Sunday, September 25, 2011

Holy crap. A video?!

I have a video backlog developing again. Stuff from this summer that I haven't processed. And it's occurred to me that I haven't been nearly good enough about recording Eleri and all her cuteness at this age. But here's a little something.

Reading with Eleri:

(Usually she'll make it all the way through both books, but the camera was more than a little distracting. Still, better than nothing.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

More Snippets

I thought of some more things I wanted to write about!

Remember when I said we'd gotten a bunch of rain a couple of weeks back? It was actually several days in a row of rain. Ever since we got caught out in a rainstorm at the park with A and his mom, Soren has been begging to go outside again and play in the rain. So I finally relented, put the kids in swimsuits, and took them over to the big patio area by the condo complex's community center. They splashed and giggled and had themselves a grand old time.

* * * * *
This past Thursday, we checked out a new (to us) park over in Annandale, since we had some errands to run over that way. Unbeknownst to me, they have a farmers' market at this park, on Thursday mornings as it turns out. I had no idea, so we ran our errands first and ended up arriving just as the market vendors were packing up to leave. Might try to check it out this week though. :)

When we got to the park, there were lots of signs indicating the way to the pavilions, athletic fields/courts, amphitheater, even the dog park, but not a one for the playground. I took a guess and headed in one direction, eventually spying a play structure through the trees. It was all I could do to convince the kids to eat some lunch before going to play, but they gave it a decent effort. When we made our way over to the playground, I was a little surprised. I'd just read, that morning, a fairly recent review of this park, touting in particular the nice, relatively new "tot lot." This playground, however, sported one kind of crummy play structure, on a bed of muddy mulch littered with garbage, surrounded by a broken fence. Not exactly the stuff of glowing reviews. But it was a beautiful day and the kids seemed to be having a fine enough time, so we hung out a bit.

Eventually I coaxed them away by suggesting we check out the big multi-use field. There were some kids kicking a soccer ball around, so we went to see if they'd want to play. Oh man, did my kids have fun tearing around the huge field! It was pretty cute. Soren, of course, made friends instantly, and Eleri just kind of followed the rest of the kids around for a while before finding a ball of her own to kick about.

While on the field, I just so happened to look over and notice...there was another playground! Much newer, by the look of it, so we trucked over to check it out. Eleri (as is her custom) immediately asked to play on the swings, while Soren explored. He came back and did some swinging, then took off again and declared he wanted to go up the big cylindrical climbing wall thing. I told him to go ahead and try; it was 7 or 8 feet tall and I didn't expect him to be able to make it to the top by himself.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

He scooted up the side like a little monkey. I ran over to spot him as he neared the top, and he was proud as could be once he got up there. It was a little tricky helping him figure out how to get down, but we both managed. By that point I got Eleri out of the swing and we all explored a bit more before Soren declared himself in need of a potty break. So we made our way to the bathroom and then headed home.

* * * * *
Last Tuesday, we were also at a park. (We do that a lot.) There was a little boy there who had brought some of his Transformer toys. Not being well versed in the Transformers universe, Soren kept trying to make Optimus Prime the bad guy. Hehe. The other little boy was all bewildered. "No! That Op'mus Prime. Not bad guy."

* * * * *
Eleri's been continuing along on the one-nap-per-week plan. Last week she skipped Thursday but melted down when we were on our way to pick up Soren from preschool on Friday. Passed out in the car, then stayed asleep on my back for another 20 minutes or so. It wasn't that much of a nap though - perhaps not enough to fill her weekly quota - and she took another one on Saturday. The new norm has taken some getting used to (two kids awake all afternoon), but it's been pretty great to have drama-free bedtimes for the most part. Drama-light, at least. ;)

During the day, she gets a little overcooked sometimes, which is not a huge surprise. A little chill-out/reset time in her bed has been pretty effective though, so that's good. She even asks for it sometimes, on the rare occasion that even she realizes she's getting overwhelmed. "Bed? Water? Johnson? Lie down?"

* * * * *
I shouldn't be too surprised, since she hears it from Soren several thousand times a day, but Eleri has already started with the "why"s. Not as much as Soren does, of course. And not about every little thing. Mostly so far, it's just if she's told "no." I don't remember Soren asking why he couldn't have or do something, just getting upset. It is, at once, a source of both amusement and chagrin, for me. Hehe.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Some miscellaneous, possibly non-chronological tidbits from life around here of late.

