Spring Break!

Christopher and the kids will be back late tonight, and they have been so busy I haven’t talked to them all week. But based on the pictures, I think they’ve had a great time!

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Amazingly, it was sunny in Seattle almost the entire time they were gone. My many plans went out the window as Logan and I spent almost every waking hour out and about. He seemed to appreciate his week of being an only child!

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Egypt and Spring Break

Soon after my last post, Logan dove head-first out of his crib. We took it down and put up a toddler bed that day. The first night was rough, and we had church the next day, but we are all adjusting.

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We have continued to enjoy the sporadic awesome weather. If you are wondering why Megan is never in the pictures, she is either swimming or doing homework.

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Christopher took an epic business trip to Cairo. His last for Expedia.

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Christopher returned home from Egypt at one a.m. Friday night/Saturday morning. The little boys were up at 6:30 and Christopher left a few hours later for California. When he said, “Hey, let’s go to Yuba City for Spring Break!” I thought, “Yay, sunshine!” And then when I pictured two full days of driving with Logan, plus dealing with him at night just a week after we moved him to a bed, I said, “You know, why don’t you take the big kids and go?” And they did. So Christopher and the big kids are having an awesome Spring Break in 80-degree YC, and Logan and I are SO enjoying the peace and quiet. He is my little buddy for sure.

Megan and Gavin 2005

When Gavin was born, I was so overwhelmed I put calendars on the bedroom walls, hoping I could jot down at least a few things from that year. Here’s what I wrote:

Megan’s calendar:

April 2005
4 Aunt Caitlin leaves
8-9 Aunt Paige and Grandpa Richins visit
10 “I’m not a princess, I’m a stinkpot!”
14 “Don’t cry, little man.” – to Gavin
15-16 First stomach bug. Yuck!
20 Doctor @ 8:30 if you’re still sick

May 2005
2 Daddy’s 27th birthday
6-7 Sleepover at Bryant’s house
9-13 Sick with upper respiratory infection
13 Cousin Abby born
14 Grandma Richins’ sleeps over on way to Canada
16 Mommy’s 23rd birthday
Favorite color: blue
Favorite food: salad
Favorite movie: Aladdin
Favorite friend: Daddy
29 Aunt Allison visits

June 2005
“Who turned on the dark?”
“My so excited!”
You are getting to be a big girl! You are still working on potty training…you love nursery and playing with your friends–Hannah, Ethan, Ashley, Bryant, and Atticus
13 Allison goes home
“Bye, Aunt Alli, see you next time!”

July 2005
We had a fun trip to Canada. You saw cousins Aaron, Kyleigh, and Abbie, went to the zoo and waterslides. Your favorite was “riding motorcycles with Daddy and seeing a deer.”
26 Ballard Locks w/ Bryant

August 2005
2 Seattle Children’s Museum
6 Keybank Air Show
9 Everett Children’s Museum
10 Your 3-year-old friend Ashley gave you a “haircut”

September 2005
13 First Day of Joy School!
You absolutely love Joy School! Your friends are Ashley Black, Ammon Thompson, Sara Wolferts, Kelsey Eller, and Trenton Goeckeritz
You love to sing songs: Joy School songs, Primary songs, and TV theme songs (Dora, Maggie, etc.)
I finally bought you Candy Land and you love to play!
You also love dress up, computer, and outside play!

October 2005
“That’s too spiky!”
“Don’t say that word!”
“I probably love you.”
“I’m going to write my name on the Internet.”
31 You’re so excited!

Gavin’s calendar:

April 2005
1 Downtown Seattle with Aunt Caitlin (you rode in the Snugli)
2 General Conference
4 Aunt Caitlin leaves
8-9 Aunt Paige and Grandpa Richins visit
10 Your blessing day!
11 2 months old! 10 lb, 9 oz 25%, 22.5 inches 40%, 5 shots!
You lift up your head and like to look around, can follow things with your eyes. You are very serious and smile rarely.
14 Visit cousins Bryant and Dalton
18 Zantac seems to be helping your acid reflux

May 2005
1 Slept through the night for the first time!
6 12 lbs!
You are getting so big. A “medium-sized” baby, as your dad calls you. You can smile now, but still fuss a lot. Very demanding little boy!
11 3 months old! First laugh
12 Discovers hands. Likes to suck fingers.
15 First cold. Poor Gavin.
16 Slept through the night #2 — Mom’s birthday present!
29 Aunt Allison comes to visit

June 2005
11 4 months old!
13 Aunt Alli goes home
15 Dr. appt- 13 lbs 14 oz, 24.5 inches, 5 shots!
You are finally smiling and laughing! You are also starting to grab your toys.
29 Rolled over 1st time– back to stomach
1st jar of bananas– yum!

