Monday, May 9, 2016

Ducklings, N riding a bike, J lost tooth, Friends Staying Over

We found a mama duck sitting on eggs in a bush at the parking lot of our church about 6 weeks ago. We've been checking in on her nearly every day and finally this past week when we came, we found about 6 had hatched! 
The little baby ducklings are so sweet!
Nora learned how to ride a two-wheeler with pedals this week! Just a week or so after she'd turned 4! She's been on a balance bike for the past year and we'd tried to get her to Jane's old bike with pedals for several months now because she's so fast on the balance bike, but she refused. She would respond with, "No. I'm not big enough. When I am four." She seemed scared of it when I tried to sit her on it before so I just let it go. Then a few days after she turned four she started talking about how she wanted Jane's blue bike down (I put it up high in the shed so it was out of the way), and I'd say, 'sure, we can some time.' But I figured it'd be like the last time when she sat on it, tried once and decided it was too scary, so I didn't think there was any rush. Then the weather was nice for awhile and I was outside every morning in the front yard weeding and she begged for the blue bike and I figured she needed something to do, so I got it down, she sat on it, and I told her I'd run with my hand on the back a few times but then I'd need to get back to my weeding. She agreed and we set off. I gave her some suggestions as we ran/biked like, push forward on the pedals with your foot, and don't push back, and go faster. We did this for a few minutes and then I told her to keep practicing on the grass, which was nice and soft in case she fell, while I worked in the yard. Oh, and we also put long sleeves and pants on her in case she fell, hopefully preventing scrapes. After about 20 minutes of her trying to figure it out on her own, while at the same time, begging me to help again, I told her I'd help for a few more minutes. I held onto the back, we started off, I told her to go faster and then I was barely touching the seat, and then I let go and just ran beside her and she kept on going and said, "Nora, you're doing it all by yourself!" and she smiled and kept on keeping on! Those balance bikes make it really easy for them to learn how to bike because they get the whole balance thing down and now they just need to pedal. No training wheels required. That's how Jane learned to ride too. 
Because the weather has been so nice, once it hits about 3pm, we walk/ride over to the church parking lot where the girls ride around as we wait for the kids to get home from school which is within about 15 minutes or so. We took these selfies one day while we were waiting.

These girls are so fun! I am absolutely loving the stage of all our kids right now! They are independent, hard working and wanting to please mom and dad. I know it won't last forever, but we're sure enjoying it now! I am also enjoying the freedom that comes from having older kids like the freedom to use the bathroom alone, and the freedom to go to a Zumba class once a week, and to volunteer in my kids classes (I just bring Nora) and the freedom to go on date nights weekly because I don't have a baby I have to nurse, and we have a built-in-babysitter, and I love sleeping through the night and not having diapers :). But when I was in the baby stage, I enjoyed that too. I loved the snuggles and cuddles, the smiles and giggles, being there for all the many 'firsts', first tooth, first crawl, first walk, first word, etc, and it's always nice to be needed and wanted. But I'm in another stage of parenting now and I love it too! Bring on the teens (in another year for Elisabeth)! Let's hope I don't regret saying that :).

Our friends went out of state for several nights and asked if their two youngest, who are 12 and 9, could stay with us. We had them from Tuesday night through Friday late afternoon, and then we had arranged for them to go elsewhere Friday night because I had my half marathon in provo early Saturday morning and I needed to be well rested and we can't all fit in our van. Abby came back Saturday afternoon and stayed the night, and then their parents were home by Sunday morning. The girls spent a good amount of time working on their world reports, and they are very close friends and so they spent a lot of time visiting as well. Because it was on school nights, we had them stay in our guest room so that children were getting sufficient sleep.
Jane lost her very first tooth this week! It's on the bottom, front, and, as you can see, there's already a tooth growing in behind it. 

We made sweet potato muffins and banana muffins one late afternoon, just before the kids got home from school and there were 30 muffins, and within two minutes, this was the only one left! Granted, we did have Abby and Ethan, plus Maddy and Kennedy over so there were 9 hungry children, who had just gotten home from school. It's why I made them! They love coming home from school and finding a fresh, homemade snack, and I love that they love these 'healthier' whole wheat, no sugar, snacks.
Amid our very nice, 70 degree weather, we've also had some thunder storms with pouring rain, and hail. Those are fun to watch and listen to. It reminds me of home growing up in Seattle. Except we didn't have a lot of pouring rain, more like a constant drizzle.

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