Soren was never really into stuffed animals as a wee babe. He would play with them sometimes, but it's only been in the past maybe 6 months or so that he's developed any sort of affinity for a particular one. But now he's got 2 pals that he snuggles to sleep just about every night. Meet Zebra Ear and Pointy Tail.

The Zeebs, chillin'

He was shocked, when I showed him this picture recently, to realize that he'd had Pointy Tail around since he was tiny.

Eleri, on the other hand, has already found herself a favorite stuffed friend. She's become attached to a bear that (I think) was sent to us by Tom's grandparents. Bedtime or quiet time, she's not likely to be without him.

One morning last week, the kids & I were slowly getting the day started. We were all sitting on my bed, and Soren was saying how excited he was that Zebra Ear would get to come to preschool with him for show & tell. Out of curiosity (and not really expecting an answer), I turned to Eleri, who was snuggling her bear.

Me: Ellie, what's your bear's name?
El: (without missing a beat) Johnson.
Me: (chuckling a little) Your bear's name is Johnson?
El: Yeah.

And so now we have a pony named Zebra Ear, a puppy named Pointy Tail, and a bear named Johnson.

* * * * *
Soren started preschool last week! Monday was just a 45 minute "open house" session. He got to meet his teachers & classmates, get accustomed to the layout of the classroom, and sampled the wide variety of awesome toys therein. The parents hung around (mostly to ask questions, get last-minute paperwork turned in, snap photos), but Soren hardly noticed my presence. He was completely in his element and happy as a clam. It was pretty great.

Wednesday was the first "real" day of class. Starting at the regular time. Which was half an hour earlier than the open house day started. Which I knew. And yet somehow, I got the open house start time stuck in my head. (Dun dun duuuuuun...)

Soren was up early and super jazzed. He came to wake me up and said, "Mommy! It's time for [name of his preschool class]! I am" If that ain't enough to put a s mile on your face first thing in the morning, I don't know what is. He picked out an outfit, ate some breakfast, and tolerated having his picture taken with his backpack on. We eventually left the apartment with (I thought) tons of time to spare, made our way slowly outside to the car, lingered on the grass to take some more pictures, then headed to school. I let him take his time in the bathroom before class, not bothering to hustle him because I still thought we were early. There was a brief moment of "hmm, I would have expected a lot more people around, especially on the first day" but it's not like there was no one else milling about. Just not as many as I would have thought. It was not until we were sauntering over to his classroom that it occurred to me.

Holy shit. We are not 10 minutes early, we're 20 minutes late! AUGH!


I was actually completely mortified and really upset about it at the time, even though his teachers were totally sweet and understanding, and all the kids were still having their morning free play time when we got there, so it's not like we walked in during the middle of circle time or anything. I don't think Soren really noticed our tardiness. But oh man, I felt just awful. Total and complete MomFail moment. And it's not as though I didn't know perfectly well what time school started. The information was just overwritten in my brain that day. So very lame.

Fortunately, the lad had an awesome first day...and then another great day on Friday. This morning was school again, and he seems to be totally into it. I'm so glad! :)

* * * * *
A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a friend on the phone, bemoaning the fact that our jalapeno plants - which we planted in the spring - had not yet produced any flowers or fruit, despite seeming to be healthy and green and growing well. The very next day, this happened.

So we may yet have some peppers after all!

* * * * *
Eleri's getting to be very fond of books and is starting to recite parts of her favorites. She'll finish all the sentences in The Carrot Seed and can identify most of what's going on in Oh My, Oh My, Oh Dinosaurs. She's also way into songs. Itsy Bitsy Spider, Old MacDonald and the ABCs are current favorites, along with the 3 Little Monkeys rhyme.
Three little monkeys swingin' in the tree
Teasin' Mr. Alligator, "Can't catch me!"
Along comes Mr. Alligator, quiet as can be
And SNAPS that monkey right out of the tree!
Morbid, but she loves it, and does all the little hand motions that go along with it. ;)

* * * * *
El's started using full sentences every once in a while. Some recent adorable ones: "Mommy/Daddy/Soren/ AH you?" (where are you), "I love you!" and "Don't...go...'!"

* * * * *
I got Soren a first grade level easy reader book from the library (this one). He read the whole thing, by himself, with only a tiny bit of assistance. And this was before we'd read it to him, so it wasn't that he just had it memorized. Pretty cool.

