Sunday, July 31, 2005

Hee Haw

Hee Haw, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

I did bring the Youngest Democrat!

Potluck Picnic with a Donkey

Last night we went to a potluck/fundraiser for Tim Kaine. E loved it because it was at Nellie's Cave Park and there is a playground. She proudly wrote her own name tag and shook a few hands.

Saturday, July 30, 2005


J says if I get Ella out of here he will clean like a banshee. Now, that is a great deal. We will do the groceries and perhaps the Hand in Hand Playground. Every day that we don't have the baby is like a tiny reprieve--more time to clean or organize something. This doesn't seem to take into consideration the level of destruction that one three year old can create in one day. Also, my project list is taking on a mental patient quality. I really want a new handle for the play stove that Ella and I refinished. Other grosser aspects of the domestic scene are just too much to even start. There are, however, stacks of little tiny diapers on the changing table and little bins of Dreft scented onsies, socks, and hats on the shelf above. I feel like I can't get much bigger. Baby parts are recognizable across my belly, and sleep is nearly impossible. Even E recognizes when I have the sausage toes. I had to go to the doctor's office yesterday to get my BP checked because it was high on wednesday. It was normal. For me "normal" is 100/60 and the other day it was 130/80. I think it was because E had broken out of the waiting room and was looking for Dr Roberts to tell him some knock knock jokes. John was following her, and I was afraid that he would see me on the scales and know how much this nine month pregnant wife of his weighs.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Grace Catlin

I'm very serious about this balloon Anne, Rich, and Grace Catlin from Albany, Oregon just spent the night with us on the way to FloydFest. Grace slept in baby John's crib, helping Ella to see that having a baby in her room is no big deal. Grace is little but very content and self sufficient. Hard to believe but next time we see them there will be four kids. I just realized that these are the first folks apart from family to come and visit us in Blacksburg----and they came from Oregon. Well, they were pretty brave to come before we got the Anteater in our 2 bedroom house with 1.2 bathrooms.
Grace sleeps through the night at one year old. I may have to think about this weaning at one concept in a different light. So, we wish them well as they head out to find a campsite down in Floyd. It is a wee bit steamy and constantly on the verge of rain.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

14 days to go!

I had at least 30 contractions today....and they did nothing. Dialated 0. After this weekend I'm just going to start doing more walking,etc I do only have one more doctor's visit though.

E finished ballet today and has the month of August off. We ran into Sharry from The Children's Garden at the library today, and E remembered her. E played 2.5 hours in the play area with some cool kids, seven of them playing some sort of domestic royalty game. One little guy was named Tecumseh.

There is a crib in my house...

...and now Ella wants to move back into a toddler bed. This actually would work if there was a place to put her big girl bed. Her room looks like a bedstore. I think we have to take off the door and put up a curtain because the door won't even shut. She is POed at the whole sharing a room idea at this point, but that's just tough. Gonna happen.

We are officically out of space for any more toys. If something comes in, that means something has got to go out. She doesn't need another hat, pocketbook, or hair accessory until she is ten. We are maxed out on bears and stuffed guys, and there are so many doll babies that she can't remember their names. Ella just got her third bookcase, quite an achievement at 3. I think I was in my twenties.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Domestic Anxiety

Ella has covered the entire futon in puzzles and her personal library. In between play sessions, she is helping me with her room. I have been organizing everything she owns and putting away clothes for both John and Ella. All of his clothes are washed and the crib things are in the washer now. Yesterday E was against the crib being for her baby brother. She thought that it was going to be for her dolls. She thought that the baby could sleep in her bed and he cuddled by her. Hopefully her outlook on this subject will have improved by the time we put up the crib today. She has a mobile to build, so maybe that will help. I put another coat of paint on her little stove a few minutes ago. There was no way that I was letting her help again. She was a great sander. She scrubbed away like a demon. Her painting didn't have quite the finesse and required three hairwashes during the project. It was freakishly hot, and I shouldn't have even attempted it on the front porch.Finally I convinced her that she was finished and gave her a bath in the pool before she could even go in. There is only a little paint left in her hair.

Some sort of nesting instinct must be kicking in today. I am so sure that I have to take everything out of the pantry and rearrange it.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Dragonfly Migration

Dragonflies are migrating--perhaps millions of them--through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Strangely, I saw one sitting on our front steps yesterday, jet black with square white patches on the wings.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Mr Cleaver is out mowing the lawn this morning. It was getting pretty deep, and some cauldron of heat is approaching from the west. He filled up Ella's pink pool for later in the day.

