Monday, December 15, 2014

Let it snow

80 degrees in the middle of December. How about that Texas winter, everyone? Damon and I read books in the backyard this afternoon. No complaints here!

Miles has a cold, though, so he has been a complete pill.

I've been busy with lots of Christmas music. It has been a fun challenge to learn pieces for a different performance at least every week, then move them off the docket for the next one. My poor viola fingers are getting a workout! I am getting better, though.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Miles' questionaire

Miles turned 1 a few months ago, and I planned on blogging about it. While cleaning up the computer desktop I found this survey I completed for him. I think I just searched for "Getting to know you" questions, and completed it as if I were him. Some has changed in the past few months...but not much.

Miles at 1 – survey completed by his mother 
1.    Do you have brothers or sisters? If so, how many? The other short people in my house are one loud girl who says strange things to me and gets in my face all the time, and a quiet girl who tries to carry me everywhere, and a loud boy who takes away any toy I am playing with.
2. What is your favorite activity? Attacking socks.
3. What is your least favorite activity? Getting my diaper changed.
4. What is your favorite school subject? The Very Hungry Caterpillar
5. Have you been involved (or are you hoping to become involved) in any school activities (clubs, sports, etc.)? If so, which ones? I try to be very involved in anything my mom is doing – at the very least, when I notice she is involved with something, I toddle over and grab her legs until she picks me up. Then I scream at her and try to grab everything, especially if it looks dangerous.
6. What is your favorite type of music? “My Pigeon House.”

Please complete the sentences below.
7. On the weekends I like to…scream at my mother during church. If daddy holds me, I sit passively.
8. Someone I admire is _Mommy_ because…she’s the center of my life.
9. If I could go anywhere for a day, I would go…up.
10. I learn the most when the teacher…repeats the same thing, over and over.
11. I learn the most when I…can touch it with my slobbery little hands and mouth.
12. I don’t like it when teachers…take away the stuff I want to slobber on.
13. I don’t like it when I’m asked to…stop destroying things and/or wait for food.
14. After high school, I will probably…be potty trained.

15. My ideal job would be…to be hip jewelry.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Talking Miles

Miles seems like he has grown up so much in just the past couple of weeks. He's started really being able to express himself and seems more independent. Yesterday, for example, I put him in his high chair for breakfast and reached for the blueberries to give him some. He stared at me and very emphatically shook his head. So, I reached for strawberries instead, and he smiled and started to clap. It is so fun to see him grow up and turn into a person.

He's started talking. I am about as good at keeping a baby book as I am at blogging, but here are some of his first words, in the order he started saying them:

bubble bath

Tonight was the first time I've heard him say "dance," and it's adorable. I was singing him some bedtime songs and he just felt like getting his groove on, then he wanted to do it some more. One of my favorite TV shows (actually, probably the only one I watch) is the BBC's "Death in Paradise," and Miles loves the theme song - it gets the canned heat in his diaper shaking. Between him and Damon, we've had some fun dance parties.

Miles actually had his first ER trip this afternoon. This was the series of events:

I was getting ready to go to the temple. The babysitter had just cancelled, and I was texting around to find another one. The kids were playing upstairs. I heard Miles start to cry in Damon's room. I started up the stairs when the garage door sounded (Steven was just getting home). I opened Damon's door to let Miles out (I figured that's why he was crying), and saw him toddling towards me with blood running down from his forehead and onto the rest of his body. (The girls saw him and screamed.)

I don't know what he hit - maybe the door? - but he had a big split right in the middle of his forehead, perpendicular to his hairline. It looked deep enough that we figured he needed to go in, and in no time our local ER had pulled through again and glued him back together. He was surprisingly cheerful and did not cry the entire time - they said he was probably the happiest patient they had ever had. The doctor also said that his skin is so fair anyway that he probably won't have a scar, which is kind of funny (well, you know, his skin can't get any paler!)

