This is how I got dinner cleaned up tonight.
Not to mention the opportunity to re-organize my mess of a Tupperware cabinet.
Gabriel said something so interesting today about a friend in school. There's a girl, Hadas, in his class who was also in his Kids Inc class, from Israel. Which explains why some weeks back he said he wanted to learn Hebrew. I asked him who he had lunch with today, and he said in his best well duh Mom voice, "Hadas, as I always do," then said that he helped her cut up broccoli and cauliflower from her hot lunch, using a "real knife."
I asked him if she speaks English well, since I thought I remembered from Kids Inc that she was a new English learner, and he said "Yeah!", then, "I especially like the sound of her voice."
I tried to probe him on what about her voice he liked, but he said it was too hard to describe (fair enough) and repeated sweetly, "I just really like her voice." (Oh! I'll bet I know now! He probably means her accent. Always assume the most literal interpretation.)
Gabriel and Julian got kids' Sudoku books for party favors last Sunday, and they both love them. I showed Gabriel how to do it, and he immediately applied his characteristic focus to the book, methodically tackling each puzzle one by one. (Julian doesn't understand it, but wants to and so asked Gabriel to teach him today!)
Gabriel understands the Sudoku rules, but describing them is a little harder:
(I know Bonne Maman will be happy about this, since she's a big Sudoku fan.)
Unfortunately, I was seething by the end of that video because Julian was flapping his Sudoku book on Katrina's head when she was trapped in the high chair. He has me on a hair-trigger now because he constantly bothers her: blocking her path, grabbing her hands, stepping on her feet, taking toys away.
They did sort-of play together happily for a few minutes today, but she's getting to the point where she screeches when she sees him. Mostly, he's not trying to be mean, but he's menacing anyway and it infuriates me. I'm constantly sending him out of the room so that I can turn my head and know she'll be safe. Pest!
Leave it to Gabriel to turn around a great idea. He really, really, really wants Snap Circuits, so I had the bright idea to use them as an incentive to night-train. We told him that if he keeps his Pull-ups dry for 5 nights in a row, we'll get him Snap Circuits. He enthusiastically said "OK!" though I was silently skeptical.
So, last night around 2am, I woke up to hear Julian crying, and found Gabriel standing over Julian's bed, with Julian lying on his bed crying, something about pooping in his Pull-Up. Which he hadn't done, but I guess he was worried about it or something. I took him to the bathroom, where he cleared up his concern without incident.
But Gabriel's pajamas were soaked, and he didn't want to change them because he thought this meant that now he wouldn't get Snap Circuits! I talked him into changing his pajamas, assuring him that the deal was still in place, and he did so, but he cried sadly about Snap Circuits through the whole process. (In case you're new to Gabriel-land, crying sadly is not in his usual repertoire.)
Katrina's doing great with spooning food herself, though she consistently holds the spoon non-ideally, if you're an 11-month-old baby that is. And HEAVEN FORBID you try to turn it around for her! Oh, the calamity! The offense!
It helps to use the yummy Greek yogurt from TJ's that is so thick it doesn't drip.
(The pans down to her feet were an attempt to catch her wiggling her feet in delight, since she LOVES spooning her own food, but she stopped whenever I moved the camera.)
More photos of Katrina exploring the kitchen. She's a lot sneakier about it than her brothers were, but thankfully not quite as energetic or thorough as Gabriel was.
Ah, I forgot...the day started off with a longish run at Rancho San Antonio (a 7-mile route with moderate climbing), and it was positively glorious there today. It had rained, so the air was crisp and cool in the shade, but there were warm wonderful fresh breezes that carried a tiny hint of Indian summer. Part of me will never feel like I'm a Californian, despite living here for almost 20 years, but mornings like today make it hard to imagine ever leaving. Just me and the trail, the trees, the scurrying lizards, the sun and the sweet scents of the coming autumn...a wonderful peaceful spirit-lifting morning.