About Us

There are four of Them: three girls and one boy, little stair-steps all. There are two of Us: best friends, co-parents and truly in love. The Six of us have epic adventures full of laughter and love, occasionally containing tears, but always together.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Teethy Times

About a month ago The boy-child reported he had a wiggly tooth. "So do I! I have a wiggly tooth. Look, Mum." said Lu-Lu. My initial reaction was one of skepticism. When something as exciting as wobbly teeth is going on, it's always somewhat imaginarily contagious. And, the older two were both seven (or at least much nearer to) before they lost their first tooth. However, when I gamely inspected her tooth it wasn't just a bit wiggly, it was really wiggly!! She was very, very excited.

Last week, before Dadam went on his trip, she was wiggling it and wiggling it. She even asked us to give it a little tug. But it wasn't ready. The Boy-child pulled his own wobbly tooth out.

(This is his hockey player impression, as the last missing tooth hasn't grown in and the two gaps line up perfectly!)

But Lu's was holding fast. It got wigglier and wigglier. I couldn't believe the darn thing was still holding on. Last night before football practice, Lu was afraid to eat her sandwich for fear the tooth might fall out!! I tried to pull it, but no dice.

This evening she was doing all sorts of Very Wiggly Tooth tricks. You know, the one where they push the tooth flat with their tongue. Or the other one where they shake the tooth back and forth. I tried again to pull it, but Lu didn't really want me to. So I brushed her teeth and then turned proceedings over to her.

She had only been brushing a few moments when she said, "Augha!". And spit several times into the sink! Thankfully the tooth didn't take a trip down the drain and we rescued it from the sink.

Lu was so excited and shocked that she began to giggle some what hysterically and shake. Once we got the bleeding stopped, she spent a good deal of time examining the new hole in her face.

She was so exited she could hardly sleep and just now when I went in to check on her, she roused up and told me how she "kept sticking my tongue in the hole and feeling it around!"

She is definitely excited and thrilled. I'm just feeling weird having three children loosing teeth at the same time!! Surreality.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I've Got To Break Free

Memorial Day I did an epic hike.  More on that a different time.  After the hike, I got super sick.  I had a stomach ache for the better (worse?) part of a week.  It was a Bad Stomach Ache.  When it first began I could hardly walk.  I laid in bed for over 12 hours trying not to die.  I thought it was something I had done to myself during aforementioned epic hike.  Nope.  No such luck.  It was a virus and I passed it on to the kiddos. 

This meant that the second week of our two week half term break, we spent hanging around the house while some child or another had a rip-roaring bad stomach ache.  PrincessE shook it in five days.  Lu and Noodle had it only off and on for four.  But The boy-child had it for a week.  And barfed on two separate occasions.  He'd feel okay in the morning, marginal at lunchtime and by the late afternoon he would be sacked out on the couch.  It made going and doing anything pretty difficult.  So we hung out around the house, doing only quick trips to the grocery.  But mostly just being quiet. 

Dadam left yesterday for a ten day trip and weekends are always the hardest as EveryParent.  I knew that I really did not want to be cooped up in the house, again, today.  And I sincerely hoped for The boy-child's sake (and my mental health) that he was feeling better today. 

Happy Day!  He woke up in the morning full of pep and wanting to eat.  By lunchtime he was chasing his sisters around the house and making scary monster noises at them.  I took this as a sign he was well on his way to a full recovery, if not already there.  It was time for some forced marching.  Okay, not marching, just a nice hike.  But if you heard the complaining and fussing that went on, you might have thought it was a march! 

Early reports from PrincessE were that The boy-child did "not want" to go on the hike.  There were also some early and frequent questions regarding approximate length of the hike. But I put on a smile and went to my happy place; thankful to be out of the house and enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. 

We saw loads of fun things on our hike.  First there was a fantastic view of Harewood House, the manor whose property we were walking on. 

I know The boy-child isn't looking at the camera. 
It is So Hard to get them all to look at the same time. 

This is a close up of the "house" that can be seen in the background of the kiddo photo above. 

We saw lots and lots of sheep.  The lambs are getting big and the ewes were sometimes less than patient about them stopping by for a quick drink. 

