Friday, December 12, 2008

Our Kids and The Big Snow

I snowed last night. This morning on the radio they said we averaged 2" across Middle Tennessee. The last time we got any measurable snow it was under an inch--and that was 8 years ago!

After dinner I got up and looked out the window to check the temperature--and lo and behold it was snowing! I was so shocked I called the family to see it. Even though it was almost bed time, we got the kids bundled up and let them play in the fluffy white stuff for a while.

It's all melting now. As the sun rises it hits new parts of the trees and the little pieces of ice on each branch slip and fall to the earth. At first I thought it was hail. That shows you how unaccustomed I am to this kind of weather. I let the kids go and play in the snow after breakfast, but they kept running in and out and whining abut something or other. I think Perry wanted me to build him a snow man, but I really didn't want to go out in the cold. Daisy would have been happy if only Perry would have stayed out there with her. The door got opened (and left open) too many times so I told them they had to stay in. They don't want to take their jackets off though. I think they're hoping I'll relent.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Merry Christmas!

If I can get my act together in time I plan to send this picture out with Christmas cards. But just in case I don't, you can at least enjoy it here :)

After much deliberation on whether or not we should, we decided we would in fact celebrate Advent. Believe it or not I was really proud of the candles and wreath I came up with. I bought some taper candles (gosh I had forgotten how fragile those things are--especially in little hands). Then I bought five brass candle holders from Good Will. Next I cut some holly branches and berries from our bush and constructed a wreath to fit around the candles.

The problems came when I tried to put them all together. The candles wouldn't actually fit into the holders. We had to melt them quite a bit in order to get them to even rest in their slots. Almost any movement of the table sends them crashing. It's a wonder they're still mostly intact. When I unwrapped the white candle from its cellophane, I noticed that it was broken, even though I took great pains to make sure I bought unbroken candles. Now, in case you are unfamiliar with Advent, the white candle is supposed to be the Christ candle. In other words, it's the most special of all! David tried to melt it back together, but in doing so put black marks on it that we couldn't get off unless we scratched them off and I was afraid we'd re-brake it if we tried that. So we just left it. But then just yesterday it got knocked over one time too many times and re-broke anyway. David just cut it off at the break and trimmed a new wick for me. I think it will work fine--even though it's now shorter than the other candles.

Also, as you can probably see from the picture, Calvin got a hold of one of the candles and bit into it. So it might look a little shabby, but I'm still proud of it.

The kids seem to be enjoying our Advent celebrations. We've been lighting the correct candles on the correct Sunday nights, at dinner. Then, after dinner we enjoy dessert (something of a rarity) and David reads the Advent verses and we sing an Advent hymn. David and I have been enjoying it too. One of the interesting things our pastor said on the first Sunday of Advent is that the holiday is celebrated in order for us to prepare our hearts to celebrate Christmas--Christ's original coming. However, it is also supposed to remind us to prepare our hearts and lives for his second coming. I love how it all ties in together!

Merry Christmas, from our family to yours!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Just Stuff That's Been Going On

Yesterday while driving home from church we saw a sign that said the road would be closed at 1:45 for the Smyrna Christmas Parade. We had no idea there was even going to be a parade! It was then about 1:00 and we had just enough time to devise a plan... We had split a loaf of bread 5 ways, or so, on the ride home. So when we got home and Daisy was asleep and Calvin close to it, we put them down. David looked up exactly where the parade would be while Perry and I ate a muffin and an apple. Then I loaded Perry up in the double stroller, the other side holding a folding chair for myself, and we walked to Smyrna's little downtown area--not too far away. David and the other two stayed home and napped :)

It was really fun to share the experience with Perry. Followed by the fire department's color guard, came the mayor on a golf cart throwing candy to all the children. Next came all the town councilmen following suit. There was the local high school marching band, and it was all I could do not to cry as it went by. I love marching bands, but didn't realize I loved them that much. Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones. Ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars went by with their lights flashing and occasionally turning on their loud sirens. Since the only Nissan factory in the US is located here in Smyrna, they brought out what must have been an example of each of their cars. Local businesses and boy and girl scout troups and churches made up the bulk of what was left. My favorite was a truck pulling a trailer, as most of them were, owned by a chimney-sweep company. Walking beside the vehicle were four people, two on each side, clad in black with chimney sweep brushes slung over their shoulders and black smudges on their faces--smiling and waiving to the crowd. On the trailer were four chimneys of varying sizes and styles constructed of who knows what, each smoking, and a woman dressed up as Mary Poppins. Speakers on the trailer played "Chim-Chimney."

