Tuesday, December 27, 2011

We Are Blessed

While we were out of town for 10 days, we had the post office hold our mail. Today it was delivered. All of it. And 2/3 of these cards were delivered today. This is how many people sent us merry wishes this year. And loads of pictures among them! Besides family and friends seen recently or 15 years ago, there are a few names to be dropped. Like Haslam, Ramsey, and Jeb Bush. I'm SURE they signed those suckers themselves, of course. I especially appreciate the folks who put their kid's FULL names, and the current year. For those of you who didn't, I filled out that info on the backs of the pictures.

Our Christmas was wonderful. We had tons of food, the boys cleaned up in the gift department, and we were given enough clothes and stuff to warrant an apple box shipped back separately. And most importantly, we got to spend tons of time with family. My boys are completely spoiled rotten and I'll have to un-rottify them in the days to come. Well worth it.

Thank you, Lord, for the wonderful blessing of my family. Thank you for healthy, brilliant, beautiful boys. And please, Lord, don't bless us with a third.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Further updates

At Wally World today, we saw a large cardboard picture of the terrifying panda. Quint got tense and started edging over to my leg. I quickly said, "this is just a cardboard picture of the panda, Quint. See?" and thumped it in the head. He visibly relaxed, reached up to feel of it, and then hit it himself. Maybe we've turned a corner on the Panda's-gonna-get-me thing.

Quint learned that he can toot on command today. I tried not to laugh, really I did! But he would obviously try pretty hard, toot, and then absolutely die laughing at himself. And I would laugh at his reaction. Did I mention that he is boy to the core? So all day, there was tooting, laughing, then laughing. I put it on Facebook and my boyfriend from 7th grade said to make sure he doesn't try TOO hard or bad things will happen. He does still wear diapers. Which told the tale tonight at bathtime. Also, his contribution to the bubble bath was especially comical tonight. Never a dull moment around here.

I thought I'd try to put Hank down in the boy's room to sleep tonight. He was completely knocked out, still nursing a bit in his sleep, right until I stepped on the squeak outside their bedroom door. Then, he awoke, went rigid, and squeaked so loudly that the sleeping Quint flopped over in shock. He thumped right back down asleep, but I dashed down the hall with Hank just to make sure. Sheesh! I finally did get him down in there. I'll have to stealthily put the monitor in there here in a while.

Last night, when I went in to try to get Quint to stop crying and go to sleep, inspiration hit. I did the Elmo voice and had Elmo ask if he could spoon with Quint. He very sweetly put his arm around Elmo and we heard not another peep out of him.

I packed away 7 or 8 pounds of ham into the freezer tonight. All sliced up into sandwichable slices. We've nearly polished off the pound cake that was given to us, and the oaty-berry-yummy bars that were given to us. We will probably freeze some of the cheese danish that were too cheap to pass up. Because, as Pastor Chris said on Sunday, we all need extra carbohydrates around the house at this time of year. He was advertising for the bake sale going on in the foyer.

Every version of the Grinch is good. I want to ride the uphill trash dumper machine!!! It seems like a ride at Schlitterbaun!!! White Christmas gets dull after just 10 minutes.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dropped the Ball

Ok, it has become shockingly clear that other people cannot audibly hear my every thought, so I'm going to have to impart some pertinent catchup info.

1. We are probably not going to put Hank in a head-reshaping-helmet. Insurance is not initially excited about paying for the first step CT scan. His head is starting to round out now that he's reliably sitting up for most of the day. And several relatives, who I trust, have looked at his head this weekend and they can't see the odd lumps that I think I can see. These lumps might not be there at all, and I might be just looking at his head too much. My big concern has not been childhood ridicule for an oddly shaped head, but later in life when his hair falls out and an odd shape would be more obvious. And as Cousin Four has pointed out, Hank is not going to be mad at me when at 40 or 50, he has lost his hair and realizes that lumpy head could have been avoided if I'd only put his head in a vise at six months of age. That will be in the 2050s or 2060s just for perspective. Good point. There is nothing wrong with his head (as far as we know) and the "treatment" would have been considered cosmetic. So, as I said, we are probably not going to be doing anything about this oddly flat head thingy.

2. I'm taking an Intermediate Accounting class this spring.

3. We are taking the umbrella stroller and baby sling with us when we travel.

4. Hank has gained a full pound since I started feeding him actual food several times a day. He is still considered underweight for his age, but is growing properly.

5. I fell down the stairs yesterday. My biannual missing of the last two stairs, just like I always do. I did NOT have a child in my hand at the moment. I did have an armload of (previously) folded laundry. I scraped and carpet burned one arm and severely jammed my second toe. Horrible injuries, that. Otherwise, I landed on my fluffily padded arse. Hubby had no hope of hearing the fall, being with both boys, a TV, with a running washer and drier between us. Cousin Four bolted over to me, kept examining the laundry and finally said, "there's no baby here!" "Nope, just me." Huge sigh of relief from him. Then, "Are YOU ok?" Completely understandable reaction, that still seemed funny at the moment. He then helped me up and asked if he could stop producing adrenaline now. Yes.

