2 years

It's been two years* since my mom left this world. Sometimes it feels like just a second has gone by, sometimes it feels like forever. Time goes on but the heart still misses. I love you mom.

Actually, the hard day is this Saturday because in my mind, the day she died was the Saturday after Thanksgiving so if you want to say an extra prayer for me then, I wouldn't mind.


Worlds of Learning Winter is here!

The Worlds of Learning Winter printables and activity charts are done. They are embedded below and added to the Worlds of Learning Page. Keep in mind that this semester doesn't start until January as we'll be busy with the holidays until then. But I might have something fun for December circle time to share if you ask nicely :-)


Grow baby grow!

What a fortnight we've had. Actually what a couple of months. But this week was hopefully the end of a really long journey to solve a problem. The problem? Jonah's growth. Or Jonah's lack of growth.

I've mentioned little things here and there about Jonah's being little and us having minor medical issues but haven't really talked about the full story, even with most people I know in real life. I had a small group of people who knew and were helping me get information but for the most part, it was just too hard to talk about because it was too hard to think about.

Craig won't let me put up any cutesy sayings in the house, you know the ones you see on Pinterest about a mother's heart walking around outside their body or how a mother holds their kids hands for a while but there hearts forever. Strictly forbidden. He thinks they are too cheesy. And they are super cheesy, but they are also true! So when it comes to Jonah's weight gain this isn't just a sensitive issue, it's more akin to someone taking my heart, rubbing it with sandpaper and pouring a bottle of lemon juice on top. So maybe not something I was willing to disclose to the entire internet.

I still don't feel like rehashing the whole thing but the jist - for the past months his weight percentile has been dropping. And nothing we did seem to help. We were working with our doctor and lactation counselors and tried all sorts of things, breastfeeding management strategies, pushing solids, I'm on medication, he's on homeopathics. Each new thing we tried, I'd pray it would make a difference and then - nothing. We kept thinking that the older he got, the better it should be because if he's hungry, he should eat, right? But the older the got, the worse he did, not only according to the chart (he was below the bottom line or <0 asking="" but="" eat="" etc.="" he="" hungry="" in="" nbsp="" p="" percentile="" practical="" refusing="" s="" signing="" solids="" struggling="" terms="" to="" with="">
"Luckily", as I said, things got worse and we started seeing other symptoms and clues to what might be going wrong which eventually led us to a tongue tie specialist. Two weeks ago today, we got to see her and that very morning, she revised his posterior tongue tie and lip tie.  The procedure itself was a bit rough. Craig stayed to help restrain him but I had to leave and pace the hallway. The doctor told us up front that he did have ptt and lt but there were no guarantees that it was the cause of his issue or that it would fix them especially at his age when he's already learned some bad habits nursing wise. Craig and I felt like we had to try anyway but knowing you are hurting your child is hard, even if your brain knows you have good reasons for doing so. Your instincts are screaming, stop, give me my baby!

Then after the procedure came the stretches. To prevent it from healing closed, we have to "stretch it" every 4-6hrs round the clock. Nothing brings more excitement to a middle of the night feeding than turning on all the lights so you can see, having your husband hold down your baby so you can force his mouth open with a tongue depressed and make him scream and cry. Except if you are like me, you don't crave excitement at midnight, you crave silence and happiness and sweet dreams.

But, the happy part of this story is that is seems to be working. The very night of his procedure he ate more food than I've ever seen him. And not mushy dissolving stuff, like real food - a whole chicken leg's worth of chicken! He stopped crying for food and banging on the fridge constantly. We finally got past that dreaded "transition" stage that you will sound familiar if you cloth diaper, if not, move along and try not to figure out this sentence :-)

We went back for a check-up 5 days later and he had gained 6 ounces already as opposed to the 1oz/week he had been averaging. Another week later and he is continuing to gain. He's older now so it might take him a while to catch up but I do feel like we are on the right track now although we may have more work ahead of us. I'm not sure I'll totally relax until he's actually back on the chart but just knowing we're making progress is a huge weight off my shoulders. Parenting, it's not for the faint of heart.


Not Toys

I get asked quite frequently for gift ideas. Not just for ideas for what to get my kids but other parents wanting ideas to give the gift givers in their life. These requests make me laugh because I think/worry that the people who give my kids stuff probably think I'm a toy nazi and nightmare parent in this area. But I do love being asked because it's like window shopping for me. I didn't quite realize how much so until I started writing this post and got completely carried away. There are a lot of links here but none of them are affiliates and none of these companies even know I exist (but if you are a company and reading this - I'm not above that!). I just like cool kid stuff and would much rather shop for my kids than myself.

