Scenes from the backyard in autumn

A weird morning. My tummy was rumbly, but I had promised to accompany Jadzia on her field trip to Little Creek. So she and Ludi and I walked together to school. When I got there, the teacher said chaperones would have to ride separately, not on the bus. Oh well. I walked back home to get my minivan.

After arriving at Little Creek I waited about 20 minutes for the kids to arrive. As a children’s ministry teacher for many years, I know that it can take a while to get them all rounded up. Just as the bus from Vogt Elementary pulled into the lot, I got a call from the school — Ludi had thrown up. So with quick apologies to Jadzia and her teacher, I drove back to Ferguson to take Ludi home.

The rest of the morning went well. Jadzia and her class learned about groups of vertebrate animals: mammals, amphibians, fish, reptiles and birds. They got to interact with real animals and do a lot of activities and games. It was a fun way to learn.

After the field trip was done, I headed home for lunch. The kids were in the backyard playing, Yoli told me. After spending some time upstairs, I was headed downstairs to do some work. As I looked out my bedroom window, there was Josie talking into the gutter extension pipe, making announcements to somebody. Across the yard, Joseph was standing at the old brick grill cooking a muddy concoction. I couldn’t resist.

I grabbed the camera and went to capture a few scenes from a lovely fall day in our backyard. Enjoy.

Do me a favor and say “por favor”

Joseph is a very polite boy. From a small age he has always said “thank you” and “you’re welcome” (in two languages).

But he also he can be very stubborn. For a long time, Joseph has said “por favor” only using sign language. He simply would not speak “please.”

This morning we had a little showdown. He wanted a second helping of cereal. I wanted him to speak “please” or “por favor” aloud. At first he would only give me signs, over and over. I kept repeating to him that I wanted him to speak the words. Then he started saying “I can’t!” (a phrase he learned from his sisters)

After a while I went back to my newspaper as he sat there sucking his two fingers. Yoli was talking to me, then she said “Did you hear that?”

And there was Joseph saying “por favor.”

Amid exclamations of “good job” and “bravo,” Joseph got his second helping of cereal.

Girls and boys

Here’s a perfect example of one of the many differences between girls and boys.

My daughters are having a dance recital, with piano music by Jadzia. They are singing “Happy Father’s Day!” over and over.

Joseph couldn’t care less. He is captivated by the Bobcat being used for landscaping work in our front yard.

Joseph-speak

Joseph is learning to say new words daily. He can say complete words like Mamá, Papá, apple, pie, come, luna (moon), and “no hay” (there’s no more). He also has his own language. Here are a few examples:

“Ia” = Jadzia
“Lulu” = Ludi
“Ali” = Josie
“Galle” (ga-yeh) = cookie
“Awa” = agua
“Io” = “E-I-E-I-O” = his speak-and-say toy
“Gunta” = “mantita” = blanket
“Nomé” = “don’t do that to me!”

Them kids keep a-growing

A couple milestone notes of interest.

  • JOSEPH has apparently decided he’s done nursing. A couple days ago he just quit. Cold turkey. Yoli, obviously, wasn’t keen on this turn of events. She has tried over and over, but hasn’t been able to get Joseph to nurse since then. Thankfully we retrieved her pump from the (broken) house, so she’ll be able to relieve her pain.
  • JADZIA continues to make leaps and bounds in her reading and writing abilities. Her spelling has improved, as has her ability to interpret parent-spelling-speak. You know what I mean: “Hey baby, are there any C-O-O-K-I-E-S left over from last night?” Jadzia would now respond: “I know what you said!” She is very pleased with herself. I guess we’ll need to start spelling in Spanish.

Joseph: one and loving it

One year ago, it was after 1 a.m. and Yoli was making crepes in anticipation of our new baby’s arrival the next day. As she was cooking, her first contractions began. After a while we had to call in my folks and head out to the hospital. No rest for the weary that night!

But what a wonderful year we have had with Joseph. He is such a lovely, playful, curious boy who fills us with joy. He’s not perfect, but he has been a sort of respite compared with some of our other babies.

Tonight we had a lovely birthday party, attended by my parents and Jon and Brittney. Much pizza, cake, and mate/chai was consumed.

Joseph got some clothes and a toy camera and a play workbench. I wasn’t sure if he would take to the workbench but he began playing with it right away. Happy first year, lil guy.