Friday, October 22, 2010

I'm trying to write while singing bedtime songs to the girls. I wonder if I'll mix things up and type song lyrics here and sing what I'm trying to blog. I wonder if the girls would even notice.

We've had a great first two months of school and are learning how to juggle a new schedule. Sometimes I think I manage it with great finesse. Other times, I fall flat on my face. Last year we had school and Activity Days twice a month. This semester we have three girls in music lessons, two in soccer, and Activity Days twice a month. And I volunteered to be on the Parent Council for our charter school (which we homeschool through). And I volunteered to be Team Mom on Autumn's soccer team. I keep laughing at myself for volunteering. The Parent Council seemed like it would be different than it is, but it's fine. Very low-key. Soccer, AYSO, is completely volunteer-based and when we signed up I read through the booklet they sent us home with and was so stressed about how we could do "our part". Then noone else volunteered when the coach asked for a Team Mom so I offered. Now that we've been doing soccer practice for a couple of months, I realize that if I'd not said anything, eventually (at later practices...), someone would have volunteered. And that I was kind of silly to stress over how I would pitch in. It's not as intense as it seemed like it would be. At times I feel painfully new to the team sports scene. Definitely not something I grew up with, but definitely something I'm grateful to be involving my girls in.

Oh, actually, if I were to ask Eric maybe he'd say it is a little intense. He referees almost every week and lots of times it's at 8am. EIGHT A.M. on a Saturday morning. We will both be glad to have our Saturdays back when the season is over.

On the flip-side, Autumn and Heidi are really enjoying soccer. And they're picking it up really quickly. Autumn is the smallest girl on her team but has been dubbed "The Terminator" by one the team parents because she isn't afraid of anything. Go Autumn! She was one-on-one a few weeks ago with a girl more than a head taller than her and much bigger over-all. She's also a little Energizer Bunny out there. Everyone else starts lagging and she just goes, goes, goes. It's fun to watch. I find that I'm not surprised really because that's the way she approaches most things! That's my Autumn.

I think Heidi is enjoying the social aspect of soccer more than the playing. She enjoys talking to her teammates at the back of lines when they're waiting to do things with the ball. And sometimes misses her turn because of it. She makes me laugh. During games we shout lots of encouragement to her to keep her watching the ball. When we don't she looks like she's bird-watching. It's hilarious. And ever with the two fingers in her mouth. Even as she plays soccer. I don't want to talk about that though. It will come. That's what I have to keep telling myself. We'll get there.

(and now I think I'll be able to blog without worrying about singing. 3 down, 1 almost there)

Here are some of the things we've been up to:

- Autumn started cello lessons. We love her teacher and have a Germany connection. She even lived in Heidelberg, playing for the Heidelberg Stadtisches Opera Orchestra.

- Heidi started guitar lessons. Her cousin Jaxon is jealous and will be so excited to see her guitar next month when he comes for Thanksgiving.

- Esther has been preparing for a big Halloween concert. No solos, but lots of fun Halloween-y pieces and a skit that goes along with the order of songs.

- We've been back to Disneyland four times since the summer blackout dates ended.

- The girls had dental appointments and had NO cavities. Two of Autumn's front teeth are behind the other two. She just got an appliance yesterday that will widen her arch and move the teeth forward. It's a spacer but it's removable. She had a hard time falling asleep last night but no problems tonight so it seems like she's adjusting quickly. If we had held off on this, she would definitely have needed braces to correct it (not to mention being self conscious about her smile). We'll still have to wait and see if she needs them for other reasons, but I'm hopeful she'll dodge that bullet.

- Heidi turned SEVEN. She loves Hello Kitty right now so we had a Hello Kitty birthday, complete with a Hello Kitty cake (which, she informed me, didn't look as good as the one I made for Autumn a few years ago...but she still liked it).

- Autumn turned NINE. She lives in her own Harry Potter world right now, so of course she requested a Harry Potter theme for her birthday. I think she's been on a Harry Potter kick for years now. She almost wanted to be Hermione for Halloween again this year. I think she's reverted back to her original choice now. Princess Leia.

Oh, and I turned....twenty-nine. Again.

Okay, I admit. I'm done with my twenties. I am THIRTY. It still seems kind of strange. It was fitting that for a big birthday like this, I got the best birthday presents I have ever gotten. A MacBook Pro and an iTouch (now if only I could remember where I hid the iTouch two days ago! the girls love it as much as I do...). We no longer have PC's. And I love Macs. I still can't quite believe how awesome they are.

Someday I will find my mini SD card to move pictures from my phone to my computer. Many a blog post awaits. They just wouldn't make sense though without the accompanying pictures...

