Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A rare day at home

Yesterday my son’s daycare was closed so I got to spend the whole day with him! We had a VERY eventful day which I will now tell you all about. I got soooo much done and Quint had a milestone himself!

First I let small fry sleep as late as he wanted and he woke up on his own terms. This makes for a happy baby and a Mom that is fully showered, dressed, and ready to meet the day. We went to the doctor where he got shot, which he was not in favor of, but then I nursed him right after which made it some better.

Then we went to my work where I hosted a Quint party. Monday, I sent out a meeting request to half the company letting them know that we’d be there at 10:30 Tuesday and come on by to admire my cute son. It was really fun! He performed admirably and was incredibly cute, sweet, and happy for the 15-20 women who squealed over him.

Then we went to Hubby’s work to show him off there! Again, he was a big hit, cute and sweet. Due to his need for lunch (he did get some plain cereal) and a pressing need for a nap, he was not quite as happy. But he was only a tiny bit fussy and handled meeting 85 more people really very, very well. It was incredibly sweet how his daddy would call out to people down the hall, “Come meet my son!” The pride in his voice made my heart swell!

We got some fast food for lunch and sweet boy conked out in the car almost as soon as I strapped him in. He awoke soon after we got home, though, which was a surprise. I thought he might sleep for an hour or more. For the next 3 hours, he played and chewed and played and chewed and drooled and was quite happy as long as I gave him a change of venue every 30-45 minutes. Lots of laughing and smiles.

During the whole day, I got the following done: (drumroll please) I made our bed, neatened the floor of our bedroom, put all the junk away that usually lives on our bathroom counter, hit the tub with soft scrub several times, washed the baby clothes that had been soaking in oxiclean, opened several windows, emptied the dishwasher, loaded the dishwasher, swept the hardwoods twice, mopped, put two layers of wax on the hardwoods, boxed up some stuff for my mother-in-law, froze some baby food, scrubbed all the carrots off the highchair, excavated the huge pile of blankets and pillows to find the bagpipes, sword, and bludgeon baton below, figured out a way to hang the sword and baton on a hanger, stored the bagpipes elsewhere, took pictures of tables to be sold on craigslist, fed Quint cheerios and 2 crackers and cleaned up the aftermath of that, stacked all the living room blankets and pillows neatly, and took Quint’s kilt, sporran, and christening outfit upstairs.

At 3pm, the tide turned on my laughing smiling baby….

He became an absolute fusspot, only napped a little, and was only consolable when he was in my arms, walking and whimpering. Was it prophetic that I put his "Little Crabby" shirt on him today? Hmmm… Tylenol time. And time to strap him to my chest where he alternately whimpered, drooled down my cleavage, and chewed on the baby harness while I continued to clean and neaten. At 7pm, I texted my sweet hubby asking him to come home from the “boy’s club” for moral support with the fusspot.

Just before Papa got home, things got better for the fusspot. He had been chewing on a much loved boardbook for a lot of the afternoon. I was playing with him on my lap when suddenly, I saw it! The tiny break in the skin of his gums revealing the top of a tiny tooth. A HA! That at least accounts for half the fussiness. The other half could be the three shots he received that morning.

So my little guy has his first tooth!!

Hubby asked if I enjoyed my day as a stay-at-home mom. I stared at the ceiling thinking… Well, perhaps the day he cut his first tooth is a bad day to try to analyze that. Next Tuesday, daycare is closed again so perhaps that day will be a better sample day. I am REALLY glad that we (Quint and I) got so many good hours together before he turned into a fusspot. That balanced the day out. If I had dealt with 2 hours of fusspot after a full day at work, I would not have taken it in stride as well.

I have a new strategy on the battle against clutter and preparation for a mobile masticating (look it up) baby: Each day I try to put away one tiny pocked of floor clutter. We have many such pockets around our house and I’m fighting them one by one.

I have realized that we have entered into a new phase in our lives that will last several years. The Cherrios Phase. That wonderful phase in life where you might find a cheerio ANYWHERE!!! Those little suckers will stick to anything and detach later!

Another thing I’ve learned in the last 24 hours… When you feed your baby bubblegum Motrin and then nurse him, you will smell like bubblegum until you shower next.

Monday, March 29, 2010

10+ year journal notes

Here's some more notes that will eventually go in my 10+ year journal.

