Dance Festival

Amy’s third graders had their last day of school, and they wanted me to come watch their dance festival, so I complied and went.

Elementary school dance festivals are really adorable. You can tell the kids that have rhythm and the kids that don’t, and it’s fun to pick out the ones who are really quite amazing at dancing and the kids who are really only there because they have to be. The first graders did the Harlem Shake and it was hilarious. The kid that started it off danced really well–a heck of a lot better than I could–and seeing kids that can dance well is a lot of fun.

And then there are the sixth graders who think they are generally too cool to dance, which is a shame. The older kids are much more capable of doing cool dances, as is evidenced by the fact that fifth grade did an abbreviated version of this Bollywood song (which since it comes from a Shah Rukh Kahn movie, is clearly the best dance song ever).

I got to say goodbye to the kids, and they got to say goodbye to Ruby–which if we’re all honest is the real reason they wanted me there. I even got to see some of the kids Amy taught a few years ago. It turns out that 7th and 8th graders are a lot bigger than fifth graders (the grade Amy taught until this year). Also, puberty. I didn’t recognize any of them when I first saw them. Overall, it was a lot of fun.

Nefarious

Despite our best efforts, Ruby still sometimes finds our cell phones.

And sometimes she dials people.

Fortunately, thus far it has only been my mom (apparently the 3 speed dial is easy for her tiny fingers to push) and our home phone (how she navigated to “Calls Received” and pressed that button on Kyle’s phone is something I’m less sure of). But, you know, if you get a call from me or Kyle and all you hear on the other end is a vague “Da da da…daaaaaa”, know that it’s just our nefarious baby getting into things we thought were out of reach.

Silly parents.

Some Pictures of Ruby

Because there are about two people who read my blog who aren’t also facebook friends with me.

These are for you two. In case you needed some baby cuteness in your day.

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This is Ruby’s new preferred sleep position. With her bum in the air.

It kills me every time.

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Ruby ate an entire Roma tomato for dinner tonight, but she found a better place for the last slice than in her tummy.

Things I’ve Learned from the Neighbor Boys

With their fancy schamncy new slack line, the neighbor boys are out almost every night attempting to master walking on it. Some of the boys seems to believe that the slack line brings all the girls to the yard. Apparently, they think that noodling around on the slack line makes for a great date, and so occasionally there are girls out with them trying the slack line or (more often) watching the boys show off. One boy in particular seems fairly dedicated to this idea.

It appears that if the slack line brings all the girls to the yard, it brings them all out only once. The lack of repeats in the visiting girls seems to indicate that slack lines are not the beginning to long and dedicated relationships.

Remember those closet doors that were stacked against the side of the house? Well, after they moved them to lean on their own apartment building, they sat there for a week or so, and then in the evenings I started to hear the squeal of a power drill or the buzz of a saw. The boys built the frame of a small shed-like building out of two-by-fours, and then hung the closet doors as walls and roof.

I guess you don’t need walls to build something. A large amount of doors will suffice; innovate with the materials available to you and you, too, can have a closet door shed.

And remember Favorite Neighbor Boy who mows my lawn every week? Well, it turns out that being a kind neighbor is a really great quality. The kind of quality I’d like to have more of.

And as it turns out, kindness comes in all shapes, sizes, and unexpected places.

Smiles

Yesterday I volunteered to help ship some Schlock Mercenary merchandise, and I was gone for about five hours. When I came home, I walked into the room where Ruby was playing and she turned to look at me with an enormous smile and immediately put her arms out, waving for me to pick her up.

It was really adorable.

Usually, she only gets that excited for Amy. I’m just Joe Shmoe Mom, always here, always available. But Amy–she only visits like every other day. She’s thrilling.

Honestly, though, it’s really cool to see her recognizing people around her. She’s remembering more and more of our friends and family, and getting more comfortable with them all the time. I feel like sometimes you can almost see the gears turning as she learns and develops more every day. It’s utterly fascinating to see her understanding and memory of the world around her (as long as it’s fairly routine) increase and improve.

And those smiles, they get cuter every day, too.

A New Moniker

So I volunteer in Amy’s classroom a few times a week. Ruby is a superstar in that classroom. The first time we went in, one of the little boys declared, “I’m starting to see the good side of babies!” (To which I say, you only say that because you haven’t changed her increasingly stinky poopy diapers). They have all fallen madly in love with Ruby, they all want to hold her and ask me all the time if they can.

As such, I was known for the longest time as “Ruby’s Mom.” It has only been in the past week or so that some of the kids have actually learned my name. And by some, I mean, two of the girls call me Mrs. Meeks on a routine basis.

