In honor of the end of World War I one hundred years ago today, I post a picture of Joy hugging the tree that was planted in memory of her great-great-granduncle Harry Faulk.

See my mom's Armistice Day post for a few more details of my family's involvment in the war.

Joy hugs the tree planted in memory of Harry Faulk.

Posted by Heather Daley on November 11, 2018, 2:32 pm | Read 1945 times | Comments (1)
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I am posting my backlog of pocket notes. Sometimes details are sparse.

4/1 - JPD, "'I'm goin' back to my work, after watchin' Jonathan do that awesome trick,' said Popcorn Man."

4/1 - Nathaniel started saying "yes" clearly - so cute!!

4/3 - NPD do turtle puzzle, self w/ encouragement

Noah and Faith's first cruise with Grandma and Dad-o is in here, but will
get a separate post.

4/17 - Nathaniel started saying the /n/ sound instead of /d/, as in Noah, not Doah.

4/20 - Nathaniel "nair" = in there

4/22 - Nathaniel, "doo, one, see-woh, zjump!" (two, one, zero, jump)

4/22 - Joy watched me do the door lock code at the fire station. She then
commented, "I know the code! It's [lists digits], sharp!"

4/24 - Nathaniel said, "love you!" for the first time.

4/27 - Nathaniel got his first two year molar, lower left.

4/28 - Nathaniel slept eight hours straight!
Posted by Heather Daley on April 30, 2017, 12:00 am | Read 121 times | Comments (0)
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I am posting my backlog of pocket notes. Sometimes details are sparse.

2/1 - Jonathan, "Even Einstein didn't have a triple-digit IQ." Noah, "Isn't that the guy with screws in his ears?" Jonathan, "No, that's Frankenstein."

Noah is losing teeth all the time, I have trouble keeping track of them all.

Dropping elbow on frozen shredded cheese. [This is a karate move, and it really works to break up the frozen chunks.]

2/7 - Faith started to whistle!

2/12 - Nathaniel: "Say-too" = thank you

2/16 - Nathaniel, "Way-ma" = Grandma

2/16 - How old are you, Nathaniel? [holding up one index finger on each hand] "Doo!"

2/18 - JPD doing joyful noise "p-p-p, t-t-t" with Nathaniel

2/25 - Joy, "It's a happy day every day at Grandma's house!"

3/2 - 10:30pm - Noah stands up out of bed, looks around confusedly, "I forgot how to do it."
Me, "Do what?"
Noah, "Go to the moon."

3/5 - Jeremiah knows almost the whole alphabet.

3/5 - Jeremiah, to Nathaniel, "Good morning, sweet boy!"

3/7 - Joy lost her second tooth. Lower right 1st incisor.

3/26 - JPD write first name all by self

3/27 - JPD, "Mommy, that says 'NO'".
"How do you know?"
"I seed the 'O', and I seed the 'N', so I knew it said 'NO'."
[flips switch]
"And this says 'YES'."
Posted by Heather Daley on March 31, 2017, 12:00 am | Read 876 times | Comments (2)
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I am posting my backlog of pocket notes. Sometimes details are sparse.

1/4 - The whole family plays Cousin Memory. Nathaniel repeats incessantly, "I turn! I turn!"

January - Nathaniel knows where all the dishes go. He loves helping to unload the dishwasher and he is good at sorting silverware.

1/9 - Nathaniel, "Self!" (as in, "I want to do it myself!")

1/10 - Jeremiah saw a picture of a galaxy on the computer and exclaimed, "Look! The Milk Bottle Way!"

1/13 - Noah, while washing dishes, about the dish soap, "Mom, I think this is running out. It DEFINITELY didn't last Seven Generations."

1/15 - Jeremiah, "i'm not a little boy! I'm a big boy! But my SIZE is little."

1/18 - Nathaniel now jumps with both feet.

1/22 - Joy read hymn 366 (I Live) with only minimal help and is so proud and happy, she found it again in the hymnal at home and she is singing it
over and over again.

January - Nathaniel, learning to say people's names. "Doah" = Noah; "Djon" = Jonathan; "Sase" = Faith; 1/26 - "Sho-shuh" = Joseph; 1/27 - "Miah" = Jeremiah; 1/28 - "Joy", with the j sounding like the j in Dijon.

1/27 - Nathaniel pinworms. Only treated him.

Discussion of "thet" vs. "that" [added 6/6/2020: This is an intermittent discussion that is ongoing. Apparently, I say it sloppily, so that's how Jonathan learned, and now several others say it that way also.]
Posted by Heather Daley on January 31, 2017, 12:00 am | Read 948 times | Comments (0)
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I am posting my backlog of pocket notes. Sometimes details are sparse.