6. Quint has been having a lot of trouble sleeping through the night since he personally met Po from Kung Fo Panda. We saw him at the huge hotel with the great Christmas lights. He came out for his appearance probably 20 feet from us. (For a mere $50, you could have your picture taken WITH him!) Quint crawled out of the front of his double stroller, climbed my frame, clung like a burn and cried into my neck. We now have to have a nightly litany of "the Panda won't hurt you. The Panda won't come in here. The Panda doesn't know where you live. The dark can't get in." and other reassuring statements. So Hank and Quint are sleeping in separate places again so that Quint doens't wake Hank up.

I think my battery is just about to die!!! More later.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Quint's first Christmas tree

Quint is just over two years old now and he can articulate things better and better. Saturday, we went to the Opryland Hotel to see the lights and decorations. He saw a sixty foot Christmas tree of blue lights, a thirty foot regular Christmas tree decorated with 15 inch teddy bears, lights and whole gift boxes. We saw the poinsettia tree too. At Lowes, we saw all the prelit Christmas trees for sale as well.

Sunday night, Hubby got home from a business trip after Quint was in bed. We got down the tree from the attic and put it up in the living room. We were tempted to wake Quint up to see it, but didn't want to disturb him. A few minutes later, he woke up from a bad dream. Our eyes locked, and Hubby darted up the stairs to go get him. Quint was sooooo excited!!

He ran around saying Grismas Tree, Chrisma Tree, Grandma Tree, and lots of other variations. He was jumping up and down and clenching his fists in glee. It was sooooo much fun!!

All day Monday, the lit but undecorated tree stood in the living room. I kept telling him that when Papa got home we would decorate the tree. I would explain that we would put pretty things all over the tree. At one point during the day, he dug out his train underpants and decided that they needed to go on the tree.

While we were decorating the tree once Papa got home, Quint kept talking about decking Asians. I could just imagine (cartoon style of course) Quint punching some Asian guy.

It was very fun to decorate the tree for the first time with Quint.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Mispronunciations I can't bear to correct:

Alligator = escalator
Alligator = elevator
alligator = alligator

Grandma-tree = Christmas tree

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Making Baby Food

In my latest video of mommy advice, I explain how to make your own baby food and store it easily. There are two videos: a short one that gets the job done, and a long one that answers any questions you might have. The summary of the video is as follows:

Take two cans (matching) regular canned vegetables. Drain the water from one can. Combine both cans in your blender and blend until smooth. You may have to scrape down the sides occasionally. Pour finished baby food into a quart jar or tupperware bowl to keep in the fridge for daily use. Or put in smaller plastic containers to label and freeze.

Here is the longer video that gives lots more detail and answers a lot of questions:

Here is the shorter video, all of which is contained in the longer video:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Share The Love

Well, we've all shared the love at this point. Quint had a stomach virus that manifested Friday, Sunday and Monday. Hubby's version manifested all day Saturday. And now..... drumroll please...mine has manifested on Tuesday. And it's a busy day for Hubby at work so he couldn't stay home. So I've got a 26 month old, a 6 month old, nausea, aches, pains, and headache. Fun.

So far, Hank seems unaffected, but he spits up all the time and, now that he's on vegetables, his dirty diapers are unpredictable. Hmmm...

Ok, I'm thinking of either starting a new blog about raising two kids 20 months apart, but I'm also considering renaming this one. Which does everyone think I should do.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Poor Baby...

Quint has a stomach bug. This is the first time he's been sick since.... well, since I pulled him out of daycare. Hmm... that's interesting.

I'm gonna get a little gross here so beware.

The poor guy doesn't know how to throw up and I've had to coach him in ways to make it less gross. Like, "just let it come out your mouth, don't try to stop it". "You know that feeling you had right before you threw up? When you feel that again, try to tell us "throw up" so we can make it easier." And by that, I mean motor him to the hardwood floors or throw a blanket at him. It came out his nose once, poor guy.

The good news is that he didn't seem to feel bad. He wasn't whiny, or feverish, and he was still energetic. We all talked about it, and I'm not sure he ate hardly anything in the last two days. He threw up three times and the first time, I just nearly caught it in the face. He came over to me and coughed in my face. I chided him on covering his cough, turned away for the second cough, and he threw up on the third. Once in the living room, once on the kitchen floor, and once in his bed.

This evening, he wanted to eat some of my mac and cheese. I started to say he couldn't, that this was Mama's supper, then Hubby and I locked eyes and we got him his own plate. Down the hatch it went. So maybe he's feeling better. I hope so!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Easy and Cheap Ways to Simplify Your Kitchen

Here's my latest how-to video for organization and coping with two kids under two. My oldest is now technically 26 months old, but anyway....

Here's the outline of the video:
1. Simplify your tupperware.
2. Simplify your sippy cups.
3. Reuse quart applesauce jars. (They don't leak at ALL!)
4. Re-examine your baking dishes and store those you seldom use.
5. Repurpose your kitchen drawers.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Sometimes Quint will wake up happy and say that he "slept tight". "You slept tight, Mama?" "Yes, I slept tight." Papa slept tight? Yes, son, Papa slept tight. Hank slept tight? I think so. He didn't wake me up.

Some sunny mornings, after breakfast, he'll walk around smiling, patting his ribs, and say, "I'm happy Mama."

When I trip and stub my toe and just nearly cuss, he will offer to kiss and make it better.

When (miraculously) Hank hasn't been crying while I was out of view, he will wiggle all over and give me a huge open mouthed smile.

