Thursday, September 4, 2008

Growing Up

This week has been so full of growing up moments, I had to pose the kids for some pictures.
The kids performed admirably, of course! :-)
I'm lucky they are all such good little buddies. I hadn't realized how much they do play together, actually, until Cheyenne started school this week. Elliott, while enjoying complete control over all the toys, really is missing Cheyenne.
Rilla with a squinched up nose. She's six months old, as of yesterday.
So we had to take a few quick portraits...

Cheyenne on her first day of school. We were running late (of course) so I didn't have time to pose really good pictures, but the utter poise and responsibility are evident, anyway!
The backpack (cinched up all the way and it still is big on her!)

Cheyenne with her teacher (she's expecting a third child in October, so she'll be out for several months!)

On the same day, Elliott and Cheyenne both had their first dentist appointment. They had their initial checkup, and they normally would have had to schedule a separate visit to have their teeth cleaned, but after the dentist was finished, the assistant said there were two hygienists available, and would I like to have that done right now? I did, and it was nice to get it all done at once, although juggling an antsy baby while holding hands and cajoling kids through X-rays was quite busy!
Elliott was quite enthralled for a long time cleaning the teeth model.

On the SAME day (Yup, it did seem like a long day!), two of our butterflies hatched! Of course, I went upstairs to feed Marilla for ten minutes and by the time we came down again, there they were. So exciting to see them flex their wings and grow. They hatched right before I was supposed to leave for Cheyenne's orientation, so Eleanor babysat Elliott, Marilla AND two caterpillars.

After they'd hung for a while, I moved them outside. Cheyenne had to grudgingly donate some of the sand from the sandbox because the breeze was making a nice little kite out of the container!
The empty shells are so clear and fragile. When they started trying to fly, I helped them crawl onto a leaf, and they were out of sight within seconds. Pretty impressive.

Evan wasn't able to be at Cheyenne's Pre-K for the first day of orientation, so he stayed home the next morning to walk her to school. I didn't know how hard it would be on Daddy to leave his girl there!

Posing with Elliott.
Walking down the road with Daddy.

Very sad, lonely, left-behind boy. I took Marilla and Elliott over in the double stroller later to pick her up. Not sure how often we'll do that, as I have an old garage sale stroller that's sort of tipsy on pavement, let alone on the trails through the woods you have to use to get to school. Anyway, Cheyenne was very happy with school. It is so weird not knowing what's happening with her at all times. There was a show and tell that first day-- Evan and I were saying how much we would pay to be a fly on the wall for that. She took Wodehouse, my wolf puppet from librarian days, and demonstrated how to use a puppet. She did it very competently here, I just wonder if she had the courage to do it at school.

This post has been up on my computer for a day now, interrupted by bedtime, driving to school, frequent nursings, nap attempts, etc., so tenses and timelines are probably weird. Anyway, just wanted to give everyone a glimpse of my big kids!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Last Days of Summer. (Oh, NO!)

I realized this week that I am never cut out for pet ownership. Lisa and Marilyn set up a jar to hatch Monarch butterflies, and the responsibility inherent in this has me in a tizzy. The lone remaining caterpillar had devoured most of the milkweed leaves in the jar this morning, so I slipped on some (pink) rubber boots and drove to a field nearby (in my yellow sleep shorts and orange t-shirt-- fashion maven!) and picked milkweed leaves for it! The caterpillar did show gratitude for my early morning errand by eating a HUGE portion of the leaves right away.
I had no idea the cocoon was so gorgeous. It doesn't even show up well in these pictures, but they are a gorgeous green, with little speckles of gold. I have no idea how they can make something so shiny and delicate. I might be tempted to wear jewelry if they could replicate the look of this! I found a site that has beautiful pictures of all the cycles.

I worry about the poor things a lot, but it is utterly fascinating.

One of Elliott's birthday presents was a sandbox. The sand in Elliott's hair every night attests that they are spending lots of time in that!
It just so happened that the best deal we found on a sandbox included a kid's picnic table with umbrella. Cheyenne and Elliott love having snacks on it.
Elliott enjoys his peanut butter sandwich and milk-- with a side of silliness.

Cheyenne is perfecting a summertime talent-- climbing trees!

I don't think I ever had that much physical courage when I was a kid, so I'm impressed!

Grandma and Grandpa White, Mammy and Auntie Lisa stopped here after they left Newry. Cheyenne went to the state fair with Daddy and the Whites, while Mammy stayed home with the baby, Elliott and I. Mammy and Elliott had a marvelous time together-- Mammy baked bread and Elliott made his own little loaves. They actually turned out good, despite the prolonged kneading they received! Then they had a picnic outside, and played on the swings, and generally were good buddies. Mammy even altered some clothes for me! While it was kind of disappointing not to go to the fair, Elliott and Marilla had a much better day here then they would have dragging around the fair.
This weekend, we got to hang out with Grandma Jill and the two girls. Elliott and Grandma Jill both caught up on the news on their laptops! (We are all so excited about the Sarah Palin nomination-- my brother Tyler works with her best friend in Wasilla, and Bethaney has met her-- hard to believe our state is in the spotlight!)
We had missed Tori's birthday, so we used that as an excuse to make a chocolate cake. Here, Elliott sings "Happy Birthday"-- he is singing so well these days!
Cheyenne (who has already sampled the frosting, as you can tell by the dab on her cheek) watches Tori blow out the candles. A big 11!

Elliott's been watching Daddy shaving-- this is a sledgehammer that came with a little construction set he had, but he was very carefully shaving with it today. He didn't miss a single spot on his face. I'm amazed he doesn't have razor burn after the thoroughness of that shave!
Cheyenne and Tori had their usual marvelous time together-- playing with the hand-me-down Little People we are still utterly fascinated with!
Marilla is really creeping around now. We're back to lots of gates in our split level house. (How I would like to meet the architect of such houses in a dark alley someday!) She is able to open the toy cupboards (pictured behind her) open and pull toys out. Great to have a third person adding to toy piles all over the house!

Evan spent Labor Day laboring hard on our basement bedroom. He was able to get a coat of paint on today! It's "straw" and it looked more browny orange on the paint chip, but it came out a pretty unequivocal yellow-- pretty, though! We had picked out a quilt we liked the other day, and matched the paint chip to that. It looks good with the walls, even though the walls aren't exactly how we pictured.
So now we are looking ahead to fall. Cheyenne starts preschool Wednesday. I am not sure how I am going to handle letting my perfect little girl go! While I am excited because she is excited, it is a very mixed time, emotionally. It is just for 2 1/2 hours a day, and I know she will love it, but it just is a whole different phase in our very insular life. I'm sure in a few weeks it will seem like she's always known the other kids, and life will go on.
Miss Marilla will be six months old on Thursday, too! Lots of growth for all my kids!