Ian received a call from a good family friend of his about a month ago. They wanted to commission paintings of their children done by the world-renowned, Ian Strawn. By the way, if you haven't seen his website, you must! They wanted to fly Ian out to take pictures of their kids as well as wanting us to babysit their five children while they were attending a wedding in Utah. They used to live in Boston (a very cool city--according to "cool people"), but they just recently moved to Atlanta (a slightly less cool city--according to everyone). So off the three of us flew to Atlanta, GA! Niev is still free flying, but that does mean that she is on our lap. Luckily, with four flights total, we only had to have her on our laps for one of the flights. She thought it was great to be in an airplane. When we took off the first time, she just watched out the window and giggled quietly. By the last flight, she didn't care. She loved playing with the buttons on the armrest and watching Sesame Street on Ian's MP3 player (even though she didn't care about the headphones!). She traveled REALLY well and only when she got super tired on the flight back, did she even cry, wimper or whine. In fact after we landed, the lady in front of us, on our longest flight in which she was on our laps, said, "Oh, I wasn't even aware that their was a baby behind me! Wow, what a good girl!" We could not have asked for her to be better. Ian was really cute, planning different activities and things that she could do on the plane. He was very nervous about disturbing/annoying everyone else on the plane, but we were both pleasantly surprised in how well she did.
Taking care of five children is challenging. Ian and I both decided that we are glad that we are taking kids one at a time. The kids ranged in ages from 4 to 14, four of the kids being boys. I thanked the stars every day that the only girl was 12 and not 4 because she was a HUGE help! We enjoyed catching up with our friends and getting to know their children a bit better.
We were all very glad to get home, but Ian and I had some great conversations of how we imagined our family working when our kids are older. It was great to see how we worked together during the entire trip.
I am the Primary Chorister in our church which isn't a huge calling except for once a year when we do the Primary Program. This is when the primary children (ages 3-12) do a presentation for the main meeting in our church. There is a lot of singing as part of that presentation. Anyway, I was gone the week that our primary did their program. I felt like such a slacker! How is that for taking our calling seriously! I guess they did great without me, but I felt so guilty for missing it.
Niev is getting cuter by the second, but she is also developing a bit of an attitude. She has learned to yell at people and tell them, "NO!" which is very disturbing to me. I still think of her as a baby and babies shouldn't smart off. It was amazing to see how much her vocabulary expanded during the week we spent with older kids. Her pronunciation has gotten clearer and she has learned to identify much more in her environment.
Learning about balance. It impressed me that she could balance as long as she did.
She would get a bit overwhelmed when all the kids would get home from school. The boys really loved Niev, but at times, she felt a bit mauled. She would quietly come up to Ian or me and say, "Bed? bed?" She would then proceed to just lay on the bed, sucking on her bink (I hate that she still has that by the way!!!) and then when she felt ready, she would come back downstairs.
Riding her first tire swing and LOVING it--she kept just saying, "Woah, woah, woah!" while giggling!
She loves toothpaste. Not kid toothpaste, either. If she can get her hands on adult toothpaste, she is in heaven. She will even settle for sucking on anyone's toothbrush just to get a hint of the minty goodness. The poor kids were always reporting that Niev was in the bathroom sucking on someone's toothbrush. (This was a much better resort though, than putting thick hard potpourri down a toilet that plugged it up for two days--sorry Mom and Dad!)
She is very aware of babies, buses and of course animals. We will be driving in the car and she will emphatically say, "BUS, BUS, BUS" until you recognize that, yes, there is a bus. She really loves to put her baby, named Bau (pronounced bow), to bed and feed her. She goes around telling everyone, "Bau sleeping, shhh, Bau sleep." I hope this transfers for when the real baby is sleeping. She is great fun.
She loves to march. She will go around the house forever marching as long as Ian and I join in. If we don't then she will often pull at our waists, saying, "Up, moch, up, up". How can you resist that! She also loves dancing and stomping as fast as she can. I hope to post a video of her dancing with her friends. She is too fun.
Is the marching band still a nerdy thing to be a part of?
Her hair is getting long enough to tuck behind her ear, but she still doesn't leave anything in her hair, but I also am not very persistant with it. If you noticed, I have gone fully to everyday wearing a ponytail. She is not getting the clear message from mom that girls primp for an hour every day. Her hair is long and in fact we were told at a restaurant the other day that we needed to cut our BOY'S hair! She does sometimes look like a boy with the surfer long hair going. We do also dress her in boys' clothes sometimes so I can't blame just the hair. I just can't do too much pink, although my sisters would be proud, I am doing much more than I ever imagined myself.