Let's start with the smallest member of our family: Murray, the cat. Chris already knows this, but Murray has earned his keep this week. Murray spends his nights in the basement (the kids are still a little nervous about him prowling around their beds at night, so we make sure he's fed and litter-boxed and shut the door to downstairs) and the other night, I noticed that he was perched on the windowsill, looking out the window. We keep stuffed animals on that windowsill, so I thought he was just getting cozy. When I noticed him there the next day, intently looking into the window well (such a great view), I looked a little closer. To my absolute disgust, there were not one, but TWO mice inside the window well, and Murray was completely captivated.
Side note: apparently mice in window wells are not an uncommon occurrence in cold Idaho winters. The mice climb into the well to get closer to the warm house, then they can't get out and eventually die. Sick.
Our well is covered and pretty deep, so I didn't want to put Murray through the top in the fear that I couldn't get him back out. So, I pushed open the window, punched out the screen, moved back so Murray could leap through the opening, and shut the window. (By the way, this story is great told live because I have hand actions and sound effects for the above sentence.) Anyway, I'm not really into watching the food chain in action, so I went to a friend's house with the boys. When we came back, though... let's just say that our window well no longer houses mice. And Murray was as pleased as punch. Good kitty.
Murray and the boys are also getting used to each other and, aside from a few little jumps and exclamations here and there, seem to have accepted the fact that they share a house. Tonight Gordon and Neil even entertained Murray with his toys, then sat and pet him while he purred and closed his eyes.
The next little family member, Neil, has had quite a week. I think it's harder for Neil to have Chris gone than the other boys, because he doesn't quite grasp where he is or when he is coming back. Today we sat in our usual spot at church and Neil looked around and asked, "Where's Dad?" He was super grumpy today, too, but I think that may have had something to do with the time change as well as his missing Chris.
Can I just say that I LOATHE daylight savings time? I know I'm not alone in this sentiment-- pretty much every other parent feels the same way. So why are we still doing it? Erg.
Anyway, Neilna-- he's been really into taking off his diaper and using the toilet lately. Yesterday I got the "big boy undies" out of storage and let him try them on. The older boys thought that this was hilarious, but I decided to put him back in a diaper because even if he's showing signs of readiness, I'm not. Selfish, huh?
On to Mr. Gord-- this week we had parent/teacher conferences at school and I was reminded, once again, why I love kindergarten so much. It is just so much fun, and the conference with his fabulous teacher was just a smile-fest. I love that they aren't graded really, that they are just there to learn as much as they can-- and I can't lie, I love that Gordon is a little smarty-pants. It makes me feel like I am some kind of a parenting success to go to his class and hear about how wonderful he is. Never mind that he was calling Tom a stupid-face on the way home afterward.
I mentioned that we've been watching MegaMind A LOT, and Gordon has been going around saying "Yah, I'm like your Space Dad" all day long.
Tom's PT conference went well, too-- he has improved in all of the areas he needed to, and only slipped in one subject-- but it wasn't quite as glowing as Gord's. I don't think that's because Tom isn't a good student, I just think 4th grade is a lot harder. Especially for the parents. I miss the days of happy-go-lucky learn-while-playing school where your only homework was reading a fun book before going to bed. Sigh.
Still, Tom got excellent marks in math and spelling, and his teacher went on and on about his awesome creative writing ability. She sent home some essays and I'm putting them in the "save forever" box because they really are great.
One of these days the fact of Tom's perpetual milk mustache will dawn on him and he'll start taking care to wipe it off before a girl notices. Until then, I like the little token of his innocent oblivion.
As for me, I feel like I've been in constant cleaning mode this week. I clean, the boys unclean, and I clean again. Yesterday I did some extra spring cleaning and took our paper snowflakes down from the window-- I decided that they were encouraging winter a little too much. So, farewell snowflakes, and farewell to the melting snow.
I went for a walk outside today and it was sunny and melty and almost warm. Even if the nice weather is just a respite between cold spells, it is just what I need right now.
So, another week ahead with busy, everyday life. I'll be here, plugging away with my cute boys, and missing this: