Thursday, March 19, 2009

Isaac At 18 Months

Isaac had his 18 month checkup last week at the pediatrician's office. He weighed in at 31 pounds, and measured 36 inches tall. He's the size of your average 29 month old child. They decided to call his breathing issues "asthma," and we will be using inhaled steroids with him for the foreseeable future, but other than that, everything is great!

Apparently in honor of this grand proclamation, he decided to start climbing out of his crib. I was not in the least prepared for him to do that, I have to tell you. The first time he did it, it was the middle of the night. I heard him cry out, then a thud, and then he started to scream. When I rushed to his room to get him, he had the lights on and he opened the door for me.

The next day, my good friend Jeni gave me her toddler bed. I had Todd take the crib down and I got that set up for him. He would not stay in it. So, I had Todd put the crib back up and hoped he'd scared himself well enough when he fell out that he wouldn't do it again. We considered ordering a crib tent.

The next morning at around 5:30 am, I heard his sweet little voice chattering away as he came wandering into our room. Clearly, my hopes were in vain that he would voluntarily stay in his "cage" once he'd figured out how to set himself loose.

At this point, I was in a dither. I knew he couldn't stay in the crib, but wasn't sure I wanted to go the tent route. Friday night he stayed in without incident, so my hopes were renewed - until he fell out Saturday at nap time and hit his head on the floor, giving himself a nice bump and a rug burn on his forehead. Clearly, we could not leave him in the crib, but Todd was not excited about taking the crib down again, either. We ended up taking one side off and putting up a bed rail, left over from when the girls transitioned into twin beds. I put a doorknob cover on the inside, both to keep him from escaping and also to prevent him locking the door, so that I don't have to search out that rotten little key in the wee hours of the morning.

It took a couple of nights of him waking up to play in the middle of the night, but he did start sleeping through again. He's still getting up much earlier than I would like, but the lack of screaming is wonderful.

Today, while I was telling some friends about our escapades with Isaac, he came trotting down the hall. I prayed that I had just left his door the tiniest bit open and went down to check how he'd gotten out. He had taken his little stool over to the door and taken the doorknob cover off. Bless his little pea-pickin' heart!

I feel like I should call professional baby-proofers, but at least he's sleeping again. We decided against the crib tent, because he's so tall, I think he would be able to unzip it. I'm still having a difficult time wrapping my brain around having an 18 month old child who is no longer contained in a crib, but I suppose I will eventually get over it. :-)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

One More Word About Wednesday

Well, not really about Wednesday, per se, but you know.

Today the girls and I saw a Northern Flicker at our bird feeder! It was the first one any of us had ever seen. I'm nearly certain it was a female, because the males have a distinctive black stripe on their cheek that this one didn't have. It was only there for a moment, but I thought it was a funny-looking Red-Bellied Woodpecker until I looked it up in the bird book. I'm also fairly confident that it was of the yellow-shafted variety, because after reviewing the bird book, it's highly unlikely that there would be a red-shafted one this far east.

Isn't it fun when you get to add a new bird to your life list? Whee!

Wordless Wednesday

Wordy Wednesday

I am supposed to be using the 30-day trial of the Simply Charlotte Mason online planner, but I decided to blog instead while all the kids are sleeping.

We had a fun school day today. We've been reading Peeps At Many Lands: Ancient Egypt by James Baikie to go along with our history lessons, but I couldn't find it this morning. So, we got out The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt (Landmark Books) by Elizabeth Payne, which we are supposed to be reading, instead. It was a good chapter on the turmoil that occurred after the Pharaoh Cheops died, and the priests and nobles decided to rewrite the Egyptian religion.

One thing we read that piqued our interest was their idea of what happened to souls when they went to the underworld. They had to face judgment before Osiris, and if they were found guilty of any of 42 mortal sins, "...a great beast would pad forward from the shadows, fangs bared - a beast part crocodile, part lion, part hippopotamus. The guilty man would be devoured on the spot, and that would be the end of his hopes for a life everlasting."

Kinda makes you grateful for Jesus, doesn't it?

