We cleaned up Christmas.
We finished reading You Come Too by Robert Frost.
We finished reading Owls in the Family, and we began An Elephant in the Garden.
Belle had her final horseback riding lesson for this series. We're discussing whether we can give her another series in the spring.
Mister Man brought a copy of The Cat in the Hat to me. He pointed to the word "bump" near the start of the book where the cat first appears. "B-U-M-P," he sounded out. "Does this say bump?"
"Yes it does!" I answered. "You just read that word!"
His eyes lit up. He sounded out several other words correctly.
I think our boy is well on his way to reading.
We had a little snuggle session Saturday night during which he read a couple of early readers. He loved it. I loved it. I think we'll need a date like that together most days for the next few months. I'm grateful for this excuse to spend time with him one-on-one. I shouldn't need one, but I'm grateful nonetheless.
We went to the zoo--just me and the preschoolers and grade schoolers. It was fun to leave the babies napping at home with the teen girls. We stopped at the playground, covered in snow though it was, and we all played--even Mom. Ladybug got a bloody nose when she slipped on a climbing apparatus, but otherwise we laughed a lot.
Dad had to work, so we tucked everyone under 10 in bed on time, and then the big girls and I had a game fest on New Year's Eve. I bribed them into playing by offering a prize bag filled with nail polish, make up, and other fun teen girl toys purchased at the dollar store. I offered prizes for winning games, for making treats, for being nice, etc..
My big girls are hilarious! It was hard to force myself to stay awake and play with them, but I'm glad I did just for that one night.
I'm so glad they're mine.
We headed north to play with cousins on New Year's Day. Uncle is sick from radiation treatment for his cancer, but he smiled and played the best he could between naps. Auntie was soundly beaten (we all were) by Pixie in a game of Ticket to Ride.
A friend of ours was in a performance of 42nd Street, and we were given free tickets to attend the Saturday matinee. Dad was still working, so I packed up all of the kids, and headed off to the theater. I fully planned on spending time in the lobby with noisy/restless babies and preschoolers, and that plan was fulfilled. Once a couple of them had gotten some wiggles out I tried bringing them back into the theater to sit in an empty back row--with an 8 row buffer between us and any other patrons. Baymax got a couple of squawks out before I could settle him into nursing, but he was quiet, and so was Little Brother next to me when a lady got up out of her seat, walked 8 rows over to me and told me to leave the theater.
I did so.
At intermission she came over to me and asked, "Did you think this show would be for young children?"
I couldn't even answer her.
It was a Saturday matinee performance by a teen acting troupe, and the audience was filled with small children. My other 10 children were so quiet that no one noticed them except for the siblings who were sitting next to them and quietly reminding them to remember their manners. At the first sign of trouble I either offered a snack or took the noisy/wiggly children out. I did not exit and enter the theater repeatedly.
I think our manners were impeccable.
The friend who got us our tickets was furious . . . as was Rose Red. They wanted to find this lady and confront her.
Instead I just gathered up Brother (who was really too wiggly to handle the rest of the show), Little Brother, Little Sister, and Baymax and stayed in the lobby with them for the rest of the show.
I was tired and discouraged by it all until bathtime that night when Rose Red said, "Mom, I learned something at the show today."
"I learned that even though there are people everywhere who are rude about large families, there are even more people who are kind and supportive."
I was flabbergasted.
If that's what she learned, then the whole experience was a blessing!