This is the sort of thing I would feel like an asshole talking about in public (out loud), but somehow I feel like less of a jerkface braggy parent writing it on my blog. Which, I concede, may be a misconception on my part. But everyone who reads here knows me well enough, I hope, to know I'm just proud of him and a little blown away and mostly just recording stuff like this for posterity. :)

* * * * *
Ever since we moved here, there's been construction work happening on the Beltway. (I suspect Beltway construction is really just an unending phenomenon.) Much of this work has been the building of a sound wall. There's one house along the side of the freeway that I figure must have quite the story behind it.

I call it the "Hell no, we won't go" house. It must take a very special brand of persistence to refuse (I'm assuming they were offered) a buyout from the city/state, when the result is not only putting up with months of loud construction - literally just outside your window - but then years of loud, unbuffered freeway traffic noise.

* * * * *
The reason I was able to take the above photo is that, while I was on my way to my riding lesson this past Friday, there was horrendous traffic on the Beltway. Horrendous. It usually takes me 25-30 minutes to get to the barn, door to door. This Friday? It took me an hour and ten. Which resulted in me arriving 23 minutes into my half hour lesson. Grrrrrrr! I was extremely frustrated. The instructor kindly took pity on me (I wasn't the only one who was late that day, but I was the only one who basically missed the lesson due to tardiness), and let me come back on Saturday to ride in a different class.

The previous week, we'd had a ton of rain...I mean a LOT...the day before my lesson day. I didn't know if the barn would be open, but there was nothing about a closure on the website, and no one returned my call asking if we were still having classes. So I went ahead and showed up. And arrived to find a "CLOSED" sign hanging on the gate. So that was awesome. This Saturday, then, was my first ride in a couple of weeks. It went pretty well. I was in a class with 4 teenagers and felt like kind of an old fogey. Hehe. It was okay though.

* * * * *
All right! That's enough for now, I think. More again soon, I promise.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Catching up again

I think I'm going to break this into two posts, one just photos and one just text (since I can't remember precisely which of my little stories goes with which day).

Day 151

Day 240

Day 152 / Day 241

Day 153

Day 242

Day 154

Day 243

Day 155

Day 244

Day 156

Day 245

Day 157

Day 246

Day 158

Day 247

Day 159

Day 248

Day 160

Day 249

Day 161

Day 250

Thursday, September 08, 2011

And then, on the seventh day, she napped once more

After a week of napless days, Eleri finally had herself a 2.5 hour snooze this afternoon. I'd taken the kiddos out to play in the rain in the late morning, and they frolicked and stomped and splashed and giggled. We picked up some lunch and brought it back home, and as we ate, Eleri's head got heavier and heavier, and she started rubbing her eyes more and more. I decided to put her in bed just to have a bit of rest, and she ended up falling all the way asleep. Huzzah!

Of course, then she was wide awake at bedtime tonight and didn't finally conk out until after 9:30. Criminy. We can't win.

We have had a whole lot of rain here this week. After the lass woke up from her nap in the afternoon, the 3 of us suited up in rain gear and braved a trip to the grocery store. We were nearly soaked clean through just getting to the car. The thunder boomed and crashed outside the whole time we were shopping, and there were a couple of scarily close crackly flashes of lightning as we were getting back to the car afterward. Yikes! We made it home safely though and hunkered down for the evening.

Well, almost. I did skip out for a quick run before dinner. I was really hungry, so I wanted to just get 2 miles done as quickly as I could feasibly manage, and I ended up beating my personal best time for that distance, finishing up in 18:23! As much as I dislike running (I'll admit, it's growing more tolerable) it's always gratifying to beat a speed or distance record.

All right. Off to bed. Photos from the last few days will hopefully go up tomorrow.

30DOB #16

Day 16: Share your favorite recipe.

It's not possible to pick just one, but here's a recent favorite. It's for roast chicken and is basically the only way I'll make roast chicken again. ;) I found it here, on AllRecipes, but I'll copy it below as well.

