Friday, July 31, 2009

The Sleep Monster

Andy had a late nap yesterday and was having trouble going to sleep at night. So he and I did a bunch of chatting while I was trying to give him a chance to get sleepy. It turns out that he hides under his covers and that he is hiding from a sleep monster...sort of.
Apparently the sleep monster is nice. He eats meat. And he fights off bad monsters. So apparently it is really the bad monsters the sleep monster is going to fight that Andy is trying not to see when he is under the covers.

I asked him if someone had told him about the sleep monster or if he had figured it out on his own. He said that he saw the sleep monster and just knew.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Girls, Girls, Girls

We had a new fast food restaurant with an indoor play area open up recently in our town. The kids have been begging to go to it and we went yesterday afternoon. We ate and then let the kids play for awhile on the play equipment. Two girls came along who looked to be about the same age as Andy and Doug. They latched on to my boys (or my boys latched on to them...I'm not sure which happened first) rather quickly. Andy kept referring to "my new friends" and they would hold hands going up the steps and going down the slide. They seemed happiest when they all ended up in a heap at the bottom of the slide.

Many of Andy's good friends (and Doug's too for that matter) from preschool last year were girls. I will be most interested to see who they talk about this coming year.

Oh, and don't ask the name of the girls. My boys never bothered to ask.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fig Pie

I have been searching for recipes to do with our fresh figs from the backyard. Not wanting to spend hot hours in the kitchen making jam, preserves, or pickled figs we have been freezing the figs in a single layer on a cookie sheet and then bagging them. At the moment we have more than 120 pounds in the freezer.

We have been eating some fresh figs and sharing some. I also have been looking for recipes. The big catch on recipes is that so many ask for dried figs. However, I have found some recipes and I decided to make a fig pie.
I'll be the first to admit that I am a lazy cook, so I did not want a recipe that required me to much to the figs ahead of time (which is also the draw back to making many cookies because you have to have already made jam with the figs). I did not peel the figs like it said to, but instead just quartered the figs. The recipe I used can be found at Fresh Fig Pie.

It made a great breakfast.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fashion Sense

It is interesting to see how my children are developing their own sense of fashion.
Andy came out this morning wearing a sleeveless t-shirt...backwards (and he knew it was backwards)...and he had a clip-on tie on and shorts.

Josie seems to be tending towards unified color. She can be somewhat particular about what she wants to wear. Today she was wearing all turquoise (not quite the same turquoise, but close). The other day it was a purple shirt and purple pants (though not designed to be an outfit). If you send her to pick out her own clothes she is still figuring out where to find each item in her dresser. This morning she put on some pink polka-dot shorts and then pulled some overalls upside-down over her head. I sent her back to get a shirt and she came back with a purple mini-skirt. Then she swapped clothes all together when I got in there to help her find the drawer with the shirt and that is how she ended up with the turquoise outfit. She also is starting to be interested in wearing barrettes in her hair, but she will wear one for about 30 minutes and then rip it out and pull another one out of the drawer.

Doug is perhaps the most interesting of all of them. His fashion sense either tends towards whatever he pulls out of the drawer first or whatever makes him happiest. The other day he wore plaid shorts with a striped top...bad but not so bad until I admit that the colors in each were from separate color families. I think my favorite was the day that he told me he wasn't going to take a chance on me picking out his clothes. So he picked out a red shirt and orange shorts.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I have no grand and glorious ideas for a post today. Mostly on my mind is trying to finish up the rest of summer course work so I can possibly have a little break. It is actually doable. It would possibly be the first "true" break since ....well, I'm not sure exactly when. I'm guessing probably the first one since last Christmas? But I can't remember if I was working on my paper at that point so it might be longer than that. It might be more than a year to a year and a half since I have not really had anything sort of "hanging over my head."

It seems like this would be great incentive to get things done...and yet, I am having a hard time concentrating so that I stay motivated.

Friday, July 24, 2009


I'm not quite sure why (as you may have guessed there are a lot of things my children do that I puzzle over) but Josie is on this heart kick.
If you mention something (or even if you don't) she will declare either:
A) We can make a heart shaped one
B) It can have hearts on it.
This apparently applies to cakes, cookies, clothes, toys, Popsicles, plates, books name it.