July 2005
11 Canada Trip
You had a great trip. You were so good in the car (14 hours!) and slept all night almost every night. You are rolling over a lot now and eating solids–rice, oatmeal, fruits
18 Back home
23 We went to the park and you loved gumming a peach half!

August 2005
1 Seattle Children’s Museum w/ Carls
6 Saw the Blue Angels–you cried because they were loud and you were tired
8 1st tooth!
9 Everett Children’s Museum w/ Carls
11 16 lbs, 5 oz – double ear infection!
16 6-month checkup- 16 lbs, 7 oz – 25th, 26.25 inches, 50th
18 high fever!
21 all better
26 Poppy coming to visit
30 Long Beach, Poppy leaving

September 2005
17 GG and Earl visit
You are sitting well now and trying to crawl!
24 Today you went from your stomach to sitting all by yourself
29 Today you woke up and crawled fast for the 1st time!
30 You are mobile now!

October 2005
5 Visiting downtown Seattle Aquarium w/ Haley and Atticus Dame
7 Started another high fever (103), throwing up, cough, stuffy nose

December 2005
10 Leaving for South Carolina

Last night Logan had croup. I spent the night alternating between the front porch, snuggling him in a blanket while we made “fog” with our breath; the steamy bathroom, reading books on the toilet; and watching Super Why on the couch while giving him Albuterol “puffs”. And it felt like par for the course.

The past month has been some of the most stressful of my life. Who knew paying someone to do light remodel on a house would be so crazy?

***

It has been over a week since I wrote those two paragraphs, and not much has changed. After 10 days of little response with our home “for sale by owner”, we listed it on the MLS with an inexpensive flat-fee internet company, and also paid them for a lockbox. Here’s hoping someone sees it this weekend and likes it. Someday I’ll fully describe real estate adventures, but for now, let’s just say it’s been an education.

Gavin developed a cold, then a nasty cough, then an ear infection. Ben developed a cold, then a nasty cough, then an ear infection. Ben managed to wait until exactly six p.m. (the pediatrician’s office closing time) to start complaining of ear pain, and he has such a high tolerance for pain I took him straight to urgent care, where the DO on call pronounced his ear one of the “pussiest” he had ever seen. I’m glad we didn’t wait until morning.

In conclusion, we have a lot of sick boys around here, and we are all getting cabin fever.

Before this last bout of illness, though, we managed to escape to Great Wolf Lodge for a night. This was over our “second winter break” at the end of February. I had spent the first three days of break basically leaving the kids to fend for themselves while I ran down to Maple Valley and around town, working on the house. Finally, I asked Christopher if we could take them down to GWL, because they were getting bored of being at home and I wanted to reward Megan for all her babysitting. We went down on a Thursday afternoon, ate lunch at Dickie’s in Puyallup, and got to GWL around three. We spent a few hours in the water park before our normal energy kids (Logan and Gavin) were done. I bathed the boys and got them in pj’s. Gavin crawled into his log cabin bunk to read, and Christopher put Logan to bed. Megan and Ben, our high-energy kids, ran around the lodge with that magic wand, while I sat in the main hall by the fire and relaxed.

The next morning we ate oatmeal in our room, packed up, and hit the water park. After a few more hours we were done. Our kids were in constant motion, and Christopher and I tired quickly of making sure Ben and Logan, both completely fearless, didn’t drown. Megan and Gavin were allowed to go off together and had a blast. Around lunchtime we showered and changed into clothes. We let the three big kids play MagiQuest for another half hour or so before eating at Burger Claim on our way home.

In other trip news, Christopher and I were able to sneak away for a night. We attended a Portland Trailblazers game with our friends the Allens. We ate dinner in Chinatown and got dessert from Voodoo Doughnuts before the game, and enjoyed a child-free night of rest at a nearby Marriott before driving back to Seattle the next day.

We’ve enjoyed a pretty great winter here, and when we’re healthy, have taken advantage of every sunny day. We even discovered a nearby dog park. It’s kind of like having friends with boats. All the fun and none of the work!