I'm painting the living room closet, and then E and I are going to paint her oven and some shelves for her room. I'm trying to work myself into some sort of nesting phase, but it isn't real...I'm just afraid it isn't going to kick in. Yesterday we had a great day. In the early morning we went to the Farmer's Market. It always makes me want to move to Floyd. Here is the latest interesting listing. 16 acres right near the parkway.

After the market, John and Ella went to the democratic party HQ (doughnuts!) and I went to get a haircut and a pedicure. I had saved a birthday present gift card for a pre-baby outing. J and E then went to the Easy Chair Bookstore for story hour, and Ella met a friend who read to her for quite a while after that. Then we got some tacos at the Cabo Fish Taco place. It was much better than the last time..they actually brought me what I ordered. Last time they did not and didn't even know or admit it when I asked. Great cole slaw with spices and roasted pumpkin seeds. If you are craving cabbage, go there. There is great cabbage in the taco too. ;) It could be a pregnant thing too. It would be a great restaurant if they made their own sauce.

Then we drove around Airport Acres to see if there were any for sale signs. John did run into a friend there, and he liked the dense little shaded neighborhood.

Ella fell asleep on the way home, but then she woke up within 5 minutes of being in her bed. I was having lots of contractions, and John played with her in her room for an hour and a half while I took a nap. Later, Ella played in her pool, and we tried to get the morning glories to climb the trellis.

Cricket Rescue

121_2125_1, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

Forget swimming, I have crickets to rescue.

Happy Birthday to Aunta Shelly

Happy Birthday to Aunta Shelly, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

E has baked a cake for your birthday, complete with sparkles and candles.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Troll Patrol

I think I would just like to sleep until September. As if my frequent potty stops aren't enough, Ella wakes up several times a night with random commentary. Last night she woke up to say, "Yellow Squash". She has also been talking about trolls a lot, and has John on troll alert when she goes to bed each night. These are the same trolls in the Three Billy Goats"mama, what is a plank?" All the windows and dooors must be closed and the grownups have to keep their eyes open. She also feels that I'm not holding up my end of the troll patrol because I can't run as fast as I used to.

I've been talking about her making a birthday card for Aunta Shelly, but nothing she has constructed would actually fit in an envelope. She is mostly interested in putting up the flag on the mailbox in order to post something.

One hour until swimming lessons, and we need to track down a large stack of library books.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Ellabelly, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

Three weeks to go!

Kicking with Courtney

Kicking with Courtney, originally uploaded by sbprovo.


Backfloat, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

Monday, July 18, 2005


Last night E put on one of her abstract leotard, fairy wings, maribou slides, upside down colonial bonnet, and tiara. She walked in and looked in the mirror and said, "Am I rockin'?". This is the girl who at last year referred to her room as "backstage".
E went totally underwater in swimming today, surprising herself most of all. She was happy to finally get a noodle, and they did kicking while floating with the noodle.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Preschool Interview

Ella's first comment was, "They have silver bell flowers here." There was a whole border of hostas blooming outside the Unitarian Church. The Children's Garden is tucked into a wooded neighborhood making it somewhat difficult to find. The "classrooms" are simple and open and filled with basic (and mostly wooden toys) toys. Sharry showed Ella the block and clay area and Ella wanted to tell her about the modelling clay that we have that never dries up. Sharry has cinnamon scented PlayDoh.

The school was like the set of Mr Rodgers. The dollhouse is wide enough for many children to play in, and there is an extensive "laundry" and housekeeping area. E took all the laundry off of the clothesline and started ironing them at the small ironing board, requesting a basket to put her ironed clothes in. She told Sharry some of her ironing theories (always start at the edge), and looked around for a way to construct a grocery store conveyor belt . There are twenty two students and three teachers, one of which we met at a fourth of July party a few weeks ago. They are three, four, and five years old and divide into groups during "academic" time according to ability, not age. Ella could do math and reading with the older children if she is ready.
The playground area has two big sandboxes, several swings and climbing things, a vegetable garden, a full sized pioneer wagon, and lots of rakes, shovels, buckets, and according to Ella, "scratchers".