Oh, and today the child decided that she has a refrigerator in her room. It apparently has a salad in it. She also mentioned that she has a fish in her closet (I'm assuming in a fish bowl) and I think there might have been a dog mentioned to.
She also mentioned a cat, but that is a little more "real" as she brought up the wood doorstop shaped like a cat (It looks like one of our cats) and has now adopted it as HER cat.
Do (or did) other people have 2 year olds like this?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

No longer tongue tied

It turned out that when we went in to have Andy's teeth cleaned yesterday the hygienist mentioned him being "tongue tied" and I was able to say..."That is why we had to move up his dental cleaning. He is having surgery."

I figured it was a pretty straight-forward and quick procedure, so honestly the thing I was mostly concerned about was keeping him from eating this morning (he is a very independent child and has been known to find something to eat on his own...he can even open fruit snack bags by himself).
So in the morning he came out with a big smile on his face and the two books he had picked to take to the doctor's office.
I left Doug & Josie at home with Jim and whisked Andy away to distraction.
  • Drove down a road he had been asking about
  • Drove past a construction site with lots of big machines
  • Went to the new fire station and found someone to take us on a tour (the firefighter put on his gear, Andy got to sit in the driver's seat of the truck...I thought Andy would never stop grinning)
  • Went down and hung out by the river
  • Went to the library and turned in our reading lists, checked out some DVDs and some books (which was a lot easier with one child rather than three children)
  • Went and looked at a paddle boat
After two hours it was finally time to be at the oral surgeon's office. Andy didn't ask to eat at all.
We went in and within 20 minutes we had checked in and they had put him to sleep.
Less than 30 minutes later a lady came out their out patient door and placed him in my car and we were headed home.
He got a little upset on the way home and really would not talk for the next 60-90 minutes. I think his mouth was still numb and that is just not something he is used to.
Then, after I had coaxed him into eating a little bit and we had watched some of the DVDs from the library, we started watching the DVD about big machines that he had picked out.
Next thing I know he had hauled his big bin of construction toys upstairs and suddenly he was back to normal.
We stuck with soft foods the rest of the day (raman for my noodle boy, frozen yogurt, etc.) but I suspect that tomorrow will be basically normal. The only time he mentioned pain was when we were trying to see under his tongue. So now we just have to finish the antibiotic and not ask him to raise his tongue for awhile. The stitches should dissolve in 7-10 days.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bad dreams

I think that everyone has a least one thing that scares them when they wake up in the middle of the night. I'm not talking about having watched a scary movie and that is what you are thinking about that night. I'm talking about that thing that your mind regularly goes to at night. When I was little it was aliens. I never really thought about a monster or something like that, but aliens. Occasionally I thought about bad guys coming through my room, but mostly when I was scared it was aliens under the bed (um, yeah...I know that that is not really where they would likely come from, but hey...I was little).

Anyway, this last week I got a glimpse into my children's fears.
Josie ended up spending all of the night in bed with Jim and I one night because "there were bad guys." As far as I could tell they were in the hall and or the closet.
Andy had one night where he had trouble going to sleep. I know that it was partly due to the fact that he had a late nap that day and so did not fall asleep as quickly as he normally does. He came out one evening mentioning "the sleep monster."
He was apparently hot from being completely under the covers hiding from the sleep monster. He also asked about bad people who might get him.
How do we handle this? Andy and I actually had a talk about how most people are good and the things we do to keep bad people out. We also talked about all of the people who were protecting Andy (even down to police officers and fire fighters who are out there to help).
Also, in our house we say a pray for good dreams and for God to take away the bad thoughts. We remind them that Jesus is with them always.
Oh, and we changed Andy in to lighter weight pajamas so that he could be under the covers without getting too hot.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I a person

When Josie woke up yesterday she and I went to get her shoes on so she could come outside with me to pick figs (we picked 31 pounds in the cool morning air before church).
Out of the blue she said "I a person too." "I in charge."

