Saturday, July 31, 2010

Separate but Equal

For nearly three years my girls have been all but inseparable. Soon, however, Miss Kate will be going off to school. The girls will be doing different things, and Nate will too, but he's not old enough to be jealous of what the others are doing, except when he's pitifully watching the girls play in the grass, just wanting to get out there...and chew on it.

The girls are neither one happy. Gabby wants to go to school with Kate. Kate, who has been somewhat resistant to the idea of school anyway gets really upset every time she thinks about Gabby getting to stay home and do things without her.

We've been dealing some with the fact that fair doesn't always mean identical with them already. After all, they are different people, of different ages, with different interests, so not everything is the same for them. Sometimes they get different snacks or different toys. They still want equal...

My parents did such a good job with this. My sister and I opted to do some very different things growing up, but for the most part they made every effort to be fair in our activities. Justin has no experience with this as an only, so this rivalry is all new to him.

So here goes nothing! We get to try to balance what the children get to do. We know we're going to have to make it a point to do special things, with Kate especially with each of us, and try to find things for Gabby to do during the week. It isn't going to be equal, but we'll do our best to make sure it's as fair as we can make it. Pretty soon Little Man will by vying for his piece of the pie too, but for now I'm glad that he's happy to watch and bang on the window.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Big House

As I was driving the other day, the song "Big House" came on the radio. Kate started singing at the top of her lungs. I love that she loves it. It was a popular song back when I was in high school. Anytime I hear it I think of a trip my youth group took to Camp Kavanaugh. We stayed in the McCoy House. The song really fit that house. It was a huge old house that we shared for the weekend, sleeping in bunk rooms, having to sign up for shower times, and truly enjoying one another.

I had a lot of fun growing up with that group of kids. Many of us had been together since we were little children in Sunday School. I hope our kids are blessed with those relationships and that foundation as they grow.

This is a picture of many of us who were there that weekend, though this was at Lake Junaluska during the week of the 4th of July in 1996.

It was pretty rainy that weekend, so we spent much of our time inside playing Spoons and talking when we weren't in our group. I don't remember much about our discussions, but I remember the friendship we shared and that song blaring on the radio and it being sung as we ran up and down the stairs. Got to love a little Audio Adrenaline!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dear children,

Nap time isn't supposed to be optional. Not only does it help you not be little monsters be well rested, but it's also a time for me to get things done. And (gasp) maybe even rest a little too. Alas, the past few days you've enjoyed wreaking your havoc from sun up to sun down, but I am hoping for naps tomorrow. At this rate I'm going to need a nap too.



"Gabby, where is your please?"

"Um, it's in my mouth."

Nate's Room

Nate has a room all to himself, finally. At first he roomed in with us, allowing the girls to keep their rooms. Then for awhile he slept in the kitchen. Finally he got to share Gabby's room. She slept in a room with Kate at night, but still napped in there during the day, so the bed is finally free of pretty pink flowers.

I opted to top the iron bed (the frame, not the mattress, is made of iron) with a plaid comforter that we had on hand for now and cover it with a Noah's ark quilt I made several years back.

The Quilt

Nate is still sleeping in a pack and play. Our crib has a recall on it and with the move we didn't file for the replacement part--it's on my crazy long to-do list. This isn't the same pack and play he had been sleeping in though. It was a hand-me-down and evidently wasn't meant to make it to it's ten year birthday (which it would have reached this fall). One of the screws broke off inside when we were visiting Justin's parents in Ohio this month, so we got the only available pack and play in their local Wal-Mart (it's a small town!).

He has a good sized closet, holding the crib parts for right now and not a whole lot else. I'm looking forward to getting it more organized once we can set the crib up. And of course there is the obligatory changing table and diaper pail. I'm glad to have them on the first floor again. We were mostly changing him on the floor because I didn't like carrying him up and down the stairs and leaving the girls to their own devices for that long.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Smells Like Home

Can I let you in on a secret? I love to bake. Cooking is fine. I even like it when I don't have other pressing things (or three little pressing people--literally pressed up against me), but I love to bake. Unfortunately I also love to eat it, but that's beside the point.