As we've been decluttering and I've been talking to other parents doing the same, the subject of presents always comes up. I've seen a couple articles that talk about giving the gift of "presence" and that is great for people who live near family but we don't and when we do have a change to get together with extended family, we take every advantage of it, no matter what the season.

I think it also depends on the child and their love language. For some kids, their love language truly is gifts and that doesn't necessarily mean they are greedy little materialists any more than a child who thrives on words of affirmation needs to work on their self esteem so I don't think it is unreasonable to try and find a balance. Here are a few non-toy gifts that my fellow minimalist moms and I have come up with:


What kid doesn't like getting something in the mail? I know I did growing up and Lucy does too. How sad is it that about the time you start getting mail, you stop wanting it? The old standby is magazines. I searched for several for Lucy's birthday and ended up finding a free children's magazine put out my our state conservation department. It's written for elementary age children but Lucy still loves it and you can't beat free. Some of the other I've heard good things about:
Another type of mail that seems to be popping up are the subscription boxes. I haven't gotten one but in terms of simplification, I'm torn. A constant influx of new items is not exactly what I'm aiming for. Plus, these tend to be a bit pricey. That said, some of them look pretty cool and if you go for a craft-based one over a toy-based one, you could probably keep the clutter at bay.
  • Kiwi crate - one of the more popular ones and has the nice option to just buy a single crate
  • Babba Boxes - another popular one although I've heard each comes with an app each month and I'm not a fan of screen time for Lucy so that would be wasted. 
  • Little Passports - sadly I'll probably need to wait another year or two before she's ready for that one but if your shopping for a 5-7 year old, take a look. 
  • There are also a couple book-based subscription boxes. I know that I am way too picky about children's literature to handle that but if you aren't neurotic about twaddle like me, those might be fun.
Art Supplies:

I'm finding at this age that Lucy doesn't want set crafts kits so much as she wants access to fun supplies. So a kiwi crate with a couple activities would certainly be used but a box full of art supplies would be heaven. And they aren't expensive but we go through so much and it adds up. Construction paper (hint, you can also buy construction paper as individual colors and red is always the first to be used up) tempera paints, and glue are bulk purchases around here so I'm guessing most moms of young kids would appreciate a box full of those types of things. If you want to be extra cool, you could throw in a neat collage items or two like feathers, buttons, googly eyes, rhinestones or sequins. And if you don't care about harsh glares from the child's parents, you could throw in glitter. Kids love glitter, parents hate it. No, seriously, glitter is evil. But I think it just has to be a necessarily evil for the preschool years because who doesn't want to add some sparkle to their art? Even my little brother, who as a preschooler refused to use any color other than black for almost two years, liked to add glitter to his projects. For the price of a month or two of a subscription box you could put yourself together an really awesome art box. These links all go to discountschoolsupply.com, which is a company I use often because their prices are good, their store brand (colorations) is quality and I'm a fan of online shopping but obviously you can get this stuff at lots of places.


Every city normally has at least one or two neat museums or zoo type attractions. Our city has a ton of neat places and luckily many are free but memberships can still offer benefits like free parking and tickets to shows. For St. Louis locals a membership to the zoo, transportation museum or science center would add another place to take the kids when you need a change of scenery. There is also the Magic House for people who have kids that like fun bustling places with lots of neat things to explore. For those of you who know Lucy you will realize that I do not have such a preschoolers so the Magic House is more like a torture chamber, but maybe in a few years that will change.


Could easily be confused with toys but they aren't the same. These are child-sized but real and purposeful. We have toy shovels and pails for our sandbox but also real ones for when they help us in the garden (although those often end up in the sandbox too - being real here folks). Lucy got her child sized broom for her first birthday I think and both she and Jonah use it daily and the mini duster is fought over as well. This is the dust pan and mini broom Lucy uses daily for her table chore. After two years it just broke but we clearly got our $3.95 out of it. Those are the ones we have and use and I would recommend them all but I don't mean for tools to be limited to cleaning items (although I'm seriously considering adding this carpet sweeper to our supplies since our Kirby is a bit much for Lucy even though she tries very hard to vacuum). This tool kit would be awesome for a slightly older boy or girl - basements don't remodel themselves and we need all the help we can get. And next spring when gardening time rolls around again, Lucy would probably be ready to handle these bigger yard tools.