Um, charge of yourself. I'm not quite sure where that came from.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

12 Years

Today, 12 years ago, Jim and I got married.
The interesting thing is that one of the things that sticks out in my memory is the pre-marriage counseling we had. The original minister who was going to marry us tried to cram weeks worth into one session and he looked at the questionnaires he had given us and said that it was unrealistic for us to think things like we were always going to do the grocery shopping together and that perhaps we should give it more time (we had been dating/engaged for 5 and a half years). We switched ministers and got married anyway.

Well, twelve years later and with the exception of the occasional trip for one or two items usually picked-up on the way home from work....we ALWAYS shop together (even with kids in tow).

Make your own way and what is truly important to will make time for.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The house is cleanish!

So it really does work to invite someone over and then have to clean your house.
We had one of my professors over for dinner. She is funny and is interesting to watch with children and also happens to be a nun which makes things an interesting mix.
Jim got into canning some meat stock that he made so he ended up spending almost the entire day in the kitchen by the time he had cooked dinner.
I got almost everything clean upstairs except the kitchen floor (which was being occupied by Jim as he worked).
The toys did not really get put away downstairs until it became a distraction for the kids while Jim got dessert ready in between dinner and dessert. So my professor helped us clean up the play room.
The kids had a great time since they love having people over.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What to eat....

So we have lived in the town we are in for almost two years now. This means that we have tried a number of restaurants in town.
I'll admit that Jim can be pretty discerning sometimes because he doesn't want to eat something he can fix better at home. The interesting part is that we have found 4 or 5 restaurants so far that people have recommended or that seemed pretty popular judging by the parking lot but when we ate at them the were alright to not so great. One or two we might go back to so that we can try other things, but they definitely did not fall in the fabulous category...or even the great category judging by the meal we had.

I always wonder if we are just not ordering the right things. I'm also wondering if, despite being in a fairly diverse college town, many people might just like to eat copious amounts of cheap food and perhaps that is how they judge a restaurant.

I think I need to learn to look at the specials and remember to ask what their most popular dishes are.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Can I just say that I love coming home and finding remnants of whatever the kids were playing with during the day. Sometimes I can tell what they were doing and there is often an odd assortment of items indicating creative play that just warms the Gifted & Talented Teacher heart of mine. Right now there was something having to do with heroes and a line-up of pillows, a random Thomas track all over the floor that is unconstrained by keeping to one area or even making a circle, Fisher Price Little People mixed with stuffed animals, a line-up of Monster Trucks, kitchen stuff with random play food, etc.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

State of the House

How are we doing?
That is a complicated question.

Josie- doing well. Sort of working on potty training. She is going great guns as far as vocabulary, physical ability, etc.

Andy- testing the limits and almost too capable for his own good. I think he is ready for preschool to start again and we still have a month before it is time. He is scheduled to have the oral surgery next week so we have started talking about that a little bit.

Doug- is also missing not having preschool. Also testing the limits but not quite as much as Andy is. He is also the least likely to nap so I figure we need to work towards an earlier bedtime and just plan on not napping.

Jim- I don't think I mentioned it before, but he is looking for a job. He is trying hard to avoid Title I middle schools because he has definitely served his time. He is getting a lot of "kid" time this summer and doing a lot around the house. He has started picking figs in the backyard so if you want figs, let us know.

Me- up to my eyeballs in things to get done. I have some reading intensive courses on top of paper writing, on top of teaching a class and helping with orientation advising. I am not quite sure how I will get it all done, but hopefully I will get it all done. Of course what I really want to be doing it other things, but all in due course. I'm really hoping that not too many things spill over from the summer into the fall so that I can have a pretty clean slate in the Fall. Right now I am signed up for one Stats course and an independent study so it is a lighter load than I had before. I should also be taking comps in the Fall so perhaps I am at least getting closer to the light at the end of the "coursework" tunnel and can possibly see the "dissertation" tunnel in the distance.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I should be committed.

So it has been a very busy summer. I am surviving as far as I know but I don't think I will quite know if I have truly "survived" until all is said and done at the end of the term.
I long to do other things (beyond reading books and writing papers) such as working on this lovely 40 year old house (read this in a slightly sarcastic tone...I do like the house, but it is definitely a work in progress). There is a certain satisfaction to seeing the change in something when it has been updated. Unfortunately much of what we have done so far has been necessary and good but I long for more and time and money are constraining factors.