March 11 Hubby's lap-band surgery
March 11 daffodils start to bloom!
March 21 Quint's baptism
March 19-21 Mother-in-law and step-dad in town
March 19 - so warm we opened the house for a while!
March 21 quick 6 hour trip to the ER for hubby's pain
March 27 I bought some new office clothes that do not look like a mommy and/or have spitup stains on them!
March 27 we rearranged Quint's room so that there is now floor space (novel!) and we don't share a wall with the crib.
March 26 Quint started carrots
March 22nd Quint started spinach - he hates spinach!
March 28 I learned that Hubby doesn't cook home-made burgers... EVER... only because he can't stand sinking his hands down in raw beef. Once I do that, he's all about home-made burgers.
March 28 Quint takes his first swim in the big bathtub. This is different than bathing. He also took his first laundry basket "car ride". The look on his face was hysterical! And it really hurt my pre-bruised knee.
March 15-17 Hubby wasn't home any evening those 3 days.
March 22-26 Hubby was home most evenings this week!
April 25 I saw a peaking upper tooth and an additional peaking lower tooth while he was laughing today. That makes 3 teeth.
April 22 Quint starts fighting sleep at night
April 16 If Q has 2 crackers to naw on while we're eating, life is lots better.
April 14-20 Mom was in town to help out with Q while Hubby was on two trips
April 15-18 Hubby was at a friend's bachelor party on the coast
April 18-20 Hubby was in Miami at a work conference. He really missed us at the end and was sorry he had to stay the last day.
April 23 Grand Lodge District meeting in our town
April 16th Republican Reagan Day Dinner - Mom and I went with Q (without hubby) and we actually had a good time!
April 10-11 Q stayed overnight with a friend while we had a lovely anniversary trip just here in town at a fancy hotel. Very refreshing!
April 8 Hubby had a flat tire.
April 4th Easter Sunday - Q wore his tiny white tuxedo again
April 1st Living Last Supper choral/drama presentation
March 30th Daycare was closed so I stayed home with Q. Sorta. We visited both our places of work to let our co-workers tell us how cute he was.
April 6th Daycare was closed again and I took him up to the senate again so Hubby's boss could see him.
April 25th Q had his first french fry. It was the first time we've tried to go out to eat since he became used to having crackers while we eat in front of him. We didn't have any crackers. Or any food other than breast milk for him. So we gave him a series of fries which he chewed and sucked and then spit out. After the first bite, his eyebrows said "oh yum!!!" and I said to him, "that's called saturated fat, honey." He got quieter.
April 30th - beautiful day. We spend a few hours on the porch with neighbors. I planted a tree on Arbor Day which was coincidence.
May 1st - Republican breakfast with Gov Ramsey. It started raining at 6am.
May 2nd - still raining. Nate and Rupa had to be rescued from their house which had knee deep water in it. Lots of flooding and rescues all around the state.
May 3rd - most businesses, all schools, and some daycares closed due to the flooding. I stayed home with Q and watched the non-stop coverage on our two local channels. Cumberland is expected to crest at 51 feet today. That puts water along 2nd Avenue. The huge tunnel system under downtown is flooded which means that water is bubbling up into basements as far uphill as the Bridgestone Arena where the hockey team plays. Opryland hotel has several feet of water inside. The Grand Ole Opry, the country music hall of fame, and the new symphony center are flooded. Musical instruments were floating in the symphony basement. The organ is ruined.
May 4th, Nate and Rupa are able to get back into their house. The water came up chest high. Their pets are fine. They've lost nearly everything. Their clothes and beds were upstairs, but now the excessive humidity in the house are making the bedding moist. Their cars are total losses. Cell service is severely hampered by a few missing towers and way too many calls jamming the circuits.
May 5th - we haven't heard from Nate and Rupa for days. I'm so frustrated by this that I go out to their flooded house at lunch. Their whole neighborhood was flooded. Street after street of people with their whole lives - ruined - on the lawn. We're there at lunchtime and there are people driving up and down the streets giving away free pizza, sub-sandwiches, and water. I thought I would be less upset after I saw Nate and Rupa, but I was more upset.
May 5th - Since the flood, there have been a lot more bugs in our house. Q got stung by a wasp between the couch cushions! Scared the crap out of me! His plump little arm swelled up about twice the size as usual. We fed him Benadryl and put ice on it. He had emotionally gotten over it long before I had.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Random stuff

This has got to be the funniest thing I've seen today!

