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
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 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.)


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


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 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


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 surprise here...Thomas the Tank Engine.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


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.

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:

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


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


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!