Obviously, there are regular books. And I'm a big fan of books for gifts, both for myself and for my kiddos. But for gifts, I think audiobooks and audiostories are particularly good choices. I buy a lot of book used so we get them cheaply but audiobooks are pricier and I'm not brave enough to buy used cds so they are more of a treat.

Audiobooks can be a bit trickier to pick out because you've got to have a good book and a good narrator to make it work. There are lots out there but alas, Amazon doesn't always make it easy to get review of the audiobooks separately. I've heard great things about Winnie-the-Pooh (Judy Dench), Pippi Longstocking, James and the Giant Peach (Jeremy Irons) and Little House on the Prairie (Cherry Jones) just to name a few living books with quality narrators.

Hank the Cow Dog is NOT a classic but it is another great audiobook series. The books themselves might be considered slightly twaddley but the author is the narrator and does such a amazing job capturing the essensce of the characters in his voices that the audio versions are just too much fun to pass up. There is a bit of bathroomy type humor so we will probably wait a few more years to introduce these to our kids but growing up they were a favorite of my family for car trips and I'm sure we will get to them in time. And I still love to listen to Jim Dale's reading of Harry Potter on long trips myself so only 10 years or so and we'll be ready for those too!

Then there are stories or radio productions versions of books:
  • Jim Weiss. Pretty much anything is probably going to be loved and he has enough that you should be able to easily find something to fit the age and interest of your giftee. Lucy would probably love the Animal Tales but in a few years I can easily see Craig and I arguing about whether we should have her listen to Abraham Lincoln or Shakespeare for Children.
  • I also loved the version of the Hobbit we had growing up. I think but am not positive it is the BBC radio version because I don't think it was long enough to be the full book.
  • Focus on the Family Radio Theatre Productions are wonderful and they also have a wide selection. We own several of their Chronicles of Narnia productions as well as At Home in Mitford and all are superb. I'd love to add Anne of Green Gables and the Secret Garden to our collection as Lucy gets older (although I'll probably be a stickler about her reading the books first :-) For families with older kids or selfish people like myself, The Screwtape letters or Les Miserables would probably be excellent car trip materials. 
  • Sparklestories is a subscription based audio service for children. I haven't used them (yet) and I will say that I think the name is a bit lame but I have yet to hear anything but glowing praise about it. They have several different options for different age ranges and they make it really simply to give gift subscriptions.
 If you made it through this, I applaud you. And please let me know if you have enjoyed any of these items or if you have other really neat non-toys items to share. I'm always looking for more good ideas and so apparently are my readers.


Making Candy Land a tad more exciting and educational

Since my last post about Lucy reading, I calmed down, did a bit more research into Charlotte Mason's reading philosophy and found out that we're actually not doing anything she didn't think was suitable for a three year old. Which is good because I hadn't stopped, but at least now I feel better about not having stopped.

So to start with, I basically stretched out the letter learning part as long as possible because I knew blending was coming up next and I wasn't sure if she was ready for that. But then, she started doing it on her own so we moved to the first couple bob books and cvc words and she's doing awesome with them. But she doesn't like the bob books* and while I am using The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading, I am tweaking it quite a bit. She doesn't do very well reading out of the book itself and its somehow both moving faster than I want it to while being too repetitive so I'm basically using it more as a guide to help me as I try and follow Charlotte Mason's principles, at least for now. But I wanted a fun way to practice cvc words in a game format so we could do one or two lessons a week with games on the days she asked for lessons past that. I'm hoping to keep us at "wordbuilding" stage for a while.

Enter Candy land, the world's most boring game. But it is easy and cheap and kids seem to like it. I won't take credit for the concept of making educational candyland cards because I've seen it several other places but none of those were exactly what I wanted. So I made my own and thought if I did the work I might as well share them with anyone else. Couple things:

1) These are for the 2010 gameboard. It comes with a spinner these days but just hide that part. I wish I had an older board because the new one is a bit of a visual overload but it was available at Target for $5 (on sale last week) and I didn't have to go searching thrift stores. The concept would work for any version of Candy Land but I'm not sure if they colors would match up. I printed them, laminated the sheets then cut them out.

2) I did not include peanut/ice cream/gumdrop type cards because that was going to be too hard and I always hated that aspect of the game anyway.

