Thursday, February 25, 2010
In keeping with the persistent side of ACK's personality, meal time has become a bit of a bear. For example, she wants to have whatever you are having even though she is perfectly content with her own cereal. if I tell her to wait, she still requests over and over even if I have promised that once I finish what I am eating I will get her something else. Or if I say no to a particular food, she still requests and I can't get her to stop talking. So, the other day I realized i didn't have to put up with this. I now leave the kitchen once I serve a meal and eat in the dining room and read the paper. I will get them more of something when I am done with my meal and the requests seem to be vanishing...Now why didn't I think of this earlier?
Adelaide is full of beans these days. She is so determined and so stubborn. For example, she pinched her brother the other day. I told her she had to apologize and she refused to. So, she didn't get a cookie at snack time and she understood that consequence, but absolutely still refused to say "sorry" to her brother.
She is funny, though. In the picture, she is pulling some paper out of her pocket. I asked her "What's in your pocket?" She then said, "I don't know" and quickly added, "probably money."
She still is quite a singer. She loves music class and sings on pitch and knows all the words. However, I haven't been able to get a video clip of it yet. At night we sing "Jesus, Tender Shepherd" and she always says, "No sing, Mommy. I sing."
Addie is still a brute. We have been cooped up because of the snowstorms and she takes pride in doing things like trying to push her brother down the stairs. We are going to have to guard that baby better then they do at White House State Department parties. Or maybe she'll surprise us and be really sweet, but I doubt it.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
The kids and I made two large crosses and divided them into a grid of 40 so that they could track the days of Lent. Elias then wanted to draw a picture of Jesus. So, he drew this picture: we know he is not a budding artist. If you look at the picture, he drew a cross and put Jesus on it and nailed his legs to the cross. Then he colored over it and told me that he was going to cover Jesus. Then he drew another Jesus above the cross and told me Jesus had ascended into heaven. Now I know the kids is a bit ahead of us liturgically, but he is working out some theological concepts.
Last night, I did the children's homily and asked the kids" Does anyone know what Lent is?" He jumped in and said, "It's a party when you come to church every night for 40 days." We had been at church for the Chili cook-off, then Shrove Tuesday, and then Ash Wednesday, so he kind of got it right.
We went for our first visit to a dentist out here since we moved. Ironically, the appointment was scheduled for Ash Wednesday, but the kids had a wonderful time. I was very pleased with the whole process. The dentist, hygienist, staff, and waiting room were all top quality. Elias got his teeth cleaned and had x-rays taken. He did all of this by himself. But, the star of the show was Adelaide at age 2, who managed to hold onto the suction tube and close and open her mouth when she was told to. It was her first appointment ever and we learned she still doesn't have all her teeth yet. She has two year old molars that are still coming in--or not even showing yet. No wonder that girl still likes to put everything in her mouth. On the down side, poor Elias has inherited bad teeth problems from mom and dad. His x-rays showed his adult teeth pushing down on his baby teeth, but they may not have room to come in because his mouth is so crowded and tight. And, he also has very soft teeth and shows signs of a cavity coming in his back molars if we don't get in there and floss. So, last night I attempted to floss that boy's teeth, but I can't even reach into the back of his mouth. The dentist told me that he needs to floss those back molars because they don't fall out until around 9 or 10. I said, "Oh, well he has really poor fine motor I don't think he will be able to do that." She laughed and said, "Sorry, you have to do it." One more thing to add to the bedtime routine when I'm almost comatose myself.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Since the fall, Elias has taken an interest in two kinds of characters: pirates and knights. Most of that fantastical play was fun because it involved building ships, or speaking in funny terms, such as "matey" and "AArgh." However, the downside of these vocations is that both types of play involved swords. For the most part, Elias carried a sword in his belt and refrained from using it to cut off his sister's head. (Although we can't vouch for Adelaide's self-control.) However, since we came back from England, Elias has had a hard time adjusting back to preschool. In open spaces he can't get control of his little body. The other day I went to pick him up and he was sitting all alone with the director. They were reading a story together, but Elias had to leave music because he couldn't control himself. When we talked about it, he told me "I just can't turn my motor off." In an effort to help him with this, we removed all swords from the house. The irony, of course, is that as soon as he comes home he wants to dress up as someone. Today it was Darth Vader--great, right? (Mind you, we have no action figures in the house, he has never seen the movies, but he talk about wanting to "kill like Darth Vader.") Now tonight is Mardi Gras, so I said he could dress up however he wants and embrace his evil side to make his Lent all that more penitential. So, the kid found a brown outfit, a scarf, a block to serve as a sword, some bubble wrap to wear under his belt, and a bucket for his hat. I suspect this "killing" phase will go on for a while. Deliver us from evil, O Lord, for the next 40 days and nights.
Yesterday, Adam took the kids with him to get the car fixed while I had a whole day in DC catching up with my former spiritual director. Apparently there was a playroom in the car dealership. The kids did well playing in there. Then a Small toddler started to eat his snack which was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Elias went right over to the boy and said, "I have a peanut allergy. I can't eat peanut butter." Of course, the little guy had no idea what he was talking about. However, the father nicely made sure the kid didn't spread the peanut butter around the toys in the room. Both Adam and I were so proud that Elias noticed the peanut butter, spoke about it, and stayed away from it. He is really growing up!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Our last night, we finally settled on Italian food where Addie managed to pee in the highchair and Elias broke a glass. I think it was the only non-pub we ate in the whole time and we learned our lesson. The next morning we flew out of Heathrow and into a big snow storm in Philly.
The dragons upon leaving and entering inner London. Adelaide on a double-decker bus, St. Martin's in the Field where Daddy got one more evensong explosion. The Churchill Arms Pub where we ate too often... And a picture of Trafalgar Square in the rain.
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We capped off the big day of walking with evensong at Westminster Abbey. Elias slept on my lap through the beautiful anthems and Adelaide remained quiet until her lollipop disappeared. Then it was out into the darkness and we succumbed to taking a cab home. The next morning we went to St. Paul's cathedral and arrived in time for the feast of Candlemas. We took that in along with the beautiful architecture. We found a place for lunch and then dilly dalleyed round a pub before we got to leave the kids at Ciaran and Emma's for the night. Mom and Dad went to dinner and to see Les Miserables. What a treat!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
To keep from freezing, we did a lot of walking. After the park we went to Kensington Gardens to find the Peter Pan Statue. Apparently, the statue was erected in the middle of the night so that it would appear majestically for the kids. We had fun finding it. Then we kept walking until we left the park and walked into Knightsbridge where we found the famous department store, Harrods. While there, we enjoyed our one and only cream tea. It was delightful.
We said good-bye to the Joyces so that they could have some normalcy with the kids in school. While we were at their flat, the four older kids all slept in one room, and Adelaide bunked in with us. Poor Ciaran and Emma shared Iona's tiny bedroom. And, all of us shared the one bathroom in the whole flat! Our hotel room was two flights up with no elevator, and beds that sank in to the middle, but we had our own shower and took great joy in using it. Our location, however, was fantastic. After settling into our room, we walked over to Hyde Park where there is a Peter Pan park that the kids loved. It was recently placed there as a memorial to Princess Diana.