Ying, our au pair finished off her year and headed back to China yesterday. She was with us for seven months. The kids are sad, but not devastated like they were when Hongmei left, which is appropriate because Hongmei was with us for two years.
We don't have a new au pair. After contracting for a few months I am back to being gainfully unemployed. Warren is working mad crazy hours, and for now my unemployment is better for the kids. With only 45 hours of childcare a week it is really hard to cram in 40 hours of work, plus commute, plus preschool drop-off and pick up. When I was contracting I was having to try to cram in extra hours of work after the kids went to bed, and it was just crazy making. I don't want to be a stay-at-home mom for so long that I can't go back to having a high-paying job, but for right now it's OK. I'm still hoping the perfect job will come along, but I'm not unhappy about being home at the moment.
Martin had three teeth now, and the will to use them. He continues to be a good eater. He's not walking yet, but he still has plenty of time to be precocious at that and I'm not rushing him.
I started officially potty training Duncan this week. I have mentioned before that I am very lame at potty training, and if he'd had more support he'd have been fully trained over a year ago. I wanted to wait until Ying was no longer looking after the kids. I'd made a few starts at it earlier, but Ying always just changed him into a diaper as soon as he had an accident, which even I know is exactly the wrong thing. Three kids was a lot for Ying to deal with, so I decided to just wait and not press the issue. I think it's going well, though the first day was pretty messy with two runny poop accidents. My plan for today involves buying some more cheap replacement boys undies from Target.
Margaret's art work really made a quantum leap sometime in the spring. She went from elaborate abstract squiggles to suddenly drawing surprisingly recognizable representative art. I've been taking her to Michael's for their kids art class every Wednesday, and it's a big hit. The class is more a supervised project making thing and doesn't really teach any skills, but for $2 for 2 hours it's a total win. I am sure the store is actually losing money on the class, but their scheme of getting parents into store is looking pretty successful. I've certainly been buying project supplies, though I've not been going crazy. At some point I should document our stepping stones; I've been using child labor to help deal with the plan-less mess that is our back garden.
Oh, and big new hits with the big kids this summer are Star Wars and planetarium shows. The latter is more of a treat due to budgetary considerations, but it's not too bad since both Duncan and Martin are free. Its looking like our nerd genes are breeding true.