3) I added triples. The sounding out of the cvc words adds a considerable amount of time to the game so you'll thank me later :-)

4) It includes a lot of CVC words but not all. I stuck with the ones I thought Lucy would know. They are grouped by vowel so I could start with just the "a"s and add more cards as we practiced new vowels.

5) This game is probably not completely CM approved because it is a bit twaddley and takes words out of there context but too bad. It's fun.

Here you go. Hope you enjoy!

*Any guesses as to why? Obviously, they are too scary! You see, Mat sat on Sam and he looked sad. At that point she shut the book and refused to open it again. This kid. She is completely adorable and ridiculous all at the same time.


Not quite the season

So I've started planning advent. Which seems ridiculous because it's only October (well, it's November NOW but when I started this it was still pre-Halloween). What am I, Walmart? I should blame corporate America or pinterest or something - Canada? But honestly, I need to. I want to get that all planned before I spend time finishing the Winter semester of WOL and I want that to be out December 1st to give people a full month if they are following along and to give me the month of December "off". So here I am, reading about Christmas. Weird. At least I'm not like the house on the way to church that already has their Christmas lights and blown up Santa out.

Now I've really enjoyed how we've handled Advent in the past but this year I've been thinking about concentrating on the building of anticipation, the waiting. (Yes, I get the irony of that statement with the above paragraph, just bear with me :-) the simplicity yet deep impact of the Christmas story. How do I show that?

I've spent the last month simplifying our toys and books but also our schedule. I made a mistake earlier this year with some of the commitments I made to people other than my husband and children. They weren't bad things, but they weren't what I should have been doing at this point in time and I paid for it in stress and our schedule. So the last thing I want to do this holiday seasons is take a step backwards in my journey to simplify. But I also love doing things and I love Christmas, so 어떡해?

This post by Auntie Leila, along with this one, really helped me fine tune my vision for what is is I do want. So I'm still fining tuning things but I've got some ideas.


Now that the piano is here, I finally have a spot to really set up our nativity set. So I will set it out early but Mary and Joseph will have to travel to get there, baby Jesus won't arrive until Christmas and the Wise Men are going to have to wait even longer. I will set out the kids Little People one for play though. I also want us to wait longer to set up the Christmas tree. Not sure we'll wait until Christmas Eve mostly because I'm not sure there will be any left if we do but we won't be putting it up Thanksgiving weekend. I really liked the idea in the above article about having advent decorations and Christmas decorations.

Advent Devotionals:

We have finally gotten a good routine for daily family bible time in the evenings but we'll take a break from our usual felt board and switch to an Advent reading. It's kinda been hit and miss with the Advent devotionals we've used lately. I can't wait until the kids are old enough for Jotham's Journey or something similar. For now, I'm thinking we'll use this to read through The Jesus Storybook Bible. Lucy loves it but tends to favor a few certain stories so it will be nice to read a variety instead of always "The one where Jesus dies."  We'll keep the baby Jesus in the manger although we may have to make a new manger since I think last year's lost a leg and Jesus kept falling out. And we'll roll our advent candles each week too. That was a lot of fun but really simple.


This is the area we are really going to trim down. I'm thinking we'll stick to celebrating St. Lucia's day (rolls for breakfast!), the living nativity down the street and trying to fit in one giving type of activity like joining the local homeschool group in caroling at a nursing home. And we'll still be doing our advent bags but instead of packing them full of activities, they daily "events" will be simpler and more about preparation than celebration - open a new Christmas book, baking cookies to put in the freezer for later on or making decorations and ornaments to put up later on.

And all this planning for what not to do for Christmas has gotten me really excited about Christmas. But first, Thanksgiving. And I'm pretty excited about that too. Last year, I was kind of dreading it but this year, I'm going to reclaim the joy that is Thanksgiving - with no Christmas lights** or blow up Santa's in sight.

* 어떡해 (romanized something like Otokay)  is a common Korean phrase meaning "What do I do?" It is often uttered by a female k-drama character in a whiny voice when life is not going her way. Ex: I locked my keys out of my car? 어떡해! or Ack, these debt collectors have forced my father to flee the country and now they are after me and I will be forced to either enter a contract marriage with this man I don't know or perhaps I should just attend this exclusive high school and train to be a pop star. 어떡해? And this has been your Korean lesson for the day. 

**I'm going to have to take that back. Craig wants to put up our outdoor Christmas lights Thanksgiving weekend while his brother is here to be his slave help. Baby steps, baby steps.


