Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's off!

I went this morning and got the band taken off the back of my teeth from when Andy head-butted me. The dentist seemed to think that it had firmed up pretty well. It is still a bit sensitive and since they have taken off the band it actually hurts a bit more to bite into things. He did a test with a cold swab to see if it was still alive and they also took xrays.

The good news is that the xrays did not show anything.
The bad news is that it has a really delayed reaction to feeling cold.

He said we are at about a 50/50 chance of it living or dieing.
When I go back for my regular cleaning we will check it again. If it is still not clearly alive then he will send me down to some guy who will send a jolt of electricity through the teeth to check. Oh, joy. ..let's hope it does not come to that.

Monday, December 13, 2010

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth...

I didn't know that it was even loose, but as we were getting in the car after a trip to the grocery store Andy says "My tooth just fell out."

I asked him if he had it.... no.
I asked him if he swallowed it.... no, he saw it fall.

Fortunately I was pretty sure that he was all the way in the car and that the tooth was somewhere in the car. I really did not want to have to compose another letter to the Toothfairy. Of course though, we are talking about a tiny front baby tooth... in a car with crumbs and floor mats and under the seat... who knows where it could be.

So by a miracle of God I managed to find the tooth. Andy finally got to put an actual tooth under his pillow.

So far nothing is budging in Doug's mouth. As a baby he was always exactly a week behind Andy in getting his teeth, but not now. He insists that he will not loose a tooth until he is six.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Score (at least) one for mommy!

I had to drag Doug and Andy complaining to the table to make "candy cane" cookies with Josie and me.

After the first one they kept asking for more lumps of dough to make the cookies and would have kept going except that we ran out of dough to work with.

Of course, on the flip side of my children enthusiastically making these cookies is that we had exactly one that was in a candy cane shape... and that one was made by mommy.
We were already non-traditional from the start in that Josie wanted white and green dough....

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The title for the day

I am hoping that the title for yesterday in the chapters of my life is "A penny saved is a penny earned" rather than "A fool and her money are soon parted...."

Monday, November 29, 2010

No better way to refocus the living...

I think I had posted some time before that one of my professors was battling cancer. She passes away the weekend prior to Thanksgiving. She was only 54 and left behind a husband and three daughters, the youngest of whom is a senior in high school.

I went to her memorial service today. It was a wonderful two hour celebration of her, her life, her spirit, and a worship service. She was the daughter of a minister, the wife of a missionary/preacher, and a very strong woman. I only sort of knew about how she got involved in academia, but today I learned more.

She was a strong woman. A woman who was a great host. She had a gracious spirit. Even when she was in the hospital she was the one who was comforting me and not the other way around.
One of the comments in the service today was that there is no better way to refocus the living then to have someone die. The person who was talking was talking about bringing people to Christ. However, ever since I really let it sink in that she was dieing I have really been thinking about priorities.

She only had less than five years from the time she finished her doctorate until she passed away. She had this whole other life prior to when she began teaching. She brought the same zest and humor to all areas of her life.
My heart is sad for her passing, joyful that she is free from the pain and weariness of the cancer, and trusting that I can remember the lessons I learned from her.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wall o' Sweets

Thanksgiving was great. We had a very good time at Nana and Pop's house. The kids had fun because Nana wanted to get a jump on holiday baking and wanted to try out some things with them.
We made cake balls (make a cake, crumble it, mix in frosting, form it into balls, freeze, dip in chocolate). The kids got to mold chocolates, frost cookies, and more. Andy, my king of quantity and variety, really went to town on molding chocolate. Where Doug and Josie each had one small container...Andy has two large containers.

So when we got home I managed to clear off some more counter space (woohoo!) from various coupons and papers that had collected and we stacked up all of the goodies. I called it the "wall of sweets" and now Andy has picked up on the name. He is my boy who, when given the option of making a wish, will wish for "something sugary." So he has made it his mission to eat down the wall of sweets.

I just keep reminding him that we have plenty of time. There is no rush. Most of the goodies will keep until Christmas and we can eat them slowly so that we do not get tummy aches.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Andy's tooth

Andy lost his tooth at dinner on Friday night. Unfortunately, I didn't think to warn him so he took a bite of meat, realized it was gone, and of course...he'd swallowed it.

So after some discussion and a "call" to Aunt Ann (who has children older than mine and who would know about children losing teeth) I convinced him that the toothfairy has strong enough magic that she could summon the tooth.

Andy wrote a letter explaining the situation. He left the letter under his pillow.
Andy's letter said,
Dear Toothfairy,
I swallowed my tooth. I love you. It's yours. Love, Andy

It was a lot of letters for a little boy, who does not particularly like writing, to write. However, it was worth it.

The next morning the letter was gone and a dollar coin was in it's place.

He came out with shining eyes and just glowing with excitement.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Something I care passionately about

I watch politics. I keep somewhat abreast of what is going on. I care about it...but I am not often moved to become vocal about politics.
One of the students in the gifted education class I am teaching posted a link to the documentary Race to Nowhere. I have not seen the documentary, but I did watch the trailer for it. Between that, things that I heard at the recent conference I went to, and just my general feelings as I have learned more working on my doctorate I was moved to use the White House website to send a letter. I do not know if it will make a difference, but at least I have sent it.
Here is the text of what I sent. I would have said more, but you are limited in the number of characters you can submit through the website.

It is on my heart to write to you about our education system. We need to stop ignoring differences and treating children as if they are widgets. We cannot do “X” with a child and always get “Y;” as you would with a computer or a machine.