Kid update:

Megan- Helpful, responsible, and a lot of fun. Some mornings, she gets herself up and out the door before we’re even awake. Had another orchestra concert on 3/11, and New Beginnings at the end of February. I can’t believe she’s turning 12 this year.

Gavin- Babysitter #2 and reading like crazy. A big part of my job these days is keeping both kids in books.

Ben- I read NurtureShock and decided Ben is a “bistrategic controller”. It means he uses both prosocial and antisocial behavior to get what he wants. While manipulative and sometimes agressive, bistrategic controllers are generally successful and well-liked. Another big part of my job is keeping Ben stimulated and out of trouble (failing most days) and directing his energy and intelligence into productive endeavors.

Logan- This kid has changed the most in the past month. He is climbing out of his crib AFTER I turned it around so the tall side is in the front. He’ll be in a bed very soon. He refuses to sit in a booster chair, and doesn’t like to wear a bib. And, despite the fact that I do not have time to potty train this kid, he seems intent on doing it himself, even removing his own diapers and using the potty himself. He also is trying to teach himself how to read, phonetically spelling most words he sees, and we suspect it will be Logan reading that will spur Ben’s interest, who patently refuses because “I want you to read to me forever, Mommy. Until I’m a grown-up.”

Very little has changed in my life. I’m overwhelmed and exhausted and wondering how in the world people function with four kids, but then I realize I’m also selling two homes and my husband isn’t home that much and BEN. And in the last month, Christopher went and got himself another job, for a Boston-based app-testing start-up. He’s excited, so I’m excited for him. Their small Seattle branch is in the same high-rise Christopher works in now, so it won’t be much of a change. The pay’s a little more, Massachusetts healthcare is excellent (thanks Romney!), and we are hoping the equity will be worth something someday.

Without further ado, and in no particular order, pictures and video:

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First Heartbreak

Ben has been talking about marrying Amy for months. I chose not to make a big deal of it. I neither encouraged nor discouraged it, but listened with an air of mild interest. The funniest conversation through his preschool infatuation went like this:

Me: “Hey Ben, what do you want to be when you grow up?”
Ben: “I don’t know about that working thing.”
Me: “Then maybe you can be a stay-at-home dad while your wife works.”
Ben: “I don’t know how Amy would feel about that.”

Today the conversation went like this:

Me: “Were you excited to see your friends at school after the break?”
Ben: “Yes, but…” (sigh) “Amy said she would marry me, but it was all a lie.”
Me: “Oh?”
Ben: “She said she can’t decide that until she’s 24.”
Me: “That sounds wise.”
Ben: (sigh)

I guess he’s back on the market.

Gavin Turns 9 + Valentine’s Day

Strep week was brutal, and after the kids got a few days of unlimited screen time I started to feel better. By Friday, day four of my z-pack, I could swallow and my energy was starting to come back. Antibiotics can be wonderful. Ben was just about completely recovered (he went back to school on Wednesday) and Logan seemed to be on the mend, was sleeping through the night again.

Then Friday night Logan had another brutal non-sleep. I judge my kids’ wellness on their nights, and I knew he was still sick. However, the Saturday on-call pediatrician, after a perfunctory glance, told me “everything is just draining” and his tonsils would “be large for a while”. After I said there must be something else he needs, because he is not getting well, she kind of laughed/shrugged, “Oh, I know it was a rough night, but he looks fine now.”

The next four days were up and down. Saturday night he didn’t sleep. The next night I rubbed him all over with eucalyptus and lavender oil and he slept straight until 10 the next morning. However, the essential oils seemed to provide relief but not a cure, and finally early Wednesday morning, after Logan woke up at five coughing so hard he couldn’t breathe, Christopher insisted, “I think he has pneumonia, you have to take him back.” I did not want another pediatrician to tell me I was wrong, that he really was fine, but I did take him back, paid another $15 copay, and this time saw my regular doctor. She said, “Well, yeah, he’s wheezing up a storm, did you give him Albuterol?” Well, no, I said, I usually wait for some kind of directive before giving my child prescription drugs. I got her to write me a new scrip. The inhaler I found at home was several years expired (yay for the past few healthy winters!) My doctor said the Albuterol would keep his airways open, preventing pneumonia (he didn’t have it yet), and keep him from coughing at night.  And wouldn’t you know, I started giving him “puffs”, as he calls them, every 3 or 4 hours, and it worked like a dream. Within a day he was basically back to normal, and I bumped the meds down to 2-3 times a day. Modern medicine for the win.

