Sunday, August 8, 2010

Child Labor

I was cleaning all of the glass surfaces in the family room and Avery and James descended on me. They thought it looked to be about the funnest thing ever. I let James give it a try with the paper towel, after I had sprayed windex, and he did surprisingly well. I mean, he's only 1! Avery wanted to be the permanent sprayer.

And on another day I was dusting the family room and the kiddies were practically fighting over who got to use the feather duster next. I'm thinking of investing in a second one just to get the jobs done quicker.

It made me remember when I was little I used to beg my mom to let me iron my dolls' clothes and hair ribbons. A little OCD I guess. She used to lower the ironing board to my height and I would go to town. I wonder when ironing stopped being fun...?

Sunday, August 1, 2010


July has been such a long and rough month for us, but at the same time I can't believe it is almost August and time for 'back to school.' We didn't get out much for the month, but here is kind of a re-cap of what we are up to. Hopefully, now that we are back on track, I will start blogging more regularly.

The picture of Avery was taken right before church one week. She asked me to take her picture :) And James has taken to wearing the Fisher Price stethescope around his neck while he goes around the house playing.

Avery has taken 3 weeks of swimming lessons, with two more to go. She has really improved. Putting her face in the water is not a problem at all anymore. She can basically do the elementary backstroke on her own, is great at floating on her back, and loves using the kickboard. Right now she is working on using her arms, legs, and putting her face in the water at the same time. She loves the water...just like me. At night she asks me to tell her stories about when I was a little girl. Sometimes I tell her about when I was on the swim team, about my races, etc. She gets really excited to hear about my past adventures.

Avery is very excited to start preschool and I am excited for her. I love to watch her be excited about things. I am also signing her up for a dance class that will run from Sept. through December. One of my friends in the ward grew up a dancer and has been teaching dance for years. She is starting classes out of her home for a very reasonable price and Avery will be in the class with some of her friends. She has also asked about joining soccer. We will have to see I guess. Avery loves to be involved in activity around the clock, loves to entertain, or socialize.

She thrives on hearing about what Al does at work. Every day when he comes home she wants to know what surgeries he did the night before or that day. She hangs on every word and can tell if you are leaving out information. She wants to know EVERYTHING. She will ask all sorts of questions as Al explains why he did what he did, etc. At times I have wondered if it is too much, if Al tells her too much. She is only 4 after all. But she never gets scared, or disgusted, just more enthralled. She was the same way about my recent health problems and was never satisfied with my answers. She could always tell that I was shortchanging her on the info. Or was just really vague. Then she will tell Al about surgeries that she did. She will completely make up some scenario about a person getting hurt, and then what needed to be fixed and how she did it. It really is amazing what she retains from what Al tells her and how she can use it to come up with her own material. Lately she's been doing a lot of surgeries involving the spleen :)

Avery has also been into doing chores around the house. Every night after James goes to bed, and sometimes throughout the day, I will give her tasks to do. She got a charm bracelet and wants to earn 'dollars' to buy more charms for the bracelet. She works really hard and does a good job. I wish I had gotten her the charm bracelet a long time ago! Mostly she helps pick up toys and things around the house. But chores can also include playing with James for a little while, trying a new food, practicing her letters and her reading words, etc.

James stays busy, emptying anything and everything from all cabinets and drawers around the house. Sometimes I just give up on trying to put everything back. We will definitely need to child-proof everything soon. It is driving me crazy. He isn't too much into talking yet. Still just says more, or "Mah, mah, mah!" Always 3 times in a row, really fast, or one emphatic, "MAH!!" I think he said bye-bye the other day. About a month ago he decided he was done with all baby food and also that he didn't want any help with eating. All on the same day. So things have gotten messier, but he is happy. He knows where his tongue and belly-button are. He is learning the animal sounds. He is really good at doggy, cow (a really short "boo" instead of moo), and quacking. He loves to growl/roar. And that is used for dinosaurs, tigers, lions, and hippos...I guess he thinks a hippo looks like it could make an impressive roar. And it really is impressive for such a little guy. I'll have to see if I can get it on video some time. His latest trick is that he throws his dirty laundry into the laundry basket. After he does it he gets the biggest smile on his face. Very cute.

He has also started squealing/yelling a lot. It will be so much easier for him when he can say a few more words...much easier for us too. James would stay outside every day, all day if we let him. He just can't get enough, even in this miserable heat and humidity. He still loves to cuddle, be rocked, and smiles all of the time.

Al is busier than ever. We don't see him much...maybe an hour and a 1/2 a day. Or sometimes not at all. I will be glad when trauma is over. This past month has been hard and lonely. But just one more month and he will be done and onto something else.