When Hank has been giving the most pitiful of pathetic cries while I was out of view, and I pick him up, he snuggles into my neck putting as much of his face and head skin against my neck, hold my shoulder with his right arm and squeeze.

Quint will frequently kiss his brother on the head. He will also sweetly say, "bwother cwying" as if he's sad to hear it (as opposed to exasperated like I probably am).

When I'm away from them for three hours, I want to wake them up to hug them but at the same time, want them to go directly back to sleep so I can go to sleep.

I love my boys and view my time at home with them as precious. They only bring me to the point of frustrated tears a few times a month, but the rest of the time is sweet and rewarding and exhausting and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Quint and the leaf blower

Thoma's first cereal.

Thomas making fun noises!

Quint in the leaves!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sitting up!

Here's the latest shots of my boys! Little Hank sat up for the first time yesterday!! As in, I pose him and he can maintain it for one to two minutes. When he first realized what he was doing, the look of joy and astonishment on his face was priceless!! And because I get to stay home with him, I got to see that face and not just hear about it. For me, that's huge! Here he is sitting up!

Here are both of my boys.
Quint being silly in the tub.
Quint holding Hank's hand.
Quint flying down the stairs with his teddy and blanket.
This hat is just too cute!!
My little leprechaun!
Silly face...

Smiley bubbles.

These pictures are in reverse order so the first one is the most recent and the last one is about a month old.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cutest things ever!

The other day, Hank was screaming his head off for his own supper while I was trying to fix a meal for all of us in the kitchen. Hank could see both Quint and I, but this was not enough. I asked Quint to go talk to him or play with him or give him a toy, or just tell him its alright. Quint calmly sat down beside Hank's bouncy seat, took Hank's hand in his and said, "It's alright, Thomas." I nearly cried that was so cute!! This surprised Hank for about 5 seconds of quiet. Then Quint said, "brother cwying" again to me. Like I can't hear him... I said, try a toy. Hand them to him one at a time. And Quint DID IT! He handed him about three toys in a row, each good for about 5 seconds of quiet, but still, it helped ME!

Outside today, I had Hank laying on two thick blankets on the ground while Quint and I played in the leaves, pulled weeds, whacked things with sticks, played with bubbles, etc. After a while, Quint went over to Hank, carefully crawled over him and kissed his forehead. Then he gently laid his body down on Hanks, squeezed Hank's shoulder and sat back up. Hank smiled, giggled, and kicked his feet (a sign of contentment for Hank). Then Quint saw I was watching and said, "kiss and hug brother". Sooooooo pweshus!

Hank has started reaching for my face when I am close enough. Sometimes he pats gently, but other times he grabs that thin, floppy neck skin of mine and twists like a demon!! But mostly he's smiling and coo-ing while he lovingly does this. I still think it's sweet.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hank is all smiles

Here's my Smiley Boy at Nannie's request.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New first for Quint

Well, it's official. Quint can finally get out of his crib. The loud thump woke us all up this morning, but there was no crying. He just came to find us. This only comes about a year after we expected it, so I'm kinda relieved that he's learning to be brave and try new things. You just watch, I'll REALLY regret saying that shortly.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Clean a living room in 4.5 minutes

This video shows how you can make a room look remarkably better in just a few minutes. This is neatening as opposed to cleaning. Cleaning involves removing dirt. Neatening is what you do to either restore sanity, or start to actually clean. But a quick neatening job can make you feel better so you can maybe tackle the next room in a similar fashion, and then maybe the kitchen, and the satisfaction of seeing one thing done can just snowball until you've got the whole house neat or clean. Or until the kids wake up from their nap...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

How to diaper a baby

Here's what actually happened this morning.

Convince Quint (toddler) that I can change his exceptionally stinky diaper for him before we play play-doh. Haul him to the upstairs changing table which is still missing it's changing pad cover because it's clean but not upstairs yet. Clean up his diaper while fighting with the wipes container which is nearly out and therefore doesn't weigh enough to be able to get the wipes to separate after you pull them out.

Try not to cuss.

Finally get him cleaned up only to realize that there are no toddler diapers on this changing table. You've brought them upstairs, but haven't gotten them this far yet.

Tell Quint not to move one muscle, DO NOT try to climb down from this changing table. Dash to the bedroom to fetch the new package of toddler diapers.

Finish diapering the toddler.

Go play play-doh while the infant (Hank) starts to make mildly distressed noises. I still haven't changed him this morning, though everyone HAS been fed.

Hang up dress shirts out of dryer.

Fetch hangers from our closet.

Finish hanging dress shirts out of dryer.

Clean up play-doh since Quint has left the room to play with something else.

Pick up Hank, who gives me the sweetest smile, and take him to the changing table.

Realize that Hank has had a dirty diaper which has leaked out the top of his diaper onto his shirt and blanket.

Realize that you used the last wipe on Quint.

Try not to cuss.

Think, think, think! Do you have any wipes upstairs? Yes, near the play-doh to help with cleanup. Dash at lightening speed to fetch those.

Start to clean up baby. Get mess all over the plastic changing pad, all over Hank's back, clean it up with wipes and the blanket that's already dirty. Carefully wrap blanket and shirt so that clean sides are outside and bend to put it in the dirty clothes basket under the changing table.

