Friday, January 13, 2017

7 Quick Takes Friday

1. Update to the Sleep Saga

Thomas (17 months) and I seem to have come to a truce. (If you missed my struggles, read last week's post.) I know he can climb out of the escape-proof crib tent and he knows I know that he can climb out of the crib tent, but he has simply stopped doing so. He seems to be back to enjoying the security of his crib. I nurse him with his special Yellow Blanket over him, I rock him, I sing him one song, and I lay him down in his crib, where he goes to sleep happily without a peep. Maybe zipping up the tent helps alleviate him of his uncontrollable toddler compulsion to climb, such that he can simply relax to sleep.

I don't know! All I know is that we're all so relieved to have worked this out. I hope the situation stays reasonable until he is really old enough for a big boy bed (probably around 24 months).

2. Snow!

We enjoyed the New Year's Snowstorm of 2017, even if we only got about an inch instead of the eight inches of winter wonderland we were assured.

By five days later, the temperatures had reached 78 degrees.

3. Everyone Needs a List

For better or worse, I am known around the home for writing lists. I write out to-do lists daily for myself and the children. Apparently, my 8-year-old daughter has decided it's time for Thomas (17 months) to have his own list, so below is the one I found written out for him on Saturday.


Wake up.
Not going to bed for nap.
Read the book.
Be stinky.
Be cute.
Cry a lot.
Don't let Mary practise [music].
Thwart mommy and daddy.
Have N 3x a day. [that means nursing]
Draw on, in, books
Hole punch your fingers.
Going to bed with noise maker.
Break the hole puncher.
Make siblings (and parent) love you.

4. Epiphany Blessings

It's that time of year when our family makes Epiphany blessing kits for our fellow parishioners.

On the Vigil of Epiphany, Chris takes pounds of salt, many boxes of chalk, and ten gallons of water to the church for the traditional (Tridentine) Epiphany blessing, which is a 40-minute blessing rite full of wonderful exorcisms. Then he brings home the materials and we spend Sunday morning assembling little kits for the families so they can bless their homes for the new year.

5. Miscellaneous Moments

Anticipation for Sunday morning popovers

Gorgeous popovers
One of our 17-month-old's endearing habits is gathering blankets and pillows, carefully making himself a nest, into which he drags a book, and then he lays down and "reads" (actually babbling nonsense out loud). It melts all of our hearts to watch Thomas' little ritual!

Thomas brought me his brother's helmet and insisted I put it on him.

6. New Furniture Arrangements

We received an incredibly generous and unmerited gift from Grampa Neil: a grand piano!

Pianists benefit from playing on a grand piano with its much heavier strings in order to build the muscles of the hands. If a pianist plays only on an upright, then goes to play on a grand piano at a competition or concert/performance, the pianist will struggle to achieve the dynamics on those heavy keys: it makes a big difference in the music.

So, we've been gifted this gorgeous Mason-Hamlin grand piano and there are hardly thanks enough.

We moved the upright piano into the dining room and the grand into the den so we have two practice spaces. If someone wants to play a concerto (which requires two pianos), we can put the little electric keyboard next to either good piano.

In smaller furniture changes, we obtained a second refurbished laptop to add to our homeschool, which will make a wonderful difference in our scheduling of subjects by being able to have two students doing computer work simultaneously.

I'm experimenting with putting this little computer station in the front foyer right outside of my husband's work-at-home office (while the other station remains in the kitchen).

7. Health Stuff

I am delighted to have found what I think will be a great new family doctor, after we had to decide to part ways with our beloved medical practice of ten years because it (very understandably!) stopped taking health insurance and is now a cash-only business. Budgeting for that with six kids is just too tall of an order.

Josey was our first child to have an appointment with the new doctor: his well-child check for his fourth birthday next week. Joseph said, "I just hope they have an aquarium!" And look what we discovered in the waiting room . . .

This small practice prides itself on rebuilding the doctor-patient relationship and making individual medical decisions while taking extra time with patients. I noted that the waiting room decorations involved a Bible prominently on display and many patriotic pieces. The Physician's Assistant we saw turns out to be a homeschooling mother herself!

We found a doctor just in time because the mild cold-and-fever that infected Grampa Neil during his visit, then five of the seven of us so far, turned into croup for Joseph. In ten years of parenting, we've never had a child with croup and it is as scary as parents always described it to me.

So, Joseph had his well-child check on Monday and was back for a sick visit at our new practice that very Friday.

For more 7 Quick Takes Friday, check out This Ain't the Lyceum.

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