So during this two-week germ battle, Gavin turned nine. We got up early on his birthday so he could open his gifts before Megan left for school. He got books from Grandma and Grandpa, Legos from Grammy and Poppy, a whole bag of random fun stuff (marbles, light-up glasses, Harry Potter stickers) from Megan, $20 from Gigi, $10 from Great-Grandma, and tons and tons of clothes (“that’s a whole wardrobe”, Christopher commented) from us. In lieu of a party this year, he got to see the Lego Movie with his siblings and best bud Brandon. I did make him his requested dinner on his birthday (fried chicken), and take Krispy Kreme donuts to his classroom, but he didn’t get his cake until Saturday, after the Lego movie. We let Gavin and Ben blow out candles, since I couldn’t actually find the candles on Ben’s birthday.

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Also, during Germ Fest 2014, we had a snow day. It was Sunday morning, the day after I took Logan to the useless doctor. Since we have afternoon church now, the kids had a blast playing in it. Even sick, exhausted Logan insisted he get to play outside for a little while. It was a bit colder this time, and the little boys were especially eager to come inside for hot chocolate. Thankfully, our snow days were brief and mild, and no ice! It has been a great winter (knock on wood).

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Another major thing happening right now, and the main source of stress for us over the next few months, is our plan to sell BOTH homes. Our tenants moved out of our Maple Valley house on Valentine’s Day. Now we have to renovate and get it on the market. We are going to attempt to sell it by ourselves. I have driven down to Maple Valley five times in the past two weeks to meet contractors and painters and figure out how to best spend the money to fix it up. Our tenant in our Virginia townhouse is being deployed to Afghanistan, and it seems like good timing to get that one on the market, as well. Hopefully by the summer we’ll be out of the landlord business.

I almost forgot to mention Valentine’s Day, with all the insanity of the sicknesses and house issues. I made some crafts and cupcakes for Ben’s preschool but did not attend the party with a still-coughing Logan. I helped Gavin make Mad Libs valentines, an idea we found on Design Mom. I didn’t have the energy to make heart-shaped pancakes or anything, but I did pick up a heart-shaped pizza from Papa Murphy’s and Christopher and I went out. Our original date plan was to do some work on the Maple Valley house, but Christopher wanted to take me to dinner instead. We tried this brewery that was recommended by a Facebook friend. It sounded a lot nicer than it actually was. Christopher ordered a house-brewed root beer, which always excites him, and I started to order a sandwich (it was a brewery, remember?) and he said, “Let’s order the Valentine’s special, please, just humor me.” The Valentine’s special was spaghetti and meatballs and although I know that you don’t order Italian food at a brewery that basically looks like a glorified bar, apparently Christopher didn’t. After our salads, we waited so long for our entree that Christopher later said they must have said, “Someone seriously ordered the special?! Quick, somebody run to the grocery store and buy a jar of Ragu!” And the meatballs were cold and awful. We told the poor waitress, who was already so apologetic that we had sat there for an hour nursing a root beer, that we just couldn’t eat it, and she talked to the manager and they told us no charge so we left $10 on the table for the root beer and salads and got out of there. And laughed and laughed. Because we have had some humorous dining experiences. That anniversary in Arlington where Christopher got food poisoning. The restaurant in a podunk Utah town where Christopher complained about the prime rib and the waitress said, “Honey, have you ever HAD prime rib?” The raw chicken at a Red Robin in California (we still haven’t been back, and it’s been YEARS). Ah, memories. We ended up playing volleyball at the church with seven other couples and getting huge helpings of frozen yogurt after. The best part… free babysitting. We love that Megan.