11/10 - Nathaniel was a messenger to me from Joy: "mum" [come], held my hand to bring me to her.

11/22 - Jeremiah singing while playing, "I love you God, 'cause you make me happy..."

12/4 - Joy pinworms

~12/10 - Joy can whistle!

12/10 - Nathaniel, at the firefighter kids' Christmas party, "More cheese ball!"

12/11 - Nathaniel put on both his mittens by himself.

12/13 - Nathaniel's first haircut. He stood still the whole time - the easiest first haircut I've ever done!

12/14 - Noah, about BIG Numbers, "It's so boring, but it's so NOT boring."

12/20 - Joy lost her first tooth! Lower left. Popped out when she was trying to unscrew the toothpaste cap with her teeth...

12/20 - A spoonerism from a tired Mommy tongue, but Noah liked it and wanted me to write it down, "definary dictionation"

12/27 - We had been getting lots of packages in anticipation of Christmas. The doorbell rings. Nathaniel exclaims, "Box!"

12/31 - Jeremiah, "Raindolph is not real, but Santa is real." He knows this because he actually sat on Santa's lap at the fire station.
Posted by Heather Daley on December 31, 2016, 12:00 am | Read 488 times | Comments (0)
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I am posting my backlog of pocket notes. Sometimes details are sparse.

9/3 - Referring to two years ago, Jeremiah said, "The other day of the
oott-her day (stretched out, and louder) we tipped over in the big boat."
He wanted to know if the motor boat was going to tip over or not. So he
was glad to hear that this boat wouldn't.

9/11 - Jonathan put an ant in a spider web.

9/11 - Jeremiah said, "I not like you, but you still my buddy."

10/2 - Me: "Steroids are drugs that make your muscles stronger." Noah,
striking muscle-man pose, "Like cheese!!"

10/4 - Joy dictated a story and Noah typed it up. Self-initiated

10/6 - Jeremiah, in reply to my request that he not scream, "I wasn't
screaming, I was shrieking."

10/8 - Jonathan, making cookies when he has a cold, "My olfactory organ is
severly disfunctioning. I can't smell the vanilla."


10/11 - Noah sees this giant two-window spread of freaky clown skeleton
skull in neighbor's window. Jeremiah goes over to look and says, "Hee
hee, he is a funny clown! [pause] Oh, he has angry eyes."

I suggested he tell the clown to take a deep breath and not be angry
anymore. So Jeremiah decided to write him a letter! [Added 6/6/2020: He
didn't actually bring the letter over to the neighbor. But that clown was
a trial until at least a week or two after Halloween when they finally
took it down. It scared Joy especially, and Jeremiah had a
scared/fascinated attraction to it. Glad they never put it up again!]

Ocotber: NPD, "I see" (usually when trying to see the kindle)

NPD gives kisses to help people feel better.
Posted by Heather Daley on October 31, 2016, 12:00 am | Read 381 times | Comments (0)
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I am posting my backlog of pocket notes. Sometimes details are sparse.

6/29/16 - Noah's party, kids building brick fort, all the kids at the party working together. Yellow jackets

end of June, Nathaniel stepping up stairs, holding rail or wall

7/7-7/10 - Balloon Festival, hosting Richard, Jeff, Becky. Rain, parking

7/7 - Jeremiah calls grizzly bears, "jiggly bears"

7/16 - Jeremiah, "If Nathaniel is gonna die, you call NINE ONE ONE!!! before he dies."

7/19 - Joy, "72 hours! That's tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow."

7/24 - Jeremiah, when he saw Faith and Joy putting on shoes for church, "*I* want special shoes!"

Posted by Heather Daley on July 31, 2016, 11:42 am | Read 883 times | Comments (0)
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Or: How This Mom Started Playing Minecraft

They say that a good way to show love is to take an interset in what the other person is interested in, even if you wouldn't care about it on your own.

I'm a busy mom and wife of an entrepreneur, right?  I don't have time for video games.  I have a house to clean, school to teach, dinners to make, diapers to change, invoices to prepare, bills to pay, laundry to wash ...  blah, blah, blah.

But one day, my little Joy asked me to try Minecraft.  All my kids love it.  They play nearly every day, they collaborate, they watch each other, they coach and help each other.  I have already put in the effort to be interested in their creations.  But there is only so far you can go with intelligent questions without jumping in yourself.

I started in creative and peaceful.  Joy and Faith taught me some things, and my generated world was interesting to explore.

Then Jonathan asked me to try survival and coached me through the steps. (Though I still insisted on peaceful at first.)

