty. And Eleri started crawling and eating solid foods.

August: I ran my first 5k on the treadmill. My mom came to visit. Eleri got to ride on the swings at the park for the first time. And everything happened last morning.

September: We turned Soren's car seat back around to rear-facing, after almost a year and a half of front-facing. Eleri started being able to stand on her own for short stretches. Soren and Tom started a weekly swim class together at the rec center. And I wrote one of my most popular posts, about poop.

October: We took a fun family vacation out west, to Oregon and Washington. And I took a ton of photos. When we got back, Soren finally figured out the whole potty training thing. Yay!

November: Poor little El-bell got her first ear infection. And her second one. Soren treated us to a thrilling middle-of-the-night trip to Head Wound City and got stitches for the first time. Eleri joined the realm of the walkers. Tom had a birthday, and Soren & I made him a cake.

And then there's this cuteness.

December: Eleri said bye-bye for the first time. I discovered that some kids' books were effing bizarre. And in this gigantic freaking post, I talked about Eleri's first experience in the snow, Soren's adoration of Christmas songs on YouTube, and my success at finally finishing the lad's Christmas stocking. After Christmas, we took a couple of days to visit Charlottesville, checking out Montpelier, UVA and Monticello.

And that's it for 2010! I'm excited to see what new fun 2011 will bring.

Hey, it's Pomplamoose!

I was going to update the other post, where I wrote about Pomplamoose's live weekly web show, but I thought people might not check back down there. So I'm making a new post. Here is the recording of the third show. Even with the occasional technical difficulties, I think it's very entertaining. Silly, slightly disorganized, but with some good live music sprinkled throughout.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Holy cow. February already?

Hello! Wow, first month of 2011 gone. And I still haven't written my 2010 year in review! Better get on that. But first...


Day 300

Day 25

We did our usual mall walking in the morning on Wednesday. It was surprisingly warm when we got home from the mall, so I made plans to take the kids outside for a walk after Eleri had her afternoon nap. Fortunately/unfortunately, the lass took herself a nice long siesta, so by the time she woke up, it was quite a bit cooler out. That didn't stop us, though. I stuck Soren in the stroller and gave him the little camera to play with. Eleri was in the pouch, and though I'd intended to do 2 laps around the parking lot, I wimped out after the first one (it was really starting to get windy and cold). Ah well. I skipped the gym in the evening to hit the library (by myself!) before dinner, so I could pick up some books for playschool on Friday. It sure is easy to spend an hour or more browsing books at the library when you are without the accompaniment of two restless toddlers.


Day 301

Day 26

We went to one of the nature centers in the morning. The last time we'd gone to this particular one, Eleri was quite a bit younger. I think she probably slept the whole time we were there. This time she toddled all around and marveled at the turtles and snakes. There's this really fantastic kids' section with costumes and books and a big tub of plastic dinosaurs, plus a giant felt wall with velcro animals and things you can stick on it. Soren and A had a good time trying on some of the costumes.

Up next, we grabbed a quick lunch and then headed to Zoom class. Poor Eleri, yet again, didn't get much of a nap in the car and then was unable to sleep more for the rest of the day. She finally lost her composure completely around 7pm, at which point I just put her to bed. Sadly, she didn't actually stay asleep, but keeping her awake until her usual bedtime wasn't really a good option either. Ah well.

I bought a white noise machine, hoping it might help Eleri stay more solidly asleep through the night. Thursday night was the first night we tried it. I'm not ready yet to say whether or not I think it's definitely helping, but I think it maybe might be. Possibly. It's hard to say, since she actually is in the process of getting her molars right now, so some of her waking is probably due to general discomfort rather than being awoken by noises. It's definitely not made things worse though, so that's good.


Day 302

Day 27

Woo! Friday! The playschoolers were here, and we had a pretty fun, animal-themed "class" (a tie-in to our planned zoo field trip on Monday). It's definitely a lot less hectic with 4 kids than it was with 8. I felt bad for Eleri, who ended up having to be confined to the high chair for rather a long time while the bigger kids played with paints and marbles (we marble painted some pictures of zebras), and tiny plastic animals (inconveniently chokey in size), and put animal stickers on a posterboard (they were identifying the first letter in each animal's name and sorting them accordingly). She was a really good sport though, and when I finally set her free, she was super thrilled to tag along after Soren and his buddies.

I think Friday was also the first time I've seen Eleri spontaneously go up to Soren and give him a hug. Usually it's the other way around. I mean, it's cute either way, but it was pretty neat to see her initiate the hug.

I was thoroughly whooped though, by the time all the little crazies left. When Tom got home, I skipped the gym again, in favor of sitting in the bath with my book. Because some days are just like that.

Weekend post still to come! And the year in review. And this week's video. Good night for now!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

It's the little things

Day 299

Day 24

Today Soren sounded out the word "camera," all on his own and absent any context (no picture of a camera next to the word to give him any clues. He also figured out how to spell "mushroom" by sounding it out and identifying the necessary letters, one at a time. I thought that was pretty freakin' good.

And then I caught him later, sitting on the couch, calmly chewing on one of his books. So, y'know...

* * *

I'm pretty sure Eleri said "Kitteh!" this morning, and meant it. She was pointing at Leo and everything. But I couldn't get her to say it again, so who knows?

Speaking of Eleri, she finally fell off our bed in the middle of the night, several nights ago. When Soren rolls off our bed in his sleep, even now, it's very dramatic. Eleri, on the other hand, kind of just went, "Waah." And then fell almost immediately back asleep nearly the moment I picked her up. Different kids, I tell ya!

* * *

We went to the grocery store this afternoon (yet again to replenish our dwindling yoghurt supplies). Toward the end of our outing, Soren started getting pretty grumpy, complaining first about having to ride in the cart, and then about having to walk. He was pretty clearly just tired and crabby, so I thought there was at least a decent chance he'd fall asleep in the car on the way home. Even though I didn't mention anything about sleeping, he insisted as I was buckling his seat belt, "It's not my nap time." I can't be certain, but I'm pretty sure he had passed out before we even hit the freeway, despite the fact that I had music playing and Eleri was being kind of loud. Hehe. I took the above picture after we'd parked at home. He was snoring, even. Poor tired little dude. I felt bad about waking him up, but we did have ice cream that needed to get upstairs.

* * *

The temperature is supposed to be in the 50s tomorrow. The 50s! I might wear a tshirt, even though the forecast also calls for rain.

* * *

Pomplamoose has been doing a live weekly webcast thing the past few Tuesday nights. It's terribly amusing. I think they post the recorded shows on their YouTube page, maybe. I'll have to check it out in the morning and provide links, if possible.

* * *

One last thing and then I'm hitting the hay. There's a blog now for our new playschool group, with pictures and such from our first two field trips. You can check it out here if you like.

Good night for now!