The school year ends in a week and a half. I think I’m just going to be “Ruby’s Mom” to those kids for all of eternity.

I guess there are worse things.

Tooth

So according to the Pediatrician–and if the doctor says it, it must be true, right?–Ruby has been teething for at least 5 months (or a million years, if you’re going by my timescale). Whenever she’s fussy, drooly, and diaper rash-y, I’ve always blamed teething.

Wesley told me last week that he no longer believes me. It can’t be teething, says he, there are no teeth!

But now I can prove Wesley wrong–Ruby has one tooth! Huzzah! It is very hard to see, still being surrounded by very swollen gums, but you can feel it and see it if you look veeeery closely.

Only three more to go! At least, the Pediatrician says that there are three more that are about to emerge. And she’s never wrong, right?

So I wrote this on May 7, but apparently it didn’t auto post when I told it to. Darn you wordpress scheduler! Better late than never, though.

Seeing Utah

On Friday Kyle and I dropped Ruby off at Amy’s, and headed up the canyon to build a fire and cook ourselves some hot dogs and shmoes (they’re s’mores, Buzz).

It was lots of fun. It’s easy to forget that Provo is just barely south of a beautiful canyon with many lovely parks, hikes, and wilderness. Especially when you’re stuck in the BYU bubble and you spend a lot of time traversing the I-15, it’s easy to feel like I just live in this giant metropolis and there’s nothing but city or suburb anywhere. But if you get outside of the valley, or go into the mountains, you remember just how much of Utah is not populated at all. Well over 90% of Utah has fewer than 10 people per square mile…we’re all just crammed in between Ogden and Nephi along the interstate.

But there’s a lot to be seen in Utah, if I’m just willing to get out of my routine and go to see it.

Those Neighbor Boys

There is a small apartment complex next door to our house. It used to house families, but now it houses a bunch of single guys. Since the semester ended and the weather has gotten nicer, they have all emerged from their apartments and began doing things outside. I am greatly amused to watch their antics. Also, I can’t help but think of them in my head as the “Neighbor Boys” even though they are probably as old (or older) as I am.

One day I saw a bunch of them gesticulating to the tree next door, and looking at the corner of their apartment building. That night, under cover of darkness, I heard them out again and it sounded like they were digging something or building something. No flashlights. It looked really sketchy. Like they were burying a body or something. The next day, I discovered they had planted a post in the ground. And later that day, they attached a slackline to tight-rope walk on. They’re out almost every day now, at some point, trying to get better at walking on it. So, no dead bodies, but it could well have been!

Then, this past Tuesday, I was pulling out my mower to mow our lawn, and one of the neighbor boys walks over and says, “I haven’t mowed a lawn in a while, let me mow your lawn.” I am no fool, so I said, “Ok, if you want.” He mowed my lawn, and when he finished he said, “I can do this on Tuesdays. Do you just keep your mower in that shed there? I’ll come back next Tuesday and mow again.” He instantly became my favorite neighbor ever. I gave him a glass of apple juice as payment for his kind gesture. (For the record, he knew that I was married before he offered to come back every week. I guess he likes mowing lawns.)

And on Wednesday, the neighbors in the back of our house–we live in a duplex, their number is 270–texted me and and asked if I knew why there were doors leaning against our house. I went outside with Kyle, and sure enough there were six or seven closet doors leaning against our house. Evidently they had been covering up the entrance to 270 the night before and our neighbors had to move them to get home. Kyle and I were talking about it, reasoning that it must be the neighbor boys, and, speak of the devil, one of them pokes his head out his open window and says, “Uh…yeah. My roommate did that. I told him it was a bad idea. They were wet, and you guys get sun on that side! I’ll tell him to move them.” We said thanks, unsure of the logic behind sticking a bunch of doors (?!) on your neighbor’s house, covering the entrance to somebody’s home. Gratefully, the next time I looked, the doors were lying against the neighbor’s apartment building. They remain there, even though it’s rained like every night this week. They’re not getting any dryer.

I wonder if I will get any more stories from these enigmatic neighbors.

A Dearth of Sleepers

I think that every mom in Utah County must be buying 12 month sized cotton girl’s sleepers. I have been to four (discount) stores and I literally haven’t found enough sleepers to get Ruby through a week. They don’t even have boy’s sleepers!

Do people think that 12-month-size-wearing babies don’t sleep?!

…Well, that may not be too untrue in my circumstances (teething…), but she does OK!

It looks like I may have to bite the bullet and buy regular priced sleepers from Wal-Mart. I’ll go off and shake my fist at the general injustice of it all. It might make me feel a little better.