Monday, July 23, 2007


Life is busy, so blogging the way I want to blog is put on hold.

Our AC has been on the fritz. Not a good thing when you live in the desert and the daily temperature is around 110. For a few weeks, it hasn't been putting out cold air at night. Why only at night, one could only guess. Each night, the duration of its outage increased. The first set of technicians couldn't pin down the problem. Finally, we got a seasoned person who figured it out. Of course the part had to be ordered, and once it finally arrived at the company we could schedule the repair.

The day before the repair was to take place, Ian got to go over to Grandma and Grandpa's house, while Laurel and I enjoyed time together. While Laurel took a little siesta, I noticed the temperature was rising. Sure enough, no AC. By the time she woke up, the thermostat was reading 86. At that rate, I knew it would reach above 95 by the time Paul got home.

Laurel and I headed to a blessedly cold hotel room. After work, Paul packed up a few things for all of us and met us there. Ian got to have a little slumber party with the grandparents.

Our AC unit has been slowly falling apart ever since we moved in four years ago. It was time to bite the bullet and get a new one. OUCH!!!!

But, hurray, here we are in a nice, cool house. A nice, cool house that should stay that way relatively problem free for about 10 years.

Other things keeping us busy:
We headed up to Flagstaff for their annual Celtic Festival. It rained, it poured, and WE LOVED IT!!!

I'm excitedly co-hosting a baby shower for a dear friend I've known since elementary school. Proud to say I've known her about 28 years. This is baby #5 for her, YIKES! This week my goal is to clean the house so guests won't stick to the floors, walls, chairs, etc.

Have a great week everyone. Stay cool.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Math via Osmosis

I'm emptying out the dishwasher as Ian eats a snack in his booster chair. Above the clatter of dishes being stacked on top of one another, I hear Ian softly sing a familiar tune.

"There are three in the bed, and the little one says, 'Roll over.'"

I smile as I recognize the tune. Then, a huge question mark hangs over my head. I think to myself, "Where did he learn that song? I haven't sung it with him, and I don't think we've done it in any of his classes so far."

He continues, "They all roll over and one falls off, there are two in the bed, and the little one says, 'Roll over.'"

Puzzled where he may have heard this tune enough times to memorize it, I look around the corner at him. There sits Ian, playing with the grapes on his plate as he continues to sing the song. But wait, could it be, he has all the grapes off his plate except two. Coincidence?

Ian keeps singing, "They all roll over and one falls off..."

At this point I notice him roll one of the grapes off the plate leaving just one. "..there is one in the bed and the little one says, 'Roll over.'"

"No way, dude!" I exclaim looking at him. I stand there in disbelief over how my son is demonstrating subtraction skills.

I decide to test his skills. "Ian, let's start over. Let's put all the grapes back on the plate. How many grapes are there?"

"Mommy, mommy, six!" he happily chirps.

"Will you sing the song and move the grapes again for me?"

"Ok, Mommy." There's a brief pause as he touches the grapes, and then, "There are six in the bed, and the little one says, 'Roll over.' They all roll over and one falls off..." At this point he rolls a grape off the plate and onto the tray. "...there are five in the bed and the little one says, '"Roll over.'"

He continues the song, accurately moving one grape at a time and stating the number left. I'm impressed with my little mathematician. He's learned something through osmosis, now I just need to figure out from where.

"They all roll over and one falls off, there are three in the bed..."

Ok, Mister Brainiac, if you can do that, then explain to me Einstein's theory of relativity?

*Tonight, Paul informed me that the song in question is on one of our Kids Silly Songs CDs. My next question is, where did Ian learn to put action to the words? Hmmmm.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Eating together as a family is important to both Paul and me. It's an activity that everyone can participate in no matter their age. It provides the opportunity for us to talk about the events of the day, what we learned, what struck as funny or sad or exciting, and what we hope we can do in the future.

There are times we talk about world events, something I relish since I'm not around other adults during the day. But since Laurel and Ian are too young yet to understand or show an interest, these topics are limited. If Paul or I dwell on such topics too long, the wee ones get antsy and may perform less than desirable tricks seeking attention. But as the kids get older, we will be able to include world events more and more. It's important for children to become aware of things outside their own little universe.