Grammy’s Visit

One day, we’ll have some fun when my parents visit. I sure enjoyed my mom’s company. We did some shopping, she made some delicious meals, and she helped me with the general busyness of life. The kids had swimming and Scouts and a Lego event at city hall. I should have taken my mom out, just the two of us, for dinner, or a pedicure or something. But between taking care of the kids and thinking about selling our houses, the time just flew by, and towards the end we all ended up sick. Mom and Megan came down with nasty colds, and over the weekend the little boys got really sick. Sunday night Logan slept exactly one hour, and I had them both at the pediatrician Monday morning. Logan had an ear infection, which I could have told them, and a tonsil the size of a grape. Ben had a nasty cough. Antibiotics for both. After the night from hell I started to feel run down, and Monday night my throat hurt so bad I couldn’t sleep. I happened to read a notice from Ben’s school (sometimes I miss them) that mentioned strep throat in the classroom, so Tuesday morning I went to urgent care at 7 a.m. and said, “I think I have strep and I want a z-pack.” The test came back positive and they were happy to oblige. My mom had to fly out Tuesday early afternoon, so we went back into survival mode. I downloaded two more versions of Angry Birds on my phone and Logan has been watching the same episode of Super Why over and over again. Christopher made a Shepherd’s Pie for dinner that included most of the leftovers in the fridge, and this morning I saw Logan eating a PB&J from off the floor. From yesterday. Survival mode, indeed.

Of course I meant to take some good pictures of Grammy & the kids, and here are the two shots we got. Ben was never too far from the iPad.

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Ben Turns Five + Grammy Comes to Town!

My mom flew into town Thursday night. Ben and I picked her up from the airport. We started her visit with a bang by throwing Ben a birthday party. We invited his entire preschool class (12 kids total) and every single kid RSVP’d yes. Many parents also planned on staying, some with younger siblings. I offered parents the option to leave but the moms seemed to be excited to socialize outside drop-off/pick-up. We ended up with 12 preschoolers, three toddlers, eight moms, and a Grammy.

I had planned quite a few party games (Hullabaloo, hot potato, etc.) but I found that the moms were so loud the kids could hardly hear my directions. In the end, we had snacks and cupcakes, opened gifts, and then the kids just played. They are used to being in school together three days a week, so they played really well together. I think overall the party was a success.

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Saturday Christopher and I took the kids to clean the church while Grammy watched Logan. After lunch Christopher stayed home with Logan while the rest of us saw Frozen at the new Issaquah theater. The movie tickets and popcorn were courtesy of my grandma Gigi. We loved the movie!

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Sunday was Ben’s big day. I first heard him crying at 5 a.m. because Christopher told him it was too early to open presents. At seven, we finally got up, let the kids eat Cocoa Puffs as a special breakfast, and opened Ben’s gifts. He got a DS game and $10 from Gavin, $20 from Gigi, $5 from Great-Grandma Carroll, superhero underwear from Megan, socks from Logan, and the biggest, coolest Star Wars Lego set from his grandparents. His eyes were wide as he checked it out, and the kids finally have a Lego set that will take them more than a day to build. I love, love Legos, because they seem to be the activity that Megan, Gavin, and Ben can always agree on. And kids playing nicely = a happy house.

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Five is a big birthday around here. I remember Megan and Gavin both making a big transition from five to six, so I’m curious to see how Ben does. As much as we love his cuteness, some maturity will help things, too. He still refuses to get himself dressed, for example. I told him I wasn’t helping anymore after his birthday, so we’ll see if he goes to school in his pajamas tomorrow.

I hope he will continue to be hilarious AND learn respect and self-control, although I know they probably can’t coexist. Last night at the dinner table, Christopher told Ben, “It’s your last night of being four. Enjoy it!” Ben proceeded to leave the table to play. Christopher said, “Come back here and finish your dinner!” Ben replied, “I’m enjoying it!” as he skipped away.

A day in the life of Ben

Sometimes I don’t want to remember Ben in this stage, but here are a few gems, and let me tell you, they are typical. 

His day started at 2 a.m. He had moved to his pallet on our floor, and kept asking me questions. Honestly, I can’t tell you now what they were about, but they kept coming. I’m sure I shushed him at some point and went back to bed, but I do remember waking up at 3:30 and hearing noise. He was downstairs watching a documentary on Typhoon Haiyan. He informed me that he had eaten four cookies. He wanted to eat six, but was full after four.

I put him in his bed and forbade him from moving until 6 a.m. After being up and about in the night, I assumed he might sleep in a bit. On the contrary, he walked out of him room at 6 a.m. on the dot with a loud, “It’s six!”

I enjoyed some peace during his 2 1/2 hours at school. He declares every morning that school is “so boring”, but he comes home happy enough so I try not to worry too much. 

After lunch and putting Logan down for a nap, he decided he wanted to play chess. This was new. We spent the next two hours playing the game, then watching videos on how to play. Then I set him up against the computer and had a blissful twenty-minute power nap until Logan woke up. 