Try not to cuss because the basket is missing. Put the bundle where the basket should be which keeps the mess confined. (A baby gate prevents Quint from disrupting this plan.)

Decide to bathe Hank. Wrap Hank in a clean blanket for transport to the bathtub.

Realize I'll need a diaper nearly as soon as we get out of the tub. Realize the package of infant diapers is empty. Lay Hank on the floor wrapped in his blanket while I open a new package of diapers and while I'm at it, do it right. I empty the new package and put the diapers in my diaper holder box. I do the same for Quint's diapers in the box right beside Hanks.

Turn back to Hank to realize that he has peed while all this happened, but miraculously, it was all caught by the blanket.

Haul Hank to the tub. One glance in the tub confirms that the tub is too dirty for an infant bath. Grab the baby bath soap and move to my bathtub.

Convince Quint that he doesn't need a bath, too. Start to fill the tub which scares Hank because of the noise. Comfort Hank in his pee blanket while testing the water temp with my other hand.

Bathe Hank. Tell Quint not to put his face right beside my elbow while I'm doing, well, anything. Please go somewhere else.

Forbid Quint to add a cracker to the bath water.

Forbid Quint to add a box of crackers to the bath water.

Tell Quint not to sit on the flat of my calves while I kneel to bathe his brother.

Finish bathing Hank, take him out, and start to dry him off. Put on diaper.

Take him back to his room for a fresh T-shirt and sleeper (to keep him warm after his bath.

Wander around for a minute looking for a fleece blanket to keep him extra warm while he's fresh from the bath.

Hear Hank spit up and feel something trickle off my elbow. REALLY?!

Find a burp rag and mop up my arm, shoulder, and Hank's fresh sleeper.

Grab the bouncy, go downstairs with all children to find a fleece blanket. Apply fleece blanket and a bib to Hank.

Turn on VeggieTales Moe and the Big Exit for the third time in three days.



Wish for a real drink. Dr. Pepper will have to do.

Moral of the story is - don't put off doing your chores which includes restocking the changing table, finishing laundry, and cleaning the tub.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Little diaper bag

OK, I'm starting something new. I'm filming little how-to videos for new moms or moms trying to shift from one kid to two. If nothing else, they can see how I do it and take one tiny aspect for themselves. I hope to do organizational things for the house, car, outings, and possibly some money saving things. Here's my first try:

Here's what I carry in my little diaper bag for short trips around our suburb.

Other ideas I've got are for how to simplify your kitchen, how to roast a chicken in 7 minutes flat with things already in your kitchen, and other recipes for people who only have time to cook in 2 minute snatches. Let me know what you think. Or what I accidentally videoed in the background that's horrible...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

That's not a rule....is it?

There are a lot of things I've said in the past year that have surprised me. Plus a lot of rules I've made that make me laugh. Here's a sampling:

Do NOT lick the wall.

Do not throw toys, except balls, and then never at people's heads.

Don't TOUCH ANYTHING! (Usually this is because he's running free with something gooey all over his hands.)

Do not wipe your nose on the couch.

Please get your lettuce out of your chocolate milk.

Do not step on your toys.

Do not let Elmo swim in the toilet.

Wearing your sandals with the picture of Pooh does not hurt Pooh. See, he's even smiling!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hank's Baptism

Here's the video of Hank's baptism. We were very proud of how many folks wanted to stand up with us for his baptism.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Quint's Second Birthday

With my folks in town for the week, there's been little computer time, but here is the video of the crucial song!

More will follow with time...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Chawky Mick

Because I'm home with the boys all the time now, Quint doesn't want me to go anywhere without him. Last night, we needed some groceries, the most urgent of which was milk. We had 2%, but were out of whole. Quint kept saying , "No, Mama, no store" or "me store, ME!" Now he looooooves his chocolate milk. I just told him that we were out of chocolate milk and I had to go to the store to get more. Small thoughtful pause. "OK Mama." And a couple minutes later, when I had yet to pick up my purse, he said, "bye, bye, store, Mama." :-p Manipulative little so and so.

Tonight, I told him I was going to go to church by myself for a while. He went through the same thing of "No, Mama, no church." "Me church too?"

Recently, during a really rainy day, he really wanted to go somewhere, and anywhere would do. He systematically listed off every place we ever go. Jump place, park, walk, store, church, out-eat, etc. Finally he just kept saying "Go!!" and pointing to the front door. Poor thing. It was 60 degrees and raining and I just wasn't going to take us out in that out of only boredom. Two days before it was 105.

Whoops, teething baby, gotta go...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

My boys

Ok, I've gotten a lot done on my class, so I'm rewarding myself with a blog entry. But it's mostly pictures, so ENJOY!

So I got silly with the shampoo process...
Quint had an odd reaction to seeing Hank in his exersaucer type thingy for the first time. Hank loved it!
Quint: Mama! Get him outta there!
Hank: Ladidida...Cool, check out that baby in the mirror!
We lent this to a friend for a few months and she returned it cleaner than I've ever seen it. Check out that clear plastic thing on the right. I had no idea you could get it actually CLEAR!!
Quint entering the pool in his unique way...
Quint dressed as a Little House on the Prairie
character. Despite this face, he really did
like the overalls.

Papa and HankHank and Papa

Papa: Quint, Don't punch your brother!
Quint: My life was PERFECT before you came!
Hank: Just try it wise-guy. One day I'll be taller than you.

