Friday, December 29, 2006

I May Be Sick, But...

I can wear size 10 pants again! Not that I wouldn't like to drop another couple of sizes, but it is a great start to be down that far in two months. Breastfeeding is a wonderful thing for so many reasons.

Anatomy101

The Baby Boy's big sisters are trying their hardest to give him a complex before he even learns to crawl. They routinely come in during diaper changes and comment on his "cute, little p----!" They think everything about him is fascinating.

The other day, the four year old again came in to observe a diaper change and this time she asked, "What's that big thing under his p----?" I told her the proper name for that particular body part, but she was skeptical. She asked if her big brother also had them. And then she asked if her dad did. I wanted to stop pursuing this line of questioning, so I informed her that all boys did.

"Really? Does our dog have them too?"

"Uh. Um. Well, he used to."

"What happened to them?"

This continued on through an explanation about our not wanting him to make puppies and that the vet did the procedure.

I just hope that next time she's mad at her brother, she doesn't suggest we take him to the vet.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

In Sickness and in Health

Yesterday was my ninth wedding anniversary. We'll have to celebrate later. For the record, we currently have one bronchial infection, one UTI, three on and off fevers and lots of snotty noses.





Friday, December 22, 2006

Nice Place You've Got There

That Other Jordana, formerly seen at The Pregnant Waddle, has a lovely new location for her blog and a new blog title as well.

That Doesn't Make For the Happiest Holiday

My four year old is convinced that one of Santa's Reindeer is named Cancer.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

So Many Things...

So...

We just bought a house...

And there is this thing called Christmas coming up...

It's keeping me busy and I'm not even the one playing general contractor.

We closed on the house on Monday, December 11. On Wednesday, we had the porch roof ripped off and met with a fencing contractor.

On Friday the HVAC guys started redoing all the ductwork. Also on Friday, we had a dumpster dropped off in the backyard at the new house. Also on Friday, my parents arrived with two van loads of stuff, including, but not limited to, a clawfoot tub, a dishwasher, a sofa, and a four poster bed. Also on Friday, we had to go to my husband's office Christmas party, which is a fun family affair with good food and lots of silliness.

On Saturday we (including my parents) all got up, dragged ourselves over to the new house and spent the whole day filling up the dumpster by clearing the piles of scrap wood filled with nails, trash, nasty underwear and other garbage from the backyard and garage. My mother also started in on the attic.

On Sunday, after church my parents and Justin worked on the attic and the backyard some more. Throwing away peed on mattresses left in the attic and much of the "insulation" (aka newspapers) left up there as well. The dumpster was full.

On Monday, I had to take the littlest to the doctor for his two month checkup. Justin took the day off from work and spent the whole day working on cleaning the attic. The first dumpster was hauled off and a new one was brought in its place. I watched kids, trimmed a tree and met with the guys who built the cabinets in the kitchen and whom we hope will finish the job now that it's under new management. Unsurprisingly for Nashville, they are country music singers as well as carpenters. Justin also met with a fellow who does a lot of the lawn care in the neighborhood and signed him up to clear the part of the backyard affectionately (or not) known as "the jungle." The guy told us it would really help with the snakes in the summer. That made me really happy.

On Tuesday, the yard guy started clearing brush and the HVAC guys finished all the ductwork and installed a new upstairs unit.

Today, the electricians began their work removing old ragwire and knob and tube. I baked cookies so we'd have a present for the kids swimming teacher, went shopping for Justin's secretary (I knew I had forgotten someone!) and bought an oven for the new kitchen. The credit card company thought my card had been stolen with all the shopping and made me wait at the appliance store for about 20 minutes while they verified my information over and over again. I was glad they were looking out for me, but it made us late for swimming. And since I had been up baking cookies at 7 this morning, I wasn't about to miss the chance to give them away.

And this evening? We have Bible class and I have to get over to the other house so I can mark all the places I want the electricians to put in lovely new outlets.

The fun never ends around here.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Let It Snow

No, it isn't snowing here. I think we have a predicted high of 60 degrees today. However, one of my son's favorite Christmas projects and something we have done together every year since he was semi-able to handle scissors, is to make a snow flurry of paper snowflakes.

There are directions all over the web for folding the paper. Once that's done, we go to town, cutting and snipping and making a big mess to be swept up later.

To flatten out the snowflakes after they are all cut out, I iron them on the lowest setting on my iron that steams (I think it is "wool"). After that we either punch a hole in them and hang them some place, or I use a bit of double-stick tape to tape them to the windows. After the holidays, we can throw them away and start fresh the next year.

Here's this year's display:



The Battle of Nashville -- 142 Years Later

On December 15, 1864, the Battle of Nashville was fought on the land where my current house now stands. The Battle of Nashville was the final death knell for the Confederate Army, and it wasn't long until the war was finally over.

The current battle monument is located just down the street and our neighbor one street over from us found a Confederate cannon ball while digging in her garden.



Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Progress and Hope

To clarify my entry from yesterday, the first estimate we got several months ago was from a fellow no longer with that particular HVAC company, primarily because he was low-balling every estimate. The previous owner had had an incredibly cheap and crummy HVAC job done and so really nothing should have surprised me -- we already knew it was substandard equipment and that it hadn't been properly installed.

Since we had gotten an estimate though, I was a bit shocked to find out just how much more the real costs would run. The worst case scenario was having to replace everything. It seems that that is not going to be necessary. However, we will have to put in new ducts and a new unit upstairs, since that stuff all has mold in it. We have better estimates now and the price, while much worse than we thought, is not as bad as we feared.

Some things are really clicking faster than we could have hoped. Our roofer came over this morning and his men have been busy tearing off the porch roof -- all three layers of which were rotten. We'll be getting a new metal roof next week. Next week the electricians are supposed to begin their work and if the weather is good we might get a fence to hold in the dog and the kidlets the week between Christmas and New Year's.

While this doesn't take care of all the things I would like to have done before we move, it will make a big dent in the list.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Money Pit

As much as you tell yourself that things will cost more than you expect and you know you are getting yourself into a heap of trouble, I still wasn't expecting our revised HVAC estimate to be seven times the first estimate. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Closing Day

Today we close on the money pit. The house we live in now has been pretty easy on us and this one won't be. I'm looking forward to the space and the prettiness, but I'm just a little scared.

Actually, I'm terrified.

Update: Pictures!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I Wish I'd Taken A Photo

This morning, the two year old asked for some "egg knock" to drink and then with her upper lip dripping, she smiled at me and asked, "Do you like my musk ox?"

Grammar Time

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
Make a Quiz



Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Books, Books and More Books

We have a lot of books. A lot of books. Since we're moving, I've been packing books. I can't pack them all right now, but I have to pack enough of them to make our house look less cluttered. I haven't finished packing books yet and have already filled over ten boxes. One begins to wonder whether the family love affair with books is a good idea when one packs and carries these boxes.

Along with the high brow reading material contained within some of these boxes, I also filled one entire box with our Tintin, Asterix, Calvin and Hobbes, and Bloom County collection. I can't believe we own that many comic books or as many books of any kind as we do, and yet as I pack them and look through all of them, there are very few I sort out to send to Goodwill and even fewer once my husband puts back in all of his books.

Light Reading



The four year old studies theology.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Way Back When

Seven years ago on the last day of November, the baby I was expecting was overdue. I was miserable and kept poking my belly announcing to the creature inside that I was issuing an eviction notice. Finally, on that last November day, I started feeling contractions. Once in a while, but not often enough to actually seem like labor.

That night, we went to the mall to walk around and time contractions. Later, I decided (way too early) that it was time to go to the hospital. They did keep me, and I labored all night. With the dawn, my desire for natural labor had comletely disappeared and I got an epidural. Which turned out to be a good thing, since until I got it I had not dilated any further from where I'd been when I checked into the hospital.

Then I labored and labored and labored. The day passed. Everything moved s-l-o-w-l-y. Finally, after 25 hours and three hours of pushing, The Boy was born at 10:20 p.m. on December 1. He'd managed to make it as hard for me to get him out as possible, being over nine pounds, facing up instead of down and holding his hand up to his face.

