Last week was a week of goodness. The week began with goodness - the sigh of relief kind - when word was received that friends, who I'd lost track of after their move home, were safe and doing okay in Japan. Much time was spent sending and receiving emails from other concerned friends as we tried to find out if this family might still be in need of some support, because one imagines that "safe" and "okay" be rather relative terms when watching your direct neighbors experience absolute devastation. Goodness continued - the planned kind - as I made preparations for a breakfast pitch-in I had volunteered to host for my mom's group on Friday. This was followed by goodness of the impromptu kind, when I received a message that my best friend could come up to spend the day Friday and ten minutes later got a text from Jason that his best friend and son would be coming up to spend the weekend. And so, frenzied cleaning (of everything down to the basement - where I've stashed all of my former craft room supplies as it becomes Nate's room - once a guy's game night got scheduled for Saturday) ensued. The weekend was spent with friends and food and nonstop activities from which I'm still catching my breath and hoping to (someday) catch up on sleep. But for today, I will simply catch up on the events of last week - our rather tardy Week in Review, and let those of you wondering just where we've been that we are all safe and okay, in the very best possible way.
Our moments from last week:
Okay, this first one is actually from the Thursday prior (I know, I know) but somehow it got lost until now. Audrey had just injured herself for the third time in an hour (I can no longer remember the injuries, but all were your run-of-the-mill preschooler specialties).
"Audrey, what's the matter? You keep getting hurt," I said.
"I don't know. I think I'm falling apart."
Monday morning, Audrey found Jason's lost house key. Upon retrieving it from the back of the coat closet she said, "It's a pleasure! I'm going to find more pleasures (treasures) and then you'll be excited when I give them to you."
During lunch, she asked me to tell her about Tarzan. I told her he could climb trees really well.
"I remember he could swing from branches. I can't do that," she said.
"How cool is that?"
"It's pretty cool," I said.
Apparently, I wasn't enthusiastic enough. "No, how cool is that, seriously?"
That evening at dinner, Audrey was discussing the size of dinosaurs with Jason. She was telling him about one in particular.
"Was that the one whose head was as big as a surfboard?" he asked. "Is your head as big as a surfboard?"
"Hm, we'd have to measure that," she said.
Monday, before bedtime, Jason and Audrey invented a new game - an investigation game. He would pose a question such as "where are elephant and giraffe?" Audrey would then ask questions to different witnesses (in this case other jungle animals) and collect clues until she could guess what had happened to elephant and giraffe. Upon questioning a worm, she might find out that he had been scooting through the jungle toward the river until he fell into a big hole shaped like a foot. A monkey might tell her that he was showered with water while playing in a tree near the river even though it wasn't raining, etc.
Tuesday, she suddenly asked, "Mom, what happened to the broken bridge?"
"No, we're playing the game like Daddy last night. You have to ask questions."
I asked questions. I discovered that one animal found a white and black spot; that according to the monkey, it was snowing; that according to another animal (I think it was a sheep) it was actually sunny and the monkey, who likes to joke, was an unreliable witness; that one animal smelled something purple and another smelled salad. So, who broke the bridge?
Nate and I clocked several late hours together last week as he cut another tooth. Tuesday night, as I tried to snuggle him to sleep and recover from the day, I turned on the television to find an episode of "What Not to Wear." I thought Nate would lose interest and close his eyes. I didn't think about the show's end-of-the-episode big reveals. Nate heard the friends and family members of the newly-made-over woman screaming and clapping and began to clap and cheer with them.
Wednesday, Audrey began a serious conversation. "We're going to be serious after the baby is born. You, me, Nate, and the baby will all be serious, and we can move the world!"
Nate laughed. "You'll know what it means when you grow up, Nate," she said.
While in the car, I play age-appropriate CDs for the kids. A couple weeks ago, Audrey asked Jason and I what the word "mossy" meant. We told her. When we asked where she had heard "mossy," she said it was in one of the songs. We couldn't think of a song on the CD where mossy would make sense.
Wednesday, while driving to the gym, Audrey yelled from the backseat. "Mom, did you hear them say "mossy?'"
"Honey, they said, 'beautiful one my soul must see,' but yes, it does sound like 'mossy.'" I found myself trying to explain the concept of enunciation to my four-year-old, while thinking of another song, one sung by Leann Rimes in which she means to ask, "How do I live without you?" But, what she really asks is, "How do I live without chew?" (Which I imagine would involve nicotine patches or some sort of 12-step program).
Later, Audrey asked me to play a rhyming game with her in the car. I gave her the words "truck" and "can" and asked her to find rhyming words. She gave me "Harriet" and "mailbox." Ahem. (In case you're wondering, I came up with "chariot" and "cell blocks," and was more than slightly thankful when she didn't ask me what a cell block was).
Last week, Jason introduced the children to some of his favorite Weird Al songs, including one in which a family loads up into their decal-covered car and heads off on an adventure to see the "Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota." Wednesday evening, Audrey asked me where I would like to go if I could go "anywhere in the whole wide world." I told her that I would like to take her dad to Italy or Switzerland since he's never been there before, or I might like to go to Australia and see some of the places her Aunt Ashley has visited. "Where would you like to go if you could go anywhere in the whole wide world?" I asked.
"The biggest ball of twine in Minnesota."
Thursday afternoon, I thought I had Nate down for a nap. He was snuggled against me at the kitchen table, his eyes closed as I perused some library books. Just as I thought about standing up to take him to his crib, he opened his eyes, sat up and started clapping. Then he put his head back down and closed his eyes. He was still a moment. Then he opened his eyes and gave me a wave. He put his head back down and closed his eyes. Once again he bolted up, this time performing the ultimate sign of Nathan affection - vigorously rubbing his forehead against mine. I gave up.
We don't watch much television at our house. I think boredom is creativity's greatest gift (and, while I haven't read any biographies and have absolutely no proof to back this up, in my mind I envision Einstein the child at home bored out of his mind, sketching inventions and such, while his neighborhood chums played with their version of that day's iPad). In order to watch television, Audrey has to do chores (acts of service as we call them) to rack up enough stickers (5) on a chart to get a family movie night. She averages about a movie a week. Having said that, I've been wanting her to watch Leap Frog's Letter Factory DVD because Audrey learns easily through songs and I was hoping it would help her with her letter sounds. Thursday, she asked "Mom, can I watch a movie today?"
(There were three stickers on her chart). "Actually, today you can. I've been wanting you to watch the Letter Factory movie to help you with sounds, so you can watch it."
"I can? Why am I getting a movie! Why am I getting a movie!"
I may have just ruined the sticker chart.
The weekend is over and we're slowly shifting back to our normal routines, thankful for being blessed with an abundance of goodness and thankful, too, for the quiet that follows. A quiet during which I must go hunt down the microwave user manual. It seems one can't have too much goodness without her microwave going bust. After all, it's all about balance, isn't it?