All my boys!
Quint the little angel....maybe devilish angel...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Computer time

I'm trying to spend more time on the computer working on my accounting class. The real result is more blog entries, facebook time, email checkage, and weather checkage. I've gotta do better.

But here's the daily update on Hank's rash. Since it started leaking clear stuff late last night, we went to the doctor today. He said it wasn't ringworm, but just eczema. OH! So that's why the anti-fungal hasn't been working. Good to know. Hydrocortizone, neosporin, or eucerin are the cures.

Other Hank news is that we had an extended neck sighting the other day! Perhaps 60 seconds straight of both sides of the neck being visible! Right now, he's propped up in the high chair trying to make a rattle do what he wants. We'll see how Quint reacts to him using the chair when they get back from the jump place.

God bless the jump place when I need to study accounting, Papa is home, and it's 105 freakin' degrees outside.

In the TMI category - the planets aligned and sex happened!! EEEEVVVERYone is happier in life now.

In unrelated news, I fell on a rusty screw the other day and cut my thigh pretty bad. But Dammit that spider DIED!!!! So now I need a tetnis shot. Apparently a tetnis shot is good for 10 years unless you cut yourself with something rusty. So why is it supposedly good for 10 years? Not looking forward to that.... The sweet part was that Quint was playing in his pool nearby and asked me several times, "OK?" as in "are you alright?" Finally I said no, I'm not alright. He got out of the pool, stopped what he was doing, came to me and patted things. He had no idea what to do, but thought that concerned patting would help. And it did! It made me smile and quelled the urge to cuss really really loudly.

OK, I gotta get back to studying. Hubby is still at the jump place, but I gotta use my time better.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Things Got Better

I remember when Quint was about 4 months old that suddenly, things seemed easier. I couldn't define how, exactly, but things were just better. I've always thought it was odd in Dick Francis books when he would say simply that "things got better". I get it now.

Monday, I had that feeling for the first time since Hank was born. It suddenly occurred to me that this has suddenly gotten easier. I have no idea if the situation has changed or if I've just gotten used to it. Hank doesn't have to be fed every 2 hours any more. He can go 4 or 6 hours pretty easily. Quint has cut down on needing something done RIGHT NOW simply because I'm nursing Hank.

On the other hand, Quint has turned into the no-monster. He'll just shout no instead of using his words to tell you what he really wants. On the other hand, when I raise my eyebrows and firmly say "NO" he stops asking for whatever.

The irony of my revelation that things are better is that very night Hubby was left home with both babies for nearly 6 hours. Hank got upset and wouldn't take a bottle. Hank cried for so long and so hard that Quint got upset that Hank was upset and so they were both howling when I came in. Hubby was a little wild eyed, very frustrated, and said he had a new found respect for me. I cuddled Quint and asked Hubby to hand me Hank so I could nurse him. With both babies on board, things got quiet. Everyone breathe a sigh of relief. Earlier, I had asked Cousin 4 how the night was going. He very politely said, "well, things were ok for a few minutes...a couple hours ago."

Hank is 3.5 months old, so this revelation of "easier" has come 2 weeks earlier than I expected. I knew I would need the most help this summer while Hank was the tiniest, and Cousin 4 has filled in that gap quite well. He was here and unemployed for 6 weeks to help me out during the day. Primarily, he picked up toys (restoring my sanity) and bounced the bouncy seat (allowing me to nap). Those two baby related things were a HUGE help, not to mention all the dishes, sweeping, trash taking, and cooking he did.

The other day, Hubby got on my case for how trashy my car was on the inside. Junk and trash accumulate at an astonishing rate and very occasionally, I shovel it all out. During the summer here, me cleaning out my car usually means having my two babies sit in the car in 95 degree heat while I clean out my car. Not happening. And once I bring them all in, I never think about it again. Ever. It's one of those chores that when it goes undone, it only inconveniences me. So it gets skipped. Always.

A while later, Hubby returned from getting my car inspected to find me supervising coloring "try to stay on the paper, honey. Please don't step on the crayons..." folding laundry, listening to the clothes washer and dryer, and listening to Hank be exceptionally frustrated that he couldn't roll over. He took all this in, and apologized. It was very sweet and did wonders for us both. Again, things got better. Better is good.

Oh yeah, and Hank rolled back to front for the first time! That's our new baby trick for this week.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Recent Conversation at My House

Me: Hey Honey, did you see how I arranged the roses in the vase?

Him: Yeah, it's different and really pretty! You're quite the interior decorator!


Me: Really? I thought you didn't like how I decorated things.

Him: No, you do a great job.

Me: But you won't let me do a lot of the things I want to do.

Him: Sure I will! What would you like to do?

Me: Take Jeff Davis off the living room wall?

Him: (quick response) No.

Me: Or take down the picture of the Rockies in the sofa room?

Him: (quick response) No.

Me: See, you don't let me do the stuff I really want to do.

Him: What's so wrong with the picture of the Rockies?

Me: Um, you've never been there, the colors clash, and the frame is a different kind of wood from anything else in the whole house.

Him: But there are family obligations tied up in that picture.

Me: To who?

Him: Ummm...

Me: Yeah, I thought so.

Him: But the flowers look great!

Me: Thanks honey.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Eventful weekend!

