Sunday, March 25, 2012

That's our little sponge

We were out to dinner last night at Grillfish in DC with Max, Agnes & Alice. I was pregnant with Eleri the last time I went there, so it's been a while. ;) We were all enjoying our tasty grilled fishes when Soren made an observation about the decor.

"Those are Doric columns."

Indeed, there amid the crazy mural behind the bar, were a couple of Doric (not Ionic or Corinthian) columns. Max asked Soren if he knew which building has Doric columns, and Soren answered with a grin, "The Parthenon!"

Backstory.

The last time we were at the library, one of the books Soren grabbed in his "I need one more book" random grabbing of this or that off the shelf was one called "13 Buildings Children Should Know." He and I read through it, one or two buildings at a time, at bedtime a couple of weeks ago. And in the nights since, he's sometimes wanted to go back and revisit this building or that building. It's been amusing to see which things have stuck with him, which details have struck him as particularly memorable.

After dinner, we were taking a walk and saw a neat house with a spiral staircase. Soren said, "Hey! That's just like the staircase in Neuschwanstein Castle!"

Tee hee hee. That's our little sponge. ;)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Good stuff

Morning conversation with Soren

Mommy, why do I have a yellow toothbrush?

Well, you have a Y chromosome, so you have a Y-is-for-yellow toothbrush. (This was something Tom said to help him remember which of the kids' toothbrushes is which.)

Why do I have a Y chromosome?

You got it from Daddy. He gave it to you when we made you. (He's been obsessed with how people are made, lately, since A's mom is pregnant. He keeps asking when I'm going to grow more children for him to play with, and why men don't grow babies too.)

Daddy didn't give it to me. I took it!

Goof ball. ;)

* * * * *

This afternoon when we picked up Soren from school, we ended up following his class back in from the playground. Eleri joined right in without hesitation, lined up with them, followed them back into the classroom. Soren's teachers were kind enough to just go along with it. It was pretty darned adorable.

* * * * *

With the very early spring/summer weather here this year, we may be a little late already, but Tom & I have big plans for the balcony garden this year. We're planning to make a couple of planters (similar to this or this), and do as much companion planting as we feasibly can. (By which I mean, planting multiple compatible things in each container, rather than one plant/type of plant each.) Then we went on Seed Savers last night and ordered a bunch of stuff. Seed Savers is awesome because it has all kinds of wacky varietals and heirloom plants, so we'll be able to have a garden that should be a ton of fun for the kids to watch grow, in addition to getting some tasty foods. Here's what we ordered:


I'm pretty excited! Like I said, we're probably behind the curve starting seeds this late, but we should still get some good stuff this year. We're trying corn mostly for the novelty of it. Tom figures it will look cool, and the peas can grow up the corn stalks, using them like a trellis. Even if we only get one or two ears of "Bloody Butcher Corn," it'll still be fun to watch it grow. The flowers are for repelling pests and attracting beneficial insects, as well as for their good looks. ;) Though actually, they are also both edible, so they might end up in salads at our house eventually.

Yay, Balcony Garden 2012!

* * * * *

We are slowly, slowly clawing our way out of Potty Training Purgatory. This week we had one day of no accidents, two days with one accident each, one day with two accidents, and (knock on wood) nothing so far today. Tom was looking back at the "permanent record" (i.e. my old blog posts) and figures Eleri is about 3 months ahead of Soren's potty training schedule, so even though it feels like it has been taking forever, we're still better off than we were the first time around. ;) She's definitely been out of diapers during the day since late January, which is itself awesome, regardless of the frustrations surrounding all the accidents. Having two fully potty trained children will be so sweet.

* * * * *

I've been making a concerted effort to exercise almost daily since about mid-January. I've bought several circuit training style DVDs and have been working through them. I've also been going to Zumba classes every weekend with my friend Sarah since mid-February. And while I'm not seeing progress quite as fast as I'd like to (I mean, duh, who doesn't want to feel like all the sweat and effort and calorie-counting is "worth it"?), I'm definitely getting stronger and leaner, slowly. I've still got a ways to go, having put on a good 17 lbs or so after weaning Eleri, but I will get there! What's hilarious is when the kids decide to exercise with me. Three of the DVDs I have are Jillian Michaels workouts. I never watched The Biggest Loser (she was one of the trainers on that show for a while) but I'd heard good things about her "30 Day Shred" DVD, so that was the one I picked up first. Soren cannot understand why I don't exercise in a bra top like the ladies on the video, but he's usually game to jump around with me for a while, using soup cans for hand weights. I also picked up a pilates DVD, which I did yesterday for the first time, and Eleri joined in for a while with that one. Both kids have been clocked by my hand weights (one time each...and they're only 3 pound weights), which is less than awesome, but for the most part they are learning to stay out of range for those 25 minutes or so that I'm working out. Though El still does like to come climb on me when I'm trying to do situps. So helpful. ;)

Last night I decided to try and do a pull up, just for the heck of it, and I made it about halfway up, which is better than I've been able to do for quite some time! You can be sure I'll brag here when I'm finally able to manage pulling myself all the way up.

* * * * *

All right, that's about all the news that's fit to print, for right now. I have a ton of photos to upload, hopefully this weekend, so be sure to check out Flickr over the next few days for those. For now, have a great weekend. :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

At last!