Since I'm on here, I guess I'll say that the rest of us are doing great as well: Damon is potty trained, but not quite putting-his-underwear-and-shorts-back-on-afterwards trained; Carmen's making great strides with reading and loves to practice the piano; Olivia looks like such a big kid now that I hardly recognize her any more. A couple of weeks ago she discovered some old "Girl Talk" books I had and started devouring them. I caught her in the middle of one and asked her about it. "Allison is helping this boy do better in school, and they're falling in love!" Again, it's funny to see my kids grow up and become people. Olivia got invited over to one of her best friend's houses for a play date tomorrow night, so she's feeling very grown up and excited. (We're not ready for sleepovers, but we'll do an evening play date.) Steven and I are happily unremarkable. It's a good life.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Book Timeline

I made a settings timeline of the books we've studied so far in book club. I've been playing with several timeline makers (the Excel templates are lame, btw) and discovered There's an embed feature on there, so I thought I'd try it out here.

This is a timeline of the SETTINGS, not the date the works were written.

Any other books I should add?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Reflections on 32

As my 33rd birthday approached, I thought about the last year and started mentally composing this.

I did a lot while I was 32. I gained weight and lost weight, grew hair and cut hair; my skin got less elastic and I found a couple more gray hairs. My kids grew up and I gave birth to my fourth, and it was the happiest and most relieving day I can remember. I spent a lot of time making food and making milk and cleaning them both off of kids and out of kids. I gave lots of baths and did lots of laundry but was not able to keep the kitchen floor mopped as often as I thought it should be. I listened to a lot of Old Time Radio programs as I cleaned the kitchen, over and over, and finally painted the music room and the powder bath and the upstairs bedrooms that I had been planning to paint since we moved in, and it made me feel like I had finally taken ownership of my house. I bought a serger that I’d been thinking about for years and I love it. I made lots of clothes and finished several projects. I weeded the garden bed I planted 2 years ago and let grow over last year, and now I’m ready to plant again. I read several books that I loved and some that I didn’t love. I taught lots of piano, guitar, violin, and viola lessons and also publicly performed on piano, guitar, and viola, and I was proud of myself for that. I went camping and swimming and roller skating and ice skating. I spent one-on-one time with each of my kids and felt our love grow for each other, and spent lots of time with my husband and felt as happy and comfortable as ever, and proud of myself for making such a good choice in marriage and lucky to have found him. I spoke lots of Spanish and memorized the Greek alphabet. I didn’t travel farther than a couple of hours away by car, but I saw and did and experienced new things. I felt joy and sorrow and fear and comfort and anticipation and regret and love. I made mistakes and learned from them and did some things well and learned from them too. I saw and recognized ways in which I’ve matured and was embarrassed at my previous immaturity. I did my best all the time, but I was kind to myself too.

Altogether, I think I am kinder, wiser, smarter, happier, and better than I was a year ago. That’s a year well spent, and a really good life. Let’s have some more.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

You've got your hands full!

Yes, ladies in the store, I do. But you know, the moment I'm trying to suppress my two year old's meltdown after being torn away from the Dr. Scholl's machine, minutes after he decided to nosedive out of the shopping cart, and my poopy baby has also started to scream, having you come up and snicker that at me makes me want to go all Chuck Norris on you. "Now you've got your face full - of my foot!"

In other news, Damon has learned how to take off all his clothes, including his diaper. He's starting to potty train himself, so it's not too bad...except when he flashes my piano students. Sorry, guys.

Damon also discovered recently that his last name is Brown. Just a couple of minutes ago he came up and pointed to himself and said, "Damon Brown." He pointed to me. "Mommy Brown." He ran over to Miles. "Miles Brown." Then he started looking around the room. "Fish Brown. Book Brown. Chair Brown." Well, I guess so. Damon also recently discovered that Daddy is also Steven, and likes to occasionally interchange them. He hasn't figured out my name yet, though.

And, speaking of names, Damon is awfully cute at saying "Miles." I'm very happy that he has not acted jealous of his baby brother; on the contrary, he's been very accepting and chill about the whole thing. Damon is always very careful to point out where Miles' car seat goes in the car; he doesn't want to go anywhere without him. He also likes to get diapers for him - he grabs one (or many), tosses it at him, and says, "Here ya go, Miles." Miles is a good fourth child and has been very resilient to having diapers and many other things tossed at him.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Damon has figured out how to take his shorts off. He's also figured out how to put them back on again...sort of.
Yes, they are sideways and inside out, with the legs through one hole.