Teachers are not the only reason that children fall behind. Research has shown that not all children reach developmental milestones at the same time. Parents impact their children… when will parents be held accountable? Will parents have their children removed from them because the child is not performing at grade level? Politicians are willing to tell school systems and teachers what to do…but if children are not performing as expected will politicians’ pay suffer?

If we are truly going to make a difference, then we need to fundamentally change our antiquated education system. Stop using tests that were meant to measure whether a child was performing at his or her potential as measures of teacher success. Why must our education system still place children in a grade level based on age and not readiness? Why must we count credits for graduation when some children demonstrate proficiency well before their senior year and others would not reach it until well into their twenties?

I realize that society demands a minimum mastery standard for each student to reach. However, we are creating a society where convergent answers are what is expected. I do not personally know of anyone who makes his or her living from taking multiple choice tests.

I also hope that everyone, including my doctor, my lawyer, my plumber, my mechanic, and my child’s teacher, can problem solve and innovate within their field of knowledge. We are losing the creative productivity that helped to make this nation great…and which has a greater relationship to success as an adult then scores on a standardized test.

I also wonder if some of our financial woes might have been due to a decrease in emphasis on teaching responsible citizenship. If the leaders of our big businesses are more worried about their bottom line then about whether their employees are making a living wage or whether their product is killing people, then why would an intelligent society choose them as leaders?

I am both a teacher and a parent. I care deeply about our education system. Frankly, I wonder why anyone would go in to education at this point in history, and I am scared that my children will lose their creativity and imagination as they progress through public education.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wiggly teeth

I went to the dentist this morning. He said it was still a bit wiggly but that he was just going to keep watching it. He did a check with something that was cold. The main tooth that was moved had a delayed reaction to feeling the cold. So it is definitely not quite what it should be but is still alive.

In other teeth news, I was helping Andy brush his teeth last night and discovered that he has a loose tooth. It is the first loose tooth in our house. It does not surprise me because it is actually one he bumped last spring. The dentist had told us that the root was already dissolving and that usually kids start loosing teeth around ages 5-6. So at 5 and a half we are right on schedule. It also does not surprise me that it is Andy, because whenever the boys would get new teeth in as babies Andy would go first and then Doug would follow about a week afterward.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It could be better....it could be worse

So the other major thing I had yesterday was my proposal "pitch" for my dissertation.
In the bad news department- they decided to call it a prospectus (the step before a proposal...not all departments require one). The significantly made changes to my research plan and I have a lot of rewriting to do. It puts me one semester back from where I thought I was. However, the more realistic finish date (as opposed to the ideal one) is the same.

In the good news department- the study was deemed too ambitious for a dissertation and they scaled back what I am to do. No more looking at 36 3 hour observations, 12 interviews, etc. Now it will be much smaller.

I keep reminding myself that this is a process and I am learning still. I also keep reminding myself that you do not earn a PhD....you take it. So right now I am just trying to remind myself to keep on truckin' on.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Motherhood should come with a warning- your body will never be the same

I have a numb upper lip. He pushed my teeth back into place. Then sent me down the street and an orthodontist put a band across the back to support the tooth while it heals. I go back for a recheck on the nerve to see if it is still looking okay in two weeks. I get the band off in 4-6 weeks. Then for a minimum of 6 months (and possibly longer) I get to watch the tooth to see if it shows signs of dieing.
If it does die then I get a root canal... oh, joy.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Things I just really didn't want to know

If I ever wondered how long it would take to cook all the meat in our freezer...now I know. A couple weeks ago we traveled. When we came back I discovered that I had not gotten the freezer door all the way closed (it was mostly closed...just not all the way). I had to throw out a bunch of stuff, but most of the meat was still refrigerator cold. So I was able to cook it and refreeze it (fruit is re-freezable, vegetables have to be thrown out).

The answer it that it took me 13 hours with four oven racks (we have double ovens) and an electric skillet.

The other thing I just really didn't want to know but now do know is what it feels like to be punched in the mouth.
I was tucking the boys in and they were being silly. Andy was hiding under his cover. As I bent down he came up full force. He's fine.... I am not sure about me.
No teeth came out, but I am not sure they are quite where they used to be. No answer from either of the emergency numbers at the dental office, but looking online I think I am able to wait until Monday morning.

I'm just hoping that there are no more lessons like that for me to learn.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Send good thoughts my way

This coming Monday I have my dissertation proposal defense.

It is one thing to turn in a paper to a professor for a class. It is a whole other thing to turn in something that you have lived, breathed, thought about, obsessed with for ten months or more.

My committee already has my first three chapters and will have read it (all almost 80 pages if you count references and the appendix). We meet on Monday for me to formally present it, for them to discuss it, and for them to decide if it is worthy and in good enough shape for me to proceed.

As much as I would like to have it over with early in the day...I was able to find a single 90 minute chunk of time in which 5 busy professors could get together. So it is at 2:30 in the afternoon.

If you are the praying sort... please send up prayers, not that it will be perfect, but that it will be good enough. Pray that I will not worry and fuss the morning away. That I will be calm and collected. That there will be few methodological changes necessary (if any), and that they will have positive suggestions for any other portions of the first three chapters.

If you are not the praying sort. Well, please at least send good thoughts my way.

Pumpkins are carved!

We carved the pumpkins today and it was... well, interesting.

Doug and Andy were unwilling to actually put their hands into the pumpkins. Josie cleaned out her pumpkin pretty much all on her own (which was good because she had a super small pumpkin and I do not think that I could have really gotten my hand down in there). Andy opted for drawing with a sharpie because his pumpkin was small and he didn't want to deal with pumpkin goo.