Worlds of Learning - October

This month was all about animals and how they contribute to our lives - except for when it wasn't. Yes, only two months in and I already made a major change, but we'll get to that in a bit.

Up first was Snipp, Snapp, Snurr and the Buttered Bread. Lucy loves the Flicka, Ricka and Dicki books by Maj Lindman so I knew she would probably enjoy this one as well and she did but not quite as much as the FRD ones. I think because the story was a little less involved.

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We made some butter and after impatiently waiting for our pumpkin bread to cool, ate it all up. Delicious! 

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Both this book and the next were based in Sweden so we colored the Swedish flag and decorated a dala horse. The original plan was to use homemade puffy paint but that requires a microwave and I had forgotten that we got rid of our microwave. I know that seems like it would be kind of obvious but we had kept it in the basement on a shelf for almost two years before we finally donated it for good so it isn't if I just forgot it wasn't on our kitchen counter anymore. But I thought fast and remembered that just a few weeks ago Lucy had seen a mosiac and thought it was really neat so I decided we would decorate our dala horse mosiac style. I cut thin strips of blue and white construction paper which she then cut into little squares and glued on. 

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We both made and hers probably ended up better than mine, she was very meticulous and wanted to make it just like the picture I showed her of a large one from Sweden. She even saw that it had flowers and drew those on to match. We made a deal to try to go visit one "someday, even if it can't be for a while that's okay mommy."  She loved them so much was going to the horse and flag to show and tell at the library so she could tell them all she knew about Sweden but we didn't end up staying.

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We also had a whole meal of Swedish food. The Swedish meatballs were just a happy coincidence since they were on the menu for that week anyway (it's a regular favorite, I use this recipe) but no need to tell her that. She thought it was a Swedish feast just for her!

Swedish thumbprint cookies are a great kid recipe. Just a few ingredients and she really enjoyed each of the assembling steps, rolling the balls, making the thumbprints and filling them with jam. You might notice that I had another mommy brain moment and we had to fill our thumbprints after baking instead of before but why don't you pretend not to notice that before this becomes the post where MacKenzie forgets stuff. 

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Full of swedish food, we moved on to the wool part of Pelle's New Suit and used wool roving to make felted soap bars. She really enjoyed this. I thought she might poop out leaving me to finish it but she kept scrubbing and rubbing until it was nicely felted. I have more roving left over and we might have to do this one again because she is quite insistent that it is for her use only and not to be shared with any little brother that might want to get his grubby little hands on it.

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We then went back in time to finish September's activities and go on a leaf picking hike.

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We then did not make leaf lanterns but instead make jars with leaves that we could put candles in. This may seem like the same thing but I am not to utter the phrase "leaf lantern" in this house. For some reason, Lucy freaked out when I said that was what we were doing. She thought it sounded really really scary. I don't know why, I never do. So instead I just said we were decorating jars. She thought that sounded nice. And then later I asked if she thought it would be good to put candles in them which she also thought was a good idea. Okay then.
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She asked to do more leaf activities so we found some more in our backyard and dipped them in beeswax. It wasn't until she asked if the beeswax was made from honey that I realized this activity really did tie in nicely with all the other benefits from animals we had been talking about. These turned out so lovely, soft and protected but moldable and they smell wonderful.

To make this activity small kid friendly, I melted the wax in a bowl over a pot of hot water, then moved the bowl to the counter and placed a pot holder over the edge so she could dip the leaves in and if her arm dropped it would only touch the potholder. The potholder got covered in drips but better than a burn. And I only let her do the leaves with long stems, the small ones I did. I didn't get any pictures because I thought I should keep my eyes completely on the activity.

This is probably my new favorite fall activity. They dried quickly and within 20 minutes or so were ready for arranging on the piano as part of our fall display/nature table. We don't have a mantel so I'm really enjoying the decorating side of the piano ownership although we use those books daily so it gets rearranged quite frequently.

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This was supposed to be Carnival of the Animals to fit with the animal theme with Peter and the Wolf being a summer read. That still makes the most sense thematically but when Craig and I saw that our local symphony is putting on a children's matinee of Peter of the Wolf in January, we knew we had to take Lucy and I thought it would be more fun if she knew it beforehand. We shall see if that works because while she loves listening to it (we've been using the David Bowie version that's on Spotify) and knows the story well, she absolutely refused to watch the short video I had planned for us to watch. She thought it would be too scary. I'm now hoping the tickets we have already purchased don't go to waste.