After a while I noticed a police car driving down the road with its lights flashing, honking its horn and trying to zoom around the the cars in front of it. With all the children occasionally running into the street to gather up the candy, I was a little puzzled at the policeman's actions. A little while after that we saw an ambulance and then a small fire truck do the same thing. My first thought was that someone driving a vehicle in the parade hit one of the children. I hope not, though. I can't find out any information on it, though, so it was probably just some accident somewhere completely unconnected with the parade and the service vehicles thought this was the fastest rout to take, even though it was right through the middle of the parade.

I made Alton Brown's Paradise Macaroons cookie recipe on Saturday. They are amazing! I think they taste just like those Mound candies (you know, Almond Joys without the almonds). David thinks they taste better :) Actually, I literally can't remember the last time he raved this much about something I cooked. The recipe calls for only 2 oz. of sweetened condensed milk. I turned the rest of the milk into dulce de leche. Since the can was already open, I just filled the crockpot up with water until it was just below the can. For Thanksgiving I made a Chocolate Pecan Pumpkin Pie that I sort of came up with after reading a couple of recipes. It turned out very well (if I do say so myself). I think I'll make the bottom part of it again minus the pecans--so sort of a chocolate pie, and after it has cooled, put the dulce de leche on top with a drizzle of chocolate on top to make a sort of chocolate caramel pie. But with all the sweets in the house right now, I'll just freeze it for a special occasion in the future.

And there you have it, more than you ever wanted to know about our recent lives!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"F" Names

Sorry I haven't written anything substantial lately--only posted updates when I've added more names to the baby name list. I'm just so incredibly busy! But I guess we all are, really, so it's not like I'm any different than any of you :)

Anyhow, check out the "F" names and let me know what you think.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

"E" Names

The one and only "E" name I like, at least from this site, is up to vote on. "D" names are there too in case you haven't voted on them yet.

There is a name I came across and liked that isn't in this site's database: Adoniram. I don't exactly know what it means--I just read it and liked the sound of it. David said there was a missionary named Adoniram Judson. Since David's grandfather's name is Judson, maybe we'll name the baby that--if it's a boy. But then again, David's cousin and wife just had a baby boy and used Judson for one of his middle names, so maybe we shouldn't. We wouldn't want to steal their thunder or anything, you know?

What do you think?

Baby Ticker

For those of you asking about it, I've finally gotten around to changing the "baby ticker." The countdown is now accurate, so enjoy!

Monday, November 03, 2008

From the Mouth of Babes

The other day David was on the phone in the front yard while Perry and Daisy played around near him. All the sudden I heard David's tone of voice change. It wasn't that he was mad, just talking to a different person. When he finished on the phone David found me and filled me in, with raised eyebrows, on all that wet on out there. He gave me the, "He's your child" look.

Apparently Perry saw that the new neighbor across the street was outside, so he asked her:

"Hey, did your dad die a long time ago?"

"What?" she responded, a little confused, then "what did he say?" addressing David.

"I'm sorry," said David, not knowing how to get out of explaining, "he's asking if your dad died a long time ago."

"Oh, no... He's still alive."


And then Perry ran away, leaving David and the neighbor to look at each other; one with puzzlement and the other in embarrassment.

Have your kids ever said something strange or embarrassing? I'm sure they have, almost every kids does at some point or another. I'd love to hear about it, if it's not still too taboo a subject to talk about.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"C" Names are Up!