Doug's pumpkin must have been on its side in the field. It's bottom was entirely rounded. I ended up carving it upside-down because it couldn't sit on its bottom and he didn't want it to sit on its side. Initially he didn't understand the having to cut out a chunk so that light could shine through. I had him draw his face on a piece of paper and he was very upset for the first half of the carving because he thought his straight line meant a single cut and I was making skinny rectangles. Eventually he understood and was much happier. His pumpkin was supposed to be scary so it has mad eyes and horns.

For Josie I carved the smallest pumpkin I have ever carved. Her's is happy and might barely fit a tea candle inside. She even wanted laugh lines at the corners of the mouth... I did my best. She was pretty traditional with diamond eyes, a narrow triangle nose, and a big toothless grin.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A delight from my childhood

It has off and on been driving me crazy. There is a book series about a little witch and I could not remember the name. I remember her fondly from my childhood.

So last week I posted on a social network a short description ...and like that, in a matter of minutes, friends had found the title and were remembering it fondly also.

The series is by Patricia Coombs. It is the Dorrie the Little Witch series.
My public library was not much help. They had two books listed, but one was listed without any shelving information and the other was listed as being there but I could not find it (and did not have time to query the librarian).
HOWEVER! The curriculum library on campus has six of the books! WOOOHOO

I checked out three and the kids and I have been enjoying them.
Sadly, the stamps at the front of the book show that the last time anyone has checked out the books are in 2003 and 2004.
I know good new books are being written. But I am strangely traditional and sentimental about picture books. I am absolutely delighted to have introduced my own children to Dorrie.

I've had better....

My birthday reminded me of a certain Christmas that started out badly. Yep, I puked.
I suppose it was only a matter of time before I caught what the kids had. I guess I can be grateful that it was on a weekend so Jim was home. He really took care of everything because I spent almost the entire day in bed or laying somewhere.
The kids and I finally dug in to my cake tonight at dinner.

Hopefully this yuck has finally run through everyone. I think Josie had it (it is a little unclear...). Doug was mostly sick over the weekend and then some recovery today. Andy is definitely clear of it. Hopefully Jim either had it last weekend when Andy had it...or he wasn't around enough to catch it.
So hopefully I have not grossed anyone out too much.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sick children

I hate illnesses with mixed symptoms. Vomiting without a fever....vomiting 2 hours after eating (there goes the...If you keep this down for 20 minutes we'll let you have a little more).
Andy has been sick. He has not been acting like he is sick except for the vomiting. I even tried to make him stay in bed and rest (which worked for all of about 20 minutes). I set up the baby-monitor so that he could let me know if he needed anything. He thought that was really cool. What was the first thing I heard come across the baby monitor....

(In a small little voice)- Mommy...I'm lonely.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More from the girl....

If you ask Josie how old she is....she can't tell you. I do not know if it is a lack of confidence in her answer or if she just doesn't know.
However, sometimes I have to wonder where she hears certain phrases.
We went through a period where if she did something and you thanked her she would say, "It was my pleasure."

Last night the kids were getting ready for bed and she held out her toothbrush for me to put the toothpaste on. She said, "You may do the honors."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The girl with the huge vocabulary

I think Josie has a pretty big vocabulary for a three year old...however sometimes things don't come out quite right. For some reason she over substitutes the "re-" prefix.
Examples include that she "retacks" something instead of attacks. I just asked her how preschool was today and she said, "I didn't go as well as I respected it to."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

New haircut

Andy has been growing his hair for a little bit in hopes of getting a flattop. I can handle basic things with the razor but a flattop is not in my skill set so we went to a barber on Friday afternoon and got it done.
I was so used to his hair being super short I had not realized just how thick it was until we had grown it out some. I also realized as I watched the barber work on it, that it would be me styling his hair. I don't know if we will "do" it every day...but I did get it reasonably styled on Sunday morning. Hopefully with practice I'll get better and perhaps he will be able to start styling it too.

Now it just remains to be seen what Doug will do...he was originally the one who wanted a flattop (to look like a Star Wars clone trooper) but his hair was not long enough yet and he is going back and forth about a flattop versus virtually bald (to look like one of the clone commanders).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Last year when Libby was having shortages of canned pumpkin I hit an abundance.
I have a couple of favorite pumpkin recipes but have always used canned pumpkin in the past. I had even purchased a can with the intention of doing something with it and it is currently still sitting in my cupboard.

Enter Andrew....fan of quantity.
Last October we went to a fall festival that Jim's brother and his wife annually host. Andy decorated not one, not two, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 or 6 pumpkins. Josie and Doug each did one.
We also had three pumpkins for carving that were picked up from the church's visit to the local pumpkin patch as well as a few pumpkins that the kids painted during the church Fall Carnival.

I was about ready to open my own pumpkin patch when I realized that I could actually make my own pumpkin puree. So as many pumpkins as I could I roasted in the oven until fork tender, scrapped out the innards, and sent it through our food processor (which is impressive considering my food processor is a hand-me-down from my grandmother and only holds a total of 1-2 cups). The puree came out beautifully but since I started with so many pumpkins I ended up with a lot of it.
Unfortunately I did not think about freezing it in reasonable quantities until the last of it was done. I also sort of ran out of time to do anything with it and just dumped it all in the freezer.

I've only removed one small baggie of the pumpkin for a friend who wanted to make pumpkin soup but couldn't find any canned during the Libby pumpkin shortage.

So as October is looming right around the corner I realized that it might be good to actually get some of that pumpkin out of the freezer before the possibility of more.
This weekend it smelled like Fall in my house because I had enough pumpkin in one of the containers to do two sheets of my mom's pumpkin spice bars and two pumpkin pies.

Fortunately my children like the pumpkin spice bars and the pies turned out to be the best I've ever made (I had a piece for breakfast this morning). I still have at least one big container that I will need to deal with at some point, but at least I made a dent.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Could things be looking up?