It has been fun to play around and discover things, build a house to my own liking, raise a rainbow flock of sheep, etc.

My questions now come from experience.  Jonathan remarked, "It's so fun that you are actually interested in Minecraft now!"  How to connect to your pre-teen?  Maybe try Minecraft.

On vacation, I let them and myself do extra.  We discovered the collaboration of multiplayer over wifi.  We can be a team.  I also see the different personalities of my children coming out.  Each one approaches the game differently.  Jonathan works for speed and efficiency, mining carefully in the right places.  Noah thinks mining is mind-numbingly boring and avoids it when he can, preferring to get his treasure by killing monsters.  Faith is matter-of-fact, cautious and deliberate.  Joy makes beautiful, patterned structures.  Jeremiah likes digging and building, digging and building, digging and building (and he is getting more deliberate, too.)

I also discovered the phenomenon that some other part of my brain works on real-life problems while I play.  In a conversation with my sister, she remarked that I had been doing a lot of thinking.  I replied that I thought I was just doing a lot of Minecraft.  But she's convinced they're related.  And that gives me a deeper appreciation for Jon's game playing as well.

In Minecraft, my kids are the teachers (even my five-year-old: "Mom... your inventory is full, that's why you can't pick that up.")  I am the one learning, making novice mistakes, disregarding wise advice to my peril, and taking advice to my advantage.  This is fun for them and it's fun for me.  I'm glad I decided to take the plunge.

And now excuse me.  I have to go shear a yellow sheep.

Posted by Heather Daley on July 30, 2016, 6:38 pm | Read 5355 times | Comments (1)
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6/17 - Nathaniel gets three molars at once.  upper left, lower left, lower right.  The upper right made its appearance 6/22.

6/21 - Haircut day for some.  (It's pretty hard to get everyone in one day.)  I cut Noah's hair, and some of Jeremiah's (he got impatient and I decided it was better to stop than to get myself impatient.)  Faith asked if she could help me with Joy's hair.  She did a very careful job.  I had her start on the bangs conservatively and when it was a nice, even job, I let her do the next centimeter.  After that, she trimmed the rest of Joy's hair - to that perfect length that really sets off Joy's adorable face - right above shoulder length.  I really only had minimal fixing up to do.  So then she asked if she could to mine!  This one was one hundred percent Faith, nobody needed to do any fixing up.  I had not had a haircut since just before Joy was born (that makes it five and a half years!).  I love my new haircut!  It is much more manageable, but still long, just about 4-6 inches shorter.

6/24 - Jeremiah and Joy came upstairs with tape all over their faces and fingers.  Jeremiah explained, "Armor!  We goin' battling!"

Posted by Heather Daley on June 25, 2016, 7:06 am | Read 3518 times | Comments (1)
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6/1 - Nathaniel was playing with the nebulizer, dripped some of the leftover liquid, said, "Uh, oh."  Then he walked to the bathroom, opened the cabinet, got out a hand towel, came back into the bedroom and wiped up his spill.

6/2 - I asked Nathaniel to put the toy cars away and he did it right away!

6/3 - Noah lost his first molar - lower left.

6/4 - Nathaniel got on the rocking moose all by himself.

6/6 - Jonathan, "Anything that's meant for school isn't as cool as something that isn't."

6/7 - Jeremiah, with finger movements, "Open the steeple, see all the guys!"

6/8 - Joy, "Hold your horses, Jeremiah!"  Jeremiah, "Where my horses?!?"

Joy pronounces her friend Naomi's name as "Wyoming."  (We're working on it, but it's still more like "Nyoming".)

Posted by Heather Daley on June 17, 2016, 2:47 pm | Read 4037 times | Comments (0)
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4/26 - Jeremiah, after his first bowl of non-sugar cereal, asked for some sugar cereal.Only two pieces fell out of the box when I shook it, and he said, "Not two.  I said'some', like this..." holding up several fingers.

4/29 - Jeremiah can tie knots.  He tied the laces of my slippers together!

 

5/15 - Jeremiah and I went to the fire station to see the trucks for his special time. He recognized the five on the side (in 59) and said, "It has five on it, maybe Joy went on it." (Because she's five.)

5/15 - Jeremiah asked me, "My children in my belly, Mom?"

5/22 - Jeremiah was trying to tell me about a time when only he, Faith, and Joy were in the house, and some "people not our friends" came to our house.  As I probed to get more information about this, I started to realize it must have been a dream.  This was confirmed when his reply to where the rest of us were was, "Dad, you, Nanel died."  But it took quite a while to convince him it wasn't real.

