Five Step Process to Eat Your Dinner

Before I forget... Last week Michael and Ella were painting in their underwear out back. He wanted to take off his undies and I told him no. My kids are no strangers to running around naked and I couldn't come up with a particular reason why I cared, but this time it just struck me as a bad idea.
Soon after I went inside to help get dinner on, Michael ran inside naked and crying that his bum hurt. Turns out, he took off his undies and almost immediately sat down on a brand-new colony of stinging ants. OUCH! His poor bum was covered in red stings. Every remedy I tried to help reduce the sting just made him scream harder, and the one thing that finally helped was stuffing an ice-pack into his undies. Ella got one sting as well and together they created quite the cacophony.
Now, if only this type of experience would produce perfectly obedient children. Unfortunately they forget quickly. But mothers don't. I will definitely be referencing back to this.
We ate dinner rather late that night after the kids finally settled down. But dinner is often a little interesting in our house, as it is always a task to figure out how to get Michael to put his food in his mouth and chew. I am in utter disbelief that I have produced offspring that actually eats more slowly than I do. SLOWER THAN ME! It is hard to fathom. He actually eats a decently good variety of food and is even willing to try new food. But the time it takes for him to put it in his mouth!!! We have tried all sorts of tactics - but ultimately there is no forcing with food and we usually end up clearing the table and having the dishes done before he finally announces "I think I can finish this in just ten more minutes!".

Anyway, Michael really likes signs and step-by-step processes, so somehow this night we came up with the 5-Step Process to Eat Your Dinner (and repeat). He loved it so much he turned it into a song, and he did actually end up finishing his one slice of pizza sometime before bed. At which time, Michael insisted on sleeping with the ice-pack in his diaper.
I guess the humor of it all just made it a really amusing night, the kind that makes me just love having a family. Here are a couple random videos I took as I tried to soak in my goofy kids.


Ella Turns 2

Some bits about Ella as she turns two:
She is a messy eater and refuses a bib - so she always eats topless.
She is so very good at self-entertaining. She is very easy going with a pretty long fuse before she gets frustrated. If she does get upset or hurt, she settles down pretty quickly. She has a long attention span. Basically, the stuff that makes her a pretty easy kid. She is a make-believe queen. Her favorite make-believe games almost always involve food. Her favorite books revolve around food, too. She loves an odd book I never really intended for her; it's called "It's Addition" and it has little rhymes about adding things like scoops of ice-cream and lollipops. But she's asked me to read it probably 50 times. So she often will say things like, "Mom, I have equals two pillows". Or "I want two plus equals three spoons" and other nonsense.
Last month she entered the "Don't look at me" and "Go away" stage. So funny. I could hardly believe it when one morning she even told Michael to stop smiling at her! I thought I still had a couple years before a kid might start with that stuff.
She's always begging me to play crack-the-whip with her in the backyard. I always feel like it is a rough game for her little body but she loves it and likes to be whipped around till she falls over.
She is as silly as can be. She teases me by pretending to offer something and then taking it away. She changes lyrics to songs in silly ways and then laughs her little head off. Like, "Ring around the Rosies, a pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes, we all... climb on Mommy's back!", as she climbs up my back, laughs, and then demands a horsey ride.
She mixes up words in the cute ways that kids do. Spaghetti is said "spasgetti" and I love the stereotypicalness of it. She calls sunscreen "scumscreem", which always lightens my mood as she yells "BUT I DON'T WANT SCUMSCREEM!".
Bumper cars on her birthday. One of the great things about living in Israel is that they had no qualms about letting her on.
As she's finally outgrown her fierce attachment to mommy-only, it's cute to see the ways she bonds with dad. She has always been pretty resistant to letting anyone fix her hair, but last month she finally let Rob start putting in pony tails. So he is usually the one to fix her hair before church. It looks the way you might expect from a guy, but still totally cute and totally sweet that she likes him to do her hair.
"Look mom, I'm Papa in the Pail!" Her rendition of that picture in Dr. Suess's ABC book. (Related, if you know the book, Ella and Michael both call scissors "zizzors" because of the Zizzer Zazzer Zuzz.

She is silly and sweet, cautious and confident, independent but still loves to snuggle. Her nicknames, Peaches and The Sweetness, suit her perfectly!

She pretends to be a bird and calls Michael's football container her nest.
p.s. It cracked me up on the morning of her birthday when Michael was so confused that she hadn't grown up over night. The first thing he said when he saw her in the morning was "But mom, she's still a baby!" and then a steady flow of things like "why isn't she bigger now?", "why didn't she grow?", etc.



Does this count as serendipity? Today I found a cockroach lying dead in the dustpan! Short of crawling into the trashcan to die, you don't get any more convenient than that.** This is the second time I have found one dead in the dustpan. Strange and totally helpful of them.

Last week Rob picked up his huge stand up paddle surf board, and at the very moment he was completely loaded, a giant 2 inch roach ran up his arm! He couldn't do anything! Luckily (???) after it ran up his arm it flew away before attacking his head and forcing him to die or drop the board.

I used to find it incredibly difficult to kill roaches due to the "crunch factor". But I have invented a genius technique that involves plugging both ears as I bring down my foot. It's like it never happened.

Cleaning up dead roaches is a daily occurrence around here in the warm months. When we haven't used the guest bathroom tub (in the basement) for a month or longer, when I do finally go in the tub has a near-complete layer of dead bugs littering the bottom. Welcome visitors!

I have seen, more than once, roaches run across the food on the conveyor belt at the check out in the grocery store. (Also a lot of birds live in the fresh produce section of my store. They are kind to all living creatures in this store, apparently.)

Who knew I'd ever have so much to say about roaches.

**After Rob read this he told me that last night he got a soccer ball out of an unused trashcan in the basement, and inside it were several dead roaches. Such cooperative roaches we breed in our house!


Michael at Church Today

Today Michael was assigned to read a scripture in Primary. But since it was testimony meeting this week, he decided he wanted to tell his scripture to the whole congregation as well. As soon as he could, he eagerly marched right up to the podium. Sadly, someone else went up right in front of him, probably thinking he was a child on the loose instead of someone who wanted to speak. He turned around and you could just see the disappointment welling up as he walked back. His eyes teared up as he loudly gave us (and everyone else) his sad play-by-play of what just happened. We pacified him by having him go to the front row so he could be first in line for the next turn. Of course everyone was watching by then and the other lady let him go first. He confidently stepped up to the podium, mouth on the mic, wiped away one last tear, and delivered. " ' ye doers of the word, and not hearers only...' James, chapter 1, verse 22. And I just want to bear my testimony, that if you are good, or bad, you can just be happy. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."
Lots of smiles in the room. It was hard not to laugh out loud at a) the "or bad" part and b) the conviction that he delivered it. He had read the scripture earlier, but he decided right then and there to add the bit at the end. His confidence is astounding, particularly when facing a room full of people. I hope he never loses that total lack of inhibition. It is one of the most joyous things about him.


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