Anyhoo, the girls and I thought it would be fun to draw a picture of such a monster, because we were having a hard time picturing a combination of those three animals that would work. I did a little Googling, and could not find anything on this creature. In fact, most of what I saw said that the beast was Babi, a baboon, who would come out and eat the guilty souls. I found pictures of the three animals instead and took them down for the girls to use in their pictures.

Naturally, by the time I got back down there, they were well into their drawings so I let them have at it. This is what they came up with. I think Emma and I had the same issues trying to come up with a viable version of this creature. Hers is named "Bestey" (a creative variant of Beastie):

Abbie had a better idea of what she thought it would be. Hers is named "Bessy the Very Scary Beasty," and has the head of a lion, body of a hippo, and bumpy back and tail of a crocodile:

Isn't homeschooling fun? I love this stuff!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bird Sightings

Yesterday I had a fun bird experience. We've had this one bird hanging around that does not seem to be as afraid of us as the rest. When I let Toby out, and all the other birds fly away, it looks around and seems to say, "What? I don't see anything!"

When I let the dog out, the bird stayed on the feeder and I realized I couldn't see its face. It was asleep, and it didn't notice the door opening or the big, black dog thundering down the deck stairs. I was able to go back in and get my camera, and take some pictures. I even got to pet it, and it didn't wake up.

Here it is asleep:

And from another angle:

It did eventually wake up and look at me a tad suspiciously, but it still didn't fly off.

Finally, it decided to go eat some more and ignore me again.

I tried to take a picture of my hand petting it, but I'm not that coordinated. It was a cute bird, though. I think it might be a young pine siskin. I hope it's not sick, but I don't suppose I will get to know that definitively.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Such Drudgery for Ones So Young

One of the girls' jobs is to unload the dishwasher. They've gotten a pretty good system down by now, although I still hear occasional arguments about who is going to do the top vs. the bottom. I don't care, as long as it gets done.

They get to do this most every day, and apparently this has placed a great burden upon their dear souls. Emma expressed her displeasure to Abbie, who took it upon herself to take action. I found this stuck to the kitchen cabinet where we keep our glasses:

Then, I guess Emma decided she could take responsibility for her own displeasure, and I found this one the next morning:

Always good for a laugh, they are! And, yes, we are working diligently on spelling during our school work.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Spelling Silliness

If you know me at all, you know that I have a great fondness for fun and silliness. I love when we can have fun with our school work!

This morning, I was watching "The Golden Girls" on the Hallmark Channel while I was getting ready for the day. We don't actually have cable, but for some reason, the television in our bedroom gets the Hallmark Channel and one other station - go figure! Anyway, I love "The Golden Girls." They are always good for a laugh.

This morning, the girls were trying to put together a funeral for Old Lady Claxton, who lived next door to them but died of a heart attack when Rose took her to court for threatening to cut down a beautiful old tree on her property - just because she knew it would make other people unhappy to have it cut down. Rose felt guilty, of course, because no one had liked this woman so there was to be no funeral and she was to be buried in a Potter's Field.

So, they go to the funeral home, where the proprietor introduces himself as Mr. Pfizer - and the "p" is not silent. After a brief pause, apparently trying to decide if he is serious, Dorothy says, "Well, Mr. P-fizer, we are here to plan a p-funeral. I mean, funeral."

I don't know why this struck me as so funny, but I was still giggling about it when I went downstairs to start school with the girls. They asked me what was so funny, so I tried to explain it to them, and bless their sweet hearts, they decided it was funny, too. We spent much of the day incorporating vocalized "p's" into our p-words, even in our p-spelling p-work. You will p-see that they p-learned some p-truly exceptional p-spelling p-skills today. They wanted me to be sure to blog about it. The spelling rule for today was that I and o followed by 2 consonants may be long.

I hope you have at least a little p-chuckle from this post today.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Can anyone identify this bug nest?

I found 3 or 4 of these in my Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas) plants as I was pruning them today. I have no idea what it is. It resembles a lightly toasted marshmallow. If you have any ideas, I would love to know. I'm going to ask my dad, fondly referred to by my children as "the walking, talking encyclopedia" when he comes in a few weeks. I hope he can tell from the picture because it smelled a little oddly and I didn't want to keep it.

If you'd like to grow lavender in North Carolina, by the way, this is an excellent variety for the hot, humid weather we have down here. The other kinds don't like it as well. Believe me, I tried.