We had a Grandma visit and a baptism! Here's the photographic narrative.

Here, Grandma and Quint are playing stomp the leaves.
Here, they're looking for lost treasure (AKA the sidewalk chalk).
(switch to Australian accent)
Here in the wild, Quint searches for local wildlife.

Having found what he was searching for, he takes
control of the situation by force of his mighty weapon.

Quint and Hank together.

Darling Quint
Hank being baptized by Allen Black and Chris Seifert.
Thanks Suzanne for taking these pictures!
They are great!

We had quite a crowd of people to support us at this baptism! It was very sweet and we were very touched. Along with Grandma, most of the choir came forward to be with us, and three whole families of our friends came forward as well. Hubby nearly teared up at that.

Afterward, we went out to eat with one of those families and S had a lot of fun laughing with Quint. This was the most enjoyable dinner out I've had in over two years! No one needed to be nursed or hand fed the whole time! For the first time, we ordered for Quint off the kids menu and he ate pretty well! Nothing like nuggets and fries at a Mexican restaurant! I didn't even have to mop up Quint's hands and face afterward! (someone else did) It was so relaxing!
This one is just too funny. If you imagine
the black things on either side of his head
as startled beagle ears, it seems even funnier.
This guy, however, is in the middle of singing you a
Sinatra style sad love song, and charming your pants off.

Hubby is going to be home all this week! Or rather, will be in town and home in the evenings. I start my Intermediate Accounting class tomorrow evening. I'll be gone from the house for 6 hours which will be the longest I've ever been away from Hank. Sniff sniff...

For those of you wondering, I'm taking one accounting type class per semester while I'm staying home with the boys for the purpose of re-entering the workforce when Hank starts school. I'm planning ahead to fight against the gap on my resume for while I'm home with the boys.

Hubby will be teaching one course this semester which will meet on Thursday nights.

Cousin 4 is taking his last course this month for his masters. So soon, we'll be some highly edge-a-ma-kated peoples around here with three advanced degrees in the house.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Train Underpants Thomas

While Cousin 4 and I were preparing dinner the other night, Quint came in and told us, cute little hands folded, "Train Underpants Thomas". He said this a couple times and waited as if we were supposed to do something. I said something like, "yes, Thomas is on your Train Underpants." Ten minutes later, I went into the living room to find this.

He had benevolently given all his train underpants to his brother.
A very sweet big brother, sharing things like underpants, cheezits, ice water, books (that one scared the crap out of me). He has only once tried to pick him up off the couch, but at 23 months there is no way he's strong enough to do that.
And here's some cute ones of Hank enjoying being propped up with pillows. And he usually doesn't whimper until he's completely laying flat.

We had been concerned that Hank had a lazy eye, but a trip to the ophthalmologist proved that he has exceptionally healthy eyes.

Here are a few prayer requests for those of you who know us.
Please pray for my sister D and her son C.
Please pray for my mother-in-law J.
Please pray for my sister-in-law and her family in Baltimore.
Please pray for rain for Texas.
Please pray for the fires in Texas.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Two weeks?!

Has it really been two weeks since I blogged?! Good grief. So here come the highlights in reverse order.

Cousin 4 has a job! He was offered and accepted today a job in his own field that's within 10 minutes of the house. He was floating around 4 inches off the ground today.

My dear friends MD and GLD3 left today after a lovely 5 day visit. They got to meet Hank, see the sights, visit the bouncy house place, and enjoy some temperatures in the 70s and 80s! They're from Texas, by the way, and while they didn't get to see rain while they were here, they did get to comfortably sit outside in a breeze with green surroundings. When my mom visited from Texas earlier this summer, she was here for 10 days and it didn't rain a single time, which is very unlike our area. So maybe it's the people in Texas that are making it hot and dry.

This weekend, we had a G3, a G4, and a G5 in the house, all at the same time. And none of them are directly related! The closest was a second cousin. At times, we resorted to Trey, Four, and Quint. I wonder if our son will think that men that aren't his brother or father are all named G?

I'm trying to get registered for a class for this fall. It will only meet one night a week, on Mondays. I keep forgetting to pump milk so we can get Hank used to a bottle so I can go to class without leaving Hubby with 3 hours of crying baby. And the milk I've pumped, I've let go bad in the fridge. Duh. But I no longer view my breast milk as hard won liquid gold. Hard to keep up that mentality when it squirts out onto the bathroom counter when you're trying to dry off from a shower.

When my dear friend MD and I were in college or high school or something, she read a 1950s book about housekeeping. One of the tips was to prepare for your husband's arrival home from work by freshening your makeup, neatening up the living room, making sure the kids look clean, and preparing dinner. At the time, we talked about it and said something like, "yeah, freakin' right!" On Tuesday, with her help, in the 40 minutes before Hubby walked through the door, we neatened both living rooms, cleared off the dining table, prepared a simple casserole, started the washer, dryer, and dishwasher, and kept both kids happy while we did it. She mentioned the 1950s book and I admitted that I think of that most days! When we read it we thought, "my how times have changed!" and now we think, "my how times have changed, again." No, this is not my duty to my husband, but I've found that the evening goes a whole lot smoother when the sight of the house puts a smile on his face.

