Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Prickly Situation

We’ve been having issues with some of kids in our neighborhood. They have designated our yard as the hang out spot. They stay out until nine or nine-thirty yelling and screaming.

They are destroying our raised flower bed—they like to sit on it because it’s up high and it’s mulched, so they don’t have to sit in the mud, but they’ve started dumping the mulch and kicking the boards out. They even chase each other around with a board they broke free. We have chased them away several times after they have woken Kate up, but there are a lot of them and the idea of calling the police or continually chasing them off aren’t appealing, since they might retaliate-there are twenty or so kids, so not something we want.

I finally decided perhaps if we planted flowers it would be a cue to stay out. It was my mom who suggested rose bushes!

I got the flowers yesterday and Justin planted them. A lot of the kids were watching too. We made sure to leave the curtains open last night, so we could keep an eye on our new “security system.” I’m not sure if it was just a coincidence or not, but all was quiet last night.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Top Ten Reasons I Love My Computer

1. I can write messages to my other mom friends and not interrupt their day by calling at the “wrong” time.

2. I can let my parents and in-laws keep up with the girls through pictures and videos.

3. I have adult interaction through out the day without packing up the girls and going anywhere.

4. I can see pictures of my friends beautiful children.

5. I can “window shop.”

6. I can find the recipe for anything.

7. Even my mom keeps a blog these days!

8. My girls actually play independently while I’m at the computer, unless of course Gabby decides to type. dfgbaqa (case in point)

9. I’ve kept up with some of my best friends even though we live too far apart to visit.

10. I get to write and pretend people care what I have to say.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Late Night Snack?!

Kate sometimes has trouble going to sleep, so I was annoyed but not surprised when I made my second trek up the stairs this evening. As I open the door I hear, "Pot roast, broccoli, carrots, peas, beans..."

"What are you talking about?"

"I'm hungry. I want dinner."

I assured her we'd already eaten dinner, she cried in protest as I tucked her in.

Justin finally had to go up. She told him she wasn't hungry anymore, but she still couldn't sleep.

She's still up there talking to herself, but at least I don't have to figure out how to make pot roast at 8:30 pm.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Granola Mom?

I’m not quite sure when it happened but I have become a granola mom. This morning, I literally made granola. I had looked it up quite awhile ago, but happened upon the recipe again this morning, so I made some—of course I only use recipes as guidelines, so I didn’t really make that granola, but it turned out pretty yummy. Let me caution you though—do NOT cool thoroughly. Cool mostly. Otherwise your granola will become one with your cookie sheet!

How am I a granola mom?
I limit TV to Sesame Street, if that. This morning (while I was making granola), Kate got distracted and didn’t even know it was time. Mean Mama didn’t tell her and she played straight through it.

I delay some vaccines. This came because of Gabby’s horrible reaction to her Rotavirus vaccine. I’m much less willing to go with the recommendations now. I spread them out a little more so she doesn’t get four at a time and I delayed her getting ones we hadn’t started the series for until she was one, afraid that she would become sickened by another immunization as well.

My kiddos don’t go to preschool or day care, but they are still socially adjusted and well behaved (at least in public). Someone from church kept pushing me to put Kate in preschool. I finally looked at her and told her—I could work and send them to preschool and daycare or I could stay home and afford neither. She finally quit asking. I wouldn’t send Gabby anywhere—she doesn’t like big groups.

But then again…
I don’t buy organic. I would if I could, but the limits of a budget are what they are.

I believe in and have used corporal punishment.

I’ve been known to let my kids have cookies and cake, even if it’s not anyone’s birthday.

But I do make granola!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009


Miss Gabby had her 18 month check-up today. She behaved really well. She was 22 lbs. 4 oz. and 32 inches tall. On the tall and thin side once again. She's meeting all her developmental milestones--talking, walking, climbing, throwing, etc. All was well and she doesn't have to go back until she's two!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I didn’t figure it was fair for everyone else to get an update and leave out baby. He or she should be about two inches long now. My jeans that fit fine on Tuesday no longer fit and have been packed away. My maternity clothes are back out.

I got a great book called The Belly Book. I always kept pregnancy journals for the girls, but they were more medically based. This one is much more fun. I’m more laid back about the medical stuff this time—who cares what my blood pressure was at 14 weeks?! It’s in my medical chart where it belongs. It has places to write down food aversions, heart rates, and all sorts of fun stuff. It also has a spot to put a picture for each week. I’m not sure that I’ll get one for each week—I know I don’t have them for the first several weeks, but it will be fun anyway.

Love you baby!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Miss Gabby is 18 months old today.

She is running as much as walking these days. She’s crawling up the stairs on her own or she can walk up them while holding my hand.