I'm almost afraid to say anything for fear of jinxing myself.
1. I got a new cell phone. I called to check on something on our bill last week and it turns out that Jim's line has had insurance on it from the beginning and somehow mine has not. I tried to talk to someone in the wireless division to see if I could get more functionality out of the replacement phone I had and she took pity on me and talked to her manager. So they worked out some deal where I was able to pay a price and get what I had before. Fortunately I am within the time that I should be able to return my replacement phone and it should cover what I had to pay for the new phone that is like what I had before. I may have to call back and give positive feedback for my customer service rep because she was fabulous!

2. The dealer has the part and it is uncracked and hopefully (fingers crossed) I should get the car back soon. I pray they do not find anything else and that it all goes smoothly.

3. I might have hit my stride with our afternoon routine. The past two days I have been able to get lunches packed for the next day while I am working on dinner or in between when the boys finish homework and I need to do dinner. That means that when the kids go to bed I have a bit more time to get some other things done.

4. Andy was fabulous today! Yesterday was the first time that he came home with something besides a good job stamp on his behavior sheet. The teacher note said he was unfocused and was not getting his work done. So today he had good behavior and he actually finished his writing work in his room on his own without me nagging him (normally we work at the kitchen table and I constantly have to remind him to get back to work). He also knew 18 out of the 21 sight words that we are working on (this includes ones from August) and it was actually more than what Doug knew. I am hoping the trend continues.

5. I also felt like I got a ton of work done while Josie was in preschool. Not anything big but a lot of little things that just needed to be done.

It was a good day.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Offsetting my emissions....

You know how big companies can pay to offset their environmental emissions?
That is how it is with me and the truck right now.
The dealer still has the truck and we are nearing on three weeks. I got away with not having a car for awhile because my in-laws and Jim were in town for Josie's surgery and the weekend, but I had to go get a rental car again this morning. They did get the transmission in last week but it wasn't running right. So they found something else related to the transmission that needed to be ordered. Once again it did not show up the next day so that was another day. Then when they got it apparently it was cracked and they had to reorder it.

So I am paying to have a more fuel efficient car.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Preventative medicine

There is nothing like taking a child who appears healthy and happy and doing some preventative surgery so that she is miserable for a few days....
However I think in the long run taking out Josie's tonsils (and adenoids...and getting the last of the ear wax out) was the right thing to do.
The doctor walked in after the surgery and said that her tonsils were very scarred and that it was like tonsils you might see in an adult. So that tells me that we did the right thing.
She is recovering....slowly she is talking more and eating a bit more and being a little less Velcroed to me. Our post-op appointment went well. She is starting to act more like normal.

We did get a picture of the tonsils from the doctor but I will spare you the details because I do not want to gross anyone out too much. So I guess it is something for her scrapbook?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Yeah, this about sums up my afternoon

I won't go in to detail here....
But sometimes you have to wonder what a 5 year old was thinking. I can't decide whether I am glad that Doug admitted it to me or not....

...And how come you listen to a song one time (or in this case Jim put it on) and your 5 year old picks up on the ONE line in the chorus that is catchy but inappropriate for a 5 year old to be singing. Nothing like Andy sitting there doing his homework singing "You throw back a bottle of beer..." over and over and over again.

Monday, September 13, 2010

On Overload

Things are just incredibly busy and lots of stuff going on....however, I am getting lots of messages in my life right now about keeping things in perspective. How can I complain about not having my truck back when at least I am not in the hospital with cancer? How can I worry about trying to get everything done when at least I have work to do?

One of my very dear professors is currently battling cancer. I do not really know how she is doing because I try not to be too nosy so I get filtered messages here and there. She is out of the hospital now, but just over a week ago I went to visit her while she was in the hospital. She gave me the information I needed to keep her class going while she could not keep up with it....and then, she ministered to me. She read me a devotional and said a prayer for me. I don't know if I was able to do anything to comfort her...but she comforted me.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Andy's Family Picture

Andy's family picture is quite different from Doug's.
On the left you see a tall ladder with Andy and Josie at the top. They are holding tools. The thing in the middle is a camera....I guess we are on TV? I am next holding a tool. I could not quite get out of him if we are building anything specific. Then Doug is smaller in the corner with no tool (Andy was very specific about that). Daddy is not pictured because he was 2 hours away where he works and spends most of the week.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Am I jinxed?

So here is my list lately....
  • Lost my phone only to have it stolen by someone....have a new phone that is workable but noticeably not what I had before.
  • Transmission went out on the car...it is still under warranty but the place that did the work last time never registered the transmission and is now undergoing bankruptcy. The district manager did get involved and get it straightened out but they may only cover the transmission and not the rental car.
  • My computer on my desk on campus is acting wonky. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't and there is no obvious reason for what it is doing.
  • Josie is going to have her tonsils out. It is not completely unexpected but it is the most complicated kid's surgery we have encountered so far. Doug's ear tubes were recovery in a matter of hours. Andy's tongue surgery was back to normal action by the next day and just watch it for a few days. This looks like recovery is generally 7-10 with the worst pain not occurring until days 5-7. The good news is that they will clean out her ear wax while she is asleep....
Just pray that things are a little less exciting around here for awhile.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

She has logic...in her own 3 year old way

This morning Josie went dressed as Super Girl to preschool. This Halloween costume has gotten lots of use.
When we walked in and her teachers commented on it she said, "I was cold in my other clothes so I had to put on my Super Girl costume."

This was news to me.

Then, later in the day, she and I were downstairs and there were toys left out. She maintained that they were out because of Doug and Andy and that I was to clean them up.
When I asked her why I should clean them up and not her, she said, "Because Doug and Andy made the mess and you are the boss of us so you should clean them up."

