James has "The Empire Strikes Back" on the TV. Grace is watching "Masha" on the other laptop. David has Lucy at Costco. And I am completely amped up on the caffeine from my "decaf" McDonald's coffee. Probably can't sit still long enough to craft anything, so I'm going to give a try to a "week in the life" post.
Lucy has a bit of a cough, which fills me with dread regarding the rest of the week / month. But she doesn't seem to feel too yucky, so we ignore it for now. (Isn't it fascinating, though, that the more a toddler is likely to cough or sneeze, the closer to the food table she seems to stand?!) I have snacks to bring to church (Costco muffins, mmm!) , as well as my standard duties on the laptop.
We hang around a little longer than usual after church, but the girls especially still don't want to leave. Eventually we get them into the car and head home where I grab an extended nap. A smaller crew joins us for spaghetti and meatballs: only 8 or 9 including us. (We've had up to 14 recently, but the Selixes and a couple others couldn't make it this time.) Regrettably, James starts fighting with his sisters during dinner and doesn't take it well when banished to his room. He has a classic, full on, totally out of control meltdown which puts a real pall on things. Really wish we could help him get a handle on his temper.
Lucy's cough is getting worse but she still acts mostly normal. No outside activities on our schedule for the day, so we get to focus on school: we're in Numbers in "Bible Roadtrip," James and Grace are both doing "Spelling U See," James has copy work and some practice in division / multiplication, Grace has math out of one of several books depending on our collective mood, and reading from a similar number of books or from her A Beka phonics cards. School has gotten Much easier this year since Lucy is nearly always willing to work on coloring, puzzles, pattern blocks, or Perler beads for much of the instructional time.
At 11 or so, Dan, Angela D and two of her daughters (ages 3 and 6 months) come over to work on brainstorming a new logo for City's Edge. (Angela is a graphic designer.) While we're working James builds a fancy new fort from the Fort Magic kit, while the girls (rather to his disgust) mostly do "girl stuff." After lunch I help finish the fort in between laundry and whatnot. The kids are in a very creative mood and wisely don't interfere, much!
The bigger two also do a little outside play despite the chill: the whole neighborhood is working on a giant chalk "Sim City" in the cul-de-sac. This occupied them for hours over the weekend and James is eager to continue developing it.
Eventually I get a little nap. Sadly when the neighborhood kids James' chief "frenemy" Tate (age 10) arrives home from school he inexplicably goes absolutely crazy on James. No-one knows why, but he's suddenly persona non grata. It gets so bad that after the third or fourth incident I finally - against my better judgement - go out and confront the kid. I keep it short, but ask him to please at least Ignore James while he's outside playing. For reasons I cannot begin to explain this works, and everyone becomes buddy-buddy for the rest of the afternoon. I am mystified, but pleased.
And this gives me time to put together some sort of dinner for the rest of the family before heading off to the "PC Women's Group" at Beth's. Love this group of ladies!
Tuesday 1/31: Lucy's cough is still worse, and I feel a little guilty about going to dance class. But I can't stay home without also skipping Grace's class as well as James' speech. Eventually I decide to go for it. I also splurge (at $3/head) on "open gym" at the dance studio, and James especially loves trying to climb the rope and devise obstacle courses for himself. Amar, the guy who runs the front desk, tries to give James a little instruction but isn't too successful. Still, he makes it a few feet up!
I feel a little better about the sick kid when I notice at least one other little girl with at least as bad of a cough. :)
We make it through the day, but I need a nap when we get home, and the kids - especially Lucy - conspire to deny me one. I find myself positively bad tempered and amuse myself writing rants on Facebook about my kids' exceedingly small Venn diagram of acceptable dinner foods. So many mothers declare themselves in the same boat that I do end up feeling oddly better - especially when there are no serious melt-downs over the baked potatoes, salad, and chili I serve. Not that they actually Ate it, but they don't scream and fuss either.
James passed his Orange Belt test on Saturday, so he needs to join the Orange-to-Green class for the first time this evening which makes us hurry dinner rather more than we'd prefer to get him there at 5:50. D and I have also decided to go ahead and let Grace take Taekwondo for at least a while, and this is her first class. She is over the moon. Despite the blatant violation of my declared "one activity per child" rule, I'm copacetic because I get to stay home with Lucy, who can usually be persuaded into an extended bath and early-ish bedtime. I even have time for a little Zentangle and Yoga from Fit2B. Which gives me time for ranting (thankfully just to Beth rather than a larger audience) on FB regarding the reactions to the declared YM split. :)
Wednesday 2/1: Lucy still worse, but Mom decides to come over anyway, given that she's already been exposed by Maddy and Shiloh. We eat at Burger King for once, and out of a sense of social responsibility I occupy Lucy with my phone rather than letting her play in the playground. She really isn't feeling very well today, which becomes increasingly clear after Mom leaves around 3. She Willingly goes to bed early, if that's any clue! I'm still fine, which shocks me. Maybe all that honey-and-turmeric magic mixture is working?! Grace and James are really very compassionate and Grace is talking about wanting to get something for her (out of her own funds) from Dollar Tree to help her feel better. This inspires me to make and package a tiny needle-felted "Phillip" frog - my new craft. :) David and I make it out for a "Pokewalk," which I prepare for by dressing in full cold-weather gear. The wind is picking up, and it's Cold!