5/25 - Jeremiah, looking at my cousin tshirt, asking whose hand is whose.  Then he asked about the coat of arms, and he said, pointing to each quadrant, "This is Grandma's house, Grandma's book, Grandma's song, Grandma's tree."

5/26 - Everyone went to St.Mary's parking lot for a bike ride.  Jeremiah can go fast on his no-pedal bike now.  It is actually a bit scary because I need to raise the seat for him.  His arms go in a nice cross-pattern with his running legs, but it makes his steering crazy!

 

5/26 - Jeremiah said, "We love sun. So fun, so sparkly."

5/26 - Noah said, "I wonder if Billy will be called Bill. I hope not. Bill is so much more boring-er."

5/26 - Joy cheerfully cleaned up the table after dinner mostly by herself and ran the dishwasher.

5/28 - Jeremiah, using shovels and trucks in the sandbox at the camping place, with sheer joy, "Hi, Faith! I workin' in dirt!"

Posted by Heather Daley on June 17, 2016, 2:41 pm | Read 3259 times | Comments (0)
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4/3 - I said to Jeremiah, "Your shoes are on the wrong feet, sweetie."  He replied, "I not 'sweetie'.  Joy is 'sweetie'."

4/10 - Joy and I spent a grueling but satisfactory three hours earning our yellow and orange belts, respectively.

4/14 - Jeremiah, "It will be so so so fun if I get lots of drums toys for Christmas." [Note from Mom: maybe not so fun for me.]

4/15 - Noah, "I am King Excalibur, and my sword is Arthur!"

4/15 - We were just about to leave to go to some friends' house for dinner when Faith came runnung inside, "Mom! Nathaniel's bleeding!"  I grabbed a kleenex and ran down the side porch stairs. There is blood all over his shirt, pants, shoes, and the sidewalk.  After a quick check from toes on up, I discovered that the cut is in between his eyes (a little higher and to his left than Jeremiah's similar cut.)  I clamped on the kleenex, scooped him up and brought him to the kitchen sink.  By that time, Daddy had been alerted also and he came to the kitchen to check it out.  When I took the kleenex off, it had already stopped bleeding, and we could tell that, though significant, it was not as bad as Jeremiah's had been and we figured it probably did not need stitches.  After we took off his clothes and cleaned up the blood, Jon applied a butterfly closure with a couple of regular bandaids on top.  Nathaniel was really good about the whole thing.  Only 15 minutes later than we meant to be, we went to our friends' house for dinner.  The wound did ooze blood that evening, but it was fine in the morning.  He has amazingly not been picking at it.  I hope that continues even as it starts to itch.  We don't even know exactly how it happened.  The kids were playing in the driveway and no one actually saw him fall, or what he fell on.

4/16 - Jeremiah counted to seven correctly on his own.

4/16 - I have been doing knee pushups ever since starting karate.  This year, I made a goal of doing ten pushups every day in February as a kickstart to the habit of daily pushups.  After my karate test, I figured I could up the count to 20 a day.  But, partly due to Jon's encouragement, I gave full pushups a try. On Friday, I did it! Ten full pushups!  And again yesterday, and I'll do it again today.  Very exciting and motivating.  Proof that a little can grow with consistent work!

Joy can tie her shoes!  She got some sparkly Hello Kitty shoes on her birthday shopping trip with Grammy, and it only took a couple of weeks for her to get it consistently. She's still slower than the rest of us, but she no longer needs help.

Posted by Heather Daley on April 17, 2016, 4:20 pm | Read 4389 times | Comments (0)
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3/4 - "It's like somebody chewing on a guitar string lengthwise." Jonathan was commenting on a squeaky artichoke.

3/11 - Faith lost lower left 2nd incisor. (R one was a couple of days earlier)

3/12 - Nathaniel was interested in the potty and went a couple of times. I have not been consistent helping him be on it, though.

Jeremiah sings "Butterfly Amazing Grace" and asks me to, also.  I didn't know what he meant when he first asked me, so I just sang "butterfly amazing grace" to the tune of amazing grace, over and over, and he liked it.

3/13 - NPD "here ya go" giving Jeremiah a piece of paper.  (sounds like hah-ya-doh)

3/15 - Joy can wink both eyes.

3/22 - Jeremiah asked for "some of those green berries."  He meant grapes.

3/22 - We were talking about how pencils keep disappearing from our house.  Noah said, "The Greeks would say the pencil gods were mad at us."

3/23 - Nathaniel can run.

3/30 - Overheard, Joy explaining to Jeremiah, "'Obstacles' means 'stuff in your way'."