All that said, we found some "oops" paint and are working on the master bathroom. We are now committed to painting the bathroom because I started ripping out the wallpaper and the kids have thrown in their efforts at it too. We have mainly worked on getting the top layer of wall paper off and then I will have to go back and moisten and scrap the bottom layer off to get to the actual wall. There were a few spots where it was loose enough all of the layers of wallpaper came off and guess what we found.
Even more wood paneling! It is white wood paneling, but oh my it is still wood paneling.
Whoever built this house sure loved wood paneling.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Like Glue

Andy is my child who is a little too capable for his own good. So, when I got home on Friday I found out that Andy had been discovered standing on the sink in their bathroom during quiet time.
Later I called him inside and he went back outside and I caught him turning off the water. He admitted that he knew he was not supposed to be messing with the water outside.

So, after having a long talk with him it boiled down to the idea that for a few days he is not allowed to be without a responsible adult to help him make decisions. Additionally, the adult gets to choose what they are doing and Andy does not.

It is really putting a crimp in his style. This afternoon he was obviously feeling the affect of a lack of freedom on his part. We had a talk about him asking himself "Would mommy let me do this?
or "Would daddy let me do this?"

I'm hoping this helps him think a little bit more before he acts. I realize that he is only four, and I fully expect him to want to do things like rock climb, sky dive, etc. when he is a teenager...but I also don't want him to be that child who slams his car into a tree and kills himself because he didn't think about consequences.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mac & Cheese

When our babysitter comes over and serves a meal to the kids mac & cheese is a staple.

Yesterday I got home and asked Andy, my anything noodles guy, what they ate.
Mac & cheese was in there, but according to Andy Ben but something in his Mac & Cheese that was "spicy" and green.

I could not figure out what might be spicy and green. Pepper is black and my kids know what that is.

Later, I was putting dishes in the dishwasher and realized when I saw that pot that Ben had put pesto in his mac & cheese.


This morning I had a BLT.

Andy had just an L.

Or as he called it...a salad sandwich.

Toast, mayo, and lettuce.

I'm not going to complain.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I am getting the picture that I need to work on sportsmanship with Doug and Andy.
Last night I said "who can get their pajamas on the fastest."
Doug won and was mostly gracious about it. Andy was a bit tired and cranky and was devastated about not winning. We even had tears and pleading that he wanted to be first.
I did my best to explain that having good sportsmanship meant that you didn't brag about winning and you didn't whine about losing.

Then this morning the boys were racing to get clothes on. Jim provided some interference for Doug and so Andy won. Andy was not so gracious about winning and Doug was upset about losing.

So, beyond the play games and someone loses aspect, does anyone have any good suggestions for how to encourage good sportsmanship?

I suppose I could actually crack open the Sibling Rivalry book that the prenatal program sent me when I was pregnant with the boys....but I would love other things that worked.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Don't shoot the messenger

Message Sent: Daddy needs a basket for putting figs in.

Message Received: Daddy needs a fake basket.


You have a what?

Josie was making a roaring sound.

Mommy: Are you roaring like a lion?
Josie: I have a dinosaur in my mouth.
Mommy: You do?
Josie: He's Nice.
He's my friend.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


So it has to make you wonder...
I put Doug in bed this evening and kissed him good-night. He called me back to say....

"Stay out of trouble mom."

Just what does he think I am doing?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A few days away

I was going to put a picture up for a post...but I got ultra efficient in my few days that it was me along at home and I burned all of the pictures from the laptop onto CD-ROMS.

I went home for a couple of days so that I could both teach a class and then go to a class.

I'm so proud of myself because I never even touched the TV. I was trying to make as much use of my time as I could. Here are some of the things I did:
  • Water the plants
  • Mop the kitchen
  • Catch up on some online things for classes
  • Pick up the house some
  • Get some reading done
  • Run some errands
  • Work on some typing/papers for my classes
There is always more that I want to do, but I had to stick with the time I had. I felt very efficient without the family in tow...but I missed them terribly. It was nice to get back to them.