We saw a waterfall, some ducklings and some cows. And as we came around the corner of a field we saw a man herding sheep with a dog!  Noodle was concerned and asked why the farmer was "hurting" the sheep.  I had to explain the difference between "herding" and "hurting".  The boy-child wanted to know why they were herding the sheep and I said I didn't know.  We walked up just a little ways and I saw why they were herding the sheep.  They were shearing them!!!  How I wished that we would have been able to get close to the action.  Unfortunately there were several hedgerows in the way and it was difficult to make out what was happening.  We did get to see them separating the lambs from the ewes and we saw the sheared ewes get dropped back into the field.  Boy did they look different!

As we walked on we came to the part of the estate that has a deer sanctuary.  I wasn't too sure why deer would need a sanctuary; I know they are considered pests in many parts of the US.  But the Harewood Estate website tells me that there are two herds of deer, one type red deer and the other fallow deer.  The reason they have established a deer park at Harewood is because:  there was one in medieval times.   We were all very excited to see a group of bucks lounging close-ish to the road and "posing" for us, as PrincessE excitedly whispered to me. 

We continued our walk and got all the way around, back where we started.  All of a sudden there were no tired legs any more. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Oh So Weird

We are weirdos. Oh yes we are. PrincessE and The Boy- child have recently and frequently reported how strange their classmates find our family.
And why?

Because we watch almost zero television.

The kids in their classes, by and large are shocked, horrified, puzzled and pitying. You don't watch X-factor? No Britain's Got Talent? What about The Apprentice?? Poor you, they say. What do you spend all your time doing?!?!?

What do they spend all their time doing? Reading, playing, taking stuff apart, creating, pretending, drawing, putting stuff together and just being together. They use chairs as stilts and draw massive "streets" on the driveway with sidewalk chalk. They do Lego and puzzles and play board games. They help make dinner and set the table and fold laundry and clean up.  They create airplanes and model cities, they learn to embroider and cross stitch.  They read and color and imagine. 

This isn't a holier than thou post. I don't believe that all TV is detrimental. In fact, I believe that TV definitely has its place. Been a horrid day and you need 20 minutes of peace? Please, put on an educational nature show. Kiddo very poorly and just needs some chill out time on the couch? Pop in DVD after DVD, a few hours isn't going to kill them and may help them rest a bit. Even if you want to have a family movie night, I'm all for that. We've done those too.  But what I *do* believe that the 3.5 hours a day that the average American nine year old watches IS detrimental.  Three and a half hours!?!?!? 

From the very beginning, Dadam and I made a concious decision about our television consumption.  When we were first married, I'm not gonna lie, we spent most evenings in front of the TV watching random shows.  But when PrincessE was born we decided to turn it off.  We spent dinner time playing Scrabble while PrincessE nursed or slept.  I read book after book while she nursed, instead of turning on the television.  It wasn't something we needed much of in our lives and I didn't miss it at all.

And now we torture our children with a mostly-TV-less exsistence. 

I don't think they miss it at all. 

They just don't have time to sit and watch, they're too busy doing. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Warm Enough For Ya?

A heat wave here is any temperature above 70F.  At least that's the way my children seem to feel about the weather.  I feel a bit differently.  The fact that at our favorite park there is a paddling pool which regularly has blue-lipped, uncontrollably shivering children in it, serves only to prove the point that the British have a different sense of appropriate ambient temperature for outdoor water activites.  My children have adopted this sensiblity.  Water fun is just too exciting to leave for warmer days, you'd be holding your breath forever around here. 

Last week we had four days in a row of beautiful weather.  It was between 65 and 73 degrees.  The sun shone all day and there was no breeze.  I held off on the sprinkler, but they begged.  Finally on the fourth, and warmest day, I gave in.  I knew that they'd be in the water about five minutes and then be done.  73 is really *not* warm enough to be comfortable all wet, even if the sun is shining.  But I did manage to grab some cute pictures of them playing in the water before they threw in the towel.  (Or is that *got* in the towel?)

PrincessE quits the water first.  It's hard to keep warm when you have zero percent body fat! 

Noodle and Lu-lu stick it out for more sprinkler fun. 

Lu makes her own game, since everyone else has given up to go get dried off. 

We can only hope we have another few days of summer later on in June and July.  Everyone will be so excited to get in the sprinkler for another five minutes!!