Her sister is her all time favorite person. She likes to sit on her, tease her, and tickle her. She also asks about her Daddy every morning and won’t stop asking until I tell her where he is and that he loves her. She asks about PawPaw every morning too. She’s still a Mama’s girl though and she loves to snuggle with me.

She’s still the quieter of the two girls, but she’s started to talk more. Her vocabulary has grown by leaps and bounds. Some of her favorite words are “messy” and “tickle.” She has started adding verbs like “go” and adjectives like “blue.” She’s starting to use “please” and “thank you,” with a few reminders.

She’s also a sneaky little girl. She has a shelf full of books, but she’ll take a few of mine out to the kitchen and flip through them where I can’t see her. She also likes to “type” at the computer if we leave the lid open when we get up. The shift key must be her favorite, because the notice for sticky keys is often up when we make it back.

She waves bye, signs more, and gives sweet kisses.

Her favorite toys are baby dolls and balls.

She’ll be going on Monday to the doctor for her well visit and we’ll see how big she is. I think we’re finally finished with the Kansas snow, and she’s big enough now, so we’ll actually turn her forward facing this week! She’ll finally see what’s coming at her instead of what she’s passed.

We love you Gabriella!

Friday, April 17, 2009


Miss Kate is halfway through her third year. It amazes me how much she has changed, even since she was Gabby’s age. She’s found her temper. Now she has to learn how to control it. I know that has to be hard with low impulse control. As frustrating as it is for us, we have to guide her through this time.

She’s learned over half of the letters in the alphabet. She’s always learning new words. We never know what she’s going to say. She’s quite funny and she’s always making us laugh, sometimes making discipline hard to maintain. I do enjoy her sense of humor though.

She is so personable. She will talk to anyone about anything, be it the checker at Wal-Mart, a teenager at church, or the kids in her Sunday School class. She seems to be a great leader. Kids, even those older than her, just seem to follow her.

She’s growing so quickly, we have her in some size 5 clothes out of the big girl section! I can’t get over how tall she is. She sure didn’t get that (or her beautiful curls) from me. She is definitely her father’s daughter.

We love you Katie-Kay!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I’m typically not a procrastinator, but for some reason I drug my feet on filing our taxes this year. It isn't that we owe, we're getting a nice refund, but we don’t get to do anything fun with it. It’s just going to float us over the summer while Justin’s off contract. I guess the lack of thrill, two munchkins taking my energy, and another one making me feel rather ill in the evenings, when I actually have time to do it haven’t helped too much. I did finally get them done—not just today either—I'm not that bad of a procrastinator. My quick estimate of our refund back in January was pretty much right on the nose.

I’ve always done our taxes on paper and never paid a preparer. This year, with all the difficulties I had getting motivated I used a computer program and e-filed. It was nice not to have to check my math repeatedly and take the papers to be photocopied before I mailed them off. The price tag is a bit steep, but with our refund, I figure it was worth it. Besides, next year we have another deduction!

Happy tax day. Should we throw a tea party with teddy bears? Maybe in Boston?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Resurrection Day

This morning began at o’dark early, as one of Justin’s former colleagues used to the say. We rose well before the sun and got the girls up.

For Kate and I, we went down stairs to our tomb to anoint Jesus’ body with oil and spices. Or as Kate put it, “To salt Jesus.”

Her reaction was a little less excited than I expected, perhaps because of the early hour, nearly two hours before she normally rises.

She looked at the empty burial cloths.

Then she turned to tomb upside down to be sure nothing was inside.

Finally she found Jesus, elsewhere on the table.

She ran upstairs and told her Daddy, “He has risen.”

I think while she wasn’t as excited as I had expected, she still seemed to get the object lesson. We went to the sunrise service at church and she heard the scripture passage that our lesson came from. She smiled at that.

We don’t do the Easter bunny around here, but the girls did get baskets with a little candy, toothbrushes, and shoes. They also got to hunt for Easter eggs after church. They’ve had a tired day, so they’re in their bath a few minutes early tonight.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Want To Meet Baby?

We got to go see our newest addition yesterday afternoon. Our friend Ann came and stayed with the girls, so Justin could come along and "meet" baby too. Baby had a heart rate of 173 BPM (beats per minute), and all looked good.

The baby's head is to the right, a hand by the face, and you can see one of the legs to the left. The baby was wiggling and active during the ultrasound. It's really easy to tell which part is what on the screen, but not quite so much in the picture.

He or she is measuring two days ahead. Both Kate and Gabby measured small. Kate's was so far off they said she was conceived after the positive test. Uh, yeah. Perhaps it is a boy or maybe a little girl just had a big growth spurt. We'll see in November!

