Sunday, June 25, 2017

Weekly Happenings Post #420 (April 17-23)-- Back to Our Favorite Places


This was such a fun week in New York. We didn't have anything big planned but we ended up hitting up a bunch of our favorite places- Cousin John's, The Bronx Zoo, The Museum of Natural History, and Central Library and Prospect Park. It was lovely!

We started out the week with a low key day on Monday. We all got up pretty early and I made both beds and then we cleaned up around the apartment. Peyton did dishes and I helped the big kids in their room where they had dumped out their Easter baskets. I hung up some clothes and did a few other things. Sallie was so fussy and I finally got a shower and had a snack. Peyton did some school with Graves and got a bath and Annie did her independent work and then we all got ready. We headed to brunch at one of our favorite places, Cousin John's, and then went to another playground.

I got to share my favorite brunch- the blintzes fro Cousin John's- with my favorite baby girl. She's a real big fan of whipped cream and she's real rotten. It's funny because, for the most part, we weren't doing anything especially exciting but I loved being back so much. It just love the vibe and it clicked into place so much faster then it did on our trip last year. I'm not sure if it was the weather or having the kids here or what.


Bud and Babes enjoying the playground. I know it's expected, but Sallie's SO much more grown up than Graves or Annie were at ten months.



One of the things that makes Happy Little Sallie the happiest. 

She is loved hard. Literally.

 "Imma eat anything off the ground in Brooklyn that's in reach. Just FYI."

 Annie told me that morning that she loved this dress on Sallie. She does have a thing for florals (I guess botanicals are a close second behind animals) but I asked her why she loved it so much. "The purple color reminds me of evening- it's like a sunset on a field of flowers". What?!? I adore her weird sweet self.She also told us that she has started to like Sallie more, partly because she's more fun to play with now and partly because her hands aren't so drooly. I guess now that she was actually cutting two teeth, the five months or so of "teething" she did were over for a bit?!?

We got home mid afternoon and the big kids had media time while Sallie took a nap.
 Graves ran directly into the street without looking (he was following Peyton and Annie but they were pretty far ahead of him AND instead of crossing and then turning and crossing left he ran through the intersection at a diagonal). This is why he was in a Tula at three anytime when I had him and Annie by myself. Anyway, big discussion (directly following discussion on where people who smoke cigarettes go when they die-- (likely) in the ground but that's not the end of the story because of the cross and the empty tomb). And he was back to holding a hand for awhile. Annie volunteered and I was ever so grateful. I had been holding his wrist because he's FILTHY. I actually had to move away from him on the train. Along with self control, personal space is not his strength. I do love to cuddle with him when he's nice and fresh but unfortunately these days that lasts about five minutes. Fun Herrington Quirk- I used to joke that "lack of physical touch" was my love language. Actually, Annie and I are just alike- we love to snuggle but it has to be on our terms. 


Minnie didn't know what a bodega was when I reference one so I had to get a pic. Ha!

Peyton and I just relaxed and then we both did school with the big kids. Annie and I did some grammar, vocabulary, and dictation and then Peyton cooked supper. We ate and P and Sallie went to Trader Joe's.
 
 It's one thing to use the plates, utensils, bath towels and bed sheets at your Airbnb. I mean, obviously. That's what you do. But it's a whole 'nother level of Voluntary Simplicity whenn you find unopened steaks in the freezer from the previous guests, double check the date, and then cook them for your fam.

Annie did a little critical thinking and I did some math with Graves. Graves had his media time and Annie played and I did a few things on the computer. I got them settled for bed and read some and Peyton got home. I changed Sallie and nursed her and got her to sleep.I read to the big kids- Bible, a devotion, and a chapter of Trumpet of the Swan. We did a history lesson and ethics lesson. They went to sleep and P and I ate and watched TV. I checked several math lessons Annie had done and Peyton went to bed. I read some blogs and worked on a post and went to bed.

I got up on Tuesday and scrubbed the tub and made beds. Peyton did school with Graves and everyone had breakfast and I did a math lessong with Annie and then got my bath while she worked. Peyton got ready and he and Graves ran a couple of errands. It took me a LONG time, but I got Sallie down for a nap and Annie and I did a bunch of English- phonics and spelling.