In the meantime, a question for anyone who's still out there...

How do you keep your kids rooms clean? Because honestly, I'm beginning to think the toys just get in the way of play. I'm not convinced they need them anymore...


  1. Mandi said...
    Clean Room Ellsworth style: If I find things on the floor that shouldn't be, I pick them up. I put them "away". If the kids want them back they have to do a special chore. If I have things "away" that no one wants to do a chore to get out, we get rid of it. We've only been doing it for a month or so, but it seems to be working alright so far.
    Crystal said...
    we do a clean up each night as part of our bedtime routine. It's so nice to be able to wake up to a clean room and then the mess doesn't get to be a weeks' worth of toys/games/etc that we used to deal with! And few months ago I pulled out all the toys and put half of them in the garage. If Lincoln wants something from the garage, he has to trade it for a similiar item (similiar in size or in mess making scale). If we're cleaning up and he doesn't participate, that means that he doesn't want those toys so they go out in the garage too. If he wants them back he has to do chores. It's not perfect, but it's working well enough for us.

    ps congrats on the big 30!!
    Jean said...
    Haaaaaappy belated birthdays all around!!! Wow, Abby, you are busy. Like, I mean, BUSY. BUUUUUSSSSYYYY. How do you do it??!!

    I desperately want to go to Disneyland. DESPERATELY.
    chucknorris said...
    You are awesome!
    I love to hear about how you help your girls to have these fulfilling lives and do all these fun things and manage to balance everything and you're so smart that you get technology and know how to work all these cool appliances that you have...
    Phew! That was a run-on sentence but that's how I feel, like I could just gush about how COOL I think you are...:D
    I feel like a little sister idolizing her big sister. I feel that way a lot with you acutally... (shy smile)
    Love you!!!
    chucknorris said...
    p.s. maybe blogs are not the place to post things unrelated to the entries, but i was wondering if you knew that in the disney movie "Tangled" about rapunzel, Zacahry Levi (Chuck!) is the voice of the prince. :)
    Rae said...
    My sweet sister. Finally I read this post. (Professional Procrastinator, that's me.) I can't wait to see you in November. That's my mantra when I'm lonely--"November comes soon..." Reed and Autumn will probably participate in some Harry-Hermione games (this is good--let us steer them further from the more RON-Hermione tone of things? Haha), and Heidi and Jax will have to enjoy a joint jam session (Jimi I don't know any female guitarists.)
    Rae said...
    AH! P.S.! To keep the kids' rooms' mess at bay, here is what I know works for me (when I am good about sticking to this): I periodically go through the kids' toys to discard or donate any broken or no-longer-loved toys, sometimes with the kids' help, and sometimes not. Fortunately, they're used to this anti-hoarding side of my nature, and seem to understand that this is a regular part of housekeeping. Second--and this is a huge one for me--we do a clean up before bed. Ideally, it's a general cleaning before dinner, and then a small one right before bed. (Small meaning, oh, you left your day clothes on the floor when you changed your pajamas and you didn't hang up your backpack, MAINTAINing the mess you cleaned up earlier, etc...General cleaning being picking up everything in the room.)
    Abby said...
    Maddie, since noone's actually written a book on "official" blog etiquette -- I don't think there's anything wrong with commenting and saying some unrelated. Haha. And as I type this I'm laughing because even if there WAS a book like that, I'd still do whatever I felt like doing!! It's my blog. :D Or, I'm commenting on my friend's blog -- noone's gonna tell ME how to comment....

    Okay, enough sassiness, right?

    I DID know that Zachary Levi is the prince's voice in Tangled!! I'm excited to see that. And excited to watch Chuck TONIGHT. Are you caught up??

    Rae, you'll have to tell Reed that Autumn has decided to be Hermione for Halloween. Again. Because he's Harry Potter. And I totally agree, we will definitely have to encourage Hermione/Harry games/play. Hahaha. I don't know any female guitarists either. We'll find some. I'm sure some of the musicians we think of as mainly singers, also play guitar. Like Colbie Caillat? Is that her name? Doesn't she play?
    Qait said...
    Blog Etiquette: pooh! :D I'd type something unrelated, too...if I wanted to.

    Ender likes to clean. Before naptime, we clean his room. Before bedtime, we clean up all the toys from the rest of the house as well. And I only expect him to "help," so that means he just carries what he can and I carry what I can (significantly more). Doesn't matter.

    On one hand, I don't count toys as mess. But when it gets really bad, it matters, of course.

    I know your girls are older, so this might not be such an applicable tip. But that's what I do! I liked the tips from other comments!

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