A number of you have voted now for your favorite names. Thanks for doing that, I love to hear what you all think. I've just gone through the "C" names and added my favorites to the list. I should specify that these names are ones only I have chosen, so don't worry if you don't like any of them too much since David still hasn't even looked at them :) Also, now that there are more to choose from, we're kind of mix 'n matching. Some might make better middle rather than first names so keep that in mind. Feel free to give me feed-back if you like a certain combination of any two I've chosen.

I suppose it's only fair to give you the tally so far :)











Monday, September 15, 2008

How to Have a Happy Daisy

Daisy's new favorite pastime is to roam around the house with a damp washcloth "washing" things. She might sit for ten minutes or so washing a chair or a toy or move from room to room washing windowsills, doors, walls, books, you name it. It really seems to make her happy. When I see her doing this I usually thank her for being such a good helper. Maybe she's inherited some of my mother and grandmother's tidiness genes--I sure didn't.

In other news:

This evening Perry and I were talking about different states and he wanted to know where Pennsylvania was located.

"Is is near Tennessee?" He asked. When I responded negatively he wanted to know if it was close to Florida. Again I told him it wasn't and suggested he get his map game of the United States and we would find it together. When he came back with the game we turned it on--it will say the name of the state when you press on it. I asked him were Tennessee was. He found it the first time, pressed on it and the game told him he had gotten it right. We did the same with Florida.

"And there's Pennsylvania" I told him and then asked him to press on the green state.

"And there's Underwear" Daisy said, and pointed directly to Delaware.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Help Name the New Baby!

I've added a new page element. Just under the floating countdown baby, which incidentally is about three weeks too fast, I've added a link to a page where you can vote on names for the new baby. So far I've only gone through this site's A and B names, but I'm going to try to update it frequently--so stay posted. And please do vote! You probably won't sway us too much with your preferences, but it's nice to know what you like anyhow :)

You'll notice there are only boy's names up there at present. That's because we've got the girl's names nailed down to two: Persephone or Charity. If we list any girl's names, they will probably be as a middle name for one of these two.

Do let me know what you think!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Clogged Ears

A few Sundays ago Perry met me in the hall after church. He had escaped from Sunday School right at the end. I think he figures that when some other parent comes to get his or her kid, Sunday School is over and he's free to wonder the halls looking for me. He just gets excited and forgets he's supposed to stay put until I get there to claim him.

"Mom, look! I made a sifter for cakes!" Then he handed me a black cylindrical piece of construction paper with stickers all over it.

"Oh, great Perry!" I said, a little puzzled.

I stood there a little while longer waiting for David to gather up Daisy, Calvin, and all the worldly possessions we, for some reason, feel we have to haul to church every Sunday.

"Oh, great, you've got him," I hear and turn around to see Perry's Sunday School teacher looking relieved.

We exchanged greetings and then she mentioned that they'd been studying the book of Ester.

"Oh," I said, "Then this is probably not a sifter for cakes, then."

"No," she replied, laughing. "It's a scepter. The Scepter of Mercy."

Perry looked up at me. "The Scepter of Nursing?"

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Deviant

Here's the mohawk boy. In case you can't decipher it from the picture, that's David's pipe he's playing with.

David took the picture.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Our Little One Turns One

Congratulations birthday boy! Wow, has it been a year already?

We spent the morning of his birthday at the library where we saw a friend of ours perform a children's singing and story program. It was wonderful. I was surprised at how much the kids really got out of it. Just a little plug for our friend Kevin Kidd:

I told Perry we could buy one of his CDs and he insisted that we get the one with the stinky feet song. I guess I'm a push-over. I love it when little boys enjoy being little boys. I bought the CD.

I was going to make a pinata, more for Perry and Daisy to celebrate with than Calvin, but by the time I figured out how to do paper mache it would have taken too many days to dry and wouldn't have been finished in time. But we had a cake and, as you can see, Calvin enjoyed it.