It's​ so interesting to me how Annie's mind works. I FINALLY got Sallie to sleep (at this point, Peyton said he thinks she slept about ten hours in twenty four on average and I pushed back but I was starting to think maybe that's not undershooting it) sohad some time with just Annie while we did school. I didn't rush her as much as I often, regrettably, do. Anyway, she told me that the "ers" have different personalities. "Ur" is mean and burns things, cuts fur off animals, and turns away when people are talking to him. Really the only nice thing he does is going to church. "Ear" is kind and searches for his lost sheep even though he has ninety nine more. He loves the earth and yearns for it to be better and everything is heard by him. "Ir" is more ambiguous and can be good or bad. As I mentioned often, she's not near as vocal as Graves (Goodnight, who is?!?) so I love it when I really get some time to hear her imaginative, delightful thoughts. 

We did some reading and Peyton and Graves got home. Sallie woke up and everyone had media time. We were going to head to Prospect Park but it was really cold so we went to a bakery and got some treats instead and Peyton stopped at a used bookstore. We came home and Annie had a big meltdown. We all just had some chill out time and I cooked supper. We ate and then I cleaned up the kitchen. I did the big kids' nightly reading while Peyton got Sallie to sleep. Graves went to bed and I did school with Annie. I went to bed super early and woke up with a headache in the middle of the night.

Wednesday was a big day- we were going to the Bronx Zoo- and I felt SO bad. Peyton had gotten up a bunch with Sallie but I was so tired and had an awful headache. I got my bath and did a few things and got dressed. Peyton helped me get Sallie dressed and I fed her and grabbed a snack and we got going. I felt a lot better once I got some fresh hour but the train ride was kind of rough. It was over an hour. I ended up texting with Carrie and with Minnie a bunch. When we got there, we grabbed some muffins at a shop and headed to the zoo. We stayed several hours and saw a lot!


 Big day back at the Bronx Zoo

 
We saw this trumpeter swan at the zoo and Annie was so fascinated with him. In fact, he was mostly responsible for a mood shift after we had a thirty minute stand off over using the potty ("Hi, my name is Sarah Denley and the Lord is working on making me more humble because I have three kids and my eldest is eight and we're still having the 'if you see a potty, you go try at places like the zoo' arguments").
I overheard two guys talking and one said "I'm not taking a picture of that" (sidenote: sooo many phones and tablets in front of people's faces; it was kinda convicting). Then the other said to the kid with them "that's just a regular bird". I felt a little defensive, partly because, due to hunting, they ARE rare but also because he made me think of Louis, the "defective" trumpeter swan with no voice that we've been reading about in our current read-aloud.

 Graves's biggest thing at the zoo was wanting to see a tiger. Not only was the tiger really cool himself, but there were several neat interactive things in the exhibit. Both kids loved the poacher truck that showed various threats to tigers in the wild.


 Another tough bird day...

We got home around five thirty and the big kids had supper and media time. Graves took a bath and Sallie played and had a big snack and I Instagrammed some pictures. Peyton had a conference call and I played with Sallie in our room and tried to get her to sleep. He got off and we traded and he got Sallie to bed and I snuggled with Graves while Annie took her bath. Peyton ran to the grocery store and we talked a little when he got back. I went to bed pretty early.

Thursday was a nice day. It didn't feel too busy, but we got a lot in. I got up and cleared my reader, took a bath, and straightened some and then I headed to the laundry mat. I washed a bunch of stuff including the sheets from our bed and the big kids' bed. It took a couple of hours but I read a bunch while I was there and got a lot folded. I got home and put up a bunch of stuff and made up the big kids' bed. Sallie was sleeping and when she woke up, I ate lunch and did my make-up and we got ready and headed to Central Library. We had a great time and then went to Prospect Park to play a little.

 Spring. (No filter cause the grass (and her eyelashes) really looked like this).

 Reminds me of the old days (Peyton jokingly gave him a paci the other day and when we took it back he got so upset and said, basically through tears, "but it still tastes so good"). He AND Sallie are both always gonna be the baby.

We stopped at McDonalds on the way home and then got the kid settled.

Sallie's first time to visit Central Library, Sallie's first time to play at Prospect Park, and Sallie's first time to eat a McNugget in Bed-Stuy.

Peyton tried to get Sallie to sleep and I read to the big kids a bunch and then nursed Sallie and got her to bed. Peyton and I got take out and I sent some emails and Facebook messages I needed to and we talked and snuggled and went to bed.

Sallie was up a couple of times but overall it wasn't a bad night. I slept about half an hour later than everyone else on Friday and then got my bath and dried my hair. I went through my email and reader and made a to-do list for May.

Guys, if your janky eight year old stroller breaks at the handle sometime after you've checked it on the airplane, don't call it a total loss, it will still function as a perfectly good high chair for the baby who's been eating off the floor in your Airbnb for two weeks.

