I started out the day by attending an Improving Birth rally with some of my friends in Washington DC in front of the Capital Building's reflecting pool. The focus of the rally was to get women to learn more about birth. To let women know that there is a lot they may not know about labor and delivery! If you know me, or have read my blog for a while, then you know I have some strong opinions about this. I thought I had educated myself before my first and second births, but that was very shallow research compared to what I underwent with my third birth, and it made all the difference. With birth, knowledge really is power. With birth, ignorance is not bliss. With birth, if you don't know your options, then you don't have any! (I could go on all day.)
The rally was small; it is only in its second year, but I hope it continues to grow each year! It was really fun to spend time with other moms, dads, and kids who share many of my same viewpoints. I saw lots of babywearing and got some good tips on different holds to try when I get serious about wearing Alice on my back instead of my front. I even ran into someone who used to live around the corner from me in Indiana. What a small world!
I love how pleased with herself Alice looks in this picture.
She's all, "Yeah, I gave my mommy an awesome birth."
Alice is not as pleased in this picture. Oh well!
We got the Capital Building in the background at least.
I obviously took Alice with me to the rally, but Jill and Daniel got to stay at home with their daddy. The rally itself was only two hours, but I didn't want to drive in and park, and my friends let me be in charge, so we took the bus. Well, we were supposed to take the bus. We ended up missing our bus on the way back, so for the return trip we took the metro and the bus. That made it take a lot longer than I had anticipated.
At dinner that evening, Jill and Daniel had already finished and were playing in the living room, leaving Jeff and I to talk. An absolutely gratifying moment occurred when Jeffrey turned to me and said, "How do you do that every day?" What a wonderful thing to hear. I am glad it wore him out like it wears me out!
This Labor Day, I attended a labor rally, and I also rested a bit from my regular labor of parenting three children. What a great day!
Here's a picture of my kids.
Because I think they're cute.
This catches me up to this past weekend. I ran in the Peanut Butter Run Against Hunger here in Reston on the local Day to Serve. (Day to Serve is something the leaders of West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, and DC decided to start doing last year. We're supposed to transcend our political and religious differences to serve together. For example, my local ward (congregation) did a food drive in our neighborhoods.)
The Peanut Butter Run was a first for me. You may remember I had signed up to run a 5K last year in Cincinnati, but it ended up being the same day as the BYU vs. Notre Dame game, and we randomly were given free tickets to the football game, so my family went to a park the Saturday before the 5K would have been, and I ran an unofficial 5K by myself in the park, and then during the real 5K drove to Indiana to watch the football game. So, this was my first official 5K, where I got a number and a time and everything.
There were some surprises. It was organized by a local church here, so not a running organization or something. You had two options: to run on a paved loop three times or to wind through hiking trails. I decided the hiking trails would be more interesting in comparison to running in circles, so I opted for that route. (The paved loop was specifically for younger children and for people with jogging strollers. I have never seen so many jogging strollers in my life.)
Well, the route I chose definitely was more interesting, but I was not prepared for it. I have only been running around the track at the YMCA, so on a flat surface in an air conditioned gymnasium. This was outside and humid, and it was not flat at all. There were roots, rocks, dips, hills, and a bridge or two. I tripped twice (luckily caught myself on the person in front of me!) and landed wrong on my foot once. There was a lot of up and down, sometimes even between each step. Naturally, that was very jarring to my system.
Some people give themselves pep talks as they run. This was the only thing that ran through my head over and over again: "Keep going. Don't fall. Don't pee your pants."
Sadly, all that I achieved was the "keep going" part. Women, when people advise you to do Kegel exercises, I suggest you take them seriously. My pelvic floor is not the same since giving birth three times. This gets better right? Note to self: Only run on flat surfaces from now on . . .
Jill took this picture. Didn't she do a good job?
You can thank me for cropping it. You don't want to see that.
This picture was taken by the people at the race and put on the website. Either they edited it out of the kindness of their hearts, or they caught some magical angle, because trust me, it was noticeable. Sigh.
Danny and Jill were really excited about running in their races. That morning at breakfast, the race was the big topic of conversation. Danny was convinced he was going to run super fast, because he was wearing Lightning McQueen underwear. Jill was wearing Wonder Woman underwear, and she was not sure how that would affect her performance. I interrupted and asked whether they thought Mommy was going to be fast in her race. Apparently my underwear was not up to the task of making me super fast, because Danny just looked at me and shook his head solemnly while Jill tilted her head and kindly said, "maybe."
Here is Jill's race. She was with the 4–7 year olds. She definitely can run faster than she did in the race, but she had a lot of fun (or so she claimed afterwards). During the actual race, she just seems a little unsure of things, like "what are we all doing?" "why are we running?" "I've never run with this many kids before."
Here is Danny's race. He was with the 2–3 year olds. He was pretty busy looking at the other kids, and haha wasn't ready to stop at the end.
And no, I did not have a change of clothes with me, so I was still in my stinky clothes. I tied my long sleeve shirt around my waist. Sadly, you could still see the evidence in the front, but I decided life is too short to hide in the car when my children are running in their first races! (Now that's definitely not what people have in mind when they say YOLO!)
