Perry's new favorite thing is to ask for a snack. He asks all the time. But I know it's not always because he's hungry. I can tell by his requests. "I want something sweet on bread" are the first words he utters upon waking from his nap.
Oh how the mighty have fallen.
I used to be the Health-Food-on-a-Budget guru. For at least one of their birthdays I didn't even make cake because I felt it was too sweet--despite the fact that it was a once a year celebration.
Today I made cupcakes. What was the occasion? Well, it's Saturday, isn't it?
Tonight I put the kids to bed a little earlier than usual. Last night they were up extremely late and were very fussy today, despite their sleeping in, so I thought they would be ready to turn in at 6pm. They settled in quickly and I thought Mommy Time would come early tonight. However, halfway through doing the dishes, I heard crying. I walked to their bedroom door, stood outside and listened. I could hear Calvin and Daisy crying and Perry making some sort of noises. When I walked in I saw that Perry had turned the light on and was sitting on his bed, "reading" a book out loud. No wonder the two little ones were crying! I quickly fixed the situation and now we have quiet again. Who knows how long it will last, though.
Or, at least the kids think it looks like one. We've purchased a large shed. I was kind of getting tired of the sawdust all over the clean clothes, so, new work space it is, then! David is very happy and has spent the day filling it up with all his essentials--paint, paintings and painting utensils. There will be other stuff in there too, but I won't go into that lest some stranger happen across this blog and try to rob us (except for the large dog we'll be putting in the middle of the shed, I'll tell you about that).
Daisy woke up this morning feeling kind of yucky. But I won't tell you much about that either because I know some people (like my mother) just don't have the stomach for, um, that kind of stuff. I made her some ginger tea and we're hopeful she'll start feeling better soon.
Perry and Daisy are having such fun playing outside in the new drainage ditch. It's not quite finished, but hopefully it will be soon.
Calvin has started getting up onto his knees. It might not be all that long before we have three mobile children in the house.
Funny? Yes. But thankfully, not Me and Calvin. Probably more like me and Perry--when he was little(r). But now being on our third little one, I've grown a little more, um, less sensitive to their cries. I remember having a really hard time not picking Perry up every time he cried. David had to hold me down once or twice so I would just let him cry it out--which was something I had read up on before his birth and was committed to doing under the right circumstances. It was a little harder to do than I had anticipated. I quickly got accustomed to it, though.
I don't exactly remember how we dealt with Daisy on this. I suspect she was a little easier than Perry. Though she was a velcro baby (wanting to be held all the time).
In the mornings with them I basically got up At First Cry. There was no way I could get any rest with my little baby crying in the next room. Not that any of my babies have been real keen on crying, actually. They kind of yell out a little shout every few seconds, pausing and listening in between. It's as if they are saying "Mommy!" Listen. "I'm in here!" Listen "Come and get me!"
But now with Calvin... As long as he's not really crying, I don't get out of bed until Perry comes to get me up--usually after 7am. Even then it takes me approximately ten minutes of eye fluttering to work up to stumbling out of bed. Thankfully Perry's so wonderfully patient with me.
I wonder what I'll be like after, say, our tenth baby. Hopefully I won't require a nuclear explosion to rouse me from my slumber.
Yesterday we saw something we haven't seen in a long while. Squirrels! We went outside to play, hunted down all the dandelion puffs we could find and blew them all over the yard (like responsible homeowners don't do).
Ahh... I do believe Spring is finally here.
But then again, maybe it isn't quite here. We're really nervous about that. What if it continues to get warmer and warmer but then we get a late frost like we did last year. Then all our trees will lose their blossoms and we'll be left with another fruitless year--literally. No pears, no plumbs, no peaches, and no apples. I was worrying myself sick over it last week but then realized I can't do anything about it. If it's going to freeze, it's going to freeze.
This reminds me of one of my favorite poems by Carl Sandburg. It's called Arithmetic:
Arithmetic is where numbers fly like pigeons in and out of your head.
Arithmetic tells you how many you lose or win if you know how many you had before you lost or won.
Arithmetic is seven eleven all good children go to heaven - or five six bundle of sticks.
Arithmetic is numbers you squeeze from your head to your hand to your pencil to your paper till you get the answer.
Arithmetic is where the answer is right and everything is nice and you can look out of the window and see the blue sky - or the answer is wrong and you have to start all over and try again and see how it comes out this time.