I got something to eat and then we all got ready and headed to the Museum of Natural History. Sallie slept the entire train ride (about forty minutes) and I read a little bit.

 So NYC.

We had a good time there. We actually split up and P took Graves to see some animal displays and I took the girls so Annie could look through an Indian exhibit.


When we lived here, she was OBSESSED with Native Americans. Like wore her hair in braids and hopefully didn't appropriate too much. One of her absolute favorites in the city was visiting the displays at the Museum of Natural History. But she always gravitated towards the Southeastern/plains exhibits. This trip, we encouraged her to check out the Northwestern Indians. It's a little more intense as you can probably tell and has less of a "storybook" vibe. She was never scared of this area but I think it was just a bit over her head or something (incidentally, Graves had zero interest in it today and he is the age she was then). At eight, she loved it and soaked up information like a sponge!

We met back up in the gemstones area. We were there a couple of hours and knew we'd be back the next week, so we headed home. We all ate and then Peyton took Graves and Sallie to a park and I did a good bit of school with Annie. She did some math and I straightened and swept and then I worked on spelling and dictation with her. Peyton, Graves, and Sallie got back and he took a quick shower and then got Graves in the tub. I tried to get Sallie to sleep and Peyton left to see a play. It took a long time. I let her fuss (scream) for a bit so I could finish up some grammar with Annie. I worked on getting her to sleep some more and finally, after an hour, she conked out. Annie added some words to her spelling journal and then I showed her a few things on Instagram. Graves finished up his bath and Annie finished her media time and I started working on a post. I read to them for half an hour and then got them to bed.

I finished up my post and Peyton got home. We talked and Sallie woke up and we went to bed.

Poor Sallie had had a runny nose and on Saturday she got worse. She was coughing and fussy. Peyton ran a quick errand with her and I slept a little more since she had been up a lot in the night and I had gotten up with her. I took my bath and did a few other things and got the beds made while the big kids had media time. Peyton and Sallie got back and I got her down for a nap. Peyton and I talked some and I did Annie's math lesson and then worked on several posts while she did an exercise. Then I did English with her- we did some grammar and dictation and a bit of reading and then critical thinking. Peyton did school with Graves and Sallie woke up and played and had a snack and then took another short nap.


Motherhood in general, but specifically homeschooling, will never stop being full of surprises. In this activity, I read one of the the two words that are next to each other and Graves picked the correct one. He told me another halfway down the page that he didn't need to actually read both words he just knew that "a or whatever says it's long sound when there's an 'e' on the end". I really, really thought he'd more or less internalize all the rules and understand them but not be able to explain them whereas Annie would be the one who could describe why a word works the way it does. Honestly, I'm confident that when she was at this point, she could not have articulated this so well and certainly it wouldn't have occurred to her to save herself the trouble of actually reading the words by just listening for the vowel sound and looking for the silent e. Getting such a great look into how their little minds work is such a delight.

After we finished school, P and I played with the big kids some. Sallie woke up and we all got ready and went to the park for an hour even though it had been raining and was soggy.



When you're used to having a backyard and having outside time is kinda non-negotiable or your behavior becomes deplorable...trip to the water park across the street.


[FWIW, Peyton swears rainy, cold weather does NOT make kids (or adults) sick, it's being cooped up inside that does that. Just so you'll know my rationale behind taking my sick baby to the park. And also that she needed mentally healthy parents and we ALL needed to get out.]

We got home and the big kids had baths and supper and we got everyone settled. We talked some and watched an SVU marathon and I fell asleep for about an hour and then woke up and was up until one. Sallie woke up at two thirty and was up until four thirty.

P got up with the kids and I got up at nine on Sunday. He and Sallie stayed home from church and Peyton helped me get the big kids ready. I got my bath and dried my hair and got ready and we got on our way. It was a wonderful service. When we got home, I visited with Peyton some and then I took a nice nap while he took all three kids to the park. When they got home, I did some school with Graves and he ran to the grocery store. He cooked supper and we all ate and then I bathed Sallie. We got everyone settled and I did my reading routine with the big kids. I called Minnie and worked on a blog post and read some.

 Pulled out the sleeper sofa since Sickly Little Sallie was content in our room. Another reminder of our old days in BK!

Come ye sinners, poor and needy
Weak and wounded, sick and sore
Jesus ready stands to save you
Full of pity, love, and power.

"The good news of this text is not 'don't be a doubting Thomas'. The good news is that Jesus will not be stopped by our locked doors." - Ben DeHart. It was good to be able to soak up so much beauty and truth. 


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