Despite expecting a new baby, I've been able to continue nursing Calvin. Hooray! I feel like I've finally succeeded at nursing! There were a few times this past month or so I contemplated weaning him--only to discover he wouldn't let me. I found this interesting. Each other time I was pregnant and nursing my nursling jumped at the chance for formula because I just wasn't producing enough milk. The only things different this time around are 1.) I'm not scheduling feedings (I don't have time to look at the clock--it's much easier to feed him when he wants) and 2.) he's older than the other two were when we went through this. It really doesn't matter that much to me why he's continued nursing; I'm just so happy he has! But at the same time I'm a little nervous too. How long is he going to want to keep this up? I've got a book on tandem nursing that I read a little bit of every once in a while and I'm not sure I can do that. Even if I could, I'm not sure I want to. I guess I'll just take it one day at a time.

In other news we finally got our dishwasher installed. In case anyone out there didn't know, this was a full instillation--the house didn't have one before this. I'm so thankful to my wonderful husband for all the hard work involved in putting it in!

Also, the other day while I was finishing up something on the computer, David decided to surprise me by cutting the boys' hair. In actuality this is something he could only have done while my back was turned. See for yourself:

Ok, I couldn't get the pictures to post well so I'll just tell you about them and post them some other time. Calvin, as anyone who knows David might guess, has a buzzed head. Perry's hair is even more shocking--and honest-to-goodness mohawk. Calvin's buzzed hair fits his little round head perfectly. We might just keep it this way. Perry, on the other hand... At first I thought it was kind of cute. And it is, as long as he's romping around the yard looking sweet. But when he throws a temper tantrum it's just scary. It makes him look like a little punk. I'm not ready for this from my three year old. So we'll see how long the haircut lasts. He loves it, though. David told him he looks like a fish or a dinosaur.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

A Farewell to Arms

I was just sitting on the sofa reading Hemingway's novel A Farewell to Arms. At a chapter break I laid it down and listened. Usually it's quiet, but tonight I can hear the booming of my neighbors' leftover fireworks.

In the book I just finished reading a battle and retreat scene. I don't follow war and battle in books (or even movies) well. I just can't understand what's happening. I'm not able to visualize it--I guess because I have no reference for what the author's writing about. But tonight I'm struck by the thought of war; by the thought that these explosions around my house right now sound as though they could be from weapons.

I'm very anti-war, and agree with David that we haven't fought a war for the sake of our freedom (that couldn't have been dealt with some other way) in many, many years. The booming outside my window makes me sad. Sad that our country is currently in the middle of a war. Sad that, in this fallen world, we resort to such violence. Sad for all the people that have to try to live in countries that are torn by fighting and killing. I'm thinking of the people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Uganda, Israel, Lebanon. People caught in the middle who just want to survive and hope against all hope for a time in the future when they can do more than think about surviving. For a time when they can flourish. For a time without fear for their children.

The children. I'm sad for the children.

I'm not going to spout off some patriotic jargon about being glad I'm living in a free country. I suppose compared to many other nations we're free. But the only thing that makes me feel patriotic is the Constitution and the ideals of our country's fore-fathers. I don't hate our country or wish to be in another--I long for it to be what it was created to be, what it once was. What I have given up hope for it ever being again.

But I am glad that, at least for the time being, the sounds outside my window are only fireworks, and I can look in on my sleeping children without fear for their lives.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Hand that Plays With You

A few weeks ago Perry came to me crying and told me Daisy had bitten him. It was obvious that she must have, by the way he was acting, and he doesn't make up stories, but I asker her anyway. She confirmed it, I spanked her, told her that she may not bite anyone, and sent her to her room for a while.

When she re-emerged, a little while later, I told her to tell Perry she was sorry. She walked over to him and did what I asked. I thought the issue was finished, at least for the time being. Then I heard Perry's worried whining. When I looked up I saw Daisy, dancing around him and chomping in the air--with a big grin.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Makings of a Martini

David and I were just talking in the kitchen while he fixed himself a martini. He meticulously placed two olives in a cocktail glass, put three ice cubes into the shaker, added some vermouth and gin, admired the beauty of the bottles. Then he put the lid on the shaker and agitated it. Uncapping it, he poured its contents into the glass.