Now I am left to ponder: Would it have been worse to have my fellow runners see me peeing in the woods or to have had the pee leak out a little bit on every bounce and jar? If only I had been wearing camouflage instead of pink . . .
My little runners!
After the race, we went into Washington DC. The Library of Congress puts on The National Book Festival every year, and it was this weekend. Obviously, that is something I could not miss. There were a lot of cool writers who I would have loved to meet and have them sign their books for me, but my kids rule my life, and they were only interested in the PBS Kids tent. Many of their favorites were there: Clifford, Curious George, Super Grover, the Cat in the Hat, Buddy, and Princess Presto. And all you had to do was wait in line, and you got to hug them!! I love all of the "free" (tax funded) stuff I can go to in DC!
Jill loves Word Girl.
Danny loves Super Why!
It started to sprinkle at the end. When we were driving home, it was really pouring. I'm glad we weren't walking in that. Here's a picture, because my husband is handsome, and my kids look cute with their Thomas and Dora umbrellas.
Alice was clearly not as excited about books as I am.
I'll just give her a few years . . .
My ward's Primary Program is next Sunday. (The Primary Program is when the children, ages 4 to 11, lead our main worship service, what we call sacrament meeting.) My current calling in church is the Primary Music Leader, so I've been helping the kids with the songs they've been studying all year long. The past two Sundays have been spent practicing the program. Last Sunday, the kids just went up to the microphone and said their names. Jill yelled her name into the microphone. That was typical of quite a few of the younger children, to yell instead of talk. The leaders tried to show them how to talk into it instead of yell.
This week, we practiced again. This time, instead of speaking into the microphone (or yelling), Jill started to cry and wouldn't walk up to it.
Then during closing exercises of Primary, Jill was supposed to give a talk. She had been working on the talk all week (she wrote it with me), and she had it memorized. But she made Jeffrey carry her up, and then she wouldn't let go of him, and she wouldn't say a word of her talk.
In the car, I made the comment, "Jill is the most outgoing shy kid I know." How strange. Jeffrey talked to Jill about how she and I could go over to the church during the week and practice talking into the mic, so she could be ready.
Later I was asking Jill about it, and she told me she didn't want to talk into the mic, because she didn't want to yell. Awww. I thought she was being shy, but I think she was afraid of getting in trouble. Poor girl.
Below is the talk I wrote with her. We talked about what she would say, and she told me what pictures she thought would describe her ideas. The talk below that is the first talk I ever gave in Primary. My dad wrote it with me.
This is a super long post! And I'm going to make it longer. Here is what we are all working on right now.
Jill is learning how to read. I am using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, based on the DISTAR method. I am enjoying it so far. It is neat to watch the world really open up for her as she sounds out all the letters we see. She used to say "I see a J!" "There's a D!" Now she says "I know that sound! That's a tuh (T) sound!" There are some small words she can already sound out and read. She is also very hungry for "worksheets." She has told me many times she does not want to go to preschool, but she really loves "playing" school at home.
Danny is working on using the potty. He is doing really well. He will sit on the potty by himself, and he will tell me when he needs to go, and he isn't fighting me anymore when I tell him he needs to sit on it. The only area he has not accomplished yet is putting his underwear back on after going potty. I'm sure he'll figure that out soon though. I LOVE not having his diapers to change anymore. When Jeffrey went into nursery today to sit Danny on the potty, it was snack time. Jeff went and told him that he needed to go with him to sit on the potty and then he could come back to finish his snacks. Danny let Jeff pick him up and then he turned to his buddies and said, "Okay guys, I'll be right back." So cute.
Alice is working on crawling. She moves all over the place now. She will get on all fours, with her stomach in the air, and will crawl backward. Today she has started picking her hands in the front up and down like she could go forward. She definitely leans forward, and with her stomach on the ground, she scoots all over the place. I've had to rearrange some of my shelves, because I caught her eating paper twice. So now the coloring books are on the top shelf, and the stuffed animals are on the bottom shelf. I'll have to get Jill and Danny to understand the rules about when they can play with their small pieced toys, too. Wish me luck on that!
Jeff is working in Laos for the next two weeks. He's in the air right now. He has a seven-hour layover in Paris!! How lame to be in Paris for that long and spend it all in the airport. He gets home from Vientiane, Laos, on October 6.
I am working on a book for my sister, continuing to type up my grandma Homer's life history, and primary music activities. Yay me.
Oh yeah! Daniel's punishment for peeing his pants was getting a really short cold shower to wash the pee off of him, so my hilarious husband asked the kids if I had to take a cold shower since I peed my pants.
So, lots of firsts. My first rally. My first real 5K. The first time I remember peeing my pants. (I am sure I did it when I was potty training.) My kids' first races. Jeff's first trip to Asia/Indochina. Jill's first reading. Danny's first undie-dundies (because they're not panties!). Jill's first sacrament meeting talk. Alice's first movement.
And on that note, I'd love to hear any of your embarrassing stories! :)