I became a mom. The authorities trusted me to bring home a tiny little human. I had very little idea what life would be like with a demanding, wailing creature around and now seven years and three more children around, I can hardly remember that time before children.

The Boy has grown and changed so much in seven years, that I can barely recognize the face of the baby I once cuddled in the lean, lanky boy. Usually I think I want to keep him and see what the years to come will bring.



Thursday, November 30, 2006

I Knew Them When

I found out last night that my friend's band won the YouTube Underground music contest for best song. So congrats to Greenland.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

If Only I Remembered Math

You paid attention during 91% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz



Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Homey Days

Today I had dinner (split pea soup) simmering in the crockpot by 7:15 and managed to make banana-cranberry bran muffins before lunch time. We also did school and I had my 6-week post partum check up. I seem to be getting things done and everything is clicking.

What I want to know is -- why can't I manage this level of efficiency at least once a week?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Desperate Times

Did you know that you can, in fact, cram a 26 pound child into a size 1 diaper?

I wouldn't recommend it as a general practice though. The cries of, "Mommy, my diaper is too tight!" get kind of annoying after a while.

I could have gotten a better fit if I'd had some duct tape in my purse.

I already carry a pocket knife and a tape measure, but clearly my Mcgyvering skills would be improved by the addition of duct tape. Do they make purse-sized rolls?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Uh Oh







Which Wooster and Jeeves Character Are You?




You are AUNT AGATHA!You are traditional, dignified, and in full control of your faculties. You know exactly how things should be done, and you do not suffer fools gladly. I long with all my heart for you to biff off--and after sneaking into the kitchen for a quick restorative, I may quakingly ask you to do so.
Take this quiz!








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Taken from the Llama Boys.

No Termites

Our termite inspection was this afternoon and didn't turn up anything active and only a small, old bit of damage. So that's that. I guess we really are buying the money pit on the other side of town.

And thus, I present to you -- The Purple House:



Friday, November 17, 2006

Martha's Menu

Martha Stewart has her 2006 Thanksgiving menu up. Although nothing looks bad, the menu is not one that inspires me to change a thing in the menu I'm planning.

What's on the menu over here? My husband keeps requesting that we trade the turkey for a rib roast, but I like turkey and the bird is staying. As for side dishes, we'll be making cornbread dressing, spinach gratin, possibly sauteed brussel sprouts (I love them and don't care if I'm the only one who will touch them), mashed potatoes, cranberry-pear-ginger sauce, maple-bourbon pumpkin pie and perhaps apple-cranberry cobbler. There may be something else that isn't coming to mind right now, but we'll see. That already sounds like plenty.

What's on your menu?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Anyway...

I'm not trying to turn this into a website of all quizzes all the time, but so much has been occupying my mind this week that I haven't been up for much else. We've been busy with homeschooling, of course, but on top of that it looks like we will be buying another house after all.

Without going into a lot of details, we have a contract on a big old house on the other side of town. It will need a lot of work, including several things that must be done before I will feel comfortable moving in (not even counting the kitchen which, at present is only a bunch of unfinished cabinets without electricity, plumbing or any appliances). It fell in our price range and is a good size for our family while still being close to town and satisfactorily old, and so we'll just have to take on the work and learn to tolerate the problems.

I love my current house and location, so the thought of moving makes me sad. We never really planned to move from this house, but although I think we could have done more to make our current house work better for us, I think ultimately it would always feel cramped and our children are just going to grow larger. The new house is also really beautiful and despite all the drawbacks, I really am excited to think of living there, fixing the place up and seeing my things decorating the place.

Assuming, of course, that the termite inspection doesn't tell us horrible things, we'll be closing in about a month and moving in as soon as we can have some of the necessary things, like rewiring, completed.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hey! I'm not heretical!

You scored as Chalcedon compliant. You are Chalcedon compliant. Congratulations, you're not a heretic. You believe that Jesus is truly God and truly man and like us in every respect, apart from sin. Officially approved in 451.

Chalcedon compliant

100%

Nestorianism

75%

Pelagianism

58%

Donatism

50%

Modalism

42%

Apollanarian

42%

Monophysitism

33%

Gnosticism

25%

Monarchianism

17%

Albigensianism

17%

Adoptionist

8%

Docetism

0%

Socinianism

0%

Arianism

0%

Are you a heretic?
created with QuizFarm.com


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What Kind of Reader Am I?

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Fad Reader
Non-Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz


From the Llamas.

One Month



I can't believe it, but it has already been a whole month since the wee one arrived. As his father always likes to say, "Babies eat, sleep and excrete." He likes to do all three with great frequency.

His siblings are fond of him. My main job is keeping them from squishing the baby with too much love. I can't believe that it won't be long before he's participating in the chaos and chasing his brother and sisters around, but that day will come all too soon. I know from experience.

I have to start working on ways to keep my little one little. These months pass too rapidly.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Behold! She Can Speak!

My two year old just came running in and said, "Behold! I have tights."

So, behold:



Thursday, November 09, 2006

Shoes

NoBloShoeMo.jpg


I signed right up for NoBloShoeMo when Chris sent me an invitation. Fortunately the rules didn't actually insist that one post thirty days of shoes, because I can't seem to get around to getting photos off my camera every day, let alone taking photos of my shoes every day.

But here's a shot of the shoes I wear on a lot of days.



Comfy, if not so very pretty.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Lego Art

Last year The Boy was some what obsessed with Legos. Over the summer, he forgot Legos in favor of dinosaurs and my bare feet cried out in gladness. Unfortunately, as autumn arrived, the dinosaurs fell out of favor and Legos have returned.

The bad news is that the upstairs area where he plays is a disaster area and I constantly curse the creators of Legos (I suppose I should learn to curse in Danish). The good news is that I always know where to find The Boy.

The other good news is that he makes some interesting things.

Lego people:


Lego Minoan Temples:


Lego Penguins:


Lego Icons:


Yes, it is all about Legos here and I haven't even shown you his Lego nativity scene, the Lego houses, Lego Empire State Building or some of the other things he has made lately.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day

I haven't actually gotten to vote yet. First I forgot to take advantage of early voting. And while I've gone out and driven past my polling station twice this morning, the lines were long enough that I decided to wait until I didn't have to vote with four children in tow. I'll get there eventually.

In the meantime, I thought I share this little bit of political profiling (not to mention profiling of other sorts) that was left on all the houses in our neighborhood the other day.



You can click on the image to enlarge it.

The small text reads, "So much is riding on your vote. Money for classrooms instead of war. Retirement security for our elderly. Good jobs to keep our young people off the streets and out of trouble."

One Reason I Love Homeschooling

We went to a picnic with other homeschoolers in the area (the area being defined in the broad sense since most of these people live at least 30 minutes from us) on Saturday afternoon. I enjoyed meeting some new people and chatting with others doing what we are doing, but my favorite moment was when I heard my son ask the kid he was digging in the sand with if he had "heard of the heretic pharaoh Amenhotep." And the kid said, "Of course." Both these boys are six.

Monday, November 06, 2006

I Speak Californian and Other Languages

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

The Midland
Boston
North Central
The Inland North
Philadelphia
The South
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

TWO!

Today is not just the day after Halloween or All Saint's Day. Here it is most commonly remembered as The Younger Girl's birthday. She's two. Which means she's got a strong will, sweet smiles and a personality that makes you fall in love.




She never misses anything. She sees all and she says all. She talks almost constantly. Much of what she says is sweet, but also repetative and as I've mentioned before, she has learned many things from her older siblings that they didn't know at the tender age of two. She doesn't seem to understand that at only two she shouldn't think she can do everything a six year old and four year old can do. Not that that stops her. She's in the fray and part of everything that goes on around here.

The Younger Girl sings and loves music. Every afternoon before her nap, she wants to hear "My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean" and "You Are My Sunshine." She wants a repeat of the latter at bedtime. I love it when she sings to me in return and it surprises me how much of the lyrics and tunes she remembers from songs we sing around the house.