I think I'm in trouble if she is arguing this well at age three. I am SO not looking forward to the teenage years with this girl.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I wonder what it means....

I learned long ago as a teacher to say to children "Tell me about your picture."
What comes out on the page is not necessarily all the details that are present in their heads. So this weekend Doug came home with these two pictures and I had to ask...

Apparently the green line is him racing all over. I wonder if that is how he felt about our school supply shopping trips.

I know that how a child draws their family says a lot about the family....When I heard Doug tell me about this picture I was not sure what to think.
He started by telling me that he was the first figure at the top of the page...and he has a gun to shot zombies (Oh my!...um, thanks cousins...). The next two figures (going clockwise) are mommy and daddy hugging (that's pretty good...that I'll take).
Then the next figure is a zombie attacking Josie, who is the smaller figure who comes next. Notice that the zombie has no eyes and is frowning.
The next pair of lines are zombie feet...Doug shot off the rest of him.
Andy is the final figure...and I think he is just standing there.

I'm sort of wondering if the teacher actually found out from Doug any details about the picture. He did get a "Good Job" stamp.....
We are not really a violent family. We do, however, have active imaginations.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The woe of the week

Monday as I retrieved the boys from the bus stop my cell phone fell off my waistband. I didn't realize right away that I had dropped it and someone apparently picked it up. They were not an honest someone and they kept the phone. We have turned it off. I have filled a police report. There is not much more we can do at the moment. I'm not sure if I will be able to keep my number if I get a new phone or how it all works. It also means that if I am not at home it is much harder to reach me.
It has made me realize how much I used my phone. I can't send Jim a text message while he is teaching. I can't quickly check my email while I am waiting for a child or if I do not want to take time to get on the computer. My phone was my contact list so there are numbers I will have to get from people once I get a new phone.

Part of my dilemma with all of this is when I do get a new phone how I will carry it.
  • When I first had a small phone (I'm not counting the huge bag phone I had when they first came out) I kept it on a lanyard. Every time I would lean over to talk to a child the phone would swing out and whack them unless I grabbed it. I also did not really want to wear a lanyard at home.
  • Then I would keep the phone in my purse. I couldn't always hear the phone and because I had no special pocket for it I was constantly having to dig for it.
  • For a while I would keep it in my pocket. A few times the phone would hit the pavement when I was trying to get it out and this newer phone was pretty big for a pocket. Women's clothing does not always have pockets and there were several times I did not hear the phone ring or feel it vibrate if my clothes were looser.
  • I had started wearing it on my waist but it was just a clip on holder and this was the second time it had fallen off.
I'm not quite sure what to try next. I want to be able to hear it and to know that it is safe. I may look in to getting a purse with an outside cell phone pocket, but I don't carry my purse with me every where and certainly not while I am in the house. So I am thinking about what to do.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Little Miss Josie

I have had a lot of posts about the boys lately so here is how Josie is doing.
  1. Over the summer we re-potty trained (I think that the schedule switch just through her off completely...but it was almost like starting from scratch).
  2. She got her haircut in a cute little bob....she sort of looks like a pixie now but we have had lots of compliments
  3. I think she grew a bunch. She seems much taller and can reach all sorts of things
  4. She is as sassy as ever. Nothing like a 3 year old with a huge vocabulary. Sometimes she seems like she is 3 going on 15. I remember the boys as being sort of goofy at this age but she is much more poised
  5. She wants to do everything the boys do. I have about decided that I should not worry about her being 3 and assigning her 3 year old type chores. I should just give her the same things as are on the boys' list because she wants to do them all anyway
  6. She started preschool yesterday. She was excited to go. She happily played. When I peeked in to catch a friend who was dropping off her children Josie was chilling in a bean bag chair reading a book.
She is good and for the most part wants to be good. So I'll take it!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cremelled (or kremeled...no clue how to spell it)

Perhaps Doug will be the next Shakespeare. Shakespeare added thousands of words (I can't remember the exact figure) to our English language. If he couldn't find exactly the right word he just made it up....

Douglas has always had some made up words that he uses. Many of them have developed in to names for the pretend Star Wars Clone Troopers (some of the names have even been adopted as pretend friends for Josie and Andy).

However, for more then a year he has consistently used "cremelled" to mean wrinkled. For instance this dialogue happened yesterday:
Me: Doug make your bed.
Doug: Ok mom, I made it but you take care of the cremells....

Or how about this one from awhile back:
(We saw a car with a crumpled fender)
Doug: Mom, why is that car all cremelled?

Perhaps the term will catch on....then I can honestly say "That boy is giving me cremells."

Friday, August 20, 2010

Will they ever learn to trust my judgement!

I borrowed "Make Mine Music" from the library and we finally watched it yesterday. When I pulled out the case the kids objected and said they didn't want to watch that.

However, they were cheering on Peter in "Peter and the Wolf" and concerned over Johnny Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet and Doug wanted to watch "Casey at the Bat" again, and again and again.

This is about the fourth movie that they have not wanted to watch but have ended up loving. Now I just need to remember which Disney musical movie has Pecos Bill...because that was one of the stories I was actually after. I think I will employ the power of the Internet....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pink Glove Dance

A few of the teachers at Jim's school have been diagnosed with cancer. When I was looking for a magnetic car tag for him I stumbled on this video.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Kindergarten homework is driving me to.....

