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.