Also, in the category of "duh, you nitwit" are my mild headaches I've had this week. Years ago, I figured out that most of my migraines and other less severe headaches were food allergies. So today, I am yet again managing to work while one hand is shoved down in the cheetos bag, and it crosses my mind that I've had a mild headache every day this week. Hmmm... and those little headaches are resistant to OTC drugs and usually arrive in the afternoon when.... I have my hand jammed down in a sack of cheetos! Actual name brand cheetos this week (and only this week) as opposed to the Aldi brand. Duh, you nitwit, you're allergic to the buttery, cheesy goodness of name brand Cheetos. But only when you consume 1/3 of a bag per day. Everything in moderation....

And oddly, I had felt justified in gorging on cheetos after a co-worker's visit yesterday. I was just barely over yet another fit of worrying about my husband and his new lap-band, when she stopped by, plopping into my visitor's chair to ask, deeply concerned, how he was doing. Pretty well, the big pain from last weekend has subsided and he's back to symptom free and zero complications. She then proceeds to tell me about a friend of a friend of a friend (you know how that goes) who was mostly healthy, went in for a gastric bypass and died 5 days later. Thanks. I needed that! Anyone ever try to tell you that having a major digestive organ REMOVED is a whole lot different than placing a removable plastic thingy around part of your stomach? And remember my biggest fear in life is to be a young widow, much less a single-mother-young-widow!? I was then wondering if I could just get up and leave my desk in order to avoid her... how rude is that in the face of rudeness? It's like telling a pregnant woman labor horror stories. WHY DO PEOPLE DO THAT!?

She then launched into how important diet was and how nutrasweet was poison, and high fructose corn syrup was just....just.... horrible! Really, and I made my baby some home made pear baby food with some in it just last weekend! And she is so proud that she has completely eliminated sugar from her diet (while eyeballing my 3 empty Dr. Pepper cans on my desk) and she kept going on and on about healthy eating and for the second time in 6 minutes, I was thinking of leaving my cubicle while she's still sitting there talking.

What's a girl to do in that kind of situation?

I DON'T like spinach, Mom!

We tried to feed the baby boy spinach last night. Goopy spinach goo, not fresh salad stuff. I knew it was a long shot, but still...

Quint definitively does not like spinach. He got it everywhere, including the crease in his neck. The bowl of spinach thickened with rice cereal looked a whole lot like yesterday's diaper contents. His habit of taking a bite then putting his fingers in his mouth resulted in the spinach going all over the highchair toys, both his arms, his face, both my hands up to the wrists, and all over the highchair tray.

Daddy tried to feed him the spinach for a while, then we switched chores and he finished cooking dinner. By the time I took over, Quint was near tears and 2 bites more resulted in all out crying. And then he started refusing to take bites. He would see the bowl nearby and open his mouth for a bite, then look at the spoon and snap his mouth shut, lips very tight, crying. Think about often do you see a baby cry with their mouth shut. He'd gotten through 2/3rds of the bowl at that point, so I relented.

I dumped some breast milk in a fresh bowl, nuked it for 10 seconds and stirred in a lot of rice cereal, making it the thickness he likes. He saw that it was white and opened right up for the spoon. After the first bite, he stopped crying completely. He proceeded to eat the bowl of cereal as fast as I could poke it in his mouth. He wimpered a bit when the bowl was empty, but quickly got over it and played happily in his piano toy while I gobbled down my own supper.

It's amazing how babies as young as 6 months old can communicate so clearly what they want to tell you. Ok, so no more spinach. At least not straight. I might try to add one ice cube of spinach to a bowl full of green beans, just to use it up. But maybe I should just pitch it and waste a whole, what 30 cents?

Spinach was Tuesday, so we'll try carrots on Friday.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

6 month doctor visit

Here's my favorite pictures again

My little guy weighs 17 lbs and 12 oz now! He's between 55 and 60% for his height and head circumference and healthy as a horse! He got some shots yesterday and even with Tylenol was still pitifully grumpy. So I let him nurse most of the way through Dancing with the Stars. Much happier boy.

Friday, March 19, 2010

It's Friday!

All week long, I've thought about posting things but haven't because I still want to look at this picture at the top of my blog.

And this one's pretty wonderful too:

So, duh! Just post those at the top of every blog until you get tired of them! OK, I think I will!

This week has been so weird in that both on Tuesday and Thursday, I kept thinking all day that it was Friday. It wasn't until 15 minutes after my alarm went off that it occurred to me that it's NOW Friday and I have to get up.

