Time Out!

I was jolted into reality an hour earlier this morning by the sound of my husband scraping ice off our van. I glanced at the clock, thinking, What's he doing? He said he wasn't leaving for another 45 minutes!

Then it hit me--actually, he was supposed to leave 15 minutes ago.

Yep, we missed the time change. This weekend was a jumble of time spent at home, venturing not into the snowy outer world, with nothing to remind us that time was about to fast-forward an hour. To make it worse, last night we made the unfortunate decision to stay up extra-late watching a movie and, ahem, anyway, what was originally just a foolishly-late night has now become stupidly-late. The advantage is--at least bedtime will come an hour earlier tonight!

So, you'd think in all that time spent at home this weekend, I would have found the time to blog about our adventures of late. Instead, the majority of our most precious commodity was spent knitting Ang's sweater (which is coming along nicely, by the way, Angela--it ought to be finished right about the time that winter is officially over!) and re-designing our Dream House. We are working on Dream House 2: The More Affordable, More Realistic Version. Jason and I started working on it on Date Night (aka Friday) at the Sunflower Café, and kept at it until Jason finished his ideal basement layout later last evening.

Yes, I said Date Night. We have worked out a deal with another family with boys about the same age as ours (the Gregorys) that we will trade babysitting services every other Friday (or every other Friday that no one is sick or out of town) so that we can get out. It's not even so much a matter of affording a babysitter--it's just that there is a distinct lack of reliable, experienced babysitters around that would be able to handle three boys, one of which is a baby. So, this way we both get to have roughly two dates a month, and the dates we DO have are just a little cheaper. (We might even try leaving the kids for a sleepover soon. That would be kind of weird and exciting at the same time!)

So, I've missed lots in the last couple of weeks while I haven't been posting about our family life. Firstly, Noah turned three on the 26th. We had a party the day before which was only attended by Robin Berreth and her kids, but the kids all had a blast! I made pumpkin pie tarts with loads of whipped cream for the birthday dessert. The kids ran around and had a hoot, and the adults got to share some visiting and some laughs. Good times.

Noah is saying more words every day. He has FINALLY within the last month started saying "want" and "don't want!" (Jabin already says his own word for "want" - "nana" with a pointing finger at the desired object.) Noah usually uses these phrases when he is either asking to do something, or complaining about something we asked him to do. ("Noah, go to the potty, please." "Don't want!") Yesterday he floored me and made what sounded like a complete sentence: "I don't want to!" Yipes! The boy is finally learning how to talk!

He continues to be fascinated by patterns, rhymes, and repetition. He knows (and by "knows", I mean he is actually starting to recognize and name without prompting) his letters and numbers. On Saturday, as the credits to a children's movie we had just finished watching were scrolling by, he started pointing at the quickly-moving names. "O! A! S!" And I'll be darned if he wasn't actually pointing at the right letters. The concept we are struggling with right now is "same." ("Noah, look at these three shapes. Which two are the same?" "See-cah! Tree-anguh! See-cah!" "Yes, that is what they are called, but are there two the same?") He just doesn't get it.

On the other end of the spectrum, Jabin is already showing signs of being an early talker. He learned how to say "Get it" last week. He'll throw a toy away from him, and then his little voice can be heard saying "Didit! Didit!" over and over again while he crawls after it. He has also done one-time imitations of over a half-dozen other words after I have said them. (Jar, bottle, up, down, more, let's go, etc.) I'm sure it won't be long before he rattles these off on a regular basis. He also has started to shake his head "no" when you ask him if he wants something that he doesn't. It's so nice when they start communicating! (I am convinced that Jabin's comparatively early cognitive and speech skills have something to do with the fact that I took cod liver oil in the later part my pregnancy. It was only after I gave birth to him that I started seeing research evidence that it actually makes babies smarter. I just wish I had taken it from the get-go!)

Jude is doing very well with all the schoolwork that we have been going through. It's been great fun to watch him learning and be so excited about it. We try to get to the library on a semi-regular basis to keep the supply of fresh books to read up. Last Thursday we actually made it to the library's Story Time, and the boys did a craft of making a bug mobile afterwards. That was fun. It was nicely coincidental that we had done our own bug craft the day before, and done a little reading about bugs. I intend to keep up the theme for a bit, since spring is just around the corner.

On Saturday, we started some flower seeds in some peat pellets, so that they will be nicely sprouted by the time the frost is all out of the ground. I thought it would be cheaper, easier, and more educational for the kids to grow our own seeds from scratch this year instead of buying bedding plants in a few months. I'm a little amazed that I am this organized this year--don't expect this to be a trend, or anything.

Anyway, Jude and Noah did pretty good with sticking to the project for the first 72 pellets, dropping their little seeds into the hollowed-out craters I prepared in each one, but I ended up doing the second tray pretty much on my own. That's okay--they get the idea, and as long as we can get Jabin to keep his little fingers out, and actually remember to water the things, it ought to be great fun taking the boys through the growth cycle this year from seed to harvesting sunflower seeds again in the fall.

That's pretty much all I have time to report for now (and I'm sure your reading endurance is waning), so I'll just leave the rest of this for another time, and hope that next time, I'll take the time to update our life and times in a bit more timely of a fashion. (I know. Time to go.)