I do not believe when I was in school that I "officially" had homework until I was in the third grade...and then it was just one day a week.
Well, these times they are a changing.
Doug & Andy have homework.
I suppose it is fortunate that their teachers are side-by-side and planning to do some co-teaching so that we have some of the same assignments come home. However, not everything coming home is quite the same. So despite trying to put names on practice sheets I had one sheet today that said Doug on it but I was unsure whether I had misplaced Andy's sheet or if there was not a sheet for Andy.

  • We are supposed to be practicing writing our names. Andy is struggling with the fine motor skills (he's moving his whole hand) so this involves dealing with him whining and trying to find excuses.
  • We are supposed to practice writing in a journal so we are still establishing that routine.
  • I thought we were supposed to have a library book to read but apparently not today.
  • I thought we were supposed to have a book for them to read to me that matches their reading program...but apparently not today.
  • We do have a list of sight words to learn by Friday. However, it is not clear whether the teachers went over the words or not in class. It could just be that my boys were not paying attention.
  • We had two pages of adult guided practice (mostly about recognizing initial phonemes) that have to be done and then signed and returned.
  • Andy had a sheet he did not finish in class. Doug had a sheet of sentences to practice (mostly involving one of the sight words).
Tomorrow night there is a parent meeting to meet the teachers and find out expectations. Hopefully then things will be a bit clearer. I don't want to be the overbearing parent (because I have had students with parents who micromanaged their children) but I do want to know what is going on.

I suppose part of my issue is that I have two kindergartners I am trying to train into the school/homework habit.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Glad last week is over

I think I am actually looking forward to Monday.
Transitions trying to get in to a routine are difficult for me so now that the first week is under my belt it should be a bit better.
It doesn't help that three days out of last week I ended up in some sort of doctor's office.
  1. I had a dental appointment one day (boys were in school and Josie came along....she kept telling me to hold still and the hygienist was getting a kick out of Josie's comments). Fortunately things looked good so I do not have to go back.
  2. Josie saw an ENT. They say she doesn't have sleep apnea, but she snores and stops breathing for 3-5 seconds at a time (apparently it must be for more than 30 seconds to qualify) and her tonsils are huge even though she does not seem to be sick, and she has issues with hard ear wax. So she now not only has a steroid nasal spray to reduce the snoring, but also has an antibiotic to try to get the tonsils down (they're trying to avoid taking them out), and ear drops to soften the wax so that we can go back and get the wax suctioned out.
  3. I ended up with pink eye. Out of eight years of being in the classroom I never had pink eye and now I have had it twice in the last year. So I have eye drops and it happened that my throat hurt when I went in so the doctor looked down my throat, in my nose, etc. and gave me an antibiotic too.
Jim came home coughing so he was medicating himself also. So between Josie's twice a day antibiotic, three times a day ear drops, and once a day nasal spray and my three times a day eye drops and three times a day antibiotic I am struggling to fit it all in and remember whether every one has been dosed.
My hats off to people who have regular medicines for chronic conditions and I'm just praying that the boys do not catch anything since they are with a new group of kids at school.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The boy moves fast....

Yeah, it's been less than a week and Doug already has a girlfriend. Don't ask her name because he doesn't know it. I did get to see her back this morning when I dropped him off....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It probably made for interesting reading....

So one of the things that I filled out on our paperwork for the boys to take back after open house was one of those pages with not only emergency contacts and allergies (information that I know I have filled out on at least 5 other forms already), but also something about their interests, strengths, weaknesses, etc.

I just LOOOVE (insert sarcastic tone here) these questions.

Oh, I realize why they do it because I have an education background too....but somehow I struggle with what to put down. It is a little better with this one because the first day of school was right after I filled it out. With our preschool you fill out this information when you register and that is about 5 months prior to when the child actually steps into the classroom. When you are talking about a 2, 3 or even a 4 year old five months is a long time. Something that they like and what your concerns are will have changed.

I think I probably also have a slightly different perspective just because of my background in education. For instance, I put down that one of my goals for both boys was to help them learn to do their work without crushing their imagination and creativity. I put down as an area of struggle for Andy that he needs help with fine motor skills (he is still moving his whole hand to write and draws clockwise circles rather than counter-clockwise circles necessary for "correctly" writing most letters). I put that I wanted Andy to write without whining, and for Douglas to actually admit that he likes "reading" (as in having stories read to him since we are not technically reading yet).

I just always wonder what other people put.
Perhaps I over think these things.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I remember when....

I can't believe I have kindergartners.
I remember when they were born! I wish I could say that I remembered every moment and all the small details...but I do not because I was exhausted.

Today Andy and Doug had their first day of kindergarten. I had to wake Andy up and Doug was a little nervous (his exact words were "my tummy is bothering me right here" and I said "are you nervous?" to which he said "how did you know?")

I ended up having to drop them off because apparently you have to notify the bus depot to add you to their route and our open house was last night so I did not find that out until last night. We'll get it worked out eventually and I am sure we will get in to a routine.

When I picked them up they both said they had had a great day. Both kept "Happy Frogs" (apparently the teachers are doing happy frogs, uh-oh frogs, sad frogs, or off the board gone frogs...if you have a happy frog on Friday you get a reward). Both ate everything I had packed in their lunch and for their snacks...and both had not bought milk as planned but just drank from their water bottles.

We ended up in separate classes but in classes where the rooms are connected by a double door and the teachers plan to co-teach. They have PE together and lunch at the same time.

It is probably a good thing (I hope) that the principal recognized us when we walked in for open house and she personally showed us to the rooms. A friend of mine also teaches in a classroom just across the hall from Doug's and Andy's classrooms so we stopped and said hi and she said she would keep an eye on them.

Hopefully tomorrow will go just as well.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

If you happen to see summer....I lost it somewhere

Of all the things I wanted to try and do this summer I think the two main things I actually accomplished were going to see my family and getting the kids swimming lessons so they could actually swim.