  • one chicken (obviously)
  • 1/2 c. white wine or chicken broth (I actually used double this, about 1/2 cup of each)
  • 1 lime wedge (or some lime juice)
  • 2 garlic cloves (I used some crushed garlic)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • thyme (one or two sprigs fresh, or a pinch dried)
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
The recipe also calls for apple juice/sherry and cornstarch, in order to make a gravy from the drippings, but I didn't do that. I did, however add:
  • butter
  • crumbled bacon
  • salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Rinse chicken, pat dry. Put some bits of butter & crumbled bacon under the skin of the chicken in several places. Place chicken breast up on a rack in a roasting pan.
3. In a bowl, combine half the white wine/chicken broth, lime wedge/juice, garlic, thyme & bay leaf. Pour mixture into the cavity of the chicken.
4. Pour the remainder of the white wine/broth into the bottom of the roasting pan.
5. Sprinkle paprika (and salt) on the chicken & tent loosely with foil.
6. Bake chicken for 45 minutes, basting occasionally. Add more liquid to the roasting pan as it evaporates.
7. After 45 minutes, remove the foil & bake until the juices run clear (about another 35-45 min).
8. If desired, make a gravy out of the pan drippings & some apple juice or sherry, thickened with cornstarch. But this chicken was so succulent & delicious that I don't think a gravy would even be necessary.

And there you have it! Scrumptious roast chicken in just a couple of hours.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Way behind again

Ugh, sorry. I've accrued a huge posting backlog yet again. I wouldn't even bother detailing each and every day, except that we've been quite busy this past week and a half, and there have been some fun (and some less fun) moments I'd like to record. So here goes.

Day 138

Day 227

Wednesday! Mall walk in the morning, and then we went to a house cleaning "party" with the playgroup. One of the moms is on hospital bedrest, pregnant with twins, so the group rallied to get the nursery set up and help tend to laundry and such. It was a nice thought, but the execution was somewhat lacking. A houseful of wild children, ripping apart a room after you've just finished organizing it, provided a rather frustrating impediment to progress. Next time, we'll have to corral them all at someone else's house.

Day 139

Day 228

Thursday we invited A and his mom over to play at the park behind our complex. The weather forecast predicted we'd get some rain in the afternoon, but it showed up several hours early, drenching us while we were still at the park. At first, A's mom and I herded the kids under one of the picnic shelters, but they kept venturing out until we decided to just let them run free. They had the best time, giddily scamping through the rain. They were soon soaked clean through, but happy little campers. Eleri slept extra well that afternoon.

Day 140 / Day 229

Friday we ran a bunch of errands in the morning. I decided to do one of my exercise DVDs while Eleri napped in the afternoon. Soren tried to cardio kick along with me, which was pretty cute and funny. In the evening, I went back to Shadybrook Stables for my evaluation ride. (That link goes to the "Meet the Horses" page. I was assigned Gypsy to ride.) I went ahead and signed up for a 10-week session, so I'll be riding there for a while. I think it'll be good enough. The drive's definitely not bad, and while the class is not especially challenging, it should be all right. Plus, if I can do my riding on Friday evenings, we'll have the whole weekend free for other stuff. Whee!

Day 141

Day 230

Hurricane! First a rare earthquake hit the region earlier in the week, and then on Saturday we were due to get a visit from Hurricane Irene. Fortunately, we're far enough inland here that, while we got a fair bit of wind and rain, there wasn't any major flooding or damage. Some areas of Maryland and DC had widespread (and long-lasting) power outages, but we were quite lucky. The kids were a little stir crazy from being inside all day, but overall we fared just fine.

I started work on Eleri's Christmas stocking in the afternoon. It's a needlepoint pattern, and I discovered pretty quickly that it would be easier if I had some sort of frame on which to mount the fabric while I was working. I asked Tom if he thought he could build me a scroll frame; handy man that he is (and always glad to have a project), he made a run to the hardware store and set to work. It took a couple of days to finish, but I'm really pleased with it. :)

Day 142

Day 231

Sunday? I don't really remember if we did much of note during the day. Tom ran some errands and came home with a cute little collapsible soccer goal for the kids. After dinner, Tom set up an obstacle course in the living room for Soren, who ran through it something like 15 times in a row. He had a grand old time.

Day 143

Day 232

Monday again! We went to the park in the morning with A and his mom and brought along our new soccer goal. Soren wanted to wear his football jersey because it has a number on it - and he insisted that he needed to have a number on his shirt if he was going to be a goalkeeper - but the jersey was in the laundry. He was bummed out, but I told him I'd tape a number on whatever other shirt he wanted to wear. He even got to pick his number that way! He thought that was awesome, and we soon headed to the park with his new #4 shirt.

