Friday, September 30, 2005

Things I love about preschool #2

I love it that there is a three year old boy who knows all the words to "Box of Rain".

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I'm seven weeks old today

I'm seven weeks old today, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

does he know what he is in for?

does he know what he is in for?, originally uploaded by sbprovo.


smiley, originally uploaded by sbprovo. Click to flickr to see some more attempts at capturing the smile.

ready for school

ready for school, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

Things I love about preschool

The kids walked in today to see a large lobster in the middle of the floor on a tray. He was alive, but still had the rubber bands on his large claws. He was just like the ones in the tank at Kroger that we visit religiously. They are studying the coral reef and it was great to have a real sea creature in the classroom to touch and talk about. When asked what she was going to do with him Sharry replied so matter-of-factly, "Jim is going to eat him for dinner". I love that sense of reality. He isn't going to be returned to his native habitat. He isn't going to live in a zoo. He isn't going to be bronzed and displayed in a museum. The kids seemed to take that answer with no fuss.

When we returned to the school to pick up ther kids Sharry was sitting in Circle Time with her legs out in front of her wearing her usual skirt and sweater ....with flippers, googles, and a snorkle.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Blue Ridge Parkway

Today is the last day of our weeklong "vacation" in VA. We were in Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Virginia Beach, and today we drove through Floyd to the parkway to visit Mabry's Mill. As it hasn't rained in months, we were completely unprepared for a whipping rainstorm. John was wearing a onesie and a flannel blanket. Ella was in a t-shirt with no raingear. Luckily, after ten minutes we got a break from the rain and walked around. Ella got a kick out of explaining the inner workings of the mill to me.

I started working on the invitations to Ella's Fairy birthday party, and we reserved the shelter at the park for that afternoon.

I think today is our one year anniversary in Blacksburg. Don't tell the state of Virginia, but we just got our Virginia driver's licenses this morning.

Saturday, September 24, 2005


Lala, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

yorktown castle

yorktown castle, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

ella feet

ella feet, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

jungle golf

jungle golf, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

cabana boy

cabana boy, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


greenbean, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

I just had my bath and I can barely stay awake.


greenbean, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

I am six weeks old today!

And they are off!

We are headed to Williamsburg for a few days. E has never seen the ocean on this side of North America, so it is time for her to realize that all ocean water isn't freezing. Generally she wore jeans and a winter coat to the beach in Oregon. We are going kite flying in Yorktown and trying out our new double jogger on Duke of Gloucester street.

Monday, September 19, 2005


T-shirt, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

Ella got a concert T-shirt at the Dan Zanes show this weekend!

13 and a half pounds today

Crib Mirror, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

John is growing fast. He has grown two inches since he was born and gained almost three pounds.

Friday, September 16, 2005

First show and tell

First show and tell, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

And she is off and running

Miss is E is going to see Dan Zane this weekend. The show is at the National Geographic Auditorium in DC. Heike sent Ella an article from the post with a photograph of the band, and E was saying, "I'm going to see all those crazy guys and girls again." We'll be back on sunday night with pictures.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Why are we here?

This is not an existential question. We are here because the cat won't die. John won't find the humor in this, but he is the one on the 15th floor balcony overlooking the ocean right now. Popeye is not sitting on death's door, but her medication list makes her sound like a cat on Medicare. She has also started pooping on things, as if the box isn't bad enough. No, honey, I'm not mad at the cat, really. I'm just finding the humor in it.

We can leave the house for about two days. We just don't have a friend we could ask to come over twice a day and feed her wet food and four pills. There just aren't many of those kind of friends in the world, and in certainly takes years to nurture these kinds of friendships.

Out of the bath

Out of the bath, originally uploaded by sbprovo.


Pagamatime, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

Early evening is his awake time, but he still falls asleep in the bath every night.

Five weeks old tonight!

Swinging, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Ella, Owen and Quinlan

Ella, Owen and Quinlan, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

The girls look like they are having a rough time, but Owen was hanging in there playing dolls. He loved holding little John and said, "I love this baby!"