3/31 - Nathaniel pointed to a raisin and said, "Ray-rih".  Jonathan asked, to be sure he heard right, "You want raisins?"  Nathaniel replied, "Yeah."  And he also said "more" later.

Posted by Heather Daley on April 17, 2016, 4:08 pm | Read 4871 times | Comments (0)
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On Saturday, March 26th, Jonathan, Faith, Joy and I participated in our first karate tournament. The whole family rose bright and early so we could drive the two hours and 15 minutes to Standish, Maine.  This tournament is relatively small, with only about five dojos participating.  Each division had two to eight participants, with an average of about four (though I didn't do the math.)

Faith's division, 5-7 year old purple belts, was first.  There were six other kids competing with her, including her friend Evelyn from our own dojo.  In the sparring category, she lost her first match, so that one ended pretty quickly.  But when it came time for forms, that is when her practice and hard work shone.  She was confident and crisp in her movements.  She remembered everything and performed smoothly.   She was first to go, and for whatever reason, they allow the first person to go again if he wishes, so she did it again after all the other kids had gone.  She told me later that she almost told them that she had already had her turn, and then realized by how they said it that they knew she had gone already, so she just did it.  It was so fun to watch her.  And then the judges, not her partial mother, awarded her first place!  Evelyn got second place. (More)

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2/2 - Noah and I walked past the food pantry on distribution day, and saw a friend of ours heading there. He asked if she was donating food and I explained that she was receiving food.  He wondered why she needed to get food from the food pantry, and we had a good discussion about the various reasons someone may need it.  Our friend is an older single lady on a fixed income.  I also brought up the idea that sometimes people make poor spending choices and that's why they don't have money for food. He picked right up on that, talking about people buying cigarettes instead of food. I also emphasized that it's good to have compassion for people even when they don't make the same choices we do, and try to help them make good choices if they're willing.  And also how it's good to make sure kids get enough food even if their parents are irresponsible with money.  It was a good discussion.

2/2 – Nathaniel came downstairs with help. He sat down facing forward and carefully scooted himself down each step.

2/3 – Nathaniel did the first four steps down holding my hand, all the rest all by himself. He was cautious careful and kind of wobbly. He was very proud and satisfied! That same evening he did the whole stairs all by himself!

2/3 - Noah came in holding a very small piece of fuzz and exclaimed, "With my microscope, I can see tons of colors in this piece of stuff!"  He then examined lots of other things with the microscope.

2/6 - Jeremiah, eating a hard-boiled egg, "Look, Mom! A sun!" Me, "Yes! That's called the yolk." Jeremiah, "You call it 'yolk', I call it 'sun'."

2/10 – Nathaniel wiped my nose with Kleenex.

2/11 - Nathaniel can open the microwave door.  He'll be playing somewhere in the kitchen, hear the beep and jump up and run to the microwave and open the door.  So now we have to be on top of that, because usually the stuff inside is very hot!  He also likes to open the door before it's done.

2/11 - Nathaniel was kicking a bottle around the kitchen like a soccer player.

2/11 - Nathaniel said "hello" with a clear 'l' sound.  He copied me several times that day but has not said it again since.

2/11 - Joy remarked to me, "You can't count by zeroes.  Zero...zero...zero...zero..."

2/12 - I took the baby gate down because Nathaniel wouldn't come down without me, but just stood there at the top and yelled.

But, 2/14, he decided to just step down into thin air and fell down to the landing. So the gate went up again.

This is our major birthday month, Jon turning 39, Jeremiah 3, Nathaniel 1, and Joy 5.  We had our traditional big party for Jon, and a record number of pizzas were consumed (8).  Jeremiah and Nathaniel just had Grammy and Papa over for small family celebrations. But Joy had a girls-only party, which was overall fun, but I like whole family parties better.

Jonathan has started being mistaken on the phone for Jon.  He is thrilled with this development.

2/16 - Joy, remarking about three people on a see-saw, "It's a three-saw, because, one here, one there, and one there."

2/17 - I picked up Nathaniel and hugged him and said, "Oh, my baby!"  He answered, "Oh, my mom."

2/21 - Overheard, Noah to Jonathan, "I'm allergic to dizziness, so count me out."

2/21 - Jeremiah practices screwing in a knob on the microphone stand in the cry room at church.

2/22 - Noah can whistle!

2/24 - You know you're a mechanical engineer when your one year old slams his bowl into yours and even though it doesn't break, you can see in your mind's eye the microscopic stress lines forming.

2/28 - Nathaniel practices putting a cap on a pen.

Posted by Heather Daley on March 1, 2016, 3:16 pm | Read 3767 times | Comments (0)
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