I have worked some on other things but none of them have actually reached a stage that could be called "completion."
Jim is starting school tomorrow and the boys start kindergarten on Tuesday. We have open house to meet their teacher tomorrow. Josie will have several days with me before she starts.

I have a mile long to-do list and of course a lot of it I cannot make headway on until normal business hours. The house feels like it is a mess because we went to my in-laws to shop at the factory outlets near them and when I got home I just sort of dumped everything. So I am trying to straighten, organize, get everything on the to-do list (instead of jumping around in my head), and basically get myself in a little more of a zen state from where I currently am.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The summer is really flying....

I can't believe that it is already July. Of course June was packed so it went by really quickly.
It's hard to believe that I am already thinking about school.
Today I called the school where Doug & Andy will be going to kindergarten. I was hoping they would still have a K-1 class as they did last year so that Doug & Andy could be in that class. Unfortunately they do not have the students to have that class next year, but it did give me the opportunity to talk to the principal on the phone.
She asked me about Doug & Andy and what their needs and strengths were. I definitely said that I needed a teacher who will push my kids and who understands imagination.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day Out with Thomas!

Thomas came to a railroad near us! We went with Nana and Pop, and Jim's brother, his wife, and their daughter.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Busy Summer

How can summer be busier than the school year...
We have:
  • been attending a summer enrichment camp
  • been to vacation bible school
  • taken swim lessons
  • played with friends
  • done a little bit of traveling

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Preschool Dress-up day

Now that preschool is over I getting around to posting these. They had a week of "circus" stuff and one of the days was a dress-up day. This is one of the harder dress-up days because unless you have a little girl in dance there are not really clothes that fit the theme that are likely to already be in your closet.
So one day Andy went as the ringmaster wearing his dress shirt, daddy's bow tie and a mustache added with my eye liner. The other dress-up day I went to a local costume shop and found $1 masks. Due to the fact that I did not want to drag the children in to the store (which had TONS of stuff everywhere) and I did not want fighting over which animal they were going to be I forced all of them to be circus ponies. However, they all had a great time with the circus pony masks and the mean mommy was forgiven.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Museum fun

A museum near my in-laws had an animatronics (no idea how to spell this....) dinosaur exhibit. The kids were a little wary at first but quickly got over any concerns.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Redneck PMS pack

I think she was packing for an epic journey

In case you are wondering... if you allow a just barely three year old to pack her own clothes for a four day trip here is what you get
  • 10 pairs of underwear
  • 8 shirts
  • 6 shorts
  • 2 pairs of long pants
  • 5 dresses
  • and no fewer than 15 pairs of socks
Oh, and apparently she did not plan on sleeping because there were no pajamas to be found in the bag.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

If you'd been a fly on the wall....

Me: Josie what shape do you want your cake...a circle or a rectangle?
Josie: Pink
Me: No, what shape. Circle or rectangle?
Josie: Pink
Me: It can be pink. I want to know what shape the cake should be.
Josie: Triangle
Me: Uhh....(thinking- I can do that, but what in the world will I put it in or on or cover it with....)
Me: How about heart shaped?
Josie: Yeah, sure.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Birthday Party!

Here are a few pictures from the party this weekend. Andy had an angel food cake to make strawberry short cake. Josie's cake was chocolate and Doug's cake was "golden vanilla." We had it at a park and it was for all three kids. It went great! Kids played on the play equipment. We had plenty to eat and drink. We had crafts, bubbles, side walk chalk, and a treasure hunt. The only hitch was not being able to get the candles to light and I had to re-hide some treasure hunt clues that the kids found early.
Then we went home and crashed for a few hours.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Um, yeah...he's mine

Today, for some reason I can't remember I ended up sitting down with Andy and writing numbers. I did it 0 to 9 in the first row, 10 to 19 in the next row, 20 to 29 in the next row, and so on. I lined them up so he could see the patterns that numbers made.

Yeah, he got excited about it ("Mommy! Why are there so many 8's!").

He kept me writing until we got to 149 and ran out of room on that side of the paper. He would have had me fill up the other side but I had used scratch paper so there was already writing on the other side.

Yeah he is MY nerdy child....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On this day five years ago....

Even though I was sure they were fraternal, I was still surprised when I saw Doug & Andy for the first time that their hair and complexions were so very different. Little did I know at the time, but their personalities were "fraternal" also.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bumper Crop

We have some wild strawberries that grow beside the house. I don't remember getting that many strawberries in the past couple of years, but this year we seem to have a lot. The kids like to eat them right off the vine. They are interesting to see because the are almost round and have almost spiky rather than bumpy surfaces. They can be a little bitter but the children eat them anyway. They are also very delicate. If you wash them you must do it just before you plan to eat them because otherwise they spoil quickly.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

On this day three years ago....

I was in the hospital having a C-section and then meeting my daughter for the first time.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Some days I wonder which of my children is wierder....

Doug can be goofy and he often makes up words....

Josie has this thing about her closet. It started simply with "I have a refrigerator in my closet with some salad in it" (It is pretend...there is no fridge in her closet.) Now, just about anything you can think of has "been" in her closet at one time or another: her "older sister", a movie she wanted to watch, and much more.

Tonight at dinner we were discussing what nursery rhyme costumes they wanted to create (and that we could easily make from stuff at home) for the special preschool dress-up days in the middle of this week.
Here is the list I suggested: the baker from Rub-a-dub-dub, little boy blue, carry a pail and be Jack or Jill, Old King Cole (we went to BK over the weekend and the kids picked up crowns...so that would be a cinch).
My children come up with:

Doug- a sheep. It doesn't matter if it is Little Bo Peep's white sheep or Baa Baa Black sheep because he just wants to be fuzzy. I'm thinking an inside out sweatshirt and the child is going to roast since this is the South and it is already May.