"What is that"

I had seen it too. Something had fallen from the shaker into the glass. Something that wasn't intended to be in there.

David fished it out. It was one of Daisy's little purple hair ties.

My mind zoomed back to this morning when Perry informed me that Daisy had poured the leftover contents of David's shaker from the night before (just water at this point) onto his bed.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Letter or the Spirit of the Law

I've been held fast in the grip of my enemy Morning Sickness for the past two weeks. Yesterday and today were much better, but before that, I was basically reduced to a lump on the sofa, watching the world swirl around me. David did most of the cooking for me. He's been wonderful!

He's been gone this week painting a house and so dinner tonight fell to me. Thankfully, I was feeling somewhat up to the challenge. Not wanting to heat me or the kitchen up any more than necessary, I resorted to carrot spears dipped in homemade salad dressing. I figure that if I'm going to look for something to simply fill our stomachs, at least this was healthy. I always feel guilty when I don't serve a complete meal. I sit at the table and think We don't have a green vegetable. That means the kids aren't getting enough, um, whatever it is that's supposed to make green vegetables magic. I'm such a horrible mom!

So I just rationalize tonight by saying that we were making up for a lack of beta carotene. Yeah, that's it, beta carotene!

Wishing to dirty as few dishes as possible, I set out a paper plate with carrot spears and a bowl of dressing in the middle of the table. The rule in our house, as I'm sure it is in yours is: (unless you're the type to throw all germ caution to the wind and live a commune-like existence--in which case, more power to you)

No Double Dipping!

Perry has pretty much got this skill mastered. But Daisy, who really just asks for carrots so she can get dressing, is still somewhat lacking it. For the first part of dinner I watched her closely and patiently (see patiently, aren't you proud of me!) corrected her. After a while I figured she had it figured out so I turned my attention toward Calvin who was shoving leftover spaghetti noodles into his mouth like there was no tomorrow. I looked back over at the plate of carrots and noticed that one of them had a little spot of dressing on the end. No big deal, some must have dripped on it from...somewhere. I looked back over at Calvin for a second, then back at the plate of carrots. This time there were three carrots upon it with dressing only on their very tips. I sat silently and observed. Daisy picked up a carrot from the plate, dipped it into the dressing, sucked all the dressing from it (except what was on the very end), placed it back on the plate, then proceeded to do it again with another carrot.

But hey, at least she wasn't double dipping.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

New Page Element

I've added a new page element. I saw one on somebody else's blog, liked it and thought I'd add it to my own. I hope it's not too strange for you folks. Let me know, honestly!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

For Those of You That Don't Already Know...

...Yesterday morning we confirmed my longtime nauseated stomach's suspicion that we are expecting our fourth little blessing. Most of yesterday was spent phoning our family and so I didn't get time to write anything for whomever else is still out there.

I had been feeling unusually tired and nauseated for a couple of weeks now, but was putting off finding out until I pretty much knew this had to be the only reason for it. I hate taking a pregnancy test and getting my hopes up only to have it turn out negative.

I don't know what it is, but it seems like the moment I discover I'm pregnant, whatever morning sickness and tiredness I felt before suddenly comes in even stronger. It's as if my body says Wow, you're really tired and sick. You should just rest. After all, you've got a good reason! So this morning I got up with Calvin around 6am. A little early for him, but I guess I shouldn't complain, it could have been earlier. Perry got up a half hour later which was wonderful because I sent the two of them to play together in the living room. Daisy woke up really grumpy around 6:45 and so I finally had to drag my lazy body out of bed for good. A few hours later, when we had all finished breakfast and Calvin laid down for his nap, I napped on the sofa. I just couldn't keep my eyes open! I don't think I got more than thirty minutes, but it helped. I mention all this because I did go to bed the night before somewhere between 9:30 and 10:00, which ought to have afforded me enough sleep to stay awake--but then again let me remind you that Calvin is still waking up three times in the middle of the night to nurse.