Sweet boy has had a good week. Though I swear he had baby legs last weekend and he has toddler legs now. Two mornings this week, while getting him ready for daycare, he has hugged my neck with both arms and lovingly mouthed my jaw. That's just sooooo sweet! He has eaten all of the peas and green beans that I had made up and frozen, so today he gets asparagus for the first time. That ought to be amusing.

I've gotten out of the habit of using the gaps in my shirts for nursing and Quint has just gotten used to nursing with a bunch of shirt on his face. And I've really gotten tired of only wearing my 7 or 8 nursing shirts. So last night I went on a scavenger hunt to find the clothes I used to wear before I got pregnant. Those are bound to be around here somewhere! So today I'm wearing a shirt that actually fits me and it feels great!

Hubby's mom and step-dad are driving in today for a visit. Quint is getting baptized on Sunday and she wanted to be here. I've bought a cute little outfit for him that's like a tiny white tux romper. It will be so cute!

It's supposed to be 68 and sunny tomorrow and it's about stinking time! We are going to open the house up AND remember to turn off the heater.

Monday, March 15, 2010

6 months old!!!

Ok, I'm just barely resisting the urge to post about 10 photos here and the only reason I hesitate is that it would take a while and I really want to go to bed and I really want to post this on his actual 6 month birthday.

Our little guy is 6 months old today and wow does he seem big! And wow how the time flies! He is sitting up now, as long as you plunk him down in the sitting position. He still can't get there by himself, but he can soooooo much more easily entertain himself for extended periods of time. Like 5 minutes straight! As a friend of ours once said of their sitting-up-child, "you can actually get something FINISH brushing your teeth!"

He gobbles up both peas and green beans and grunts mightily if you don't poke it in fast enough. My caloric intake has gone up - AGAIN - and yet I've lost a wee bit of weight lately. So I must be producing heavy cream now instead of milk. He weighs at least 18 pounds if not a bit more. I haven't weighed him, but the size 2 diapers are rather snug now. He is now finally active enough in the tub that we wears himself out.

For the last week, he hasn't been sleeping through the night because he wants more to eat than that, but the good news is that I've learned how to completely get up, dress a bit warmer, nurse him, swaddle him, and put him back down to bed, completely in my sleep! I'll be mildly aware of the time in minutes, but will be fuzzy on which hour he was up when asked in the morning. It became clear that I was never fully awake when either my mother or my husband would ask me some question during a feeding. Those of you who know me, know that there are certain times of the day (ok, maybe as much as half of each day) when you just SHOULD NOT TRY TO ASK ME QUESTIONS! Apparently, during a mid-night feeding is one of those times. While part of me is mildly aware that the question-asker is only trying to help ("do you need water?" "are you warm enough?", the louder part of my brain is thinking "you are not allowed to rip their head off. Especially while you have the baby in your arms." See, at least the louder part of my brain is looking out for those I love!

Quint still will sometimes grab our faces with his tiny little claws, pull our face down to his, and mouth us lovingly. He knows that mouths near faces equals affection, but has no idea how to kiss. It's slightly disconcerting when we don't manage to course-correct and we wind up touching tongues with our child. Sweet....but....wrong.

And the very best picture we have of little Quint yet:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Lap-Band Surgery Day 1

Yesterday, my dear husband had his lap-band surgery. The night before, our little boy could tell something was up and didn't sleep much. When he would wake to eat, it would take forever to get him back down when usually, we just literally put him back down and he's asleep again. Instead, he was animated and watching the invisible flying things flying around him and my husband. But not me. Weird. Sometimes I really, really, really, really want to know what the schmo he sees and what it means! And I did my best not to let that freak me out. More than I was already freaked out, anyway.

The surgery went fine. Hubby had a hiatal hernia which they fixed while they were in there. The surgeon said that it's pretty common, and will cause some extra shoulder pain, but that's all. The lap-band was installed. They took a contrast x-ray with barium to make sure it was all in the right place, and then he was in recovery. While all that was happening, I ate, napped, snacked, read, ate, napped, pumped, and fidgeted. I really wished I had my little boy there to hold like a teddy bear, but was also really glad that I wasn't trying to keep him entertained in a waiting room for 6 hours.

About 1:30pm, I finally asked the keeper of the waiting room to please go find out something about my husband. I was very quickly allowed to go back and witness him breathing. Whew! He was sort of awake and asking who all I'd called. After a few minutes, I got to help him dress. The movement sprang a bit of a leak in him, and the nurses got out a fresh super-glue thingy and put an extra layer of glue on all his little wounds. Six little wounds by the way. He's got stitches inside each little wound that will dissolve and go away. The glue patches will wear off in about a week. We're not to scrub them or tug on them, but showering is fine.