Just a little less than two years ago, I was surprised and upset by the appearance of a hemangioma in the middle of her forehead. I had never seen such a thing before and all I wanted was for someone to get that thing off of my little girl. At the same time, I did not want to subject her to cosmetic surgery just for my own vanity. The birthmark is still there, but just as the doctors told us, it is shrinking and fading away. If she ever grows some hair, the birthmark really will be almost invisible under bangs. I'm glad it is disappearing, but I'm certain I also needed the lesson in learning to worry less about appearance and remember just how wonderful and beautiful she has always been even when the red mark was at its largest.

Happy birthday, you adorable little two year old!



Trick or Treat








Although earlier in the day, the forecast had called for evening thunderstorms, the weather turned out to be cool and only slightly overcast. We handed out a candy to the early birds and then turned out the lights and went out on our own candy-seeking adventure.

Yes, as you can see, all of the children were in costume. The Oldest wins most creative costume -- not because of his homemade beard, but because he was not your average pirate, but Mad Dog Morgan, pirate captain in The Voyage of the Arctic Tern, an epic poem that Justin is reading to the kidlets for bedtime. The younger girl was too young to understand trick-or-treating last year, but this year she thought it was the best thing she'd ever heard of. We did have to reign her in a bit as she started walking up to people's houses, sticking out her hand and saying, "Give me candy!"

Halloween always makes me a bit grumbly, but I do like getting out and seeing the neighbors and the children had a blast. Naturally after they were in bed, we proceeded with annual raiding of the candy bags "Mmmm, dark chocolate!" and other candy reduction measures were taken that should result in there being better candy at my husband's office for a month or two.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Pumpkins

I didn't grow up celebrating Halloween and I don't particularly love it now. Carving pumpkins is messy and makes my hands sore. I think it all brings out my inner Grinch. However, my kids look forward to carving pumpkins every year and so we do it. For some reason, it isn't actually all about me.

This year we did a skull, a traditional face and a kitty cat.





Friday, October 27, 2006

How to Cook, Possum-style

Over the past few days, Papa Possum has tried to teach the ways of righteous Southern cookery to the masses. He deals with cornbread, grits and biscuits and threatens much smiting upon any poor soul who uses sugar in any of the aforementioned items.

Of course, I like sweet cornbread and one of my favorite biscuit recipes has a teaspoon of sugar in it, but being a gentleman Terry has promised not to smite me, should we get to meet again.

Weekend Entertainment

So you are in Nashville for the weekend and don't know what to do?

How about going to the GodMen conference? "At the daylong GodMen event downtown Saturday, men will be able to cuss, smoke cigars, watch videos of football pileups and car crashes, listen to specially composed Christian rock songs such as "Testosterone High" and attend workshops on how to fight pornography addiction."

Is it just me or does going to a conference to help you get back to your manly roots seem just a tad Oprah-fied?

As for my family, husband and all, I'm afraid we'll have to miss the spectacle event. We have tickets to the symphony.

House Thinking

Having needed something to read when I was huge and pregnant and something to read while nursing and sitting around, I recently finished House Thinking by Winifred Gallagher. The author takes a look at houses, room by room (and second houses and the location of the house) and discusses what works, what doesn't, what we collectively want in a house, and why.

The book is neither completely fluffy nor a difficult read. It suited my need for light, but interesting, reading quite well. The discussions of various rooms and the psychology behind why we look for certain things in different areas of a house were helpful to me, especially as I am currently trying to reimagine my own house and figure out a way to rework the living spaces we have to fit our family.

When we bought our house we had one child and were expecting our second. While I didn't expect to stop with two children, I never really considered what adding two more children would do to the feel of our cozy, comfortable 1850 square foot, 3 bedroom house. Unsurprisingly, we feel cramped. However, after spending several months looking at houses this summer, knowing that there were certain things we really did not want to give up in a house -- something old, no farther from my husband's job than we are now and not requiring us to take on a mortgage much bigger than our current one, we realized that there really wasn't much of anything out there for us. Everyone else's house has increased in value at about the same rate as ours and even moving to a much less desireable neighborhood and a fixer-upper without amenties like a kitchen would not actually fit all our requirements, because sellers are convinced that they can still garner high prices for houses even if those houses have no kitchen, plumbing that drains into the crawl space, and holes in the roof.

Needless to say, for at least the present, we'll be staying where we are. But we have realized that we need to figure out a way to live better in the space we have. We have two front rooms that do not get used nearly as much as they should and we tend to live in the kitchen and tiny morning room behind it, ignoring most of the living room space taken up by the two front rooms.

Reading House Thinking really has gotten me thinking about how to make changes to our home to make rooms we've been passing through more inviting. Places we want to linger.

Not that any of this will get me another bedroom, but perhaps that will come eventually after we figure out how to use the downstairs better. Afterall, The Baby isn't planning to sleep in his own room for quite some time yet.

Growing Up Is Hard to Do

But here are some helpful suggestions. One of my favorites? "Ignore celebrities, except when they are doing what they are celebrated for doing: acting, playing football et cetera. Skill does not confer moral, political or intellectual discrimination...If a celebrity is not celebrated for doing anything but being a celebrity, smile politely but pay no notice."

Via Tightly Wound

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Getting Around

Yesterday I made my first solo venture out of the house with all the kidlets. Where would one go for such a momentous occasion? Home Depot. I didn't need a bunch of things and there is very little that the kids want me to buy there, so it seemed like a decent place to test the waters. All went well, but I sure wish they offered to carry out my bags like my favorite grocery store does.

When we all pile out of the car these days, I sense somewhere in the middle of it all that I am the driver of a clown car. People keep coming out long after you expect them to stop.

For the most part, people are very nice to me and my horde (whether a horde of three or four) when we do go out of the house. A lady let me go in front of her in line. A man offered to put my cart in the cart return for me. It may mean I look tired and desperate, but I take the help. Once in a while, I garner looks of sympathy and comments about having my hands full, but usually they are well meaning and often accompanied by a statement that the speaker had 4 or more kids themselves and they remember the strategic planning required to leave home with them all and return with the same number.

I'm glad therefore that I live where I do. Most people in Tennessee, I dare say do not, any longer, have large families with four or more children, but very few seem to think it shocking. Apparently some places this isn't such an acceptable lifestyle choice.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I Don't Exist


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Progress

Last week, when the Oldest Girl climbed into my lap, she asked, "Why are you still so fat?"

This morning at breakfast? "Mom, your tummy is getting a lot smaller!"

I could only thank her for that positive affirmation.



This in no way means that I am, at this point less than two weeks post-partum, concerning myself with weight loss or tummy-size. I'll wait at least another couple of weeks before I start looking at the fat rolls and crying.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Heigh Ho, It's Back to Work I Go

It's hard to believe it has been over a week since the baby was born. He's fitting in well, sleeping through all the chaos, and sleeping well at night snuggled next to me. Saturday night he actually slept from 10:30 to 4:30 and then to make up for it, nursed for the next hour and a half. But still, I really can't complain about his sleeping habits at this point.

We've been well taken care of with meals brought by almost daily by people from church. It will very strange when I finally have to start cooking regularly again. We've also been fortunate that Justin's law firm offers him some paternity leave. He was at home this whole past week, which was lovely. If only someone would pay him to stay home full time.

But all this is starting to come to an end. Justin is going back to work, eventually people are going to stop bringing me food, and we're going to start school back up for the kidlets. I'm a bit intimidated by handling everything on my own, but I know I can. I've already been alone with all four for a couple of hours when Justin went to some boring lawyer dinner last week. The real question is when I'll ever be brave enough to leave home with everyone in tow.

Monday, October 16, 2006

It's A Boy!



As the lovely Miss Frazier mentioned in the comments below, we now have evened the family child count and have two boys. Peter Benjamin was born on Saturday and weighed 7 lbs 13 ounces and is 20 inches long. We decided 24 hours was long enough in the hospital and came home last night. All is going pretty well thus far. Anyone wishing to see all the photos can check out my flickr account.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Nope

Still here.

Very happy that I didn't gain any more weight this week.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Nothing Wrong With Her Comprehension

Yesterday I was driving in the car when the two girls got in an argument and began chanting back and forth at each other -- "Naughty Middle Girl" and "Naughty Toddler Girl." Eventually I had enough and told them to knock it off and that the word naughty was no longer to be spoken. Undeterred, the Toddler Girl said, "Okay. Stupid Middle Girl."

So, as the title says, her comprehension is excellent. I just wish her vocabulary weren't so highly developed.

It's Not a Side View For the Full Effect

Here's a picture of me from last weekend when we went to a pumpkin patch.



Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Well, I Still Intend to Teach It

Since everyone uses a keyboard these days, there is less and less emphasis put on learning to read and write cursive.

It's hard for me to imagine a world without cursive. In school I used it to take notes, answer essay questions and all those sorts of things. When my husband and I were dating long distance for a couple of years, I wrote more long hand letters than e-mails. It was pleasant to sit down and actually put my thoughts on paper. Now, I can't say I write on paper all that much, but I still make out grocery lists, write thank you notes and other things of that sort. I much prefer my cursive to my printing and it flows a lot faster.

The Boy is actually already asking to learn cursive and he can generally read it quite well. I've been thinking about starting him on it in the spring. It's hard to believe some consider it a dying art.


Ancient Money

The Boy was absolutely thrilled with the tooth fairy. He ran into our room bright and early proclaiming that she had come and had left him an ancient dollar coin.

Later he told us that the coin (a 1978 Eisenhower silver dollar) was of the type that Laura and Mary Ingalls might have seen. We're still working on history timelines...

He told his little sisters that the tooth fairy turns herself and her belongings into air to enter the house, turns back into a solid, magically exchanges the tooth for the coin and note, and then turning back into air, slips back out of the house. Sounds even more complicated than going up and down a chimney, but what do I know?

My favorite line of the morning though, has to be, "I love my new dollar. Dollar coins like this are very rare in these post-modern times."


While The Littlest Keeps Us In Suspense...

The Oldest keeps trying to grow up. I remember when The Boy was known as Fang, because at the tender age of 9 months, he only had one tooth. As of yesterday, he is one tooth short.



Since many of his peers lost their first tooth ages ago, he's felt very ready for this day to come and when his tooth finally loosened the excitement was keen. And then the tooth held on for over a month.

Yesterday afternoon as we were talking about the changing of the seasons and I was spinning a globe around our heads, I looked over and noticed that that tooth was hanging crookedly. I took a closer look and saw the incoming tooth poked up half-way behind the baby tooth and I knew it was time to take matters to hand. Despite a few objections, I yanked and after only a slight amount of blood, which The Boy took better than expected, the excitement of the moment took over.

Our tooth fairy is a rather retro one. A first lost tooth is going for a dollar around here. I'd meant to make sure the tooth fairy had a special Sacajawea dollar on hand for the occasion, but I'm afraid the tooth fairy forgot. However, after a bit of digging around, the tooth fairy did find an stash of Eisenhower silver dollars given to her by her grandfather on birthdays long, long ago and she slipped one of those in for The Boy along with a special, perfumed (fairies must smell extra good, afterall) note.

Sniffle. My little boy is so proud of being big, gap-toothed and kind of funny looking. How dare he keep trying to grow up?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Getting Ready For Baby

Although, I had no reason to hope, I still got my hopes up that perhaps I'd have a baby over the weekend. NOT. Obviously, I know the child will arrive, but I still can't help hoping for sooner rather than later.

We still haven't picked out names, which seems to bother my friends and family more than it bothers me. I guess I have more faith in our ability to come up with something suitable when the time comes than they do.

Other than the difficulty with names, we did get some of the other little things done to get ready for the kidlet. I bought a baby book, which like those of older siblings will mostly never be filled out. Not wanting to set the standard too high for myself, I've managed to not fill out any baby books after about the first month and I've also managed to only once get a studio portrait taken of a child. We wouldn't want the rest of them to start complaining that I didn't love them as much as baby number one -- so I just striven for an extra low standard for all. Henry Higgins treats a duchess as if she were a flower girl and I try to make sure I make as few differences between my children as possible by doing as little as possible.

We brought the carseat and bassinet down from the attic. I made sure someone will be around to take care of the kids when we go to the hospital. I think we're actually in decent shape for the arrival of a baby. I even vacuumed and cleaned the kitchen floor. I have some food in the freezer for meals after all the ladies from church stop arriving with food. I'm sure there is something I've forgotten, but things seem like they are pretty much as ready as they'll get.

Now we just have to wait around for the big event.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Gift Suggestions and Other Late Pregnancy Rantings

This will come as a surprise to no one, but this baby is due to arrive quite soon. Because of this, I have gotten more than my usual amount of kind, well meaning and annoying phone calls from relatives.

Many of them want to know what we would like to have for the baby. I have a boy and two girls already. All of them have fall birthdays. I save everything. Relatives are left unsatisfied when I say diapers are welcome, but what I'd really like is a spa day or a visit from a house cleaning service. I realize that none of those fit the cute little baby outfit category, but they did ask what I wanted. If this is a boy, I might need clothes -- because I actually haven't saved every outfit The Boy wore seven years ago, but I can't really know that until after the child emerges from the womb -- now can I?

Naturally, they all also want to know the baby's due date. I've been telling them mid-October for nine months now, and again, they are strangely unsatisfied by this response. They all seem to assume that if they ask just one more time, I'll break, give them an actual date and then they can start calling every hour or two on that day to see if anything is happening yet. Obviously that's what I need.

Having left them without the answers they are looking for on the above questions, my relatives move on to the next one. Most of them already wish I'd found out whether the baby is a boy or a girl, but since we haven't -- they want to know what names we've picked out.

In the past, we've always managed to narrow the list down to a few promising first names at least, by this point. Nobody really seems to believe me when I tell them that this time I don't have a list. It is true that I have a front runner in the boy name category, but for girls -- nada. Honest. And as far as middle names go -- nothing. And what if I decide I don't like the boy's name I have in mind. Ooops. No back up plans at this point.

It's true, of course, that I don't much like sharing names before hand anyway. I start hearing from one side or another why name X is horrible. One name I had considered in the past actually inspired a comment from a relative that it was the next "Adolf." Yep, picking names is fraught with tribulations, but since we have none and are having trouble getting started on that subject, I know for sure I don't want to talk about it with even the most well-meaning relative.

At the end of such calls, I always receive a reminder that the relative expects to hear when the baby arrives -- as if we planned not to notify grandparents, great-grandparents and other close relatives.

I expect many, many more such phone calls in the upcoming weeks. I know they care and I know they usually mean well -- but I'd like it better if Merry Maids showed up at the door and I was whisked off to the spa.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

That's Me Boy!

Although on most occasions The Boy is his father all over again, once in a while I notice that he did get something from me. One obvious trait that is currently appearing is a love of bad puns. He's been busy making up his own jokes related to the months of the year. I'll put the answers below the jump. Feel free to groan, but when one is scraping the bottom of the pun barrel, I think these aren't too bad for a six year old.

1. What's the wind's favorite month?

2. What's a lumberjack's favorite month?

3. What's a snowball's favorite month?

4. What's a soldier's favorite month?

5. What's a simian's favorite month?

1. A-gust
2. Sep-timberrrrrrr
3. Decem-brrrrrrrrr
4. March
5. Ape-ril

It's Not the Outfit I Would Choose

The Toddler Girl just went upstairs, picked out her own clothes and brought them down to put on. She wants to wear bloomers, striped socks and boots. I might have to require something on top if we go out, but otherwise, I think the outfit works.

Slow Day

Since I woke up around 3:45 this morning and never got truly back to sleep -- and Benedryl did nothing for me, I think we're going to have to take it nice and easy today. I may or may not have had a lot of contractions last night. You'd think I'd be able to tell by Baby 4.0, wouldn't you? You'd be wrong though.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Hippy German School, Update

Although The Boy is now homeschooled, I still derive a certain amount of pleasure from still being on the Hippy German School listserv. For instance, today I got a message urging parents to get their children involved with the Doctors Without Borders Refugee Camp currently set up in a local park.

I Need To Lie Down From All The Excitement

Actually, I'm just supposed to be lying down.

After breakfast this morning, I was sitting at the computer when I suddenly felt really faint and like the world was spinning. I lay down and didn't faint, but decided I'd better call the doctor. Apparently, they didn't think it sounded like a good thing, since they told me to go on over to Labor and Delivery for evaluation.

They couldn't really find anything wrong. I'm still dilated about the same as before and having irregular contractions -- I think I had 5 or so in the hour they had me on a monitor -- but nothing to make them want to keep me.

So here I am at home. Hanging out mostly in bed and not doing much. In most ways this has been my easiest pregnancy -- so it seems funny that I've had to run over to the hospital for this one when nothing has ever gone on in any other pregnancy ever before.

Fortunately, all this happened before Justin went to work. He's staying home today so I can rest.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Bad Things Children Say

My dear sweet Toddler Girl is soaking up new vocabulary like a sponge. Unfortunately, much of that new vocabularly includes phrases I can't get her siblings to stop saying. She now can chant in a sing-song fashion, "Stupid Brother (or Sister)" and come running up to tell me that someone is spitting/hitting/bothering her. She told me today that her sister was "very naughty."

And then there are the things she says that just come out wrong. Anything that pokes or pinches at her or if a bug (including a butterfly) comes near her, she says, "Bite me." Naturally, she means that something is trying to bite her, but when she proclaims loudly -- and in church, of course -- "Bite me, Mama!" It does tend to garner a snicker or two from those on the surrounding pews.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Who Would Win?

A few days ago, Marc mentioned the eternal debate -- if you matched up two superheroes who would win? This morning in the car, when The Boy once again expressed his disappointment in Superman's not being able to do absolutely everything and stated his belief that Spiderman was really the more interesting character, I asked him -- "If Spiderman and Superman got in a fight, who would win?"

Without missing a beat, he told me, "Superman would win, but they'd never get in a fight. First of all, they are both good guys. Second, they can't fight each other because one is DC and one is Marvel."



Library Notes

We went to the library this morning. Normal people make a trip to the library, find a few books and go home. We never seem to manage this.

We left home at 11 and returned at 1:30. Lunch was not eaten in the interim.

On the way there, I experienced true cacophony. One child hummed "Joyful, Joyful" at full volume. Another, inspired by the loudness, started singing REM's "I am Superman" and the third joined in with Queen's "We Will Rock You." I wondered how long it would take my head to explode.

Things quieted down after we got to the library. We watched the Friday morning marionette show, where the older two sat quietly and the youngest gave me a running narration of everything on stage. "OH PWINCESS! FROGGIE! PWINCESS GO BYE-BYE. BE RIGHT BACK!" Every time the princess marionette left stage, The Toddler Girl speculated rather loudly that maybe she had gone to the potty.

The puppet show lasted about twenty minutes. Afterwards, The Boy suggested to the puppeteers, who know us pretty well fortunately, that they should consider writing a puppet show about Michelangelo. Especially about The Boy's favorite statue -- Moses. One thing is for sure -- no one is going to mistake them for normal children.

We spent over an hour gathering up books. We wound up with so many that I had to break out all four library cards that I had on me. And one can check out up to twenty-five items per card, so that should give you some idea of the number of books I had to tote to the car.

When I was checking out books, I noticed that a movie I had returned after closing on its due date but before the library opened the following day had been placed as a fine on my card. Considering that videos accrue a $2 per day fine, I didn't want to pay the money. I usually have no difficulties when I point this out the people at the desk, but in this case, the lady working called in her supervisor who then treated me as being a highly suspicious character and told me that she really found it hard to believe that it had been turned in on time, because the video hadn't been checked in until afternoon. My suggestion that perhaps they were slow about checking things in from the book drop was treated as crazy talk, but in the end they did remove the fine. I hate being treated like a criminal or liar.

Naturally, towards the end of the library trip, The Toddler Girl fell asleep. Now she thinks she's had her nap for the day. This means I don't get a nap. I hope I don't get too cranky.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Marriage Advice

Since I'm too tired to come up with anything to say all on my own, I thought I would include this helpful list of marriage tips that my husband recently sent to a friend.

"Let not the sun go down upon your wrath." Ephesians 4:26

"Affection begets (something that rhymes with T-Rex), and vice versa."

"Pajamas were not made for the married."

"Nothing should come between husband and wife, except the bathroom door." Helpful advice my husband learned from Opus the Penguin.

When we first got married, my new brother-in-law advised, "Shower with a friend."

What other simple advice do you like to give to those young, or not so young, folks taking the plunge into wedded bliss?


This and That

Let's see...

(1) I never seem to get any sleep any more. I'm thinking about doping myself with Benedryl, as suggested by my OB.

(2) The Middle Girl turned four today. I'll try to mention more about that at a later date, but let's just say her grandparents spoil her.

(3) We've had a house guest since Monday. I'm so tired of having people in the house. I guess I must hide that relatively well, because they all keep arriving. I think I'll turn out the lights and hide if anyone else tells me they are coming to stay, because nice as my relatives can be, I now officially do not want to see any of them for a while.

(4) I had my first internal check on Tuesday. I have less than a month to go at this point and am three centimeters dilated and 75% effaced. I was more impressed with those numbers during my first pregnancy. I always seem to go straight to that exact stage and then sit there for several weeks. Naturally, if I have any chance of going into labor early though, it will be on the day next week that my husband has to be out of town and we have a dinner to go to.

So there you are. That's pretty much all the news around here.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Twelve Years, One Day

Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated the twelfth anniversary of our first date. We generally aren't a couple that remembers every date on which we do everything, but for some reason September 24 has always stuck in our minds.

So how did we meet? Let's hop in the Wayback Machine and find out.




It was the beginning of my senior year of college. I was 19 and had recently returned from a semester in Germany. I was adjusting to being back in Sewanee, having a roommate again, and seeing all my college friends.
One of my friends and I had a tradition of taking late evening walks out to various overlook places around the Mountain to chat about this and that. Sometimes we went out alone, but often tried to bring someone else along with us. One night, a few days after we all returned to school, my friend called me up and asked if I wanted to go for a walk. I was already in my pjs, and wasn't really wanting to go out, but I hadn't seen my friend yet and so I threw on some cut-offs and went off in my pajama top and shorts.
My friend informed me that he had also invited another guy to walk out to the Cross with us. The other guy, he said, was a freshman and hadn't been out to the Cross yet. My friend was trying to rush this freshman and I suppose wanted to tempt him with the girls that would surround any man who joined Lambda Chi. Not that he explained that to me at the time.
So I hung out in my buddy's room, playing Tetris and waiting for this freshman, before we could head out on our walk. He arrived shortly, and I was pleasantly surprised by how cute he was. We had a fun walk, although that freshman did say some silly things about writing poetry and being a libertarian.
When I got back from my walk, I told my roommate I'd met a cute guy and suggested I should introduce them. Naturally, as you might guess, Justin was the cute freshman and I'm lucky that my roommate wasn't interested. Justin went home and told his roommate he'd met an "utter babe." He was obviously more discerning about these things than I.
Over the next weeks, my buddy, Justin and I took other walks, and then eventually I ditched my friend and just went on a walk with Justin. He asked me to go to the first football game of the year with him -- football at Sewanee is all about dressing up, getting a date and chatting. Football has very little to do with it.
The next weekend, we watched Henry V and held hands. And finally the day after that we officially decided we were dating.
All that seems so long ago and yet not so long in the past. We kept dating. I graduated and went to Delaware for two years for a MA in German literature. We saw each other a few times a year, wrote tons of letters, lots of e-mails and talked on the phone about once a week.
After finishing at UDel, I went to Alabama, which at only about 3 hours from Sewanee put us within driving distance of each other. We decided we didn't want to wait too much longer to get married and so our wedding was held in December. Justin still had one semester left in college and I had to finish library school, so we arranged class schedules that gave us four day weekends and just commuted for a few days per week. Living apart for the first few months of our marriage wasn't ideal, but also wasn't too bad.
Since those early days everything seems like it has sped up. Justin graduated. We moved to Nashville. He went to law school and I started working as a librarian. We had The Boy and I quit work. We moved to Alaska so Justin could clerk for a judge. We moved back to Tennessee. We had The Middle Girl. We had The Toddler Girl. Now here we are -- twelve years after that first date -- and Adams 4.0 is due to arrive shortly.
Back when I was in college, I knew I wanted to have children, but had one asked me what life would be like in twelve years. I would have had no idea. I can say that all told, it is far better than I could have ever known and my husband is, in large part responsible for that. I'm glad we've had these years growing up, moving around and raising our kids. I'm looking forward to the coming years, although I fear they are going to move even more quickly than the years gone by.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Musical Edumacation

Lest all my readers think my children only are getting exposure to pop music, we just finished studying Beethoven -- The Boy really likes Für Elise -- and I'm introducing them to Mozart. Not that the kids have gotten to their respective ages without hearing many great composers already, but up to this point we just listened and didn't learn much about the men behind the music.

After reading some biographies of Mozart, I pulled out my photo album from my semester studying in Europe and showed the kids pictures of Salzburg. They thought the pictures of the house where Mozart was born, his wife's grave and of the castle on the hill that had been drawn in our biography were interesting, and I'm glad I had personal photos of those to show them.

The lesson did lose a little bit in flipping through the pages of the photo album though. They thought the photos of me at age 19 and my picture of the Salzburg McDonald's sign were much more interesting.

JordanainRome.jpg


SalzburgMcDonalds.jpg


I Am, I Am Superman!

It started innocently enough. "Mom, what do they mean, 'It's a bird. It's a plane. It's Superman!'?"

I explained that when Superman flies through the air people would look up and try to figure out what they were seeing, before figuring out that Superman was once again on the job.

"But, I guess since he is Superman, he could actually become a bird or a plane if he wanted to."

"Superman can catch bullets and turn back time, but he isn't a shape-shifter, Son."

"But he has to be. The song says, 'I am Superman and I can do anything.' If he can do anything, he can change his shape, right?"

"No, it doesn't work that way."

"That doesn't make sense. He's not so great then. I like Spiderman much better."

And thus a superhero falls from grace.

Random Questions, Answered

Blair tagged me for this set of questions, which I think were written for the sixteen year old MySpace set, but I'll do them anyway.

Were you born before the end of the first Gulf war?

Yes. I may be a lot younger than some of you, but I was in high school during the first war.

Childhood nickname?
George. A family friend decided Jordana was too hard to say and started calling me George. Much to my chagrin as a little girl, it stuck.

And no, no one in my immediate family was named after me, despite this coincidence. In fact, it never occurred to me at the time.

Historical person you have the biggest crush on?

I really don't have any historical crushes that I can think of.

How about admire?
I can't come up with anyone I'm even in great admiration of at the moment.

Favorite type of candy?
Dark chocolate, black liquorice and anything gummy.

Favorite foreign country(ies)?
England. At one time, I would have said Germany, but I think a bit less favorably of them at the moment.

Fish or chicken?
It depends. I love a perfectly cooked piece of salmon or tuna.

Do you have your own perfume line?
I never touch the stuff.

Have you ever written a children's book?
No, but I always think it would be fun to try.

Have you been in a movie based on a book?
No, neither have I been in any other sort of movie.

Ever posed nude for a photo?
Yes, but not after the age of about 4.

Guiltiest pleasure?
The occasional indulgence in bad romance novel reading.

Your best nonguilty pleasure, then?
I do like a hot bath and a cup of tea.

What are you allergic to?
Penicillin, maybe.

Worst pickup line you've heard?
I suppose I lived a sheltered life, because I haven't had any used on me.

Were you bar mitzvahed?
No, nor even bat mitzvahed.

Have you ever cried during a TV interview?
Nope.

If they made a movie of your life, who would play you?
I have one of those faces that looks like about a million other people, so I think they'd have no trouble finding some starving actress out there to play me. I did notice recently that Claire Danes and I have the same boring, straight hair, so if they want to go high budget they can cast her.

Pet peeve?
I've mentioned the dropping of "-ly" endings and the use of "real" when one should say "really." People who refer to God as "Dad" when leading a prayer. I'm also not too fond of Legos being left all over the floor. I think I could make a long list of things that bug me at the moment, but that's probably the 9th month of pregnancy hormones talking.

If you weren't doing what you do, what job would you like to have?
I would love to be an artist, but I don't have the business drive to ever make something like that a going concern.

Place you will never be found?
Skydiving and/or bungee jumping

Why did you participate in this tagging?
Because Blair asked, and she's gotten so much brighter since the time when she used to date my brother.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tired

I decided to take a homeschooling day off. I got a fairly good night's sleep, but I woke up tired of everything. Unloading the dishwasher felt like too much work. So we took a day off from school and instead I started trying to get a few of the other things I never seem to have time to do crossed off my list.

We got the cars inspected and I went and picked up our new license plates. I guess I'm clueless, because I hadn't even noticed that Tennessee had changed its standard plate this year. I went to a grocery store I don't frequent too often so that I could buy steel cut oats in bulk. They are much cheaper that way than buying the little tins they come in at all the other stores. I have started cleaning out my closet (a mighty undertaking, to say the least) and I packed a bag to take to the hospital.

Taking a day off from my regular plans has been the best thing I could have done today. The kids are busy playing time traveler with a box that we got yesterday, and I'm feeling a whole lot less tired of everything than I was when I woke up.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Overheard

The Boy: I like They Might Be Giants because they write funny songs and their music is really good.

The Middle Girl:
Yeah, they sing good songs, but I like The Lemonheads better.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Yawn

Between pregnancy insomnia -- I woke up at 2:30 on Saturday night and 1:30 last night -- and the fact that I think we've had house guests every weekend since the beginning of August, I'm exhausted, the house is a wreck and I've gotten almost nothing done to get ready for the baby that is supposed to be arriving in about a month.

I think I'll lock myself in a closet and cry now. Well, I would except that wouldn't really get anything accomplished, so I guess I'd better fold laundry instead.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Swimwear Advice

Speedo swimsuits on men are pretty much universally awful. My three year old wanted to know why a man was only wearing women's underwear to swim in. I think that says enough.

If, despite contempt and ridicule even from the mouths of short little blonde girls, a man persists upon wanting to wear this disgusting form of swimwear, please make sure that you can at least fill it out. Leaving nothing to the imagination in a Speedo is bad enough. If you are too small to fit in a tight fitting lycra suit (before getting in the cool water) I really, really don't need to know about it.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Streaker Strikes Again

This time the Toddler Girl didn't actually make it all the way to bare skin, but as I was unloading items from the Target cart at the checkout counter, I looked over to find her racing around the cart wearing neither shoes nor overalls anymore. This, after she spent most of the trip, yelling "Unweewear" at top volume, simply because we'd walked past the undergarment section on our way to the back of the store.

What can I say? I'm a one woman-three child roving circus. Look for us playing in stores, YMCAs and other locations near you (if, of course, you live near me).

The Thursday Three Season Opener

Finally, the Thursday Three has returned from summer vacation.

1) What are three new books that you’ve read recently?

Hmmm...can I count my new cookbook as something I'm reading? I just got Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook. It's got some yummy recipes in it.

I'm reading House Thinking: A Room-by-Room Look at How We Live too. It sounded interesting when I heard the author on a recent NPR show and so far I'm enjoying it.

I'm also trying to slog through G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy, which my husband insists I need to read. I think making a nine month pregnant woman read even lightweight philosophy is rather cruel. I'm on page 20 and although Chesterton is witty and has already had some great lines, I'm not sure that the other 80 pages of the book won't kill what little brain I have left.

2) What three new products have you tried lately and what were your experiences?


I can't think of anything too new and different that we've started using in the Adams' household. I guess we're relatively slow adopters around here.

3) What are three new movies or shows or plays or whatever that you have seen lately, or would like to go see soon?

Movies? What are those? I think I've been to about three movies in the theater since my son was born 6 1/2 years ago. Clearly, I don't get out much. I don't even know what's coming out soon. Then again, I suspect my ability to get out is soon to be hampered even more, so it is a good thing I'm not pinning my hopes on getting to see any new releases any time in the near future.

We Did It!!!

The Middle Girl and I just finished the final reading lesson in Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons. It seems like we started forever ago, but we're done.

Now we just have to keep reading every day with her and to her and see if she turns into the voracious bookworm her brother is.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Well, What Did You Expect?

The Boy is, at times, a sensitive soul -- not, of course where oppressing and harrassing little sisters is concerned, but he worries about many other questions of life, death and all that. We've been reading some saint stories this week and let's just say he's not very happy with the outcome for Joan of Arc.

Oddly enough though, he asked if we could study killer whales for our animal of the week this week. It seemed a bit out of character, but I went ahead and checked out several books and we started reading up on them. I've always thought they were truly beautiful creatures, especially after we got to see some on our ferry ride down from Alaska.

After reading about their abilities, social qualities and size, we came to the section on their hunting habits. The Boy was appalled to find out that they eat seals and other mammals. I had to ask, "What did you expect a killler whale to do?"

He wasn't really sure.

I expect our next animal to be something sweet, soft and fuzzy. I guess I'd better not let him find out that bunnies sometimes eat their own babies, huh?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Little N*d*st

I knew yesterday would be a strange fashion day when I caught the almost two year old streaking happily through the house, followed by the Middle Girl, who had squeezed her (admittedly petite) self into her little sister's clothes. I nipped that mad dash in the bud before any body fluids leaked from the un-potty-trained.

This morning, I went up to get the Toddler Girl out of bed and found when opening the door that she had again stripped down to a state of nature, wet her bed and was sitting happily in that bed "reading" a book.

Do they make strait jacket style pjs in an 18 month size?

Every Pregnancy is Different

By this point in most of my pregnancies, I'm swollen up like a water balloon and even my toes hurt from carrying extra fluid. This fourth time around, I've been much better and less swollen.

To make up for this boon from the pregnancy gods, I have instead developed the nasty tendancy to feel light headed and dizzy if I don't eat and drink just about every second of the day. Really. Since lying down for long periods of the day isn't a good option, I'm afraid I'm going to just have to eat all the time and instead of swelling up with water that will disappear three days after delivery, I'll just be packing on pounds that will take me at least nine months to lose, if they ever go away.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Back to the Barefoot Lego Dance

The summer's dinosaur obsession seems to be waning. We're back to all Legos, all the time. The Boy checked out The Ultimate Lego Book at the library again and has revised his Christmas list from all dinosaur stuff to half dinosaur and half Lego. I even got asked by The Boy if I could teach him Danish to give him a leg up on working as a Lego designer some day. In days gone by, boys dreamed of being policemen and firemen. My son informed me at an early age that those professions were "too dangerous." So far, he wants to be a paleontologist, Lego designer and animator for Pixar.

Although, the dinosaur obsession ended about the time he tried to convince me to take the bones of three chickens and convert them into a "dinosaur skeleton" (thank goodness that bullet got dodged), I almost miss the dinosaur phase and the endless stream of facts. The toys were limited to a few plastic dinosaurs generally set up in a scene somewhere around the house.

Legos are not so containable. Although I try to insist that they stay upstairs, the sharp little toys seem to migrate, and they never seem to all get cleaned up at once. Sigh. At least the girl's don't seem too interested in Legos, so perhaps I'll get a respite from their mess eventually.



By the way, besides a lot of Legos that have been given directly to The Boy over the past year or two, we have what The Boy refers to as "heirloom Legos" or "really old Legos from Daddy's childhood." And my husband was equally, if not more, obessessed with Legos. And we got all my little brother's Legos. We're infested with the things.

The Child of Two Lit. Majors

"Reading is one of my pleasures in life."

--The Boy, yesterday, when given a new book

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Strong-Willed? Yessir, That's My Baby!

The Toddler Girl is still two months away from her second birthday, but being highly advanced she's moved into the strong-willed phase early.

Besides the inevitable shouts of "No!" she has also decided that she is too old for sippy cups and will throw the cup and herself screaming to the floor when you offer her one -- except at church and in the car, where that's her only option for water transportation.

One of her most common phrases is now, "First me, Mommy." By which she means both that she wants to do something before I do, but also that she wants to do things unassisted. She wants to climb onto the changing table by herself (and she's even suggested that she should get to put her diaper on by herself -- which yes, means she's probably ready to potty train, and no, at my current girth and all, I am not ready to do it). She wants to brush her teeth first, before her parents give it a shot. She insists on climbing up and down the stairs all by herself -- except when she imperiously sticks out a grubby little paw and demands my hand.

Although she has always sat at the end of the table closest to her parents and the other kids sit next to us on the other side, she has also recently decided that her place is with "the other kids" and about half the time she wants to sit at their end of the table -- though woe betide the sibling who tries to take her seat.

She's a whirlwind of energy and will, but when she smiles she has the power to melt everyone in her path.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Things That Happen When You Feel Faint and Need to Lie Down

I wasn't feeling so good right before lunch. I let the kids watch PBS and I lay down next to them. You would think this would be a nice little break. I know I hoped it would be.

While the older two stopped destroying the house and got interested in the doings of Mr. Rogers, the youngest one had no particular desire to watch television.

Instead, and in rapid succession, she:

(1) Removed all the folded clothes from the laundry basket waiting to go upstairs and stuffed them in various places around my bedroom.

(2) Started pulling off all the thread from a spool in my sewing box that had had just a tiny bit sticking out from under the lid.

(3) Stuck a raisin up her nose.

Never a dull moment here!

Where'd I Put That Spare $5.4 million?

I checked under the sofa cushions and the mattress, but only found a nickel, so I suppose I won't be able to buy one of my all time favorite houses in Nashville. Really its too far out in the suburbs any way...

Stretch Marks???

With my first pregnancy, back when I was young and supposedly had supple skin, I got stretch marks everywhere. In all my following pregnancies, my skin faired much better. I might have had one more mark develop, but that is it. I hadn't seen anything new this time around and I'm less swollen than ever before.

The other day I got out of the shower, looked at my belly and was really surprised to see a new, shiny white stretch mark glowing there, but going oddly the opposite direction from all its predecessors. I was very disappointed. Then I realized it could be scrubbed off. It was actually left over paint from my bad habit of wiping my hands all over my work shirt instead of using a rag to wipe up. So no stretch marks, just fuzzy pregnancy brain and too much paint not on things I'm actually painting.

If only that were the only kind of stretch mark I'd ever gotten.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Never Get the Head of Obstetrics As Your OB

I really like my doctor a lot. He's delivered all three of my kids. He's funny. Every labor and delivery nurse I've ever talked to has nothing but high praise for him. As far as doctors go, he's great. In fact, other people must have noticed that too, because he's now head of Obstetrics at the hospital and medical school near my house. Which means he's never in the office.

I had a check-up today (and Meredith watched my kids, which was absolutely wonderful and sweet of her, considering she's in the midst of packing up and moving). My check-up was very straight-forward. Just measuring things, checking my blood pressure and weight and listening to the baby's heart beat. I've gained 36 pounds which I'm not particularly thrilled about, but not surprised by either.

The only difficulty in my appointment was scheduling the next one. I'm supposed to go back in two weeks, but my OB is only in the office for two days at the beginning of that week which is too early. And all the other doctors in the practice are equally busy. I couldn't get an appointment with anyone earlier than afternoon with anyone at all.

So I'll go back in about 2 1/2 weeks, seeing my doctor, and hope that he'll manage to be around and out of meetings about the time the kidlet is due to make an appearance.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Names?

It's not that we've ever come up with a definite name for a child before it emerged, but I do wonder with only about six weeks to go, if I ought to start thinking about names. We don't want the child to be two and still be going by Baby Boy or Baby Girl Adams.

The problems are as follows: there aren't a lot of boy's names out there that I really like and that meet my criteria of falling below the Top 100 names from the annual SSA list, my husband is still hoping for St. John, one of my favorite boy's names is on the top ten list for France, I've used up another favorite boy's name as my son's middle name, I've used both my favorite girl's names on my daughters, and my friends inform me that I can't possibly use Jemima even if I do promise to call her Jemma.

So I leave it to you all to make suggestions, which will all, no doubt, be roundly rejected. Of course, one must keep in mind that the name must go well with those of its siblings, sound like an Anglophile named the child, and not have a ridiculous set of initials when paired with a last name that makes every set of initials sound like some sort of organization.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Explaining Potiphar's Wife and Other Excitements

We're talking about Joseph here in school. The faith of Joseph through all the trials and all the good times, and the very human side of him, as well as the story of the long term providence of God, have always made it one of my favorites. Although The Boy already knows these tales from Sunday School, I think I may have raised more issues than I wanted to in our lesson today.

First, we had to back track and discuss Jacob and his two wives. This was certainly a bit troubling to The Boy, who wanted to know not only why Jacob could marry both Leah and Rachel, but why it wasn't really a good thing to have two wives, and why women couldn't have more than one husband.

Then we wound up chatting about why having favorites among one's children is also unwise and unfair.

Moving right along, try explaining the story of Potiphar's wife to a kid who steadfastly refuses to be interested in the birds and the bees, but wants to know why Potiphar would imprison Joseph and what Potiphar's wife wanted.

And then there is the issue of the illustrations in the book we were reading. Why is Benjamin drawn as though he is about seven when his brothers bring him to Egypt? He's almost always portrayed this way in drawings, but by my count, Joseph has to have been gone at least 19 years. Naturally, The Boy wanted to know why I was disagreeing with the book.

And although I shouldn't have done it, I did happen to mention that some people think there are better translations than "coat of many colors." Being a traditionalist, The Boy took great exception to this and objected strongly to any suggestion that any but the common translation might be correct.

I enjoy these discussions, but whew! The Boy is wearing me out.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hurt Me

The Toddler Girl is stringing more and more words together -- saying lots of sentences and mimicking everything she hears. This can, of course, be really cute, but also dangerous. Fortunately, there aren't any bad words flying around here for her to pick up on. But that's not to say that she hasn't learned delightful things like "stupid" from her siblings.

The other days, the two bigger ones were playing and the Middle Girl said, "You hurt me!" But then she giggled. The Toddler Girl decided this must be a desireable condition. So now she runs around yelling, "Hurt me!" And just a minute ago, she crawled up in my lap for a cuddle, snuggled in close and demanded, "Mommy, hurt me!"

I suggested hugging or kissing might be better, but she insisted on "hurt." I tickled her neck with kisses until she'd giggled herself senseless and then sent her on her way.

Five Weeks

We realized this morning that yesterday marked the beginning of our fifth week of homeschooling. The Boy, who has never been mathematically inclined -- he could read well before he could count to ten, loves Saxon's Math 1. He thinks our history projects, especially building a large pyramid out of Legos and excavating the dirt pile in the backyard, have been "really cool." He loves the times he gets to illustrate his language lessons and he thinks its great that he gets to read poems out loud. I think the only thing he doesn't really like much is the copywork I make him do.

I know this honeymoon period can't last, but I really am pleased with how things are going. I wish I were fitting in more art and music, but that will come eventually.

Monday, August 28, 2006

What Happened?

Last week was hard on everyone around here. First, we had a visitor, which always takes up a lot of time. Second, despite what I said earlier, we still went out and looked at a few more houses.

And we found one -- a beautiful, hundred year old Victorian on the other side of town. It wasn't perfect, and it wasn't move in ready. However, it seemed like we could do the work to make it great and ready to move in for the amount we could make from selling our current house and using some of our savings. On Friday we had an inspection and realized there were far more issues than we had seen on our own.

I'm a bit disappointed, but not so very much as one might think. It's a lovely house with a lot more room, but I think the idea of taking on the work this one needed right before a baby arrived was probably madness anyway. We don't think the owner will accept a much lower offer than our original one, so now we can concentrate on just getting ready for Adams 4.0 and staying put here for at least a while longer.

Update:
As expected, the owner was not inclined to take less than our previous agreement, which was already well under her asking price. It will be interesting to see if there is some one out there with the money and time to buy the place at the price the owner wishes to get.

Loose Tooth

The Boy is very excited. All his Kindergarten classmates lost teeth last year and even the kids in his Sunday School class, who are younger than him, lost teeth (one as many as eight teeth in the past year), but The Boy's teeth remained firmly attached. Friday night he bit into something and started complaining that his tooth hurt.

I checked his molars and they all looked fine, but he kept complaining. So I asked which tooth hurt. Sure enough it was a front one. The tooth he grew first and for which we once called him "Fang" since for over a month it was the only tooth he had.

It keeps wiggling and soon will come out. There is some discussion as to whether the tooth fairy our family is assigned to is the kind that grants wishes (as in One Morning in Maine) or the more common money-bringing variety. The cheapskate in me prefers the wish-granting fairies, but considering that The Boy's wishes tend towards seeing a live dinosaur, I think we need to ask for a fairy who brings a dollar or two.

We've heard that with inflation teeth are paying more these days than they used to. I suppose the tooth fairy needs to go to the bank to make sure there is cash on hand when the day of tooth loss comes.



Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Very Busy

A lot is happening around Casa de Adams -- not baby related, but keeping us very busy. Posting may be light for the next few days.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Bad Influences

Some people take their kids out of public school to get them away from the bad influences. After listening to my 21 month old sing, "Holy Booty" all the way home from the outskirts of town last night, I'm beginning to wonder if I should send her to public school to get her away from the bad influence of my almost four year old.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Phonics

When I was but a wee lass, I had not only never heard my parents utter a "bad word," I had never even heard that such things existed. How they managed to keep my brother who is six years older than I am from imparting this knowledge at some point is beyond me -- but like Ramona Quimby, I probably thought the word "guts" was about as bad as it got.

Then some graffiti "artist" decided to spray paint the side of one of the school buildings with the words "F*ck You!" And being very proud of my second grade ability to read all things, I read the words out loud. My friends were shocked. Apparently, I was the only innocent in the second grade who knew not of such things.

Every once in a while, I ponder the wisdom of having taught my son to read. He reads far too well for his own good and naturally, though he knows there are words out there that one should not say, like "butt" of course, he's still a bit sheltered from the greater world.

Last night we ate dinner with a young teenaged girl who wore a shirt emblazoned with the words, "Stop Checking Me Out!" across the chest. Had I been her aunt, I don't think I would have let her leave with that on, but her actual aunt, while not approving in the slightest, did not choose to fight that battle. And thus my six year old started asking what that meant. Did she want people to stop checking her out at the library like she was a library book? he wondered. Rather at a loss, my husband told him that he (my husband) would explain it to him when he was older, but that by the time he was old enough for the explanation, none would be necessary.

We left the restaurant well aware that we have two daughters and full of hope that when the time of their teenage years arrives that the styles will trend towards baggy sacks.

Today, again my son displayed his remarkable ability to sound out and read things clearly and distinctly. I'm not talking about our discussions of the finer points of the Euplocephalus, nor of the Pharoah Menes. When he was taking a shower at the Y after his swimming lesson he apparently (my husband was with him, not me) came across the following sign, "Sexually inappropriate conduct is prohibited." Naturally, he wanted to know what that meant.

We're perfectly ready to explain the usual birds and bees, which he refuses to ask about in any detail, although I've brought up the topic on occasion. I'm not ready to move on the questions about what's inappropriate when he is apparently not ready for the appropriate as of yet.

Thus, again I ask -- why did I ever teach that child to read?



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