On Monday I did my first baking. I've cooked since our second day here, but between the busy-ness and the heat (our air conditioner is having trouble keeping up, so I try not to add to it) I hadn't gotten around to it. My in-laws made a quick trip down yesterday to drop off a couple of things, so I wanted to have something sweet for them to snack on, so the girls and I made chocolate chip cookies.


And, of course it wouldn't be my house if I wasn't also doing laundry, so please excuse the hamper in the background.

An extra benefit...Miss Kate who claims not to want to learn how to read--yeah, I made her read a couple of words off of the recipe card. Score one for me! Now if I can work in the word antidisestablishmentarianism onto a recipe card we'll be set. Or maybe just "See Spot run." Gabby helped us with the baking too. Nate, well, he tried climbing stools and hanging on the back of my legs. So we're kind of back to being pressed, but it's baking, so it's totally worth it, right?


There's been lots of exciting things going on with Kate getting ready for school and Nate teething and reaching milestones. I don't want Miss Gabby to get lost in the shuffle. She is our quite reserved one, but my what a temper we have.

For the most part she is passive, even when she's defying us. She'd rather ignore your instruction, rather than argue over it. We're finding new challenges with this. We know we can't just let it slide, but it is so much more peaceful if we don't push issues with her. In that light, I try to only demand what is necessary and leave other things to her choice, but she can turn even that into a struggle sometimes. She will simply refuse to make a choice, because I told her to choose.

As she's starting to near her third birthday, Miss Gabby is speaking with an excellent vocabulary with a hint of that cute two year old diction. She is bright and sneaky. A sweet cuddle bug and a spit fire. A little mama and her sister's echo.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


My little gal is growing up. Yesterday I took Miss Kate to register her for kindergarten. Had we stayed in Kansas, she wouldn't have started school for another year, but here in Tennessee she scrapes in a couple of days under the deadline.

Here she is with her ice cream cone we got after her immunizations last week.

We went to the school yesterday morning and got the paperwork to fill out, birth certificate, social security card, lease, immunization record, and health release in hand--nothing like bureaucracy. The office was quite busy as we stepped inside. One of the secretaries called for the mainance fellow to set up a couple of tables in the cafeteria. I think she took pity on me as I was standing trying to fill out forms with Nate wrapped up in the Moby (reaching for the pen) and keeping an eye on the girls.

Kate was quite impressed with the playground and all the panda bears they had decorating the school. The pandas are quite funny because when we first moved to Kansas, Kate saw a sign for a Panda Express on the other side of town. She made up this great story about how she went to Panda Bear Preschool--I wrote about it here. We thought she'd forgotten about it, but this week as we were driving over to Target we saw another Panda Express and she excitedly prattled off, "That used to be my preschool! During the day it's a preschool and at night it's a place to eat!" So Kate finally gets to go to the Panda Bear School.

I asked her if she was more excited about learning to read or to do math and she told me, "Nope. The playground!" I guess she has her priorities straight.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Not in Kansas

As we were talking about being here in Tennessee today, Kate quips, "We're not in Kansas any more."

No Toto, we aren't but you made a reference to a movie you've never seen. :)

Girls' Room

So life has been a bit crazy, but the boxes are all but empty and Justin is getting on a schedule with work. We're getting back to our normal routine. Well, as normal as a family of five can be.

If you'd like to continue the tour of the Casa de Us, here it is.

The bed and book case, from last week's sneak peek.

The closet--ample to hold their hanging clothes and a mess of toys. I finally ordered a toy organizer, as the one basket per child rule got thrown out the wondow in the unpacking (I used to keep some toys in the garage that I could rotate). Now, the girls have more space than the garage, at least until Justin's office furniture is delivered and he can take his boxes of office things in to work. There are quite a few of those suckers, taking up a good bit of space in the garage.

And, as you can see we get plenty of sun, so much that you can't really tell that the dresser is to the left and the dress up chest, felt board, and the Little People house that belonged to my sister and me are sitting under the window. At least you can tell that the bed is made--if you look closely...and squint.