Getting home was no problem. He was plenty mobile and alert enough. We fed him some antibiotics and pain medicine, liquid forms, and he was soon snoozing in the recliner with some crystal light and a protein shake. Later, he moved upstairs to the bed where we soon learned that reclining in the bed very frequently engages the core muscles which hurts. I should have remembered that from the last month of pregnancy, but oh well.

I went and fetched our little boy from daycare. All evening, it was really amazing, it's like Quint knew when I needed to go take care of my husband and would be unusually content to lay on the floor or bed and entertain himself. Only once was he crying when I needed to tend my husband.

Hubby very slowly drank some fluids, and I was concerned that he hadn't taken in enough liquid. I asked him to try to drink a little more (2 or 3 ounces at once) and that was apparently the wrong thing to do. Two or 3 ounces is a whole lot for his stomach right now. He threw up. We called the doctor's office where they paged the surgeon and he called us back in a few minutes. He said he was extra swollen from the hiatal hernia surgery and to take it slower on the liquids. And maybe drink thinner things, water and crystal light instead of protein shakes. If he throws up again, they'll have to admit him to make sure he stays hydrated. Sleep in a recliner to help with the swelling. He was still asking for my help with getting from a slightly reclined position to an upright position. The he could stand on his own.

So before bed, we set him up downstairs with his favorite big blanket, 2 bottles of water, our portable phones with the paging/intercom feature, his cell phone, the remote control, and the baby monitor. Every time I got up to feed little Quint, I checked on him, dispensing pain meds, water, and kisses. Despite the pain medicine, he's still in some pain. Mostly, he says things just seem really tight. I could feel his "port" last night which made me shiver and think of the Borg. As if reading my mind, he said "resistance is fue-tile". Mildly funny.

Today at 8am, the surgeon called to see how he weathered the night. Really! The surgeon called the house unprompted! Cool. He was happy with the results from the night and thought it would be OK if I went to work. We talked about what he might "eat" and I stressed that he should call me whenever and especially if he wants me to come home.

So there's your update! Now entering day 2.

Monday, March 8, 2010


My mind is whirling with lists, so it's lists you get today as a post.

Thursday, my husband is going in to have the lap-band procedure. It will be a very weird day of 5:45am baby-sitting, very early out-patient check-in, surgery (waiting, for me), waking (waiting, for me), hauling my semi-awake guy home, and arranging to get my son back from a friend. I need to prepare a bag for my baby so he'll have everything he needs while at daycare and also at my friend's house after daycare. I'll need to pack various bags for me so I can pump milk, eat lunch, and not go crazy with worried waiting. My husband will be under general anesthetic and have I mentioned that my biggest fear in life is to be a young widow? I'll need to have all the goods necessary to care for my husband once he comes home and can't eat any solid food for a few days, then just soft foods, then later some regular foods.

So here we go...

Things to add to Quint's daycare bag:
2 changes of clothes
5 or more bottles
nipples for the bottles
4 or 5 diapers
baby wipes
2 toys on plastic chains

I also need to take one friend to the daycare to introduce her and show her where it is.

I need to make house keys for my pick-up and drop-off friends.

For me, I'll need:
Breast pump and 4 bottles
a way to chill the pumped milk
lunch: sandwich, chips, cookies, water, applesauce
inflatable neck pillow
small blankie
some little project to keep my hands busy

For Husband, I'll need to get:
sugar free jello
crystal light
protein shakes
chicken salad
cottage cheese
sugar free pudding
children's chewable vitamins
a bunch more extra-small Ziploc plastic bowls

I read in his lap-band owners manual a minute ago that starting 2 days before surgery (that's tomorrow folks) he's only supposed to have 4 shakes each day. Please pray for my hungry, hungry husband.

Friday, March 5, 2010


It's 52 degrees!!! AND the sun is out AND it's only going to get better this weekend AND there's no snow in the forecast!!! It's a reason to celebrate!! I might open up the house for a few minutes just to get all the February woofies to float around.

And there was dancing and merriment in the streets.... literally.... mostly with strollers....

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sitting Pretty!

Our little boy learned a new trick yesterday! He can now sit up by himself!