Thursday 2/2: Lucy is feeling a bit better, and is very amused by her tiny frog, but he predictably disappears before two hours go by. He turns up a time or two in coming days, but as of this writing Saturday afternoon is MIA again. Oh well.
No outside activities again today, so we make it through school (Grace manages to resist Most subjects again, and it is increasingly clear that She is now coming down with Lucy's cold) and then finally get in our weekly trip to the library. James is devouring more than 1/2 a dozen books a week, especially Tin Tin and Jr. comic books. I am having a little more trouble keeping him in chapter books that I think are even vaguely worthwhile (EVERYTHING seems to be about magic users lately!), but I select a handful of "Boxcar Children" mysteries and a few other series openers to try him on. He wasn't too excited about "A Wrinkle in Time" after the first chapter, and it just gets worse when I try to persuade him. Indirection and feigned indifference is the only way. :}
Somehow we all have energy for a quick stop at the craft store (new needle felting tool at 50% off!) and a longer stop at WinCo, which I'm now managing to visit only every 4-6 weeks. Getting the kids a smoothie to split before we start shopping helps a lot, though!
Both big kids go to Taekwondo, but Lucy is much less persuadable to an early bed. Yup, definitely feeling better!
The weather shifts from "unpleasant" to "miserable" overnight. Wind, rain, and near-freezing temps.
Friday 2/3: Thankfully our side of town doesn't get much ice on the ground, but the cars are coated with a nice, thick layer. I'm especially glad we have another day with no outside activities (co-op is on alternate Fridays), because Grace is obviously under the weather now.
This doesn't stop her from helping James with an big "layout" or "scene" in the box room. They're theoretically making this for Lucy and the toy "Phillip" - everyone is trying to be extra nice to her while she's sick - but I think they get a lot more play time with it than she does. Still, it's a very nice thought.
Not a lot of school gets done by Grace: she is super sensitive to anything "hard," mistakes made, etc. I have to remind myself routinely that pushing her is largely pointless, and she's only supposed to be in Kindergarten. At least we finish up Deuteronomy in Bible Roadtrip. James successfully completes a Scratch project and its variations (we have a book from the library to follow), which I do a bit of crafting on a needle felting project. Grace would like to help, but stabbing things with sharp needles isn't something I really want her to do much of. :)
Once again the kids decide to fight during my "nap," but eventually they stabilize and I get a longer bit of down-time than usual. I drag myself up, and allow myself to be persuaded to begin movie time about 20 minutes early. "Home" is still going when David arrives around 4:45, and Grace is getting ever grumpier. We decide to go to Subway so as to avoid public play-places, etc, at Cedar Mills. This pleases Grace and sends Lucy into a tantrum. She ends up picking Everything out of her sandwich and then complaining that the bread is spicy. I am remarkably unsympathetic. Such a relaxing way to spend the evening. :}
Back home the kids get a little play time, and then we wind down with a chapter from "Farmer Boy," which has been my favorite of the "Little House" books on this re-reading. Lucy remains cranky because I won't read her a book or two in her own bedroom, and manages to keep herself awake fussing for a Long time. Arrgh. I ignore her while working on a couple of updates for the Kenneys at Zoetotheworld.com, then watch an episode of White Rabbit while working on the felting project. Grace doesn't sleep well, even with humidifier and honey-turmeric.
Saturday 2/4: Everyone sleeps in, except maybe Lucy. I finally get out the door with James to go to McDonald's around 9:45. There we work on a book report, a little spelling, and some consumer math which unfortunately points out that he needs a lot more practice both on multiplication and story problems. I wish he could be patient with himself and me when working on such things: it takes most of my energy and time just to get him to do what I've asked instead of letting him do it "his way."
We get home around 12:30, and find Grace miserable, lethargic, and mildly feverish. Everyone is So excited for the Super Bowl party tomorrow: I really hope and pray she improves in the next 24 hours.
And now we're to where I started. A pretty normal week, but well worth remembering nevertheless.
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