We have yet to hang anything on the walls except my calendar. Maybe this week!

When I asked Kate what her favorite thing about her new room was, she told me, "That Gabby is sleeping in there right now." I have to admit the girls are my favorite part of that room too. The people have made this house our home.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I talk for Jenny [the doll] because she's shy.

As I was telling Justin about Kate's immunizations, "I was trying to get up." If you had seen her, this is the understatement of the year and it made me giggle--it was me and two nurses to get the poor girl her shots.

Telling me about a Veggie Tales show she watched: Alfred said he would sugar crash, but LarryBoy is not diabetic, so he won't sugar crash.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Slowing Down

I'm at that point in the move where the crazy busy-ness is starting to slow down a bit. I've got all but the last few boxes unpacked. I've change my address with nearly everyone who needs it. I've gotten my new driver's license. I've taken my van for emissions testing and registered it. I've done everything I can to get Kate ready for school until the office re-opens and I can register her.

So here we sit in a new town, knowing little more than how to find our way to the local Wal-Mart, with little to do and even fewer people to do it with. At the moment it seems ironic to have moved to be closer to people (namely family) and now have no support for the little every day things. I'm very grateful to be close to them if something big happens and we need help and to visit more frequently, but to just sit down and have a cup of coffee or an impromptu dinner, I'm on my own. Add to that the impending school year with a huge change in commute--two miles versus what could be 45 minutes of interstate driving for Justin and late labs, I'm not the most eager for that to begin.

I'm very much looking forward to making friends. When we made our first move, for Justin to go to grad school, I met people at work. Since then, I've always joined a MOPS group, here though, there aren't any close by. We're really counting on finding a good church. Last week's attempt wasn't what we'd hoped, so perhaps we'll find something this week. Wish me luck in not staying lonely too long!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Getting it Together--the kitchen

We're making progress on getting settled. Perhaps it's a testament to what we find most important as to what rooms are put together first... In that case the girls get top billing. By the time they got here on Friday their room was essentially ready. I will take more pictures of their room soon, but we do want to get up a valance and I have to get all those toys put back away--they are definitely enjoying having all of them out back there.

The next spot to be put together was the kitchen. The last of our things arrived yesterday and by this morning the kitchen is ready. The only things remaining to do are to move a couple of items off the top of the cabinets and into the garage (things we don't use frequently) and to hang a curtain rod over the window above the sink.

Here's the view into the kitchen from the dining area. That's the garage door straight to the back.

The stove side

The sink side
The pantry is just past the fridge.

The laundry to the right

So, if you come over, I can cook for you, provided you bring the ingredients. I'm still working on getting all our staples built back up. I just can't guarantee you'll find a place to sit without having to move an empty box out of it or that the living room will be tidy.

And as for that importance and where things are taken care of first--well I'm pretty sure the last place to be put in order will be my bedroom. It's a great place to stash things away from the children and I really spend so little time there. As long as there is a bed to sleep in and I can get to my clothes without having to move too many things, I'll call it good for now. But I'm not taking a picture of that mess.

Nate - Eight Months

Believe it or not the little guy turned 8 months old last week! Where has the time gone? Oh, packing and unpacking you say? Perhaps that's some of it, but I have to say the more children we have the faster the time goes. I know some people blame it on age, but I'd rather blame it on being happily busy.

In the past month the little fellow got his first tooth (6/19), and he learned to clap his hands (7/3). That is oh so cute, by the way.

He got to meet his great grandmother, my Grannie, this past month too.

He's still able to fit in 3-6 month clothes, but we're starting to phase in the 6-9 month size now. He's wears size three diapers. He loves to eat and is getting really good at feeding himself finger foods and much better at receiving the spoon with less mess too. He is an early riser, often getting up at 4:30 and some times dozing off after a morning feeding until the late, late hour of 5:30 or 6:00.

He still adores his sisters and more than ever is happy to get right in the middle of the action.

Diaper and clothes changing has become an aerobic sport and he has the sweetest little laugh.

