So much going on, with three little ones and a house to sell and a house to buy.
- Michaela lobbied to start getting an allowance this past week. She made up a list of ten items that she will do daily, my favorite of which is, no kidding, "Don't argue with Mom." It has made my life infinitely easier, since instead of arguing to the death on every point from what she's going to wear to school to whether she can have a playdate, all I have to say now is, "you're not arguing with me, are you?" and she clamps her hand over her mouth, those big brown eyes as big as half dollars, and stops. She gets one dollar a day for five days during the week, and gets her money at the end of each day because she needs the instant feedback. Now on the weekends, she basically has to do the same things but is not paid for it. She did not quite grasp this end of the bargain. So this Saturday, she said, "Oooohh! It's Saturday! That means I can argue with you today!" with the joy and glee and smile of a top athlete playing her favorite sport. Because verbal jousting is clearly her best event. But alas, her little hopes were dashed as we firmly responded that it is not the case, and she did pretty well anyway.
She has made up three envelopes: one for money she has to save, one for money she has to give away (she's chosen to donate to a Haiti relief effort) and the rest she can spend.
Overall, the arrangement has worked well and much better than the last time we tried this, when we made up the list and she declared after three days: "Keep your money... this is too much work."
-Jenna is officially registered and screened for kindergarten. She did great on the screening and was excited to see her new school for the first time. We contacted the school to get her screened for possible speech therapy and her evals are next week. I think she'll enjoy the therapy... what middle child doesn't love a little extra attention?
- Alec is officially seven months old. Where did that time go? He is sitting up like a trooper, growing out of his car seat- we're in the last few weeks of it- and clearly doesn't want to be a laying-around-baby anymore. He's a big boy now. He's really enjoying his food and is eating breakfast, lunch and dinner with us. I am starting to fantasize about the end of $20 formula canisters every week and buying $3 gallons of milk instead. His goopy eye problem, aka a narrow tear duct, has thankfully cleared up on its own without any medical intervention. Alec is sleeping pretty well, not through the night but occasionally pretty close, but his naptimes are a bit brief for my liking. He seems pretty sensitive to noise, as was Jenna, and someone is always waking him up. Come September, when both girls are in school all day, he can have a nice afternoon nap uninterrupted. And so can Mommy. He continues to be a very easy, very pleasant, funny kid, all snuggles and love and social, though has shown the signs the girls did of stranger anxiety about 10 months too early. (Stranger anxiety isn't a stage for my children... it's a way of life.)
- Michaela has her state exams in English Language Arts this week, and I tried my hardest not to make a big deal out of it while still encouraging her to do her best. They did lots of practice tests in her class so I think she'll be fine. I hope. This is permanent record kind of stuff.
- The love affair with cheese balls continues in my house. We are branching out to Cheez Its. In a pinch, we'll do Ritz Bits with cheese.
- Dan's softball starts this week, as does Michaela's soccer season. She is thrilled with her team and so are we. Jenna made it crystal clear that she did not want to play soccer again: "Sah-ter?? I HATE sah-ter!!" I'm stocking up on easy, quick meals for this week and the next 8 weeks.
- I got horrible news this week that a friend of mine has advanced breast cancer. Talk about perspective building. I have prayed a little harder, loved a little longer, and cried a little more since I found out as a result.
- We had the inspection done on our house without incident and the inspection done on the new house, also without incident. We were able to go back into our new house and look around and fall in love all over again. We signed our lives away on the mortgage application on Saturday, and after the bank appraisal is done, are in good shape. No firm closing date has been set yet. Last week I spent on the phone with all the mortgage people, asking a million and one questions, but it all paid off: low closing costs and a great rate for the next thirty years.
- I took a bunch of pictures this week of our current house coming into bloom: the maple leaves coming in, the peonies shooting up, the hostas standing tall and straight like little soldiers. The lilac bush is getting ready to burst out in purple glory. The good news is the new house already has everything I love except the peonies. And there are plenty, and I mean PLENTY, of places I can plant some. I am still a little sad about this being the last spring in our house.
- The girls and I went to a garage sale in my parents' development- soon to be our development, too!- and the girls each got some treasures. Michaela bought (with her new Spend allowance mony envelope) a cute painted wooden box with dragonflies on it, and since it was 3pm, got a little figurine of two birds in a nest for free. Jenna got to pick out a free stuffed animal, which is great because the 20 plastic garbage bags of stuffed animals iwe already have isn't enough, and she picked out a little snowman, whom she named Snowy. She has brought Snowy with her everywhere: the store, school, and church. But this is better than the 3/4 inch tall rubber hamsters each girl has bought from our local bookstore and of course lose, and then we have to tear the house apart looking for something the size of my thumbprint. Seriously.
-We have had lots of fun starting to plan where we're going to put furniture in the new house; how the rooms will be arranged; even stupid things like where does the Christmas tree go and where will we put the garbage can has been discussed. Dan loves thinking about the littlest details and and planning things out, and most mornings he leaves me with his Declaration of the Day: his thought on some aspect of the house. While I want to kill him for waking me up in the morning, usually his Declarations of the Day are pretty fun.
- The girls and I read Charlotte's Web aloud, two chapters a night, for the last few weeks. We'd all get our jammies on and snuggle into my bed together and I'd read, the magical moments only interrupted by Michaela occasionally correcting a word I'd misspoke. (She strives for accuracy.) It is really nice, a quiet time at the end of the day to go into another world together. I think we were all sad when we finished it. Onto the next book.