The Women's Liberation Movement has really kicked women in the butt. Sure, women can get out there and have a job outside the home, earn the money, bring bacon, fry bacon, clean the pan, put it away, and make sure there's bacon for tomorrow. But the downside is a generation of men who think that they shouldn't do ANY of that. I can't tell you how many single women I know who can only find lazy "can you support me, honey?" type men. But I digress....

Hubby is about to be out of town for 4 days. A big daily motivator for me is his arrival home. Starting around 3pm, or when we all get up from our nap, I start thinking about dinner and my "got done" list. If there's nothing really on my "got done" list, I get off my butt and fix that. With him not coming home for the next few days, I wonder if I'll get much done. Apparently, it's list time.

I'll include pictures of recent events soon!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

When you're expecting a muppet for dinner....

I have a dear friend who came to visit me and meet my youngest son the other day. She (we'll call her CK) hadn't met him yet because her life is just a LITTLE bit busy right now. Her daughter had her first baby 5 days before Hank was born. So she's a new grandmother. Also CK's mother has been struggling with Alzheimer's and has taken a serious nose dive since November. To help her siblings care for their mother, CK drives nearly 3 hours one way every weekend to spend the night at her mom's. Also, CK's daughter was in the hospital for a long time after the birth and had to go back into the hospital a month later for several days. Did I mention that CK has a full time job downtown?

I hadn't managed to see CK or her new grandbaby because I've been a little busy with two boys under two. Occasionally we would email or leave each other messages. At some point she expressed distress at not having met Hank, especially since she held Quint before he was 5 hours old. I did my best to reassure her that sometimes life gets busy and we can't see our friends as much. That doesn't mean we don't love them, we're just busy. Life with two boys will calm down for me and her life will slow down one day too. We'll catch up then and have regular lunches again then.

So Tuesday, we finally managed to get together. CK, her daughter, and granddaughter came for dinner and hanging out. And they brought dinner! Awesome! AND Hank wasn't having a colicky night. ALL SIX PLANETS ALIGNED!!

Starting mid-afternoon, when I was certain that they were coming today, I started telling Quint about them so he could expect visitors. The baby's name is Zoey. So I said several times that Zoey was coming to visit. He lit up! Every time I mentioned it, he was excited that Zoey was coming. Odd reaction, but whatever....

When they were ten minutes out and were taking my dinner order, I told Quint they would be here any minute. He started watching the driveway. When the car pulled up, he shouted, "ZOEY!!!" and ran to the door. I still had no idea what his excitement was about. CK came in with the baby in her carseat and Quint got a good look at the baby. We matched his enthusiasm and said, "here is Zoey!!" He was polite and happy, but was obviously disappointed. I was so glad to see CK that I barely noticed.

While we were eating, and Zoey was in the swing, he kept turning around, looking at Zoey, and saying, "Zoey" kind of with a sigh. Only then did it occur to me that he was expecting a Muppet to come to dinner. Zoe the Muppet, not Zoey my friend's grandbaby.
I shared this revelation with everyone and Quint looked at me like, "duh, Mama, Zoe!" They had no idea that there was a Zoe Muppet. So we had to find a clip of her on my 40 Years of Sunny Days DVD. They were tickled. I pointed out that baby Zoe's were even on the Pampers they had been using.

Quint is a great kid. Even when I accidentally trick him into thinking a Muppet is coming to dinner, he still doesn't loose his s-h-i-t.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Self-propelled - two very awesome words

One of our cost cutting efforts was to cancel the lawn service. Duh! you say, but for a mere $50 per month, only during the summer, we have avoided approximately one hour of marital argument time PER WEEKEND for as long as we've been paying someone else to do it. We fundamentally disagree about the phrase "it needs it". And we completely recognized that we were paying for weekend peace rather than lawn care.

A luxury we can no longer afford at $300 per year (leaf work in the fall is $75),

So a while back I started looking for a self propelled mower for cheap. Yes we have a push mower, but it didn't start well six years ago when it was lodged under our deck. Cousin 4 and Nannie contributed money to this endeavor when it became apparent that I was being too cheap in my search. Cousin 4, being male, can go into pawn shops and mower shops and not get swindled. He found a lovely used mower for $125.

And have I mentioned our vertical lawn. It's the reason we have to have a self propelled. This picture depicts at least ten vertical feet but at times it feels like a hundred. This is Tennessee the land of no flat land. And the steepest part of our yard has two Sweetgum trees. Female Sweetgum trees. (Think "seeds" and not "balls" and this makes sense.) Which means they emit stickerballs. Thousands of stickerballs. Which no mower machine has trouble with, but the person behind the mower will roll the length of their foot on a regular basis. So take your vertical lawn and add one thousand stickerballs. This makes mowing the lawn A LOT more difficult.

However! Now we have a self-propelled mower instead of a plain push mower.

The planets aligned this morning in that I was awake, the boys were not and it was 72 degrees outside! So I mowed the front lawn this morning for the first time in at least 5 years.

Things I've learned this morning:
Self-propelled are some of the most beautiful words in the english language.
Self-propelling downhill makes you have to trot to keep up.
Self-propelled are some of the most beautiful words in the english language.
I am SOOOOOO out of shape.
Self-propelled are some of the most beautiful words in the english language.
There is NO breeze today but loads of humidity.
Self-propelled are some of the most beautiful words in the english language.
It is pretty satisfying to see a neat lawn and know you did it yourself.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

What can YOU do in twenty minutes?