If you take a number and double it and double it again and double it a few more times, the number gets bigger and bigger and goes higher and higher and only arithmetic can tell you what the number is when you decide to quit doubling.
Arithmetic is where you have to multiply - and you carry the multiplication table in your head and hope you won't lose it.
If you have two animal crackers, one good and one bad, and you eat one and a striped zebra with streaks all over him eats the other, how many animal crackers will you have if somebody offers you five six seven and you say No no no and you say Nay nay nay and you say Nix nix nix?
If you ask your mother for one fried egg for breakfast and she gives you two fried eggs and you eat both of them, who is better in arithmetic, you or your mother?
David loves sausage, biscuits and gravy. But there are degrees of love. He doesn’t love them enough to wake up on a Saturday morning and us all out to a restaurant just so he can have his beloved breakfast. He’s much too frugal for that. There are things I love that much, like pancakes for instance, but since I’m not the bacon-bringer-homer, I make my own. And that’s how he loves sausage, biscuits and gravy—enough to ask me to make them for him on a somewhat regular basis.
The first year we were married I really wanted to make his birthday special. I asked him the day before if there was anything specific he wanted to eat the next day. What he really wanted was sausage, biscuits and gravy but since we were trying to be vegetarians, he guessed I shouldn’t make it for him. We had only been vegetarians for a short time, and it was before we adopted the high moral stance of believing that special events like birthdays were exempt from any dampening of the holiday.
The next morning he woke up to the smell of his favorite breakfast. He stumbled into the kitchen where I greeted him with a cup of coffee and the confirmation that his nose had not deceived him.
He initially dug into the first few bites with relish and then slowed to ask how I had made it. I hadn’t yet decided weather I would tell him, but since he asked:
“Well, the sausage is soy sausage and the biscuits and gravy are made with soymilk!” It was evident I thought I was very clever, but that he didn’t.
“The soymilk that’s in the fridge?”
“The same soymilk that I just put in my coffee?”
“Yes….” My smile faded into puzzlement now. He stood up, walked to the refrigerator and opened it.
“Rachel, this is vanilla soymilk.”
I tasted my Frankenstein’s monster for the first time. It was sickeningly sweet—though the texture and undertone were reminiscent of what I had tried to create.
Even though I told him he didn’t have to, he choked down the entire plate.
Last night we couldn't get Daisy to eat her dinner. It's been starting to concern us because she hasn't really been interested in eating for a couple of weeks now. Oh, she'll eat all the white bread I give her, minus the crust--but as the Good Book says, "Man does not live by bread alone."
Anyway, David had the good idea of putting ketchup on her food last night in hopes of tempting her to eat it. But he didn't want to open up the gigantic can of ketchup we bought at Sam's Club (hey, does it really save you money if you never use it but instead go out and buy a whole bunch of little bottles because you don't want the contents of your huge can to spoil?) But, I digress... What's the next best thing to ketchup? Barbecue sauce! Or, as David lovingly referred to it, High Fructose Corn Syrup Sauce.
Oh, it tempted her all right. Next thing we knew she was gagging on a mouth full of cabbage, trying to suck the barbecue sauce off it.
That was kind of it for dinner for me--at least until after they had gone to bed.
This is a picture of our back yard. No, they're not putting in a pool--I wish they were! They're widening the drainage ditch that runs through the yard.
Notice how few men are working on it right now. That's because they're too busy...
getting ice cream from the ice cream truck.
The ice cream truck went through the neighborhood last week, too. The kids and I were playing in the back yard at the time (dodging construction equipment). Perry heard the infamous music and wandered toward it, like a bug toward light. This was his first experience with the ice cream truck so he just wanted to find out where the music was coming from. I had to call him back--but not before the truck driver saw us, stopped in front of our house, and then realizing we weren't going to buy any of its wares, slowly drove away.
Perry said, "Did you hear that truck making music? Was that so silly?"
"Yes, I heard it, it was so silly."
"Why was it making music?"
"Um... Yes, I heard it, it was so silly."
I didn't want to lie, but I didn't really want to tell the truth either.
It's just after nap-time. Perry and Daisy are sitting on the sofa with a bowl of popcorn their father gave them to share. He leaves the room and then returns. Perry has moved the bowl from between he and his sister to the other side of the sofa--out of her reach:
David: Perry, you're supposed to be sharing that popcorn with Daisy.
Perry: I decided not to.
Just another one of those times you have to leave the room so he won't see you laughing.