Often, topics include family members near and far. We are fortunate in having a large family, and there is constantly news to share or a story or two to tell. Ian and Laurel chime in cheerfully repeating familiar names and add that they want those people to come over. They never tire of their relatives.

What I look forward to most at dinnertime, is when one of us spontaneously will say or do something silly that makes us all laugh. Laurel loves blowing raspberries with food in her mouth, spraying anyone and anything within range. We try to keep straight faces so she will stop, but the silliness always overtakes us, we cave and laugh long and hard.

I also love displays of sweetness. I'm remembering a time when Ian and Laurel were sitting next to one another and Ian chose to hold Laurel's hand. We're not sure why he suddenly was so affectionate, but she sure loved it and let out happy, high pitched squeals. They must have spent a good five minutes eating with one hand and grasping their sibling's hand with the other, all the while giggling and looking at one another.

I look forward to dinnertime. It's important that we talk, that we know what's going on in each other's lives. It's important for us to have an activity that we all participate in at the same time. It helps us bond.

I realize that right now, while the kids are young, Paul and I have control over choosing to eat as a family every night. As Ian and Laurel get older, this may become a more and more difficult accomplishment. Being important to us, we will continue this nightly activity going as much as possible.

Paul, Ian and Laurel enjoying dinner. Yes, we keep a package of baby wipes close by. Laurel's a bit, ummmm, messy.

Thanks Lori, at Glass Half Full for the blogging idea of The Family Table.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Air Addy Go?

"Mommy, air addy go?"

Peeking from the kitchen, I see Laurel gazing out the living room window. She steadies herself on her tiptoes, hoping to get a glance of her father.

"Air addy go?" she repeats.

I walk to her answering, "Daddy went to work."

She turns around to look at me. "Addy ack car."

"Yes, daddy took the black car to work."

She starts bouncing, pivots back around to look out the window and yells, "Addy coming ome! Addy coming ome!"

"Sorry Baby, he's not coming home yet. He needs to work all day."

Laurel bounces on her toes as she absorbs this information. A few seconds go by, then her gaze swiftly turns upward. "Mommy, bird! Bird in sky!"

Laurel is definitely going through a language explosion. She barks out new words and phrases at an astonishing rate. I know I shouldn't compare my children, especially since boys and girls are so different from one another, but out of curiosity I skimmed a previous blog post about Ian's language development. At nineteen months, he was mostly saying single words and occasionally two word phrases. Laurel is seventeen months and says two and three word phrases all the time, with the occasional four or five word phrase. Thanks to parenting books and magazines, I knew girls' language developed at an earlier age. But experiencing it with my own children takes the understanding to a new level of appreciation.

Hmm, where did Laurel get her natural chattiness from? I'm guessing from her grandmas (both are social butterflies):

Laurel loves to gab with her dolly.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Happy Birthday, Ian!

Another year passes, and I now find myself playing and conversing with a three year old Ian. People warned me that the years would fly by quickly, that my children's childhood would vanish in the blink of an eye. I'm starting to really understand this concept, and am doing my best to savor these precious moments I have with Ian and Laurel.

At three years of age, Ian's become a philosopher. The night before his birthday, Paul tucks Ian into bed and talks about the fun things that would happen at his party. They discuss that he would no longer be two, that when someone asks, "How old are you?" he should reply with, "I'm three years old!"

Quietly, Ian thinks about this turning three business. He then responds by telling Paul, "Daddy, this is my last chance to be two."

Yes indeed, that's deep thinking!

And now, hold onto your seats, obligatory birthday party pictures:

Ian LOVES opening presents!

With unblinking eye, Riley watches Ian open a present consisting of clothes. When opportunity presents itself, she tries on a pair of his newly acquired pants.

Awwww, a big hug!

Cousin Allison tries to get Laurel to look at the camera.

This motley crew (our beloved family) is ready for some birthday cake!

The wee ones only have eyes for cake!