So Big! We love you little one!

Monday, July 19, 2010


Shoot fly! (instead of shoo)

Will someone get me to church please? (on our way to visit a church this morning--we had tried to find it last night and hadn't found it, so I think she was doubting our ability this morning)

"Just sit and drool, oh so not cool" -ala Veggie Tales

You don't have any fur on your knee. Daddy has fur. He needs to wear pants.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Playing Catch Up

I've gotten a bit behind in posting. All this silly moving stuff is cutting into my free time. I finally got my pictures (well over 200) on to the computer, so I can do things like Nate's 8 month update and girl-isms. You know the important things that make the world go 'round and all.

In case you don't believe me about the busy part--you try unpacking my boxes. Some of them grew feet, so you have to chase them down. I got this one caught on it's back so I could get it open.

Okay, so maybe we've had a little fun too. :)

Friday, July 16, 2010


It's been quite the whirlwind of activity. We made a trip up to Ohio to visit with the in-laws on Sunday. We drove back on to my parents' house Thursday--it's hard to believe that it was only yesterday now. Spent Thursday evening loading up the van, Justin's car, and my mom's trunk as well as telling my Daddy what we wanted him to bring down with him.

This morning began quite early. Justin's alarm was set to go off at five a.m., early to be sure, but my little alarm clock woke up at 4:15. We hit the ground running, and we were on the road by six. We had planned to meet the realtor at the house at eight, but our confirmation message from PODS said that they might deliver as early as 7:30, so I was planning to get here in time for that. About half way down the phone rings and the driver said he was on the way--he just delivered it without us being here, since it was well before 7:30.

So we arrived a half hour before the realtor arrived to let us in. We paced outside with Nate who was the only one of the kids we brought down in the morning. (Thing One and Thing Two staying with Gam until this afternoon.) As we were doing our final walk-thru, my dad arrived with his truck filled up too.

By lunch time the POD was emptied and about half of the van was cleared. Of course, if you've moved you know getting everything in the house is only half the battle--we've spent the rest of the day unpacking boxes and finding new homes for all of it. And we have made great progress. The only boxes left are in our bedroom.

Now we get to do it all over again on Monday when our next POD arrives! It has less in it and we won't have all the car loads, so it should be easier on that count, but we won't have my mom's help with the girlies. Hopefully they will cooperate.

Thank you so much to my parents for all their help and to my poor husband who is really struggling to keep up his blood sugar.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


We are getting close to our move in date! We are incredibly grateful for having had a nice place to stay while we were getting all of the details of moving squared away, but we will soon be moving on to our new home. But, as if packing up and changing our address with 15 billion (perhaps a slight exaggeration) places, we also have the joy of setting up utilities with several new companies. I've been on hold more in the past 8 days than I care to think about and it's still not done. I haven't figured out if it's the company that the letter of credit is being faxed to or the company that's supposed to be be faxing the letter, but in over a week it has yet to be taken care of. We had to drive down (90 minutes each way) to have water service taken care of. No they don't care we're out of state. Yes, you have a 'nice' day too. So we should have water, phone, garbage collection, and internet, but electric is yet to be worked out. Hopefully by Friday!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bathroom Humor

When asking Gabby to use the facilities prior to her nap...

"There is no need to go potty."

When that didn't get a response, "I'm sick and tired of taking my pants down to go potty."

I couldn't help but giggle at that one. Feeling vindicated, she did as she had been asked.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Downtown Fountain

We took the munchkins downtown in my hometown this week to play in the fountains. This is a recent addition.

Kate took right to it.

She was right in the middle with the bigger kids.

Gabby was reluctant at first.

It took Justin walking her through it a couple of times before she was willing to play in it,

But she did start to play in it.

Nate slept through most of it,

But he did eventually wake up and get wet.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

War Games

The other day my mom told Kate that she would teach her how to play the game War.

"Like in a battle?" asks Kate.

"No, not really."

"War games?" she queries.

"Not exactly."

"A cold war!" she exclaims.

Where did she hear about the cold war?!