The last time we'd been to this particular park was on A's second birthday, back in March of last year, so it had been quite a while. The play structure that seemed so huge and scary then was no big deal this time around. (Weirdly, it didn't even seem that scary for Eleri to play on it, though she mostly stuck to the smaller one and the swings anyhow.) The kids played and played, and then we came on home.

Day 144 / Day 233

Tuesday morning I dropped the kids at A's house and took Leo in for another vet appointment. It took a couple of hours, but they were actually able to examine him this time. They also sedated him and took a cell sample from the mass on his chest. (Benign fatty tumor! No need for surgery. Huzzah!) Home again, Eleri took a late-ish nap and was then up for something like 2 hours in the middle of the night. Grrrr. After an hour and a half, I gave up and let Tom take over, fleeing to the couch in an attempt to get some sleep. At which point Soren woke up and wouldn't resettle. Eventually everyone got back to sleep, but it was a crummy night for all.

Day 145

Day 234

Wednesday morning was the special breed of awful that arises when you haven't had enough sleep. Ugh. I was determined to get Eleri napping WAY earlier that day, so we rushed through our post-mall-walk lunch and raced home. She was passed out by 12:30. Progress! After many days of having to wake her up after 2 hours - since she was sleeping so late in the afternoon - it was nice to just let her sleep til she woke up (a whole half hour longer than she'd been getting to nap). She was up by 3:00, and we headed out the door again. I wanted to run the little weasels around outside some more in the afternoon, since it wasn't as hideously hot as it had been. Plus, I hoped we'd avoid a repeat of Tuesday night's happy fun times if they were nicely exhausted. We actually had a great time at the playground. The kids were both in rather infectiously good moods, and I'd had the foresight to bring along the camera, so I got some fun pictures.

Also, as Wednesday was the last day of the month, I added the morning's 2 mile mall walk with the rest of my logged runs & walks for August and came up with a grand total of...39.99 miles for the month! Up from 27.5 miles in July. Sweet! I'm feeling pretty proud about that. Just gotta keep at it. :)

Everyone slept a lot better on Wednesday night. Thank goodness.

Day 146

Day 235

Thursday morning we returned to River Farm. It was a humid day, so everyone was quite sweaty and thirsty after running amok. Naptime wasn't quite as early as Wednesday (got her down by 1:30 instead of 12:30), but it was still better than it'd been. I was feeling pretty good about the new schedule. Even if it meant we had to book it home from our morning activities a little earlier than before, it would be worth it if Eleri slept better at night. I was foolishly optimistic that we'd figured things out for the time being.


That evening I decided to swim laps rather than run on the treadmill. I did 600 yds (alternating breast stroke and crawl every length), and then relaxed in the hot tub a while. Ahh. I was good & tired afterward.

Day 147

Day 236

Friday was the last weekday of the season for the train & carousel at Burke Lake Park to be running. So we took advantage of the opportunity to go one last time. Eleri had been up early, and by mid-morning she was exceedingly fragile. There was quite the crowd there (not a huge surprise, everyone else had the same idea we did about the train & carousel), so we had to wait for both rides. El was not amused. We waited long enough at the carousel that she refused to stay on the horse, insisting on sitting on one of the little stationary critters instead. (Which was a shame, as she'd gotten SUCH a kick out of the horse last time. Oh well.) But once the carousel & train started moving, she was pretty happy with the rides. I was sure it would be another early nap day for her, but 12:30 came and went. Then 1:30, then 2:30, then 4:30. How she was staying awake at this point was utterly beyond me, but stay awake she did. All the way to bedtime.

And thus began the Era of No Naps.

As I'm writing this post, it is now 7:40pm on Monday. Eleri has just gone to bed, after being awake all day. She hasn't had a nap since Thursday. What the what?

I will admit, bedtime has been much easier. AND, in a stroke of cleverness, Tom & I decided to try switching her back to the little crib, which we'd moved just out of our room and into the little dressing area by our closets. And for the past 3 nights, she has stayed abed all night long. We've heard her rolling and repositioning from time to time, but she has thus far been able to resettle herself every time.