Josie- she wants to be a princess but she did briefly think about being the star from Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. At least someone wants to use the crown even if I can't think of any nursery rhymes with princesses in them...queens yes, but not princesses and Josie was very specific.

Andy- he is dead set on being the wall from Humpty Dumpty. Not Humpty Dumpty himself, or even have a wall with part of him being Humpty Dumpty....he ONLY wants to be the wall.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Please repeat

This week at preschool the kids are studying mothers (or something to that effect).
I don't know what Andy's teachers said to him today or what caused it, but he came home all fired up about showing me that he loved me.
He wanted to show me not by giving me hugs and kisses, but by helping me. So he was insistent on setting the lunch table by himself and helping to make lunch.
His motivation decreased as the afternoon went on but I can only hope that whatever was said at preschool gets repeated tomorrow!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Power of 3

No I am not talking about having three kids and how that impacts your life (although it really does in so very many ways....)

I have actually managed to make a dent in my problems with "horizonalitis." You know that disease where every horizontal surface gets filled up?

Here is how I have done it. I have four problem areas (kitchen counter, dining room table, my dresser, my bedside table). So what I have done is that every time I have "a minute" I take three things off of one of the surfaces and put them away, throw them out, re-purpose them, whatever it is that needs to be done with them.
By Friday afternoon I had the dining room table virtually clear. This evening the kitchen counter is significantly clearer and I have made a noticeable dent in my dresser (the bedside table has it's own issues but is definitely clearer).
The cool thing is that as the clutter has gone down I can tell my stress level goes down. It's a constant battle because I am fighting other people in the house and it is so easy to dump the mail, dump the preschool products, dump the various flotsam that we seem to come home with on a regular basis; however, I think that I am winning the battle.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Way back when I started this blog I wrote about finding pennies and how when I found them I picked them up and said a prayer. At the time I took the amount of money I was finding to be a sign that we had done the right thing by uprooting our family so that I could work on my PhD full time and experience being a graduate assistant.

Maybe I am reading meaning in to finding pennies....but the last three times I have found pennies it has been directly after working or making some dissertation related decision. It is a bit heartening because I am hoping that things will go smoothly since I hear of so many people who run in to some sort of glitch along the way.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Crazy busy

Lots to do. The semester is ending soon. It is nice because classes that have nice deadlines and small assignments will be done. On the other hand large things like writing dissertation proposals could use more time....
I think I might be losing it a little. I have nice clean keys (hey, didn't you know that was important?) because I managed to send my key chain through the wash. I alternately tried this morning to leave something behind or to think I had (I "lost" my bag that was sitting right in front of me and then tried to walk half-way down the hallway without my coffee cup).

What is getting me through all this?
  • Lots of caffeine (maybe not that much now that Jim has switched us to half-caf ...but I do have a least a cup of coffee every day and usually one Coke.)
  • To-do lists (can't live without em! Can't always find them and don't always remember to look at them....but I can't live without 'em.)
  • Reminding myself that some PhD friends of the family say that you don't earn a PhD....you take it. So with that in mind I keep plugging along.
Wish me luck! May my finger find the keys and the words flow from them...may important articles find my eyes....

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Classics!

I think one of the best things about being a parent is being able to share some classic movies with your children. I keep thinking of movies that the kids might enjoy. Some I have not been able to find for free or cheap way (as in I am trying to use Netflix, record it off TV, or get it from the library). I have not found Condor Man or Zorro....but I have had fun finding others. We have enjoyed Swiss Family Robinson, Snow White, and The Wizard of Oz. We watched The Great Race and Cinderella at least three times each.

I know that my favorite part about watching the movies with the kids is watching their faces and hearing them get into the movie as they watch it for the first time. The kids were chuckling out-loud at the antics of the dwarves; they were wide-eyed and cheering as the Robinsons' fought off the pirates, and they were very concerned about how Dorothy and her friends were going to get away from the witch.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I think it might be summer

Other then the prevalence of pollen around here it feels like summer. The temperatures are hitting the 80's, I had to turn on the air conditioning because I could not take the pollen coming in through the windows any more. Jim mowed the lawn for the second time this season. Doug and Andy both opted for the super short hair cuts (I wouldn't let Andy go all the way bald....). We planted some seeds we got for Christmas and some tomato plants (or if you talk to Josie she and Daddy bought "smashed potato" plants). I also got the long sleeve shirts out of the kids dressers. Now I just need to get my school work done so that my semester can truly end when the academic calendar says it should.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Like duh!

I was driving along and saw a store that I thought was called WAHEDY. I thought that was a very interesting name
until I realized that it was a laundry mat called Wash & Dry and it was missing a few letters.....

Monday, March 29, 2010

Egg (and finger) dying

Of course I went to take pictures and the camera battery needed charging...so I used the webcam! Josie was really supposed to be in bed, but she had a nap today and ended up having trouble falling asleep.
Each child did 5 eggs a piece. Josie was very particular about her eggs and the colors she wanted. Her eggs of course came out the darkest because she was patient about waiting for them to sit in the dye for awhile. Doug went next and he breezed right through. All of his eggs are pastel colors and almost look white in the pictures because he basically put his eggs down in the dye and then pulled them out.
Andy, true to his desire for quantity and variety, wanted as many colors on each egg as possible. I also learned that my children apparently really favor the color green....

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mr. Andrew

He also looks so grown-up to me. I can hardly believe that Doug and Andy are going to kindergarten next year.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mr. Douglas

My baby looks quite grown-up...