Saturday, May 31, 2014

Happy 10 Months

Button turned 10 months old earlier this month. She is usually very happy…

… and very ornery.

Our little Button is talking up a storm now - especially if she needs your attention (which is most of the time). She calls the boys "brother" or tonight she said, "Hey guys" when she joined them by the pool. She frequently mimics what she hears and repeats phrases - or at least is trying. I think I'm in awe with her language skills because the boys talked later than her. We are all continually asking, "Did she just say….?"

Button likes to chew and bite. If you feel her mouth on you, you better pull back and say, "No biting!" She got me good a couple of weeks ago and left a bruise on my shoulder. I know she's just trying out all her new teeth, but it hurts! We've been following the pediatrician's advice and put her down or in her crib if she bites. She hasn't bit in awhile (knock on wood) but will still put her teeth on people. She pulls back when you warn her, "No biting." She trying to get more teeth in now - poor baby! They are rough ones!

Button figured out that she can pull up on anything now so anything left on coffee or kid tables might end up in her hands. Watch out!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

L Child's Last Day of School

August First Day of School
May Last Day of School
 The Last Day of School picture represents where we are in life currently. No fancy sign. No fancy pose. I'm not even sure his hair is combed. It's growing out from a buzz so it's still low-maintenance. Thank goodness. And I have no qualms about him picking out black socks to wear with khaki shorts. (I repeated that to myself about five times this morning.)

L Child has grown up about a foot this past school year. Between his rapid height change (he is only about 3 inches behind C now) and his awesome ability to wear out the knees, I've had to buy a week's worth of pants for him about three times in the past nine months.

First Day: L Child, Mama, and Newborn Button
Last Day: L Child and an uncooperative Button

There's a few things I've learned about L this past school year:

1) He is different from his brother. I knew he was different, but I learned how much so this past year. From the time he wakes up for school until he goes to sleep at night, L Child is a unique person.

2) His middle-child syndrome really seemed to develop this year with a new little sister and starting school. He needs a lot of extra one-on-one attention. So he got one day a week where he spent it at my parents' house instead of going to school. L and I would go to the gas station for a treat after school and then he would help me set up in the lab. Sometimes we just play whatever he wants - with just him while H and C are occupied with something else.

3) And related to #2, friends are really important to him. If we go to an event, and his friend from school is there, he will probably ditch us for the friend. I had prepared myself for that to happen (I thought it would be much later) so it wasn't too much of a surprise when he ran off with a friend at a wedding we recently attended. He got to have a couple of friends over too today to celebrate the end of the school year. 

In a lot of ways, L and I are pretty different. I have to make it a point to think about his needs and my parenting style. I've grown to love and admire these differences already. I look forward to the next year as his personality continues to develop.

I love you my middle child!

Friday, May 16, 2014


Casen took Button to Show-N-Tell today. To say Casen was proud of her is an understatement. To say say that H enjoyed the attention is an understatement.

I've pointed out before how much attention H gets at home from her two big brothers. I worry that she is going to be "look-at-me" girl. Well, we just encouraged that further today at Casen's school when his class surrounded her and sang Patty-Cake over and over for her. She just clapped and rotated around the circle. The adoration was like candy for her.

I apologize now to her future roommates and husband. Sigh.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Chemistry Puns

Okay confession time. If you know me well, you might know that I'm not real quick with puns. I either take forever to understand them OR I just give up and move on. I blame it on the fact that I'm very word-oriented: when I'm talking or people are talking to me, many times I see the actual words in my head. Therefore, when someone uses a pun, all I can "see" in my brain is the word used and can't figure out the play on words. I feel dumb when I don't get the pun, but I really feel dumb if it's a science pun. My heart actually races a bit when people post science puns to my Facebook wall. How long will it take for me to get the pun? Sigh, the woes of a nerd.

I say all this so you can fully appreciate my predicament when one of my students wrote me this note on an assignment:

Dr. Nichols,
 Thanks for such a great year of chem. This has been by far my favorite class this year and I feel like its made me really BOND with my classmates. The ENERGY in the class was off the charts even though there was no NEGATIVITY involved. Your STABILITY was much needed among us RADICALS. My QUALMS about chemistry ARGON now, and to my doubts I say BARIUM. My friend Cal said he hated chemistry, but I took your powerpoints and I left CALCIUM and now he loves chemistry.

I was laughing (on the inside - I was proctoring an exam at the time) when I read the first couple of lines, but my heart started racing after that. 
Argon? What is this student trying to say? 
Barium? What? That's a chemical. Nothing more.

I think I was prouder than a student earning an A in chemistry when I finally decoded all the puns. 

To compensate for my punning inadequacies, I find excuses as to why I don't understand the puns. My favorite reason? I heard once that puns are the lowest level of humor. I must be too smart to get them.*

*Apologies to any of you punsters out there, including my handsome, funny, and smart husband.

Finding Treasures

One of the neat surprises about having a kid is finding their treasures around the house. I stepped on one of those wooden puzzle pieces with a knob sticking up - you know so little ones can easily grab the part or Mamas can step on it and writhe in pain. I know some Mamas and Daddies who find gross surprises around their house. But I'm not referring to the not-so-great treasures in this post. I'm talking about the ones that make you smile, not curse.

I remember finding cars lined up in my laundry room when C was about two years old. It made me smile because I knew for certain he had been playing with the cars - they were lined up in a perfect row  reflecting his budding sometimes-OCD-tendency personality.

By two years old, L Child wanted to play ball a lot of the time. Not only were there soccer balls, basketballs, and baseballs scattered throughout the house, I would find a ball under a counter or a couch while cleaning. L Child's athletic skills were beginning to manifest and made me jealous of a three-year-old. Pretty sure he is more athletically-inclined that I ever will be. 

A couple of weeks ago, I went to get some laundry out of the dryer and saw this:

It's a sequin stuck to the lint trap. I stuck a bunch of sequins on Haddie's Easter basket tutu (yeah, it was WAAAY girly). These sequins have found their way onto and into everything. The sequin made me smile. Two years ago, I probably wouldn't have found a treasure like this in the house. Reminded me of finding cars and balls all over the house.

When someone walks through our house, even if they don't know us well, they could guess a few things. Someone really really likes puzzles (there were four big ones completed today). Someone really likes Star Wars and fighting with play weapons (swords, light sabers, guns, bows, etc.). I wonder what I'll be tripping over in another year. What will Haddie add to the mix? One of her favorite toys right now is one of those baby toys where figures pop up out of compartments when you push a button or turn a knob. She can't quite figure out how to pop them open yet, but man, she can close the compartments up in a flash. H is a go-getter! (Much like her mobility skills as of late. She takes after her big brother C - always moving.)

I kinda like how finding these treasures around the house define where we are in life currently.

And it seems like a good excuse as to why my house is perpetually messy.