Priscilla said she noticed him sitting all by himself yesterday afternoon. She has these little, child size couches on the floor that she usually props Quint up on. He will sit with his back to a corner of the seat and occasionally slide down to laying on the couch. Yesterday, he leaned forward to play with something and didn't fall over! Then he would lean back, then lean forward again to play. He did this several times before he lost his balance and fell over.

After Hubby got home, I sat him up on our bed and let go. He sat there for probably a whole minute, including looking up to his daddy, nearly loosing his balance, but regaining it.

Yeah! We have another milestone!!

He's 5.5 months old now, weighs at least 17 pounds and is quickly outgrowing all his 3-6 month clothes. Last night I packed up all the clean, smaller clothes and started using his bigger, 6 month clothes. He now eats rice cereal twice a day, loves to dance on Mama's lap, and will actually chuckle at funny things between 6pm and 7pm (why just then, I have no idea). He also can now hold a foot in each hand and will soon learn to pull off his socks like that.

He sleeps through the night 5 nights out of 7 on average - through the night being any 6 hour stretch starting at 8:30 or later. A time or two a week, he will sleep from 8:30 or 9pm through until 7am when I wake him to get ready for the day. He prefers his pack-n-play to his crib because when he kicks his powerful legs, the whole bassinet hanging thingy shakes and gently rocks him. My boy loves movement, so he sleeps in the bed that wiggles.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mousy Goodness

If you can't handle funny/gross rodent stories, stop reading now.

Just after New Year's, we had some overnight company and baked some delicious sweet thing or other for breakfast the next day. For some reason, the kitchen and then the whole house smelled HORRIBLE!!! It smelled like ripe cow dung, but where on earth would we have gotten that? None of us had even viewed a live cow in at least months. Has the cat made a mess somewhere? Is the baby really, really sick?

Over the next few weeks, it became clear that it was the stove and we finally identified it as baked rat s**t. Every time we heated up the stove. The food never tasted funny or looked funny, but still. Hubby got in there with the vacuum and wet paper towels and cleaned exceptionally well under all of the burners where we did find some droppings. How on earth did they get under the burners and not die? Where was the cat while they did that? We'd bake another pizza, and the smell would be less...but not gone. He would clean it again...and there was always something to clean. We'd leave the cat in all day with the bottom drawer of the stove open and she was always interested in crawling under there.

Finally, we set a glue trap - under the main, big burner. And caught 2 mice. It's very weird to glace down through the burner and see tiny eyes looking at you. We set another glue trap the next day. And got another. We now keep a glue trap under that burner and only remove it when we're cooking.

We could not figure out how to remove the lid of our stove to investigate and clean better, so we waited for my folks to come to town. For some reason, neither of us was scared to jerk the 22 year old stove away from the wall as long as my dad was here. On our own, not so much...

When the men started to take the stove apart, I was desperate for a nap AND had just fed the baby, so I plunked him in the extremely willing arms of his Nannie, and bolted upstairs for a nap. Glorious, delicious nap amongst a pile of clean laundry.

When I came back down over an hour later, I asked how the the mouse-capade had gone. My mom didn't look up from her diaper changing and directed me to the men in the living room. The stove looked like it had never been moved or tinkered with. Both men were looking at the floor and did not look up when I asked how it went. Not good. Finally my husband said it was "irreparable". I found it very unlikely that they broke the stove in their search, and it had been working fine before. What do you mean....

Apparently stoves are built with a very large, thick layer of insulation (think atic insulation) around the body of the oven. Of course this makes sense, but I just had never thought about it. On top of the insulation is a metal shelf that catches crispies and above that is the top of the stove that holds the burners.

We had a family of mice decide that the insulation would make a great home. Yes, I said family. From my family's description, it looked like a little mousy warren. Basically through all the insulation. When we heat up the stove, the mice scedattle while their home get's REALLY warm. Seeing how this has been the coldest winter, no lie, in 30 years, are we really surprised that we have a mouse problem? So the insulation is infused with mousy pee and poop, though the mice may be gone now. They put the stove back together and slid it back in to place. Where it now stinks a bit even when we're not heating the oven. We've been burning a cranberry candle a lot.

So we need a new stove. And with our new little baby, we have exactly zero extra cash these days. And did I mention that my 12 year old Lincoln has started hesitating while going up hills? It feels like a transmission thing, but Hubby thinks it just needs a tuneup. I'll take a tuneup! I really hope he's right. But we have not reduced our federal tax withholding and have not done our taxes yet with our new, cute deduction, so maybe that's where the money will come from.

Here's a sweet picture of our newest deduction:

Wow! I'm really good at making a short story long!