The sun was shining so we went outside, as Megan and Gavin came home from school. Ben looked like a Tasmanian devil on his big wheel, and although he was good enough to share it with the neighbor, he did purposefully stomp on flowers I had asked him not to, and repeatedly called another neighbor boy a “cheater”, who oddly enough wasn’t even playing a game with him.

He ate a good dinner, which of course is always hit or miss, and after baths we read some books. I was going to put him to bed and then pick up Grammy from the airport, but I decided to take him in the car with me. Logan is easy enough for Megan and Gavin to babysit. Ben managed to stay awake during the 80 minute round trip, and let Grammy tuck him in without a fuss.

Hopefully his day will not start at 2 a.m. again, but with Ben, you never know.

2014 So Far…

Phew. We began the New Year with our usual dose of temerity. New Year’s Eve Christopher and I left the kids at home and went to a NY NYE party at the church. Everyone else brought their kids, and Megan and Gavin would have had fun, but we wanted them to babysit so we could put the little boys to bed and actually enjoy ourselves. Next year perhaps we can take the whole family. We got home just after 9 p.m. and Corey, Pam, and Casey came over. Christopher and I played a game of Rook with Corey and Casey while Pam watched a movie, and then we watched the midnight fireworks at the Space Needle. Megan refused to go to bed until midnight and came downstairs around 11:45 so she could celebrate with us.

New Years Day we watched football and cooked up a storm. The Carls came over to share our meal. We ate plenty of collards and black eyed peas. And pie.

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The rest of the week was spent keeping the kids entertained. We decided it was easier and cheaper to just stay home than try to battle the little boys in public. The kids still had their Christmas toys, there were plenty of good football games on TV, and the weather was nice enough to shoo them outside. But most of the time we were LAZY.

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We did things like deep clean Megan’s room. We had three bags of giveaway and two of trash. I seriously don’t know where this girl gets all this stuff, but her room is nice and clean now!

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Then our lovely vacation was over and it was back to the grind. School started, and swim team and Scouts. Gavin had his Pinewood Derby. He finished 2nd, 4th, 1st, and 2nd in his heats, and 7th overall in the Wolf Pack, which had about 15 boys. He was happy.

That weekend Christopher and I partied hard. Leaving Megan to babysit for the first time that we left the plateau, we went bowling in Kirkland. The next night, we went to the 40th birthday party for our friend Greg, and it was a great party, complete with a band. We really enjoyed getting out, and Megan did a great job getting her little brothers to bed.

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That weekend I also took Megan to a babysitting training course at a hospital in Seattle from 9-4. While she was in class I went shopping with Holly and Hank. I needed some new clothes and Holly was a perfect consultant. 

Some other big changes in the last two weeks…

Ben has developed a LEGO obsession, and I couldn’t be happier. He and Gavin (and often Megan) will play with their Legos for hours, inventing fun games and battles. Ben still has a long way to go, but I think (think!) he is maturing.

Logan, on the other hand, went from being sweet, docile toddler to troublemaker in a week. Over Christmas break, people commented on how calm and sweet he was. Then, he ran a fever for a day or two, and when he got better, he was a different kid. Tantrums and general mischief. He pitched fits at playgroup because he wanted a toy another kid had, even if there was an identical toy available. Similarly, I’ll offer him and Benjamin an identical breakfast, but Ben will have the purple plate and Logan green. Logan will demand purple, and when I say no, dump his entire breakfast on the floor. You know, that kind of trouble. I’m glad I enjoyed the quiet while it lasted.

In other news, we are in the middle of preparing two homes (Maple Valley and Charlottesville) for sale! Hopefully we can get both sold by the summer and be debt-free. Then, we can look at what’s left and decide what the next step is.

Finally, poor Christopher has been driving a car without heat for months. Our 1995 Camry is on its last leg I’m afraid, and he had been looking for something for awhile. For Christmas, our neighbors got two brand new Nissan Leafs (Leaves?), and I rode in one. When Crystal said “$0 down, $200 a month”, I knew it was something worth considering. There are lots of benefits to owning an electric car in Seattle, so Christopher went down to the dealership. He wasn’t able to get the exact deal, because they used some Microsoft employee credit plus some December deals, but eight hours later, with his signature mad negotiating skills, Christopher walked out of there with a darn good deal. With no money down. So we are now the proud owners (leasers?) of a brand new electric car. Who knew?