Now, I know better than to think this will last. Probably just by writing this down now, I've cursed us to another difficult night tonight. But man. It's been kind of nice not to get kicked in the head all night long. Now, there have been some difficult moments in the middle of the day of course. Fairly melty times, when I've been sure she needed a nap. But I've put her in her bed with some water, left her alone, and 20 minutes later, I hear her babbling away happily in there. I give her another 10 minutes, then heave a sigh and go retrieve her, and she's been smiley and pleasant once more. So there will still be quiet times, and I'm sure there will be days when she'll nap again. I remember Soren went on about a 2 week nap strike when he was a bit older than this, a couple of months before he gave up naps for good.

So the writing's on the wall. We are very possibly approaching the end of naps. I'm not ready for it, but I guess it does make things easier in a way, if we never have to rush home from things. Still. *whimper* It will take some adjustment - for all of us, but mostly for me. ;)

On to happier topics, and returning to Friday. Well, let's back up a tiny bit further, to Wednesday afternoon. After we left the playground, we went a-grocering, and I decided on a whim to pick up some oxtails. I'd been wanting to try making them for a while, but I hadn't gotten around to it. So this was to be the week. And on Friday morning, before we left for Burke Lake Park, I seared up those oxtails and stuck them in the crock pot with some red wine, garlic, thyme, a splash of chicken broth and a couple of bay leaves. I let that stew all day. Later in the afternoon, I sauteed some pearl onions & mushrooms with butter & a bit more wine, and I added those to the crock pot. (I was following a recipe for beef burgundy.) That cooked all together for another couple of hours, and then Tom & the kids got to eat after I left for my riding lesson.

I rode Gypsy again, and it went pretty well. He has kind of a rough canter, but he's otherwise pretty good. This instructor focuses a lot more on the specifics of rider position than N, probably because this is a lower level class, and position is more important when you're trying to get the basics down. But it means that I get told a lot about my right shoulder being lower than my left (it's like that way when I'm standing on the ground, too), or my balance being just a bit more in one seat bone than the other. It's all well and good, but it can feel a little nitpicky. I don't want to sound like I'm complaining. I'm just trying to articulate the differences in teaching style that I'm noticing so far. One's not necessarily better or worse than the other, just different.

I was starving when I got home, so it was with great gusto that I tucked into the oxtail burgundy stew. It was quite delicious. Definitely a win. Glad I've got another 2 pounds of oxtail in the freezer. ;)

Day 148

Day 237

Saturday we had a birthday party to attend in the afternoon. It was a water-themed event (kiddie pools and sprinklers in the backyard), and all the kids had a soggy good time. As you already know, Eleri declined to take a nap that day, but she was in reasonably good spirits and recovered from her overtired melty moments with 15 or 20 minutes of quiet time in her bed.

There was a UO football game on in the evening, but we won't talk about that.

Day 149

Day 238

Sunday there was some erranding, as per usual. Tom went to the hardware store to get supplies for yet another project (that'll get its own post, when it's done). I got back to the gym for the first time since Tuesday and busted out a 5k on the treadmill in 29:19. Go me! The kids & I went for a walk to pick up Subway for lunch. Well, Soren & I walked, and I pushed Eleri in the stroller. The sandwichery is just 3/4 of a mile from home, so it wasn't a bad walk, and Eleri aaaaaaaalmost fell asleep on the way there. I mean, she was basically out, but when I reclined the stroller back, she woke up & rallied, staying awake the rest of the way there & all the way home. Ah well. Soren was a trooper; it's not a long walk, but there's a substantial hill on the way, and it was another muggy day. He was tired, but he trucked on without (too much) complaint.

After the kids went to bed, Tom & I watched Sucker Punch. It was very strange. There were some neat CGI effects, but the storytelling was sloppy (things in the main fantasy story didn't line up with things from the frame story); just a very weird flick overall.

Day 150 / Day 239

Caught up! Can you believe it? Monday once more. Huzzah for 3-day weekends. I ran another 5k in the morning (28:48 this time) and did a bunch of laundry & some cleaning while Tom took the kids to run errands. As we headed into afternoon #4 with no nap from Eleri, I sat them both in front of one of the Signing Time DVDs we got from the library earlier in the week. That's what they're watching in the photo above. Soren's signing "train." Signing Time is probably going to be a lifesaver for the afternoons if the nap strike continues. I don't mind Eleri watching it, and they both seem to love it, so if it means I'll still get half an hour of quiet(ish) time, I'll take it. Soren's picking up the signs pretty quickly, and Eleri's learned a few as well. It's neat.

Bedtime came a bit early for the lass tonight, but I'm hoping it doesn't translate to a super early wakeup time tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed.