Monday, December 31, 2007

Picture link

So I thought while I was visiting my sister that we had managed to bring the batteries but had accidentally left the camera at home, but of course I managed to find the camera in a pocket of my computer bag while I was in the car on the way home. So it means that I didn't take any pictures on my camera even though I had it with me.
So anyway, her is a link to my sister's blog with a few pictures of my children (and hers) on it http://www.allthosestamps.blogspot.com/
Someday I'll get it together...but for now I'll just keep muddling on.

Fair play

So now we are at Nana and Pop's and suddenly Andy and Doug are the older cousins instead of being the youngest ones. They have two cousins on Jim's side...one is Delaney, who is almost 2, and the other is Samuel, who is 15 months.
Funny how we still have some of the same issues.
Everyone still wants to play with Jo's toys.
We are still arguing over toys but I have to make Andy and Doug try to be nice about sharing with someone younger and understand that the littler cousins are still learning how to share (i.e., they may pick up something you are playing with and they don't want you to take the toy out of their hands).

I think it is a good way to put Andy and Doug in their place.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Nana and Pop’s or Bust

A new day (and a little sleep) always makes things seem better.
Other than the boys fighting over what to watch (big machines vs trains) it hasn’t been too bad on the road today.
The kids ran around happily in the hotel room last night. Jo is doing her very best to keep up with her brothers. She will take off following them as fast as she can, and she is definitely getting faster at going from a tummy position to sitting up. She still mostly “creeps” but is choosing to crawl more and more. She is also definitely pulling up. A few times she has gotten to standing and then not known how to get back down.
Last night Andy and Doug thought where the cross planks connected under the tables at the fast food restaurant we ate at looked like airplane propellers. They kept getting on the floor to “drive the plane.”
Today, Doug also told me that he wanted to sit on the ceiling of the car and he decided that he was going to dance down to nana and pop’s house.

(Edit: We made it to Nana and Pop's house. I am excited about not being in the car tomorrow. Doug told me he wanted to sleep on the ceiling when I went to go tuck him in for bed.)

Driving

We have been driving all day. Yuck! And we have another day to go (though I had a good time at my sister’s house so it is worth it). It has been busy on the road with everyone heading back on the weekend.
It has been a more exciting driving day then I really wanted. A Class 1 RV who was not very far ahead of us was losing plastic tubs on the road. Jim missed the first one but couldn’t avoid the second one. It got caught up under the car and didn’t damage anything, but Jim had to pull over and get down under the car to get it out.
Also we think the thermostat on the car has gone bad because the two hoses for the coolant are not the same temperature (and they should be) so we are driving with the heat on and the windows open slightly to help keep the car from overheating. We’ll get it fixed when we get down to Jim’s parent’s house so we can go to the guy we bought the car from. It just means that I am alternating between being too hot and too cold.We are getting over our cold we caught while we were with family (strengthening our immune systems) and the boys didn’t nap in the car until late and then they have alternated where one falls asleep right as the other one wakes up. That is even with a fairly lengthy stop to play at a play place for lunch which was meant to tire them out. Doug, in the space of the 30 minutes or so we were at McDonalds, made a girlfriend and learned how to play air hockey. Andy ran around with abandon and also ate half of my food.

Funny Boy

I didn’t realize until this morning what a sense of humor Doug has. I knew that he liked to be silly (one of his nick names is “frat boy” after all) but I overheard this conversation he had with my sister’s youngest child, William (age 6), as we were getting ready to leave my sister’s house:
Doug: Hi Doug
William: I’m not Doug, You’re Doug!
Doug: Hi Rachel
William: I’m not Rachael, I’m William. Rachael is Rachael.
Doug: Hi Dad
William: I’m not dad. Dad is dad.
I’m not sure where the conversation went from there because we were trying to get out the door, but Doug had a big grin on his face the entire time. I am glad that for how much my boys tortured William (somehow he wasn’t flattered when Doug was following him around copying him, or with the toys that accidentally got broken, etc.) that when Ann told him we were leaving William wanted us to stay another day. He didn’t even remember that he wanted us to check the boys pockets for his toys on the way out the door (which would have been difficult since the boys were wearing sweatpants).

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Excitement for Doug

Doug has had an exciting past 24 hours.
First we went to a hibachi restaurant last night. Doug has always been more sensitive to loud noises, but we have gotten better and it is a little harder to tell exactly which things will or will not set him off. Well, the cooking in front of us was enough to set him off. He eventually would let me hold him sort of near the table if I had my hands over his ears, but he was upset until the guy started cleaning up. Then he was just fine afterwards and happily ate his meal. Andy on the other hand was enthusiastically cheering the guy on and eating a little bit of everything as it appeared on his plate.

Then, today we went a model train exhibit. Doug LOVES trains, a lot. He was very happy about seeing all of the trains running on the track and kept telling me to "keep moving." We stopped about half way through to sit down, and to get everyone back together. Doug leaned up against a wall that happened to have a narrow door for access behind one of the layouts. Well...the door wasn't latched and Doug fell through. I had a very scary moment when I thought he had fallen way down into a dark room. Fortunately his cousin Rachel was skinny enough to fit through the door and get him out and it wasn't too far of a fall. He was fine almost immediately and wanted to "keep moving." It took me almost ten minutes to stop shaking and get over it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wearing Children Out

Last night my sister and I stayed up a little while playing Lego Star Wars. I think this game is fun but I don't have a game system to play it on where you can play multi player. Jo stayed up with us and happily sat between us on the couch watching, pulling on our clothes and having a good old time. We glanced down and Jo was passed out, head on Ann's knee, snoring away.

We took the kids to a park to wear off some energy. It was bitterly cold but the kids had a good time. With little noses glowing they ran around and slid down the slide. It was nice to have their cousins there to play with. On the way home I took a little "snooze cruise" for the boys. I managed to get both of them out but of course as soon as we got home and tried to put Doug down...he woke up. Andy was out out out...he always plays hard.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas!

We have survived Christmas. We weren't quite done by 10am but that may be because we took a break for breakfast.
Last night we went to my sister's church that does an "instant nativity" where any child can be part of the play. Doug was not interested. He was mister Grinch, but that could be due to the fact that he had a late nap. He also seems to think that the point of candles are for blowing out because when it came to the candle-lighting part of the service he was repeatedly blowing our candle out.
Andy got excited and put on the sheep costume and wanted to go up to the front of the church. Then of course when it came time to do it he didn't want to go.
Jo...she got to be baby Jesus. Her cousin Rachel was Mary and Jo happily sat on her lap. Rachel did a very good job of kind of swaying with her and Jo was a happy baby Jesus. Jo got a little irritated when an angel kept brushing her wings across Jo's face. She only started to get a little fussy at the end but we convinced Andy in his sheep's costume to walk a pacifier up and then Jo was happy again. It was all very cute and you could even hear an audible "ahhhh" for how cute it was that Andy had taken the pacifier up (and Andy was very proud of himself up too).
Some of the funniest things about Christmas today have been:
a) every child (right up through the 12 year old) has chosen to play with Jo's infant toys
b) we are still in the stage when one toy would have sufficed...my kids wanted to play with everything right after they opened it
c) Andy managed to eat an entire handful of garlic when Jim was fixing dinner (pretty impressive!)

The best gift I think I got today was (beside being with family) that I got to take a nap.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Working Together

My twins usually have diverse interests, but sometimes they play together. When we were getting ready for the fridge to be delivered we had to pull out some built-in cabinets (somehow the spot for a 1968 fridge was a lot smaller than modern day ones). A friend, John, came over and pulled them out with Jim's help.
I had forgotten it until Andy was talking about a ladder, but the boys started "helping" each other just like they saw John and Jim doing. Doug was standing on the ladder and Andy was handing "tools" to Doug.
It's amazing how well they work together when they want to.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Surviving childhood

Last time we visited my sister my twins were only 7 months and my sister's son, William, was only 4. At the time you could tell he was used to be the baby.

It is now two years later. While Doug and Andy are pretty good with toys, we can be a bit overwhelming and we have in fact managed to break a few toys. This is hard for a six year old to understand. If William survives our stay he will be a stronger man for it.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Is it really vacation when you travel with 3 under 3?

So I went to put a hold on the mail coming to the house while we are going to be gone. I filled out the card at the post office and then waited to turn it in.
Me: Did I forget anything
Postal Worker: A ticket for me to where ever your going.
Me: Oh, we’re traveling in the car for a day and a half with 3 under 3.
Postal Worker: Staying home is sounding better and better.

New House

So we still very much have that new house feel. There are boxes everywhere and my legs are still getting used to the stairs (our old house was a single story). There is a toy explosion in the basement/toy room as the kids rediscover all the toys that were packed. We did get a fridge finally so I am no longer having to run out to the trailer to use it’s fridge. We actually cut the trailers electric life line just before leaving for my sister’s because we were finally able to move all the stuff into the fridge. Making progress…just baby steps at a time.

Girls just want to have fun

Jo is certainly growing and changing. She is now mostly crawling. The crawling depends on her motivation. I picked her up from the baby sitter the other day and he said she crawled clear across the room for food but only a short distance for a toy. She is trying really hard to keep up with her big brothers.I turned around the other day during dinner and before I knew it Doug had handed her a fried chicken wing. There was no getting it away from her. She was very happily and enthusiastically eating the chicken wing and actually did pretty well until she managed to get a piece of cartilage off. So much for the pediatrician saying to start her slowly on bland table food.

Are we there yet?

We made it to my sister's house!
Now we just have to negotiate six children getting along with toys and all.
I have a few posts that I wrote on the way so I am going to put those up.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

AWOL

Sometimes I feel like I have fallen off the face of the Earth and unless you happen to see me face-to-face you would have no idea what's going on in my life...there's no time to phone or email or do anything else to communicate with people. This past week has been one of those times.
Last week I made 4 trips toward emptying out one of the storage units. Except for a large bruise where I caught a desk with my leg (it was tipping on the dolly) I survived.
Then Saturday in an amazing feat we had enough people show up that we had the largest size UHAUL truck loaded by 10:30 am and then completely unloaded at the house by noon. Then a dedicated crew stuck around and they got the rest of the stuff out of the last storage unit I had started working on and so by about 3pm all of our storage units were empty. We ended up missing a Christmas party (couldn't find a baby-sitter) but it worked out because we got beds assembled and after staying in an RV for almost 5 months we finally slept in our own house.
Then Sunday a friend with a big strong tuck came and moved the trailer so that we could haul it loaded. F0r the first time in about 6 months all of our stuff is in one place. Of course I still can't find anything...
I spent running errands and trying to unload the trailer, and getting a hitch put on the minivan so that we could have a basket for more carrying space.
Then Tuesday I spent most of the day trying to remove vinyl flooring only to discover that we weren't going to be able to put the fridge on it when the fridge is delivered so we postponed putting new flooring down. If you want to really get a workout for your upper arms and back try scraping up vinyl.
Today I am madly trying to put clothes away so I can see what cloths we have so that I can pack for us to leave to visit my sister for Christmas.
Yep...we finally get to move into a house and we are leaving. However, I am very excited to go to my sister's for Christmas because her family hasn't seen the boys for a year and a half and my mom is flying in too.
I am so busy I can't see straight but I am so happy and I feel so blessed.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Nice to meet you Santa...

I survived my final even with the campus chimes playing Christmas Carols during the entire time I was taking the final...
I could have done better on the final had I put in more effort ahead of time, but I am happy with what I got in the class and I am glad to be done.

Anyway, while I was taking this final Jim was at the church Christmas party with the boys. I heard that Andy told Santa Claus "nice to meet you" which apparently caused everyone to say "ahhhh."
Santa ask Doug his name and Doug (who for awhile told people his name was Andy) told Santa his name was "Thomas."
Apparently neither boy needed much prompting to tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas. Andy wants ...what else...big machines.
Doug wants...no surprise here...Thomas the Tank Engine.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Finals!

I only have one scheduled final. It is tonight. It is in stats. Enough said....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Messing with your mind

I didn't intentionally do it but I embarrassed the guy who came to set-up the pest control. He was very nice and liked the kids and all. When we were finishing up he wanted to make sure that I had the phone number to call if we had any questions or problems. I told him I had his card and he offered me a second one. I said something about "OH, I'd hang it up on the fridge if we had one."
Well, apparently he didn't hear the "if we had one" part.

He walked into the kitchen, and then stood there looking around for the fridge to put his card on. He asked me where the fridge was and I told him it would be delivered in 5-10 days.

2ndish Child

While Jo is technically my third child, she is really the 2nd in that I have all the benefits of having gone through this once before. It really is easier the 2nd time for both the pregnancy and what to expect with a baby. We joke that I am trying not to be the "bitter twin mom." My sister has a friend who belonged to some Internet mom's group where there was apparently a bitter twin mom who had had a singleton the second time around and kept complaining that "you moms of singles have no idea how easy it is, etc. etc., etc." So we joke that I am enjoying the benefits of having one baby instead of two this time and my goal is to be joyful about it and not bitter.

I will also say that I am much more daring this time around. Partly this is due to the fact we have a different pediatrician but also because I know what worked with my boys. At this point the boys were just learning to eat things beyond baby rice cereal. Jo on the other hand has just about exhausted the available fruits and vegetables and is now experiencing meat. She has had puffs (the ped was like...I would wait to even do the puffs...and then I had to admit that Jo had already had them and done fine), she has had bits of bread and bits of banana, and crackers.

Being the 2ndish child she also probably gets a chance to get into more things. Yesterday, while I was changing a poopy diaper, she picked up a piece of tape off the floor and proceeded to throw it up. Despite the fact that Andy was one of those babies who could find the one thing in the room that he wasn't suppose to have within 30 seconds of entering the room this never happened with the boys. Jo is going to be one tough little cookie. She has been tripped over, landed on by the boys, and so far at least they haven't managed to actually pick her up (which is not to say they haven't tried). She also managed yesterday to eat about 3 teddy grahams before I caught her so I guess she is ready to move onto other foods. I think she is going to give her brothers a run for their money.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Oh so close...

We are oh so close to moving into the house. We ordered the new flooring for the kitchen, decided to wait on what to do with the old carpet in the den, ordered a fridge, got the carpet vacuumed, arranged for carpet cleaning, arranged for pest control, arranged to get the chimney work done, and the handy-man has already been hard at work.
The target date for moving things is Saturday, but if I can get the car seats moved to the truck so I can have the truck after work, then I will start moving things out of the storage unit.
Yippee!!!!

Restaraunt eating

We went out for lunch yesterday after church. The boys did pretty well at the table although I guess it is a bit strange that Andy ate two dinner rolls by dipping them either in ketchup or the honey mustard that came with their chicken fingers.

Then Jim ordered a piece of fudge pie for us to share.
The waitress asked about bringing 2 spoons and Jim told her she should bring 4.
Well, I got maybe 2 bites and Jim only got one of this fudge pie and ice cream. Doug & Andy were like wild beasts finishing off dessert. I think I would have lost a limb trying to reach in there to get another bite. For a moment I thought Andy might pick up the plate and lick it once they ate everything off it. I guess my kids like chocolate.

2 Year olds will be funny

So last night Andy asked for something at the table. He had everything but the "please" so I told him he should add a please in there. So of course he said "Please in there."

It is also slightly disconcerting to be driving along and for no apparent reason have Doug yelling "Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, mommy, be careful, Whoa, whoa, be careful mommy...."

Saturday, December 8, 2007

It's a new day

It's a new day...Andy now says that his favorite big machines are now front end loaders and excavators. Doug will wish you "Happy Christmas Tree," I now can't read one of our children's books with a straight face because Jim read it with a British accent and added commentary, and Jo has learned how to terrorize her brothers by going after the toys they are actively playing with and then "slime" them by putting them in her mouth. Jo also has a stronger urge to flirt than she does to cry....

Friday, December 7, 2007

Keep on keeping on

Hopefully grandma doesn't object that we opened the videos she sent early. Andy has now taken over the TV/DVD (which Doug used to dominate with his Thomas/Train videos) with "I Love Big Machines." I asked him yesterday when we were driving in the car if he had a favorite big machine. He told me..."two mommy." So upon further questioning he told me that his favorite were a pay loader and a dump truck. So now I know....

I also got out Christmas letters. There is just one lone one waiting for Jim to acquire the updated address and I apologize in advance for the red eye if you are on my Christmas list. I didn't have any program to edit pictures on my laptop so it was easier to just leave it in. Now days I just include a letter, forget any card, and hope that I don't forget anyone. I did find my list of people which was good because the master list is on the hard drive under the bed in the RV and I don't have all the rest of the equipment anywhere close to the front of the storage unit to be able to set it up. I also hope that everything had a stamp and an address because I never did get the number of addresses and the number of stamps used to agree when I counted them both.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

"When are you due?"..."Last May!"

Once I read a Dave Barry article where it said that one of the rules in life is to not ask a woman when she is due unless she is actively giving birth.
I had someone ask me last night if I was still losing baby fat. Now I realize that most people in this new town never knew me before I had children and so they don't know that I have been overweight most of my adult life. I actually did not gain much weight with my children and with both pregnancies I had lost all the baby gain weight within two weeks of delivering. With the boys I actually was down almost an additional 20 pounds beyond my starting weight before I started rebounding as they weaned themselves. So it is not that I am heavier but my shape has changed dramatically from what it was.
What I really want to say to people who ask me "when are you due?" (which this happens even if I have Jo with me...she is very obviously less than nine months old so unless she is adopted it would be physically impossible for me to "look pregnant" at this point)...anyway, so what I really want to say is:
YOU TRY HAVING LARGE TWINS AND THEN LESS THAN 2 YEARS LATER A 9 POUND BABY AND SEE WHAT IT DOES TO YOUR STOMACH MUSCLES!

House Update...infinity and beyond...

So Jim meet with the handy man and right now the plan is to do the fix up stuff in the basement first. Then we would move in there and hopefully by early January be able to move into the entire house.
I am just anxious to:
1) have a washer and dryer to call my own
2) be able to get into the storage units so that I can have more than one shirt with long sleeves (I don't really want to buy anymore until I see what I have...remember when we first packed everything up I was still mostly in maternity clothes since it was right after Jo was born).
3) be able to get a computer and printer set up since right now I have to print things at the office
4) have a real Internet connection (not one from across the street that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't)
5) get Jo's crib set-up...not that sleeping on the floor is bad (though many nights she ends up in bed with us) but for most of 4 out of her 6 months of life she has slept on the floor

I am borrowing a vacuum from the church so that we can go over there this afternoon and vacuum some. My boys are bad about taking off their shoes when they are at home (this even happened at one of the houses when we were still in the looking phase). I also had Jim take over some child safety stuff so I can start that process. I guess the next thing to also think about is to get a fridge in there. I did tell Jim that by the beginning of next week I want to start emptying the storage unit so I will need to have the big truck after school. I need things like my sewing machine and I would love to have our stockings for Christmas even if the only other decoration that we have this year is the free stuffed moose we got for spending too much money at the outlet store.
We are getting closer but not in a house yet. I just really need an exit strategy at this point. I will say that in another "God knows best" moment I realized that God is watching out for my academic calendar. I don't know that I would have had time to deal with any moving in things during the middle of the semester but here we are at the end of the term when I will have more time to take care of everything.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Seduction

One time I looked up the dictionary definition of "seduce" and it said "to lead astray."

Well I am constantly being seduced into doing other things than what I probably should be doing. Sometimes I even use work from one area of my life to procrastinate in other areas. How terrible is that?

So time has slipped away from me again and it is almost time to go pick up the kids and I haven't done nearly the things I wanted to get done. Of course it probably doesn't help that I am a horrible estimate of how long it is going to take me to do something.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Motivation

I always told the parents of my students that if I had the answer to motivating students that I would be a millionaire and would not be teaching. I used to do a lot of bribing myself to get my work done. That becomes harder as there is more work to be done and less time to take bribe related breaks.

Jo keeps trying to suck on my shoelaces and Doug keeps coming out when he is suppose to be in bed. Doug, the poor child, inherited my sleeping (or lack there of) pattern. First it was with needing to wash his hands (we already had), then various nonexistent boo boos (chin, cheek, etc.), and finally he came out singing our fractured clean-up song. You have to admit that is pretty great determination when someone keeps telling you no. Hopefully he will stay in bed now even though I can still hear him singing. Andy, on the other hand, was asleep almost immediately.

Anyway, even with kids mostly stowed for the night I have very little motivation at the moment to do anything school related, housework related, or otherwise....

Banging my head

I have been working on an annotated bibliography task for one of the professors I work for. Annotated just means that it has the article or book information and then a short description of what is in the article or book. I have been trying to decide if this would have been an easier task had I been finding all of the articles or books myself or not. She had me start from lists that her students turned in last Spring. So my list is really a compilation list. However, I knew last Spring she had complained that her students didn't know APA style and now I am realizing how really painful it is. When I was first looking through their lists I saw some errors so I am having to look up every article and book. What a pain.

If you were a graduate student....
Wouldn't you make sure you spelled everything correctly...especially the author's name?
How many more key strokes worth of energy does it take to include the author's initials? Surely if the author bothered to list it on the article they intend for you to list it also.
How is someone else supposed to go find the article if you don't have the right date?

Thank you for letting me complain. APA is not that bad and you can probably find all the information you need to help you do a proper APA citation by looking online without even buying the book! I think banging my head against the wall would be less painful then reading these citations.

Monday, December 3, 2007

You might be a redneck...


Now that we have a house, I am finally getting around to showing our set-up in the trailer.
This is a picture of our trailer. It is a 31 foot Dutchman trailer (2005) with the bunkhouse and one slide out (on the other side). The black you can see is where Jim taped a bag over Andy's window to help keep out some of the cold when we had some nights down around and below freezing. You can see our full size deep freezer plugged in outside the trailer. We didn't have anywhere else to put it and since there was still stuff in it putting it outside the trailer seemed like the most sensible thing. It is a little difficult to see but we also have a BBQ and a full set of lawn furniture outside the trailer. The storage units were packed so that was the solution we came up with. Fortunately our fridge sold with our house so we don't have that sitting outside the trailer also.
It really hasn't been too bad being in the trailer for so long (4 months and counting). My children are small so that helps. We have been through some temperature extremes (a couple weeks of temperatures over 100 and now we are getting down to around freezing some nights). We have adapted in lots of ways to the tight space. There actually is a remarkable amount of storage in the trailer, but the catch is that you can't take something out and leave it out because you need that space for something else.
The hardest part for me has been going to the laundry mat with two two year olds. I am looking forward to doing laundry whenever I want to and without having to chase anyone.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Who knew?

So tonight we were putting the boys to bed and Doug sat down, started the prayer before we did, and said all but a few words of the last two lines. Who knew?

The boys went to their first Christmas Parade. They were both completely into it. They were picking up candy and waving at the people on the floats. I think it is going to be a fun Christmas this year. They boys are noticing all sorts of Christmas decorations and pointing them out. Jo had a good time at the parade too. She rode in the backpack carrier. This is the first time she has been behind me instead of in front. She likes playing with my hair and she just kept looking around and started chitter chattering.

Home Owners!

We closed on the house late yesterday afternoon!
It has been a month and a half since we made the first offer.

Of course now we need to get everything all fixed up and moved in, and we actually left immediately afterwards to go to nana and pop's house so we haven't even gone over to try the keys. I am feeling good because the title agent doing the closing gave our mortgage broker a huge compliment so I am feeling good about having gone with that mortgage.

So yes we are happy homeowners!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Goofy Boys






Two Year Olds Can Be Funny

I knew the old saying about kids saying everything they hear...what they don't tell you is that they will say it in exactly the same tone of voice you say it in.
I had heard the kids call each other using the same cadence as I do, and it was cute when we went through the "uh oh" stage, complete with the raised hands like mom says it.
Now we have Doug who says "Awww, man" when something doesn't quite go his way, and unfortunately Andy...when trying to convince me to do something will now say "Oh come on" just like I do. The scary part is that you don't even necessarily realize you say these things....let alone say them often enough to have kids repeating them.

Also, I knew that sarcasm is totally wasted on 2-year olds, but I still can't help having it come out of my mouth sometimes. I asked Andy yesterday if he could be any more whiny.....
He very seriously told me "Yes."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Boop

If you are of a certain age you remember the filmstrips they showed in school that had the cassette tape to go with it with a "boop" every time you were supposed to turn it to the next frame. Well, Doug, as I have said before, can be very silly. I have no earthly idea how he came up with the idea or exactly why he does it (though by now I suspect that he knows it is silly) but when we are putting the boys to bed we say a good-night prayer. We have the boys either "make prayer hands" or more often they want to hold hands. We say a little prayer that Andy is getting very close to being able to say all of the lines on, especially if you start the line for him. Doug, on the other hand, is an entirely different story.
Our usual prayer goes something like this :
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John boop
Bless the bed that I lie on boop
Four corners boop to my bed boop
Four angels boop round my head boop
One to watch boop
One to pray boop
And two to boop guide me through my day boop
Amen

He sort of leans forward and looks around at everyone when he says it but it's not like he has a goofy look on his face or anything. His face is just as serious as ours although his eyes get really big when he says "boop" and he is very good about saying Amen at the end, but he sounds just like the filmstrip.
I really want him to be serious about it, and I would like him to say the prayer, but it is soooooooooooo hard not to laugh when he does it.

Roll Over



So we all rolled over and mom and dad fell out....

Do the police ticket themselves?


Hopefully you can read the sign...it says "No Parking Police Cars"
I just want a line or a period or something in there to separate those two thoughts.

Bad Day



Mr. Potatohead had a bad day.

Party Animals

Doug's nickname is "frat boy." The child likes to be silly (and in fact will say "silly, silly" when he does something silly because that is what I say to him). Ever since he was little...like even at 8 or 10 months he would act goofy for other people and play it up. The child would also wave at a post if he thought it would wave back because he is a huge flirt (Andy is a little more selective). Doug has been known to "work the tables" at church, flirt with business women eating alone (even if they are too busy reading and don't respond back), and has even hugged a Target employ who made the mistake of saying hi to him (though she loved the hug).

Well, I think Jo may be headed that same direction. She started flirting at around 2 months and it has only gotten worse. She even has a small fan club at church. She will also definitely egg Jim on to play with her. I think her happy screech is even louder than the boys was at this age. Last night she and Doug were getting each other wound up. He would act silly and she would smile, screech, and bounce in response. This of course was right as we were trying to settle them down to go to bed.

I was a quiet it shy child. This has to be from their dad's side. It is going to be loud and wild at my house.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mommy senses

The boys work pretty well together. Unfortunately this is usually when they are on some sort of a mission such as moving their ALL of their toys from one room to another, or getting ALL of the books off the shelf.
Usually my mommy senses are pretty in tune and I can catch them in the act. Once my mommy senses were tingling and I caught Andy with about a quarter inch of diaper cream on both hands, but it was just before he touched anything else.
So last night after dinner the boys kept collecting toys and going into their room. I was seeing them just often enough that I wasn't suspicious of anything. I just thought "whatever they are doing at least all of their toys will be in their room." They both told us "good-bye" and Andy said something about "go Wa-mart."
Well it turns out that they had taken every single toy and dropped it down in the storage space that extends between their beds and down under Doug's bed. They had put all their toys, the Thomas play mat, the oven mitts, and anything else they could get their hands on down into this space. Jim trapped them in a bath and I had to practically crawl into the space to get everything out.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Crazy Week

So I always have this feeling that my brain is full when I get back from vacation because there is so much to remember to follow-up on. It probably doesn't help that I was at the mercy of auto repair places at the beginning of last week.
For the trip for Thanksgiving (and the one coming up for Christmas) we invested in a personal DVD player for the boys to watch. They really enjoyed it and other than fighting over which movie to play and having to get on them about messing with the cords, it was a wise investment.
I was able to work on my paper (which is basically done now) and even wrote a Christmas Letter which I now need to figure out how to print it and get it sent (as a friend of mine would say...in my copious free time between 2 and 4am...).
It looks like we might actually close on the house this Friday. Yes...THIS Friday. Of course now we need to figure out things like getting all the repair work done versus when we move in, and getting everything out of the 3 (yes I said 3) storage units.
I also had forgotten that the babysitter will be out of town at the end of this week so now I need to figure out what to do with kids on Thursday and Friday. I am thinking that if the church will allow us to mooch off of them for a little bit I can hit the church nursery so the boys will have someplace to play and I can perhaps use the wireless Internet. It could work....

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving

We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with my sister-in-laws family and her in-laws. I was full but not uncomfortable. Kids are funny though. Doug, who is usually my protein loader didn't even touch his turkey. He had rolls which he put slices of cranberry on. It must have been a carb day for him. Andy ate more of a variety but he scarfed things down so quickly that he was ready to be done before everyone else had even made it to the table.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Ironic

So I have essentially been without Internet for a few days now. First I took the new car in because a light came on and Milton who we bought it from seemed unsurprised that a light came on. So he sent me to get a part fixed. Well, we are new in town so I just took it to a place that seemed reasonable.

They were idiots. They didn't hurt the car but they did things that weren't necessary. I ended up spending most of the day there and of course they didn't have wi-fi. I was feeling guilty because Milton said to send him the bill even though they were idiots and did things like replace the coolant because they didn't know that Honda coolant is blue.
Then I took it to the dealer the next day and spent most of the day there. They didn't have wi-fi there either. So both days I was essentially without wireless but I did have my computer so I got an amazing amount written on this huge paper. While I was sitting at the dealer I happened to see a newspaper someone had left behind and they horoscopes were sitting out. SO of course I read mine.
Now I don't know that it constitutes necessarily a 2x4 from God (as my friend Catherine would say) but I do think if you are listening He talks to you...sometimes more directly than others. My horoscope said something about not all mistakes are sins and to forgive yourself and move on. Perhaps I am reading things into the horoscope but I took the message as to not feel guilty about the visit to the idiot car people and sending the bill to Milton and that I should just move on and I realized that being trapped in the car places actually helped me get a lot one on my course work.

Then we left to go to Jim's sister's house for Thanksgiving. We had wi-fi at the hotel but we were far enough away from their router that we couldn't get Internet in the room and I just went to bed and got some sleep.

Of course there is something ironic about the fact that there is not Internet at places were you are forced to spend hours and there is Internet at places where you really should be there for a short amount of time. Did you know some DQ's have Internet...and that if you are quick you can find two journal articles for your paper as you go through the drive-thru?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

STRessed

So I am stressed with a capital "S" and possibly even a capital "TR." I have a paper to work on for my coursework, a final coming up in stats, and also perhaps it is time to address the other class that I have been putting off. So this is on top of all of the house stuff and car stuff and everything else going on.

There are many other things that are much more attractive than working on what I should be doing (things like reading all of the blogs that I am becoming addicted to...as if enabler woman needed one more thing to be addicted to).

I don't quite know where I am getting my reserve of energy from (although I suspect I might be sucking it from Jim). I should be way more tired than I am. Last night Andy feel asleep in the car on the way home from running errands (he hadn't taken a nap...while Doug had a short nap in the car earlier). So Doug had a nice evening without his brother, and Andy slept 6 hours and then woke up hungry (about the time I was giving up on my paper to head to bed) and ended up having a pleasant hour alone with mommy while he ate a meal. It was nice, but I just wish that the hour had not been from midnight til 1am.

House Update (I think we're up to V?)

So after the "how many times can one person say no" to a house we got an estimate on fixing all the masonry stuff (ouch) and our realtor doesn't think they will budge anymore, but it looks like we can deal with the numbers. So after settling some details we may be closing on the house in the next two weeks. So now the question is...to fix everything before we move in or wait to move in after the handyman is done.... (oh yes, and to figure out where all the furniture will go since Jim is unavailable to haul things around with his mending bones).

Monday, November 19, 2007

Soccer Mom!



So we have a new(ish) car now (or at least new to me). It is a 1997 Honda Odyssey. It is sort of a "soccer mom" car because in someways it is a cross between a minivan and a station wagon...4 doors that open out rather than a sliding door and yet not the space the back of a station wagon might have. There is little wear and tear on the inside because apparently this car was the "courtesy" vehicle for a dealership. I am still figuring out all of the bells and whistles and the boys are getting used to the new configuration (no...mommy cannot pick up the toy you dropped while she was driving because she is not elastigirl...) We have both boy's car seats in the back, Jo in the middle, and we plan to have an adult in one of the bucket seats in the middle when we go places if we have two adults.

I feel like I am still figuring out where all the fenders are. I parked at the pediatricians today and then we couldn't get in one side after we came back to the car because I was sort of close to the line and a person who wasn't there when we got there had parked next to us.
I am now working even harder on getting the boys to actually go back to their car seats (as opposed to playing in the driver's seat by turning on the flashers and adjusting all the mirror, etc.) or not to go over the back seat into the rear part of the car. So far the only catch about the arrangements of the car seats has been that 1) Jo needs to be moved to the other side because somehow having Jim and I on the same side doesn't seem like a good way to keep the car balanced, and 2) Andy keeps playing with the cover that is over the jack. I have told Andy that that cover is for "emergencies only." His response was that the first time out we were driving along and after being in the car for about 5 minutes he started shouting "mergency, mergency" and proceeded to uncover the jack.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Jo!






We have Jo in her sleeping spot, Jo in pajamas, Jo as a strawberry for Halloween, Jo practicing to take off crawling (not actually crawling yet but she does make purposeful forward progress) and Jo flirting with her daddy.

Valdemart

Ok so Peter's wife Traci alludes to Wal-mart as being Voldemort because one time their greeter was not in place and lied and said he was when she came in trying to return something and they accused her of shoplifting. It got cleared up but it left a scar.
I am not fond of W-mart but I do use it and especially now I go to it because it is close to where the RV is parked and sometimes it is just easier to do everything in one stop.
Everything in one stop is what I was trying to do yesterday. The boys and I needed haircuts and we had some items to buy. I stopped first thing and got us signed up for haircuts. The lady said it would be about 20 minutes and we could go walk around if we wanted to. Since we had some shopping to do we headed out and I thought there was a minute possibility that we could actually get it done.
First we headed to the bakery area to get cookies (otherwise the boys will badger me about getting cookies while we shop...yes they have me trained on that account). We had to wait for a bit for the lady to notice us because she was cleaning something in the sink and was completely oblivious. Then with cookies in hand we headed to get the rest of the materials we need. I keep thinking the whole time that there is some reason I thought that I needed to be at W-mart and not just a grocery store, but of course I can't remember why and keep thinking that I really need to start writing these things down.
When we have everything I can remember (and of course a few things we don't really need) we head for the check-out and as usual have to wait and wait and wait. I am working on getting the boys to stay with me because they don't like to be strapped in the cart so I have to constantly keep on them to stay out of all of the stuff around. Andy spotted a whole display of gift cards and managed to dump the entire pile of Elmo gift cards before we made it to the register.
So we get back to the hair cutting place about 25 minutes after I signed us in. Now we did not miss our turn and are in fact next, but we end up waiting for another 15+ minutes. Apparently she was not good at estimating time. Of course right next door to the hair place is a little "game" area with video games and such. The boys keep trying to get out of the cart to go to this room or they are pestering me about going to the room.
My boys are usually very good about hair cuts. For some reason this time they both wanted me to go first but the lady had already set up the chair for a small child. Andy goes first and he did pretty well. The lady asked me how I wanted it cut and I resisted the urge to just say "shorter." I was thinking "it's a 2 year old boy's hair...how many styles are there...can you not see what was done with it before." I would kind of tell that the lady was not that used to cutting kids hair but we get through the first haircut. Andy starts to get fidgety toward the end and the lady is trying to dry the little bit of his hair that is wet. Now I realize that it was chilly out that day, but by the time we get through 2 more haircuts I am positive that Andy's hair will be dry...just let the kid out of the chair. This entire time Doug has been in the cart and I have to keep getting on him about playing with the shampoo bottles on the shelf so I have moved the cart out of reach of all the shelves.
Then it is Doug's turn. Andy (my climber) is alternating between complaining, or trying to climb out of the cart. While he is in the cart he is repeatedly (albeit accidentally) stepping on the sweet rolls we just purchased. During Doug's haircut Jim calls and wants me to get him some cash...which of course I had already done my shopping and would have to go back into the store part with the dilemma of what to do with the bags I have already paid for...do I have to take them out to the car first? Jo is also starting to get fussy so I take her out of her car seat and immediately remember the item that I had forgotten about....I lost an earring recently and needed to go get another one which I only remember now because Jo is pulling on my ear (which probably how I lost an earring in the first place). Then I realize that Jo has a poopy diaper. Well I have been recently just stuffing a couple of the boy's diapers in Jo's bag and taking only the smaller bag in. What I didn't realize this time was that somehow Jo's pack of wipes did not get refilled and that the full pack of wipes is in the car in the boy's bag. So I proceed to change her diaper in the seat section of the shopping cart (so I don't leave me 2 year old alone getting his hair cut) using only one wipe.
Finally it is my turn. I strap Jo back in (which she is upset about) and put both boys in the cart. So while I am getting my hair cut Jo screams the entire time. The boys are fidgety in the cart and keep trying to climb out. A lady thinks they are going to fall out so she proceeds to help them out of the cart and then thinks to ask me if they can be out of the cart. I reply "they're 2...they'll be into everything, I'd rather have them in the cart." (Really I do get comments about how well behaved they are, but we sort of have this threshold for warming up to a place...after that they get curious and my kids are pretty confident...and we are definitely past the threshold time for being at all hesitant in Wal-mart). So at least the lady put the boys back in the cart. Then the stylist seems to think that there will be less complaining if all of the children are closer to me. She wheels the boys closer (which now puts them in reach of shelves again). I move Jo closer but didn't realize how much hair was on my shoulders until I lean over to pick up her car seat and hair clippings come falling down all over her.
So Jo continues to scream, I am hoping that we will be done soon, and the boys are asking about everything (we are in the "what's that" stage). Then Doug picks up a couple of bottles and manages to drop them. Well the bottles were plastic but apparently not very flexible because they each crack and spill their entire contents all over the floor. Then Andy starts to rip into one of the boxes we had purchased and is trying to help himself to a snack.
Finally the haircut is over. In the end she asks me if I want it cut shorter and without even looking (or being able to see since my glasses were off) I say it is fine, I make sure we pay for the bottles we broke (boy there are some expensive hair care products out there) and I try to at least leave her a reasonable tip and I keep apologizing on our way out.
We get home and I inform Jim that he can take care of getting his own *&%^$* cash.

Counter intuitive

Alright, so perhaps it is counter intuitive to try and have an accountability group about being healthier that encourages you to sit at the computer more. However, my sister and a few other friends and family are going to use the benefit of technology (and blogging) to hold each other accountable and try and improve out health. Let me know if you are interested in being invited.

Guest!

We had a guest last night!
Our friend Peter came down and stayed in the trailer with us because he is going to Jim's school to talk about his computer programming job. He got to be the first to try out the hide-a-bed in the coach (which didn't have a cheerio explosion under it...but did have a few crumbs). The boys were a little shy at first because they haven't seen Peter since last May.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lots o' people

As we were driving to the babysitters this morning I said something about us going to visit Aunt Jennifer next week for Thanksgiving. I realized that Doug and Andy might not know who I meant because we refer to her as "Tia" so we don't confuse Aunt Jennifer with Aunt Jenni. So as soon as I mentioned "Tia" Andy said "Lots o' people...My people."

It took me a minute to place where this conversation came from. About a week ago Andy told me "I love you mommy" and I can't remember why now but I went into how I loved him, and daddy loved him, and Doug and Jo loved him, and Nana, Pop, Grandma, Aunt Jenni, Uncle Michael, Cousin Delaney, Auntie Ann, Cousins JC, Rachael, William, Uncle John, our other Uncle John, Aunt Lisa, and all the way through everyone who loved him including our "adopted" aunts and uncles who are Mommy and Daddy's friends.
We named everyone.
I remember saying "That's a lot of people who love you...they're your people."
It's amazing to me what sticks in a 2 year old's head and what a wonderful thing to have him remember...that he is loved.

Reasonable compromise

Ok, so it is reasonable compromise to get chocolate donuts for breakfast if your 2 year old is lobbying for Hershey's kisses for breakfast?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

House Update IV

Ok, can I officially call this an epic now?
So we got an estimate from a handyman about doing all of the repairs. It is 12 times the amount they wanted to budget. However, unbelievably they have agreed to bring a check for the handyman when they come to closing.
So Jim pointed out that fixing all of those things is just like putting a band aid over a wound if it doesn't fix any worry about if there is water under the driveway that might cause shifting of the house. So he went up and looked at the driveway. He talked to the neighbor on the driveway side and found out that a) the neighbor has been there since 2000 and has done some maintenance on the house and yard as the couple became unable to do it for themselves, and b) the neighbor has had no problems since he has been there. That is reassuring to me. So Jim is in the process of getting an estimate from a company to fix the potential driveway/water issue. If it is a reasonable amount for us to pay then we will order the appraisal and see when we can close. I will feel comfortable with that. I just would like to be able to get everything out of storage before Christmas because I would really like to be in a house before then. I don't know how we will work the whole getting everything fixed versus when we would actually move in, but we will just have to see how it all works out. I can't believe how this month is flying by.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Average Morning

I was thinking as I was driving to campus this morning that...
On the average morning I put gel in my hair, scrunch it around, and then don't look at it again until it is too late to do any fixing if it turns out horrible.
On the average morning I get into the car and realize that I have not even bothered to put a brush to either boys' hair and they get to go with the "bed head" look (Jo doesn't have enough hair yet).
On the average morning if I am lucky I only get to watch half of the Clifford show because I am only running 15 minutes late from where I think I should be...if it is worse I get to see part of Super Why.
On the average morning my children eat breakfast while we are riding in the car (Thank God for poptarts, sausage on a stick, granola bars, and even crackers for breakfast).
On the average morning if I am lucky the boys are cooperative about getting into their clothes because they are distracted by the TV...some mornings Andy chooses to wear PJ's to the babysitters.
On the average morning if I am lucky the cup of coffee Jim has fixed for me has only sat on the counter untouched for one hour, or the coffee is still in the coffee maker that made the coffee long enough ago that the coffee maker has turned off (for those non-coffee drinkers that is a long time).
On the average morning if I am lucky we can make it into the car in just under 10 minutes instead of 15 or greater.
On the average morning when I start driving I will have only had a cup of orange juice and won't eat actual breakfast until I make it to work.
On the other hand....
On the average morning I have gotten a couple minutes of cuddle time with each boy and two big hugs before we go out the door.
On the average morning my fabulous husband has already loaded most of the stuff in the car and has almost everything else waiting to go out the door.
On the average morning I have seen three (or 4 if you count Jim's) bright smiles with looks of delight just for seeing me in the morning.
On the average morning I have gotten to enjoy listening to at least one song composed by a two year old as we drive down the street.
On the average morning I have gotten to hear laughter and hear at least one "oh wow" or "cool" (usually said "tool") comment either about something on TV or about what we are having for breakfast.
As Jim would say "we are stressed but blessed." Motherhood is one of the hardest jobs I have ever done. It changes your life so much. It is so difficult to balance work and family, make decisions about when to be lenient and when to be tough, and to realize that you can influence your child but that from day one he or she is his or her own little person with definite opinions and ideas about what he or she wants to do.
I one time heard a quote that being a parent was like ripping your heart out of your body and letting it walk around. I completely understand this quote. I have to trust that I am doing the right things with my children and that they will turn out to be kind and caring individuals who make a contribution to the world.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

"My baby"

Andy has adopted one of those soft little "baby's first doll" dolls. It was originally intended for Jo but she only gets to see it occasionally because Andy usually is too busy mothering it. We will pretend change her diaper, he has been known to get baby spoons out of the drawer to feed her, he puts her down for naps (complete with all the directions we give...stay in bed, be quiet, etc.), and he carries her around in general and talks about her as his. At one point he named her Boo but I don't know if he remembers this.
Anyway, kids really model behavior after what they see. He will occasionally hold her up to his shoulder and say "Mys baby drinking." Yes he has seen mom nurse Jo many times. I am just thankful that he doesn't lift his shirt to do it.
Well, tonight I am beginning to wonder if I have scarred the child for life. Jim and I were sitting at the table and Andy and Doug were playing. Andy walks past me with a piece of the breast pump held up to his chest and comments "pump" and then says "baby."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tired

So when you wake up to a line of s's in the middle of your paper because you nodded off for a second at the computer...then is is time to go to bed.
Today is Daddy Daddy day because mommy is at class. Then mommy plans to go to bed early and take a Sunday afternoon nap the next day to get ready for every thing she has to do next week. I have to remind myself that there is good reason why I am doing this and it is not just a special form of torture.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Logic

I don't know if two year olds are supposed to be constructing logical arguments yet but here is a constant theme in my life...
Realize that we just recently gained modifiers in our speech so Andy is no longer just "big" he is "really big" or he is no longer "hungry" he is "really hungry."
We are driving in the car...
Andy: Mommy I really hungry
Mommy: You are?
Andy: Food, mommy, food.
Mommy: Do you want a snack..I have granola bars or crackers. We could get something when we get back to the trailer.
Andy: Donalds, mommy Donalds.
Mommy: But we can get something back at the trailer, there is no need to go to McDonalds.
Andy: No trailer mommy, no no. Yes Donalds, yes, yes ,yes...

So the story goes that Andy doesn't really want McDonalds, what he really wants is the playground at McDonalds. The child has figured out that you cannot go to McDonalds to just play on the slide, but that you have to buy food when you go there. If we go he wants to play before he will even stop to eat anything and he gets upset if we go through the drive through.

One of the McDonalds we have been to a couple of times has an outdoor playground and then I sometimes get this argument:
Andy: Eat outside mommy, eat outside.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Fools & Babes

I don't know which category I fit in, but here is another example that God is watching out and can see the big picture.
We finally got the truck back from the dealership that was fixing it (this is after 2 weeks of them having the truck...if you want to make some big bucks, apparently there is a shortage of technicians trained to do muffler work).
Now, back in June when we got the house fixed up to sell we refinanced the truck because it was faster and less complicated then doing a home equity loan. We had intended to get a home equity loan but the loan officer talked us into the refinancing especially because we knew we would pay off the loan as soon as the house sold. As part of the refinancing we had to get an extended warranty on the truck and we also got the roadside assistance plan (which covers us no matter what vehicle we are in).
Well, we made a few payments on the loan, the house sold, we paid it off and then of course since you buy these things on a yearly basis we still had the roadside plan and the warranty.
Well, we have had to use the roadside assistance at least 4 times and we have used the warranty at least twice. I don't remember the exact amount that we had to pay for the warranty but the first time we had to use it the warranty covered part of a repair and the cost it covered was almost half the amount that the warranty cost. Well, the warranty covered all but $150 dollars of the latest truck repair and turned out that it paid out more than what I believe we had to pay for the warranty. In addition to that it will cover the cost of the rental car. I don't know what we would have done without the warranty and I never would have predicted that we would have had to use it so much. Usually I am the type that is skeptical about extended warranties but this is making me rethink my attitude.

Do to this experience I have also been thinking that if God could foresee the advantage of having an extended warranty on a truck I am sure that he must have an extended warranty on me. I find that thought very comforting.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

House Update III- The Saga Continues...

So our realtor delivered a very nicely written letter to their realtor basically saying that we are not interested because there are too many issues with the safety and functionality of the house that $500 just won't cover (she said it a lot nicer...she definitely deserves the big bucks). Then we get this phone call saying that we should go price cook tops and that she is going to have a handyman do an estimate and that she is going to call the structural engineer to see what else she can get out of him. Apparently their agent really wants this to work out so I am not quite sure where we are at now.
We did find out that cooktops similar to what was already in the house start at the amount they had capped their cost at....not including any labor to install it.

Under Assualt

I can tell that it is Fall even with my eyes closed. As I sit in the trailer you can hear acorns hit the roof of the trailer and roll off. It is not quit the pleasant sound of rain on the trailer, but they sort of make a loud "thunk" and then you can hear them rolling off. It is an interesting sound and I think a long term memory that I will take away from this experience.

Monday, November 5, 2007

House Update II

After spending some more money to get the chimney check-out on the potential house, we did hear back that they are unwilling to change the spending cap they put on repairs. We weren't looking for cosmetic things, just things that keep the house safe and basically functional (like electric issues and working stoves, etc.) So unless they have a drastic change of heart, we will be back looking at houses. In some ways I am relieved because I had some concerns about the settling of the house even though they had a report saying that it was done settling.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

House Update

I realized when I posted the Weekly Update that I forgot to include information about the house (but that is what I get for doing it quickly while I was in the Krispy Kreme parking lot waiting for Jim...yes...Krispy Kreme has free Wi-fi also....)

We had the home inspection, we made a list, we sent it to the people....we haven't heard anything back yet. We did get the HVAC further inspected and even though it is old (and has rust) it appears to be in working order. Tomorrow morning (bright and early) I meet with a company to give an estimate on the chimney.
Basically we have a contract on the house. We are waiting to have the appraisal done until we can be sure that everything is going to work out. If the people selling the house won't go for the necessary repairs (things that make it possible to live in the house...like having a fully working stove, and anything that is a safety issue) then we will start back looking at houses. If they agree to the repairs then it will be a matter of how quickly the mortgage can be done for us to close. Of course the other thing at the moment is the fact that we are dependent on either hiring people or friend volunteering to help us move because Jim cannot lift anything very heavy with his broken bones.

Week in Review

So here is our status on things...
Jim is recovering but still gets tired easily. His doctor's appointment recheck said that he was "recovering as expected."
I am tired and behind on my homework but that is normal.
Doug and Andy are doing fine. They lobby for Halloween candy everyday starting from the time that they get up. We have our normal dispute over toys and we both like to make up songs.
Jo is not only rolling over but is getting up on hands and knees and manages to stay up longer. She has two teeth coming in and it appears that there are more on the way shortly and she is miserable at the moment because last night she evidenced her first full fledged cold.
We are still surviving with one car because we went to try to go pick up the truck yesterday and apparently the brake module was wrong and won't get here until Tuesday. I wonder if I can start charging them a per diam.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Bright and Curious

I am constantly having to remind myself that it is actually a good thing to have 2 bright and curious 2 years. It can, however, also be kind of wearing because it also means that they do things that others might not dare (or even think of).

In the trailer the bathroom sink has a stopper that is either all the way in or completely out. There is no in-between. When we had only been in the trailer for about a month I accidentally knocked the digital ear thermometer in the sink and the batteries came out and one went down the sink. Jim had to take apart the pipes to get the battery out.

Well, tonight the boys were brushing their teeth and I turned around to grab something in the main part of the trailer. I hear this "uh oh" from Doug. These are never good sounds when they come out of the mouths of a two year old who has been unsupervised for even a fraction of a second. I turned back to look in the bathroom to find both boys with their heads bent over the sink.

Doug had dropped his toothbrush down the drain. Of course I could just barely touch it. At least it couldn't go any further because there is the standard U bend in the sink. Of course the toothbrush was also head down so I was dealing with the trying to get the handle end.
Fortunately the toothbrush in question had a bit of a suction cup on the bottom of the handle. After about 5 minutes of fishing down there, brushing off offers of help from Doug ("I get it mommy"), and trying a variety of things, I was finally able to use the handles of two table spoons like chopsticks and grab just enough of the suction cup to pull it out.

Now if I could just figure out how to get the penny out of the floor heating vent without having to go buy the special square screwdriver to take the vent apart. You see, Andy had the vacuum cleaner extension and dropped a penny down it and it just happened to be right over the heating vent....

"Coins in a fountain (...and the street, and the...)"

So one thing I have noticed since we moved is that I have found an unusual number of coins. I am used to finding the occasional penny or maybe better in a parking lot or on the floor near a cash register, but I have just been feeling like I am finding an unusual number of coins. I seem to find pennies or dimes in particular, but the occasional nickel or quarter has snuck in there. If I had realized how many I would find I would have started keeping track of how much I have "made." I really started paying attention to it when I found three coins at separate places one day, and two of them happened to be in a huge parking lot that I cross but don't park in.

I have always been the type to bend over and pick a coin up...even if it was just a penny. One time someone sent me one of those email story forwards where it talked about someone who was really rich taking time to pick up a penny because he felt that the words "In God We Trust" was a reminder to pray. I liked that idea so every time I find a coin I say a small prayer. I guess I am taking my coin finding extravaganza as God telling me that a) I am in the right place right now for my life, and b) I might need to pray a little bit more.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Full Circle

So lately I have had this feeling that my life has come "full circle" in many ways.

One large circle is that I am a twin and I am now the mother of twins. It is really cool for me to see Doug and Andy interact. They are similar to my sister and I because they can be the best of friends and then sometimes I see them doing things to purposely aggravate each other. Even at age two they know what "buttons" to push. Being a twin is fun, but now I have the utmost respect for parents of twins (and a little bit of awe for those at there that parent even greater numbers of multiples). I take my hat off to my parents for surviving the early years with Lisa and me.

Another circle is my school/career life. When Jim and I were first married I drove to the University to be a graduate assistant and to take classes toward a graduate degree (at that time a Masters degree). We lived in a small living space (on campus apartments) with a small oven and no dish washer. We had to do laundry at the laundry mat , money was tight, and I had to balance homework and family life. I also worked as a graduate assistant for a professor by finding articles and I did a little bit of work at analyzing perservice teacher's mind webbing (or mapping) of developing ideas about teaching.

So right now I am still driving to the same University to be a graduate assistant in the same building. The degree I am working on is now a doctorate PhD in a different area of education than before. I live in an even smaller living space with a small oven, no dish washer, and I have to go to the laundry mat with 2 two year olds. Money is tight, I have an even harder time balancing homework and family life. I work for 2 professors finding articles and doing other things to support their research and articles, and just yesterday I found out that I might be analyzing mind mapping of teachers working on gifted education certification.

Life can be very strange at times...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"Boo Boo on th' Car"

So even after a late night last night, Doug woke up early this morning. I think the first time I was up with him he was cold, but the second time I think he just couldn't get back to sleep. I carried him out to the couch and he sat curled up on top of me and was jabbering something about "boo boo on the car." So this is the first time since the accident that he seemed to be processing it. Fortunately he is my "couch baby" so I was able to turn on our favorite "Baby Loves Trains" video (with the sound off...it only has music in the background anyway) and let him curl up on the sofa and watch it while I got dressed.
That will be one thing that I miss about the trailer once we finally do get in a house. It is pretty easy to keep an eye on the boys when you only have 31 feet to work in.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Safely Back

We are safely back home. Jim was very tired after the trip because he felt every little bounce and jolt of the car on the road on the way home. The boys were ecstatic to be at home and Andy went to bed just fine. I am wondering if being in the trailer is getting him used to being able to hear our voices and to having some light as he is going to sleep. In the trailer there is only a curtain separating their room from the rest of the trailer. Doug had a little trouble going to sleep but the poor child got my sleeping habits. He just doesn't need as much sleep as Andy does and I could hear him talking and singing and playing a little for about 30 minutes after being put in bed. I took pity on him and gave him some water and tried to resettle him, but it wasn't until I started turning out even more of the lights in the trailer that he finally sounded like he settled down.
Now we just need to get caught up on everything we had going on and with all the new stuff that is related to the accident. I will say that if you ever decide to spend some time living in a trailer that you should be sure to take a lock box with all of your important papers in them...you never know what you might need...like the title to a car so that you can settle with the insurance.

Fall Fun






Thanks to my sister-in-law I can post some pictures. Some are from the fall festival party that they had and then some are from the next day with just the family. Andy and Doug are going as sports players for Halloween (thanks to the clearance rack at Wal-mart) and then in the hayride picture you can see their cousin Samuel (Jim's sister, Jennifer's son) as Bob the Builder sitting on the lap of Michael (Jim's brother) who is dressed as the man in the yellow hat, and Michael's daughter Delaney (sitting right next to him) is dressed as a monkey. Hopefully I will remember the camera tomorrow and have batteries for it and everything and then I can catch Jo in her strawberry outfit. In the picture of Michael at the top of a "hill" that my boys are trying to climb up (and then obviously actually did make it up) the hill is actually a mulch pile from all the trees that Wayne and Carla cleared from their property.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Soap Opera

I used to say my life wasn't a soap opera...just everyone around me seemed to have soap operas going on. However, this last week feels like maybe it is my life that qualifies for daytime television.
When Jim went to the math teachers conference, my old car (an Escort Wagon) quit. This is the same car that we just put two new tires on after a screw tore up a tire. So we paid a bunch of money (probably more than half what this 1994 car with 250,000 miles on it is worth) to get the car fixed.
Well, this weekend I was following my father-in-law and Jim was following me on the way to a Halloween party. Someone in front of my Father-in-law came to a complete stop to turn right into a driveway. Wayne stopped, I stopped, and I looked up to see that Jim was trying to stop.

Yep, my own husband hit me while I was in a rental car. I had all three children with me, and other than Jo cried because she got woken up from her nap we were all fine. Jim on the other hand wasn't going to go to the hospital at first, but then ended up going off in the ambulance.

I had to wait until the state trooper came, and then both cars were taken off. Fortunately, if this was going to happen it happened when we had people around to help us. Jim's brother Michael came and took all the kids in his car. Jim's family quickly unloaded all the personal items into the other vehicles. Jim's dad, Wayne, took everyone to the party and then came back and waited with me. Then we went to check on Jim. I got to go to the party for a little while so that I could feed Jo and I could eat. We had other family that helped get everyone home, and Wayne, Jo and I got to go pick up Jim from the hospital.
So the sum total of all of this is...
Jim has a broken rib and clavicle, the Escort is totalled, Jim's family is loaning us a car so we can get back to Tuscaloosa without risking getting a small car from the rental place, and Andy has had trouble falling asleep the last couple nights. My neck and shoulders are a little bit sore, but that could be from the accident or it could be from funny sleeping positions due to sleeping with small children.

I would say though, that if God really wanted us not to drive the Escort anymore that He might have picked a nicer way to do it...like winning the lottery or something. Jim said if we had put on a bit more mileage that we would have made it the equivalent of going to the moon.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Double Trouble

So yes we have the dreaded "three under three." I guess at least we had the twins first so that we didn't know any better. Jo was born 4 days before the boys turned 2. I didn't plan it that way...but the good Lord seemed to think I could handle it I guess. There are times I wonder about my sanity. When I drove down for this weekend visit with my in-laws (Nana and Pop, Jim's sister and her son are visiting, and we will go to a Halloween party at his brother's house) I was by myself. We stopped at a convenience store. I got to go to the rest room but that involved dragging all three children with me. Jo at least is in a car seat but I made Doug and Andy stand against the wall and then prayed that they wouldn't touch anything too disgusting. There of course was not any sort of changing station in the restroom so I did all the diapers on the hood of the rental car. I change the boys first and then did Jo's diaper. I was afraid Jo was getting chilly so I went to put her in the car and turned around to find that the boys had been playing with the cigarette butts while I was working. Then, since my guys tend to poop when they get a chance to run around I ended up having to do diaper changes again. So it took one restroom break and 5 diaper changes before we were back on the road.

Sometimes it can be frustrating trying to get everyone to cooperate. I can't complain too much because my children are all pretty good natured, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they are cooperative. For instance there was the morning that I had to do just about everything twice. I was trying to get myself, the three kids, and all of the stuff that I need and they need during the day out the door. I got Jo set, then I got Andy together, and last I worked on Doug. By the time I was done with Doug, Jo had pooped big so I had to get her another fresh diaper and an entirely new outfit. By the time I was done with that Andy had taken not only his shoes off but also his pants. Since we tend to get ideas from our brother, while I got Andy back together Doug went in their bedroom and stripped his pants and shoes also. If you have nice cooperative children who prefer clothes...count yourself lucky.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Solid like a rock?

So we had the home inspection on the house we have a contract on. Officially I get the report on Monday, but I was there for basically the entire inspection. Our biggest decision that we have to make is about the foundation of the house. The house is on a hill with a walk-out basement. There is some cracking in the front wall and on some of the walls in the bedrooms. The people selling the house had a structural engineer come in and we have a copy of a letter saying that the house doesn't appear to be settling any more. It comes down to whether we are comfortable with that or not. There are some other things that need to be fixed, but the house was built in 1968 so that is not surprising. Decisions...decisions....

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Busy days

The circus was fun, but why is it that everything always seems to happen all in the same week. It would take a long time to type all the nitty-gritty details (and this is from someone who types pretty fast) so in a nut shell:
Tuesday: Jim had a flat tire after the circus...a screw tore up the inside of the tire so we end up replacing two tires for it to be balanced right.
Wednesday we went to the Fall Festival at church. The kids got to wear their costumes (I am proud that I spent under $3 for costumes for Doug, Andy, Jo, and Mommy...though Mommy's costume is not done yet). We get to do the cake walk, decorate pumpkins, toss bean bags, fish for prizes...all the classics.
Thursday I spent 4.5 hours with the home inspector (got some discussing to do), Jim went to Montgomery and the car broke down on him so now both cars are in the shop, dropped off information with the mortgage people, ran a couple errands, then drove to get the stroller, front carrier and a couple other items out of the truck, and then drove by myself with all three kids for 5 hours to get to Nana and Pop's house. We made it and mommy is mostly still sane.

Learning Curve

Ok, so now that I have a few posts under my belt I am starting to explore some of the other things that you can do in a blog. I have reset the "comments" setting so that anyone can comment and not have to have an account.

Oh, and I also found the cable for the camera and hopefully will be able to find some time to download at least a few of the over 200 pictures currently living on the digital camera. Someday perhaps I will actually invest in the cable for the camera phone so that I can get the ones off my cell phone since some of them are older than Jo.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Playing Grandma

Andy started pulling down the board books we have stored on the top bunk. I was in a rush trying to get all of us out the door. I kind of hollered at him "What are you doing?" in a moment of frustration. He calmly informed me that he was "playing grandma."

IT is amazing what will make an impression on young children. All summer Andy's favorite thing was to"help" (or as my older sister would say...help, more work). Right at the beginning of the summer my mom came through to help take care of things when Jo was first home from the hospital. It was about the time that we really committed to moving and she ended up packing a great number of boxes for us. She let Andy help carry books to pack and so apparently he must have remember that experience from back in May.

Under the big top

We took the kids to a little circus yesterday. The boys were a little wary at first because they had fallen asleep in the car on the way there and were just waking up as things were getting started.

Everyone ended up having a marvelous time. It was a pretty small circus so the only animal act they had were some horses, but they had jugglers, and several acts with people doing acrobatic things either on platforms or up in the air. They had a family that used a board to catapult each other up onto shoulders or a raised chair, and there was a motorcycle in a steel sphere at the end of the show. And of course there were clowns. Both boys really enjoyed it. Andy was trying to strike some of the poses he saw the acrobats do and Doug was clapping and smiling and clearly enjoyed the clowns. Even Jo was squealing and bouncing. The boys enjoyed the popcorn and cotton candy and both looked at their coloring books all the way home.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Car Repairs

I would just like a month without any car repairs. I was going to post about the house on Monday since we verbally confirmed the deal on Sunday evening. However, I had some excitement with our big brown truck (or BBT as some like to call it). On Friday the brake and ABS light came on. This was a little surprising because we just had brakes done all around in August. The brake light came on in Septmenber but it went off with the addition of brake fluid and the dealer seemed to think that was not a problem and no leak was found.
Then on Sunday the transmission started slipping. You could accelerate but had to do it gradually. Needless to say I was not looking forward to driving the BBT to drop off the kids at the sitters and then have to drive clear across town to sit at the dealer while waiting for the BBT to be fixed. It turns out however, that if it had worked like planned that life would have been very simple.
I get the kids loaded up in the morning and we set out. About 5 miles out from the trailer the transmission started engaging only sporadically. So a kind police officer who was going the other direction turns on his lights (I already had flashers on) and I am able to get to a small dirt road and pull over. I assured him that I was ok and I went to work on the cell phone. First I had to call the auto roadside service plan and get a tow truck. The lady freaks out on the phone that I have three little ones because she doesn't know how I am going to fit them in the tow truck. Then I called our babysitter to see if he could at least come pick up the boys, and then I had to update Jim on my progress. So Ben arrives and we get the car seats loaded as it is starting to rain (of course) and he wisks the boys off. There was not enough room in his little car for three car seats so Jo gets a bonus day with mom. Then Jo and I wait for the tow truck. Finally (about 1 hour after I have started out from the trailer) the truck comes and he loads up our big Dodge truck and we head down to the dealer. The driver was completely enamoured of Jo so he spends half of the drive talking to her.
We get down to the dealer, get the BBT off the tow truck, I finally get to go to the restroom, and then the guy behind the desk is ready to talk to me. It turns out that the guy who usually does their transmission work had brain surgery the previous week and the dealer has not hired anyone new because they didn't know if their guy is coming back. SO I make another call to the auto service place and they approve towing to the next dealership down the road (30ish minutes away), and then I called Jim to update our progress. The exact same guy in the tow truck comes back to pick us up again and we all head down the road. After Jo falls asleep we had a nice long conversation about RVs as we drive down the interstate.
We get to the dealership in the next town and they of course have several jobs ahead of us. So I get everything all set up and we go to rent a car. We get to ride in the courtesy car to the car rental place. Of course then we have to wait in line at the car rental place. Then of course they don't have any vehicles that can hold three car seats so we get to ride to another branch to go get a car. Finally we get a car that we are praying will hold 3 car seats (which it turns out it just barely does) and we can head back home in time to pick up the boys.
So the bad news out of that is that I spent the whole day dealing with car issues and not really getting any other work done, but the good news is that so far everything (including car rental) is covered under warrenty. Jo has gotten to ride in a tow truck 3 times in her short 5 month life, and she gets some bonus days with mommy because I accidently left the breast pump in the BBT and it is not worth the drive to go get it. As my husband would say, "We are stressed, but blessed"

"Big House"

Andy talks about a "big house" as any house that is not the trailer. Our latest news on the "big house" is that we found one and made an offer, they counter-offered, and we counter-offered again, and the accepted. So one of the things I did yesterday was stop and sign the contract. Now we just have to get past the inspection and see how long it will take for the mortgage to get put together and we will hopefully have a house! (and regular internet access)

Private Network- Please Ask

So I was going to update as regularly as possible but somehow the gods have conspired against me this last weekend. We live in an RV and don't have regular internet access. We do get a little bit of wireless signal from the house across the street.
After about a month of living in the RV and driving to one of the numerous places in a college town that has wireless internet, we noticed that we were occassionally picking up some signal from the house across the street. One night the name of their signal changed to "Private Network...please ask." Well, we happened to know them because we meet them when we first parked the RV, so Jim walked across the street and talked to them. It turns out that they had figured out that my computer would occssionally connect (since people often leave their wireless router with the default name) and they were seeing 4 or 5 other computers that were mooching off their internet. So they gave us permission to connect if we needed to. So sometimes we have enough signal and sometimes we don't. My main internet source currently is when I am working my Graduate Assistant hours on campus.