Happy Hollow from Hell

We went to see the farmhouse in Craig Country, and it was like....Halloween. It really was twenty minutes from Blacksburg, which is wonderful. The views are beautiful, and sitting on the front porch would be a dream, but all the money in the world wouldn't be able to fix that house. Holes in the ceiling. Water on the floor. Hearing gunshots as we got out of the car didn't help. The owner had not been watching any HGTV shows on how to sell your house. The giant dog poops in the yard don't help or the dog smell in the house. The guns in the bedroom aren't a big seller either.The original log house exposed on the inside of the kitchen was very cool. The bathroom just made me laugh.
Thank goodness that we went to Floyd afterward for a nice afternoon of organic apples and homemade cheese. I tasted some homemade frozen peach yogurt made with sheeps milk--ethereally good. We then took Heike to the slightly decrepit dream house to walk around outside and mend our househunters depression from the other house.

Ella had school today, and now I think she is getting sick. I saw some runny noses last week and knew that she'd be fighting them. I just hope the baby doesn't get a cold too soon. She seemed to have a great day, and I went in and watched her from the library room for the last half hour. She was sitting right in the front and was raising her hand a lot. She is getting to know the other kids and learning lots of songs. Earlier she was talking to herself about simple addition. 2 plus 2, and she had me sing the goodbye garden children song with her three times.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Off to school

Off to school, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

Newport, Virginia

Newport, Virginia, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

First day of school

First day of school, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Happy Hollow

What if the Provos became farmers? Small farmers.

It is my four week birthday!

It is my four week birthday!, originally uploaded by sbprovo.


Slide, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

We spent the day in Charlottesville yesterday, and E loved the Virginia Discovery Museum. She did a craft project, played dressup, and went camping and fishing.

It is always nice to be walking down the street in a new town on a beautiful day and run into a friend--Darryl. He works at a theatre there in the downtown. On the way to the car we stopped at Spendora's Gelato and Ella loved it so much she was licking the inside of her cup. I have never been to the downtown mall, and thought it was-----very unlike Blacksburg. We are moving the minute John finds a job here. Not likely but a good thought.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


I just read a moving post about the hurricane at titled "I wasn't sure how to do this." It says it all better than I could. Thank you Melissa.

Actually, I'll just put it here:

I wasn't sure how to do this.
When the hurricane hit I thought, "Things will be fine, they have been before."
When I began reading about the rising water in New Orleans I thought, the water is rising slowly. It's not the same as the tsunami. We're in the U.S, things will be fine. On day three I began to feel angry. Last night I went to bed after reading news websites and emitting horrible squeals and gasps. I read the news because with sensitive kids you can not watch television news because you will live with those horrifying images for the next 5 years. Those horrifying images (image from The Washington Post, from James Nielson of Getty Images, AFP) on the television will appear at the most unlikely times from my children's mouths. They will remember the images they see for at least five years.
Currently my head is exploding and I tend to avoid writing about things which make my head explode because I am not intelligent enought to speak about politics or the suffering of others in any profound way.
When the Tsunami struck in December, I felt guiltily removed from that suffering. Logan and I donated money to the relief effort but I was haunted by the fact that if it had happened in my own country, I would have been moved in an overwhelming way. I calmed myself thinking that in my own country there would be the help, money and resources to save people. I thought things would never be as dire as they were overseas because we are America! We don't let our people suffer as if it's the third world. But then I saw the images and read the tales of suffering of the people left behind, they have been treated as if they are a third world country. They have not been treated as Americans. Shouldn't it have been different?
I want to point all of my anger at Bush and his stupid fucking comments, I mean, Thank God Trent Lott's house will be rebuilt! I want George to have a place to drink his lemonade. It's not that he made that comment, it's that he's saying that as at least 5,000 people are still at the Superdome living with shit and piss and shootings and rapes and no water or food. You stupid Fuck. How dare you. You are the president. You're not some fucking blogger who can say whatever they feel appropriate. You are our leader, you are required to at least pretend to be sensitive to the suffering of people who don't look like you but are Americans all the same.
But no, it's not just Bush who has failed. It's also the city of New Orleans who's failed to perform in a crisis. Just like Chicago failed in 1995. I've been reading about the politics of the city, and if Detroit were under sea level and in the path of a hurricane, it would also be lost. The politics are the same. The lack of effective leadership is the same.
My heart is bleeding and it's true, is now the time to point fingers and cast blame? Shouldn't we be helping?
I'm in Michigan, there is not much I can do. I've donated and the company I work for has promised to match all donations made to the Red Cross by it's bloggers. I started donating a relatively small amount. Today I emailed again asking that one third of my monthly paycheck be donated. Logan was aggravated because we are currently waiting to purchase a misfiring gas range and a dishwasher which hasn't been working for a month. When I thought further, realizing Weblogs Inc. would be matching my contribution, I wanted to donate more because I can wash dishes for a few more months, I can use the microwave for a few more months, but I can not pull that type of cash donation out of my checking account.
My guilt at being white and middle class has gotten the better of me. I'm so sorry for New Orleans. I'm so sorry for the gap between the middle class and the lower class. I'm sorry we didn't take care of you and help you out of a drowning city. I'm questioning my government because people have died needlessly and I hope the questioning will help prevent this type of crisis in America in the future.
I am sorry.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Faerie Beds