Justin kept saying he wanted to know gender this time, but after seeing the little one yesterday he decided he could wait. Yay for another surprise! I know my mother is reading this thinking, "But I want to shop!"

We have it figured out. We'll let the tech write it down and seal it in an envelope. Grandparents can shop, but they're sworn to secrecy. No shipping anything to our house or telling anyone, since they might slip up. And of course, don't tell me!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Baby Names

Talk about a big decision. Choosing what another individual will be called for the rest of his or her life is a big choice. Kate was easy. I had a student who passed away, so we named her after her and then “borrowed” my cousin’s middle name. Easy-peasy.

Then came our next baby. We didn’t know her gender until she was born. That meant choosing names for both. We actually decided to choose two names for each. Then Kate got a vote and we decided to see what baby looked like before we made the final decision. Kate chose Gabby and Thad. No one likes Thad but me, Kate, and the midwife—she gets a vote too, right?

We like fairly classic names that can be used in their full length, Katherine and Gabriella, for instance, or shortened to fit a little one or to sound less formal. They both have long middle names too: Elizabeth and Georgia-Marie (Yes, the baby’s name takes up two lines on her social security card.).

Well, we’ve used up our girl names (the other option for Gabby was Isabella, so they’re too similar to have both) and Justin has said no to Thaddeus this time. So now we get to start all over in choosing a name. Justin’s status on Facebook says he votes for Tulkas Wilbur. I sure hope he’s joking!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Palm Sunday

It’s Palm Sunday. Our oldest daughter got to carry in a palm branch this year for the first time. She mostly shook it and tried to bump it into her neighbor’s branch as they sang, but I have learned that with Kate everything is stored in her little mind. What seemed not to have an impact right now, will be talked about over the next several months and perhaps even years.

We had a little chat about Holy week and what Jesus did for us. How He chose to go into the city, knowing that He would die. Taking our sin. I think the thing she got the most out of our talk was the fact that people threw their “coats” (cloaks) in the street. She also was surprised that people would want to kill God. That’s a tough one to explain to a munchkin, but we did our best.

This is they year I had planned to really introduce her to the Easter story. I think she’s reaching an age that she will start to understand it. She’s heard the story, but I have been waiting since she was one to introduce a plan that I learned about in a MOPS group in Alabama.

Here’s the basic idea… On Good Friday, you cover the cross in your house with black cloth. Then you either take a doll or other item, wrap it in strips of cloth. Then place it in a “cave,” which can be made out of anything from Legos to paper machete. Cover the opening with a rock. Then Sunday morning the girls are to rise early to go and anoint the body with oil (a little bottle of perfume). Of course when you get there, the stone has been moved. The cloths are there, but the doll is gone. You then go to wake the men of the house. She gets to live the Easter story in the shoes of the women who first found the empty tomb. She hasn’t heard the story enough times that I think she’ll be expecting it. I can’t wait to see her reaction. What will she do?


Overheard at breakfast this morning, as I'm washing dishes.

Justin: "Shoot."

Kate: "Don't say shoot Daddy. I might have a gun."

Note, Kate doesn't even have a toy gun, but the connection was so funny.


From the back seat of the van, driving home from church, as we pass a fender bender.

Kate: "Those grown ups are in the road. They're gonna get smushed."

Justin: "No, Kate people are watching."

Kate: "Did she have her triangle light on?"

The hazard lights. Kate asked me about a month ago what that triangle button was in the van. She remembered what it was used for in context. She's forever amazing me.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


One of the unusual effects of pregnancy can be vivid dreams. I’m not sure that these dreams are truly more vivid than other times, or if it’s the fact that your bladder wakes you in the middle of the night repeatedly, thus increasing the likelihood that you will have just finished a dream that you can clearly remember as you stumble to the bathroom…again.

I had one of these dreams recently. I was bowling with a bunch of the guys who I drove with in Driver’s Ed. in high school. Go figure. I haven’t seen any of these people since before I was married. As an aside, I was the only girl in that car. Guess who always had to sit in the middle if I wasn’t driving. If I was driving, the other sophomore got stuck in the middle. Sorry Todd.

Okay, back to this weird dream, our teacher, Coach Hood (who I’d incidentally known forever because we went to church together), wasn’t there. The chick from NCIS was though. Pauley Perrette. Weird, huh? Know what else? I don’t bowl.

Know what else is weird. In Driver’s Ed. I actually told my teacher I wasn’t allowed to drive on the parkway or down the by-pass. Yeah, my mom had forbidden it. When I told her, she said I could have for class. What can I say? I’m a first born, a rule follower. Can some one tell my oldest she’s supposed to follow the rules? Like not sitting on the kitchen table?!?