They send home a monthly syllabus of units--they focus on one major theme a week. There are field trips, a special movement and dance teacher, and daily "fruit and vegetable snack time". They all sit on a special quilt to eat.

I'm sold. It starts September 6. This morning E asked if I thought Sharry had taste buds.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Baby John has a tentative birthday--August 10

Four weeks from today, folks, unless he happens to have a mind of his own and be born earlier, baby John will be making his debut. Ella has set her brother up for an early delivery since she weighed so much- almost ten pounds. He will be 38 and an half weeks gestation--considered full term plus a week. My doctor is also going on vacation, and we didn't want to have a repeat of the grumpy stranger who wanted to give me a a c-section in the middle of the night so that he could get some sleep. So, I'll either go into the hospital late on the ninth or early on the tenth.

E was quite a grump on the way to the doctor's office, but she cheered up once she got there. The baby's heartbeat sounds like a pony, and we were joking that if there is a pony in there then all of Ella's dreams are coming true. She'll have a pony but won't have to share her mama with someone new. He is staying in the same position all the time now, my right, with his feet kicking me towards the left. The feet don't hurt, but the little bottom does. Hmmm. Can you stretch a stretchmark?

Enough about me, this is Ella's world. She had ballet and swimming today. Even she knew that she would need a nap, but I dragged her out of bed for the doctor's appt at two. I'm signing her up for another two weeks of swimming. She is so thrilled to be there and so willing to try whatever the teacher says. I see these other mothers being just horrible and gettting angry because their kids are scared. These are preschoolers. One especially paranoid mother sits by the edge reminding her even younger toddler of all the ways he could drown. No wonder big brother won't let go of the edge and cries for thirty minutes. One little girl dropped out today--she wouldn't go in at all and her mother was outright mad. There is a new little guy with down's syndrome, and he is so happy to be in that water. His mother stays back and lets the teacher's direct him, and he is doing fine--totally willing to put his head under and come up laughing.

Ballet was fine. I think there were only three girls today. We are going to pick up Hyumi and go to the library one day next week for some playtime.

Be right there as soon as I grind this corn

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Colonial Ella on the Road

Ella spent four days in Williamsburg with Granny this week, and two of those days were spent in full colonial costume. We took the ferry at Jamestown, and she loved feeding the seagulls. She walked on Duke of Gloucester Street and visited the shops. She rode in a 160 year old carriage that has also carried Queen Elizabeth. She had lunch at the Trellis (where mama and daddy met), and in the evening she saw a colonial variety show at the Kimball theatre.

The next day we went to Jamestown where Ella boarded the Susan Constant, played indian games, ground corn, and saw a great horned caterpillar. She scraped a deer hide with an oyster shell, and drew pictures in the soft sand.

While she loved the attention the colonial costume seemed to draw, she will tell you that her favorite part of the week was playing tennis.

I've included a picture of a giraffe tongue, and just to clarify...there are no giraffes in colonial Williamsburg. They are from an earlier trip to the Richmond metro zoo.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Ella in the Magnolia Tree

Ella in the Magnolia Tree, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

Carriage ride in Williamsburg

carriage ride, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

It is amazing how a costume can change the personality of a three year old.

On board the Susan Constant

on board the Susan Constant, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

Ella investigated every nook and cranny of the ship.

Colonial Ella

Colonial Ella, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

A sultry day in Williamsburg.

giraffe tongue

giraffe tongue, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

Ella feeds the giraffe.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Sleep theory by Ella

If you get up too early you will yawn.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Talking Outfits

If only my camera was here. Ella took off for the farmer's market this morning wearing: a pink leotard, long pink tutu, gold wings, purple headband, celedon asian style purse, white gloves, white eyelet bobbysocks, and sparkly red maryjanes. I'm picking up my camera on tuesday.

I've vacuumed and mopped and taken a shower, and I'm ready to go back to bed. It is steamin' outside, and I can't get motivated enough to clean out the living room closet. I'm going to set up the changing table in there with lots of kid storage on the shelf above and beside. Ella can keep toys in there to minimize the crazy clutter in her room.

She is in a spilling phase. She is somewhat helpful in cleaning up, but she spilled both courses of her breakfast on the floor. Makes one miss the high chair days.

Maybe John will hook up the AC today, and maybe we can go for a drive to look at the house in town and the Shawsville Pike house.