Let Monday, March 19th, 2012, go down in history as Eleri's first day without any sort of bathroom-related accident. Huzzah!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Swimstress

Eleri had her first swim class this morning. It's a "Parent & Toddler" class, so I'm in the pool with her. Thus far, Tom's been the designated swim parent, accompanying Soren to his classes, but now it's my turn. The class is taught by a kid with the same name as my dad, which is kind of amusing.

Anyway, El has long yearned for access to the rec center pool, so she was giddy about starting swim lessons. She was a little clingy and intimidated by the swarms of people at the pool, while we were waiting for our class to begin, but as soon as we got in the water she was happy and relaxed. I'm fairly certain she didn't stop beaming until it was time to leave. She gleefully splashed and kicked her legs when instructed (and sometimes when not instructed). It took just a little bit of coaxing to get her to relax into a (supported) back float. And when it came time to practice jumping into the pool, she was quite possibly the most gung-ho of the group. Shivery though she got at times (the pool is a great temperature for lap swimming, but a little chilly for wee ones not exerting themselves too much), the class did seem to live up to her expectations. Which is great! I'm glad it looks like she'll enjoy this.

On the drive home, I gave Tom a quick call to see if I should pick up lunch. Eleri immediately started begging to talk on the phone, call grandma/grandpa, but it was too early to call the west coast (especially given the start of DST). So I told Tom to put Soren on the phone, and Eleri chatted with him for most of the rest of the drive. El's voice goes higher and higher in pitch when she's really excited about something, and she was downright squeaking as she told Soren about having a swim lesson and jumping in the water. It was hilariously adorable. I could hear bits of Soren's side of the conversation, and it actually was, for the most part, a real conversation. I think it was maybe the third time they've talked to each other over the phone, but it was definitely the first time they had real back-and-forth, asking questions and telling stories. Pretty freaking great.

Of course, the time change and the early exertion and excitement took a fair bit out of the lass, so she was fragile and brittle until we got some lunch in her and had her take a bit of a rest, but overall I'd say it was a very successful morning.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Kids' Conversation

S: Do you want to go potty?
E: No! I want to pick my nose!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Dispatches from the Potty Train: Next Stop - Backslide Junction

We were doing so well.

I was really optimistic that things were going to be easier with Eleri than they had been with Soren. She's both a girl and a younger sibling...aren't those both supposed to be easier? Alas, we've hit a bit of a wall and seem to have regressed back to square one. Maybe a bit further. Friday was fraught with accidents, both out and at home. Saturday we didn't really take her anywhere, so at least the puddles were confined to the home front. Today she did great while she was running errands with Tom, but it was hit & miss (mostly miss) at home.

We're now at two full weeks since we started potty training in earnest. When I say it that way, my concerns and frustrations seem baseless. Two weeks? Come on, that's nothing! So she's regressing a bit. That's normal. Tough it out, and it'll probably get better again in another week or two. (This is exactly what I'd say if it were a friend of mine griping about his or her kid's problematic potty endeavors.) A couple of times this weekend, though...man, I was ready to just throw in the towel. Try again in another week, or another month, or maybe three months. She is barely two, after all. But I know she's GOT to be close to getting it. Even if it doesn't seem like it today. Maybe I'll look back three or four days from now and heave a sigh of relief, so glad we didn't quit. Maybe it will take another couple of weeks. Either way, it helps to remember that they do all get it eventually. Barring major developmental delays, everyone ultimately figures out that soiling oneself is neither socially acceptable nor particularly pleasant. We will get there.

To make matters trickier, the poor lass woke up with a sniffly nose this morning. Stress-induced cold? I'm not ruling it out, which of course makes me feel guilty. I suspect she'll sleep like crap tonight, which will make her even more fragile tomorrow. Whee.

IN THE MEANTIME.

I'm going to see about writing a book review and maybe resuming the 30 Days of Blogging posts. Going to try - once again - to get back in the habit of posting things here more regularly. Here's hoping.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

As we enter March

Hmph. I'm pretty annoyed with myself that I neither managed to write a blog post nor to take a daily photo for the kids on Leap Day. Ah well. Maybe next time.

(Or maybe not. Seems I didn't manage it four years ago either.)

Potty training is going pretty well. Not horribly, anyway. Aside from the "NO I REFUSE TO PEE BEFORE WE LEAVE THE HOUSE WAAAAAAAH" arguments we've been having, the whole process has been much less frustrating than I anticipated. So yay for that!

I did a bunch of extra riding this past week. I'm starting to make some progress with Vanya. When I was out at the barn last night, N said it was the best she'd seen me ride him yet. That made me feel pretty darned good.

I am drawing a blank as far as other stuff to write about right now. We certainly get up to a lot, but most of it is pretty mundane. Today's big excitement, for example, was 90 minutes of playing with Play-Doh this morning, followed up by me nearly giving Soren a black eye (I was exercising, with weights, and he ran up to me just in time to get clocked by one of them; fortunately, they're only 3-pounders), followed by an hour & change riding trikes with A at the playground. In between all the fun, there was a bunch of whining and not listening and refusing to use the potty. And today was pretty typical of how things have been going around here. Some outings, some whining, a little vegging out in front of Fireman Sam late in the afternoon while I make dinner. Adorable cooperative playing, punctuated by fighting and stealing of toys and meltdowns.

At least, for the most part, for every moment like this:


we get a few like this:


It works.