Guilty party
I can play "knock, knock" with Quint for a minute and then slide the fish sticks in the oven for 16 minutes. Then look at Hank in the swing closely only to realize that he's had an explosive dirty diaper. He's sitting in a puddle which also shot out of his diaper and up onto the top edge of the swing seat. Start mopping that up and quickly determine that Hank needs a bath. Mostly clean up the baby AND the changing table. Take the baby upstairs and start to run a bath. Convince the toddler that he does not need a bath right this minute and please, please, please get out of the way and (gulp!) why don't you stay up here with Mama and NOT go play in the still dirty swing. Can you close the gate? Uh-Huh! crisis #2 averted. Bathe the baby, dry the baby, dress the baby, set the baby in his crib. Wash hands. Dash downstairs to jerk the fish sticks out of the oven with 21 seconds to spare! Dash back upstairs to fetch Quint, shove him in his highchair (where he can't play in the still dirty swing). Answer the phone! (Com'on, you knew the phone was gonna ring in here somewhere!) Give my sister the short version of the last 16 minutes while cutting up fish sticks and applying ketchup. Hands feel sticky with no telling what - wash hands again. Talk and laugh with Sis while I figure out that the dirty straps on the swing are attached to the swing, and not to the washable cover. Drat! (to say the least) Extract the washable cover from the hard plastic swing and take all icky cloth to the washing machine. Wash the straps as best as possible. Listen to a gruesome tale from the ER via my nurse sister. Agree with her that your big toe is really the only toe you really NEED. Learn that you should put cut off body parts in a baggie with a wet rag and THEN in ice for transport to the ER. It's only teeth that should be put in a glass of milk. Bring clean, swaddled baby downstairs in the bouncy seat. Extract toddler from his high chair since he (for once) ate all of his food before saying "all done!". Notice that my hands are damp with something. Panic, wash hands again, and look at everything I've touched in the last 90 seconds. Take the speaker phone away from the toddler and hang up with my sister. Put my own fish sticks on a plate with ketchup, move baby and bouncy to living room and sit down to eat my lunch.

So what can YOU do in 20 minutes?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Random thoughts

Wow, 11 days since I last posted! In short, here's the events that have happened that have not really been covered in the blog: (they are not in order)

Mom visited for 10 days. Hubby was out of town for 7 days of that. Cousin 4 has moved in and seems to have fit seamlessly into our lives. Mom, the boys and I went to the zoo, and to see the train display at a local botanical gardens. Mom went on a motorcycle ride with Cousin 4. The boys, Nina, Nina's granddaughter and I went to a bouncy house indoor playground, had a blast, and managed not to paralyze ourselves due to overexertion . The heat wave has driven us indoors, for the most part. I realized today that Quint hasn't gotten really dirty in 4 days - a crime for a boy of nearly 2! Hank had his 2 month checkup and is a healthy, normal little boy.

Super Hank!!
The boys together.
Mom (AKA Nannie) is taken for a ride!
Hank looking more like Hank than
like a startled frog.
Quint and Nannie at the train display.
Nannie and Quint on the zoo carousel.
We rode it a total of 8 times.
Nannie and Hank.
Give us a wave, Hank.

Hank now weighs 11 pounds! He is fully within regular standards, but is taller and slimmer than Quint was. I had noticed this on some of my favorite baby outfits. Hank is outgrowing them vertically, while they are still baggy around the middle. He smiles a lot while he's on the changing table. He coos a lot. He has what his doctor is calling colic several nights a week. I thought it was due to virtually any strong spice. But last night, I had some wonderfully spicy chili (garlic included!) with no ill effects for little Hank. So maybe I can stop eating only the blandest of foods.

My quest for bland yet yummy foods has prompted me to try cooking some simple yet delicious meals. I've recently roasted a whole chicken and served it with green beans, flaky biscuits, hominy, and a berry-yogurt dessert. The three men I fed this to raved and raved about the meal. Cousin 4 made us all french toast for supper recently and it was the first time I'd loved it.

Quint has, just today, been really verbal and has strung together several words to make near sentences. "Chocolate milk yummy!" was the cutest. He probably used 20 new words today. These are words that I knew he knew what they meant, but he had never actually said them. He talked of coupling rail cars, which he calls rail trucks due to Thomas the Train. I also think he was saying "shunt" while playing with his little train today. He would say this while shunting a couple of cars to the side. He LOVES his little plastic train set. Yet when the little cars derail and lay on their side, he seems to panic! It's as if he thinks someone is hurt or hurting. Perhaps the over-personification of Thomas and friends has its' downside.

Really random and detached thoughts - one sentence has nothing to do with the next. I have to do a load of baby laundry every other day. We've managed to clean out the dryer vent (an annual cuss-fest) without any actual cussing! I try to only go to the grocery store twice a week now - not that I need that many groceries, it just seems harder to put off a cheeto deficiency. I bought 376 diapers the other day for $50.45 - that's about 16 cents a diaper!! I've cooked several meals lately for the four of us with plates for about $4-5.00 per meal. That's for the whole meal, not per person. ($3 chicken, 35 cent hominy, 70 cent green beans, $1.30 flaky biscuits.) I am awesome!! Yet I've had some trouble with depression due to my lack of exercise due to the heatwave.