Little John's first hike wasn't much more than a mile, but the scenery was gorgeous. (See the whole hike on Flickr by clicking any picture here on Ellajohn.) We found milkweed pods--ripening faerie beds--with silk inside waiting to be knit into faerie covers. I was looking for caterpillars on the milkweed leaves, and we were lucky enough to find one so we could talk about metamorphosis. Ella recognizes the monarch butterfly, so maybe we can learn the names of some of the others. We talked about migration, which E thinks is when the butterflies go to the other side of the mountain. John slept through the whole thing, but was very cute in the safari sunhat. It was his first ride in the front pack, and although he is small I have to get used to that weight on my chest.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

headed for a hike

headed for a hike, originally uploaded by sbprovo.


pond, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

Cutting the Grass

Cutting the Grass, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

Fall is in the air, and it is only going to be 74 degrees today. We are going to go for a walk at Heritage Park, the place Ella and John call butterfly fields. I took a funny picture of John last night when he fell asleep in his bath. He is starting to hold his head up by himself, and he gave his sister what appeared to be a huge grin this morning.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Painting Date

The Painting Date, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

We made this on our painting date 2 weeks ago.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Swinging with Jenny

Swinging with Jenny, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

Snack Quilt

Snack Time, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

Ella's first day of School

The Children's Garden, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

Today was Ella's first day at school. It was really just orientation for new students, and she will have a her first regular day of school next friday. I know she already feels comfortable enough for me to leave her there. Today she made a crown, played with trains, did some laundry, found her coathook and her cubby, and made some new friends. Spending time there is like stepping into Mr. Rodger's Neighborhood for a few hours. It was great to meet other parents and hear their stories. There were two other babies there with their older siblings, so there is a good chance of him finding a place in a new playgroup as he grows. For today, it looked more like a La Leche meeting.

Little John

JBP, originally uploaded by sbprovo.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I fell off the sofa!

Well, my part time maternity leave from being a stay at home mother is officially over. John went back to work full time today. The little man is three weeks old. E and J took the opportunity to not sleep well last night. E ended up sleeping on the sofa---and falling off somewhat cheerfully in the middle of the night. J was sneezy and stuffy but seems fine this morning. I have a backache from the IMAX show at the science museum yesterday--don't try to sit in the exact center.

On the other hand, preschool starts tomorrow. Well, orientation is tomorrow. E will officially start next friday, but she is excited about tomorrow. I think preschool will be a huge organizing factor for the whole family. We all have to be dressed and out of the house by eight fifteen. Ella will have ballet and story hour at the library on tuesdays, so thursday is the only weekday we don't have some organized activity.