She tolerated the book. She didn't want to read it but if Jonah gave it to me, she would listen in and peek over his shoulder at it. But even after that, if I suggested it, she'd say it was too scary. So instead we made Russian Tea cakes and had an an afternoon "apple cider" (I was chastisted for calling it a tea because we didn't drink tea - silly me :-)

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But she did enjoy coloring some pages and putting together little stick puppets. Mostly because scissors and glue were involved. She's obsessed with glue and scissors these days and she's starting to get the message behind the "dot, dot, dot. A little glue does a lot" song she is so happy to sing.

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One side of the puppet has the character's picture, the other side has a picture of the instrument it represents and we glued them around Popsicle sticks.  She told me this was her favorite activity but once they dried, I tried to use them and she said no. Any guesses why? Too scary!  I'm really getting tired of the "scary" stuff. And no, I don't think she's just using that as an excuse, she'll start shaking with worry over the strangest stuff and it stops her from doing things she enjoys. Example: She loved Mary Poppins but wouldn't watch unless I promised to skip the "fire" parts where the admiral shoots off the canon.

Lucy wasn't frightened by anything in this book. Which is funny, because of all the things she could possible be scared about, you'd think losing a beloved toy might be on that list. But no, it was fear free for once. 

This is one of the few books I selected sight unseen but I had heard glowing reviews from several people and took a chance and I'm glad we did. We all enjoyed it. Even Craig, who was especially excited to discover a Dalek on the costume parade page. It's the early exposure to things that truly matter that sets a quality preschool experience apart, don't you think?

We washed her favorite stuffed animal horsey and were supposed to take him on an adventure and make animals out of bread dough but came down with colds instead. We'll get to it sometime.  

And that was October. I felt like we didn't do much at all which is why I love these recap posts because I can look back and see that we did in fact have a lot of fun and do a little bit of learning. 


The Beauty of the Mundane Weekend

We didn't do much this weekend and it was wonderful. We were up late Thursday after trick or treating at a friends house in a nearby state. It really isn't far but Lucy loves to cross the border because we go over a big bridge and on the way home she said "Goodbye Illinois, I'll miss you. Hello Missouri, It's good to be back!" and it made all the drama she caused over being a cowgirl princess butterfly cow fade away.

So Friday, we slept in - past 8:00am! It was amazing. But we all felt a little sluggish and sickly. Nothing major but runny noses abounded so I canceled the few little things I had planned and we did nothing pretty much all weekend. Well, not nothing, we:

  • Snuggled on the couch watching Mary Poppins. At one point Lucy came over to hug me and thank me for showing her "this wonderful movie that makes me laugh and laugh and get so excited over the silliness" and I think Jonah has now decided he wants to be a dancing chimney sweep. And he's got dancing talent and adorable appeal so if anyone could pull it off, it's him.
  • Rendered lard. It's backbreaking work with all the pouring the lard into the crockpot and then turning it on and then pouring it out a couple hours later. But I did it so I could feel I accomplished something this weekend. Actually, that's a lie. I did it for the donuts.
  • Made donuts. These to be precise. I normally prefer a yeast doughnut to a cake doughnut but these were good. I didn't use any glaze or coating because I felt bad enough feeding my semi-sick children donuts but it was good healthy fat, right? (Question - why does my spell check accept donuts as a real word but not donut? This makes no sense to me.)

  • Taught Jonah not to fear the kleenex. Such a small victory but now he keeps his head still and lets you wipe his nose up instead of running away, shaking his head which never ends well. 
  • Super long naps. Lucy's have been slowly shortening but she took 3+ hour naps on both Friday and Saturday. I enjoyed the peace.
  • A shopping trip with only Jonah. I love having Lucy as shopping helper but I forget how very quiet it is to shop with just Jonah. He enjoys people watching and finding things to point at or sign about. The drive home among the fall foliage was so peaceful but it was almost too quiet. Almost. 

  • More couch/bed snuggles, some with books, some with more Mary Poppins, some with the bed magically becoming a large swan's nest where mommy and daddy swans can read the paper and baby swans are allowed to bounce, at least until someone ends up with a bonked noggin. I think they are starting to feel better.
Fevers appear to have broken and the snotty kisses have dwindled and I think we'll be back to our usual routine in another day or two but every once in a while, it's nice to take some time to just breathe. Even if you don't get any amazing pictures out of it.