Anyhow, the kids played today and I kind of puttered around the house, not really getting much of anything done. Am I really expected to? I'm exhausted and sick. Most of my day was consumed with looking for something to eat, finally finding and eating it, suddenly feeling like I have amazing energy and the ability to be Supermom, and then 10-15 minutes later feeling sick again and looking for something else to eat. How can I get anything done when this takes up my waking day? And yet each chore left undone pushes the house a little further down the hill toward The Valley of No Return. From which it takes the miracle working power of St. David to come in and make right what I have so utterly made wrong.

David decided to celebrate the new baby by taking the entire family out to Karin's Kustard. We had a wonderful time eating frozen custard, of which the children ate an amazing amount--but hey, it's not every day we get news like this, right? I have a feeling the kids are going to want to start celebrating all kinds of things now. Mom, we saw the first fireflies of the year. Can we celebrate by getting custard?

After visiting Karin's, we went to the park. It was lovely and the kids had a good time running all that sugar out of their systems. The only problem was that it was very hot (in the 90s today) and it really wiped me out. So home we went and I got another catnap on the sofa while David prepared to go out this evening to his weekly artist's meeting. Wanting to do something quick and easy for dinner, we would up with popcorn and plain yogurt.

There, that's more than I'm sure you ever wanted to know about my day. Have a good one!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Our Little Calvin Pt. 2

Yesterday I thought Calvin had something in his mouth so I fished in there to pull it out. But the only thing I found was the beginnings of his first tooth. I'm really surprised since he's only almost 11 months and both Perry and Daisy were 14 months before they got their first teeth. David, however, is quick to remind me that Calvin, though earlier than his siblings, is still lagging behind others his age.

That's only when it comes to teeth, though. The other day David was playing with Daisy and said "Where's Daisy?" in a sing-song tone. Calvin repeated it! He really did. We were amazed and I kind of thought it was one of those flukes that wouldn't happen again. He's said it a couple of times since, just to prove me wrong, and is trying to say all kinds of other words.

At the risk of sounding cliched: He's just growing up so fast!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Nursery Rhymes

When I was a little girl my mother used to read nursery rhymes to us. There was one, though, that she had a problem with. She would recite it like this:

Peter, Peter pumpkin eater
Had a wife and couldn't keeper her
Put her in a pumpkin shell
And went to jail for wife abuse

I'll say no more about my poor mother and the feminist movement.

Now that I've started reading nursery rhymes to my children, I've found one I don't much like either. I've taken the liberty to rewrite it. Let me know what you think.

There was a blessed woman who lived in a shoe
She had so many children she knew just what to do
She gave them some hugs, some kisses too
Then sent them to bed, loved through and through

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Our Little Calvin

For a couple of weeks now Calvin has been pulling up onto his knees. But yesterday he pull all the way up onto his feet for the first time. Since discovering he can do this, he's been trying to climb onto anything just low enough to succeed at. Look out, here he comes!

He's been saying Da da for a little while now, and more recently been saying uh oh. This morning he put the two together as he crawled over David in our bed, "Uh oh, Da da. Uh oh, Da da." Over and over again. I thought it was cute, but at 6am I guess David didn't think so :)

Monday, June 02, 2008

Not Yet

The other day Perry and I were sitting on the sofa together. He was looking through a book and I was nursing Calvin. "Oh" said he with a sigh, "I just want a dog."

"A dog?"


Mind you, he doesn't even really like dogs. They make him nervous.

"Well, we're not getting a dog."

"Oh, I just want another baby."

"Really?" I said.


"Did you hear somebody else say that?"

"No, I just want another baby."

"Well, I'm sure God will probably give us another baby at some point."

Frequently one or another of my extended family members will tell me that people come up to them all the time and ask if I'm pregnant yet.

Nope, not yet.

Don't misunderstand me, we still believe in letting God choose when to give us children and how many to give us. I guess He just feels this is not the right time. It's strange, really--since we've been married, this is the longest space of time we've been without expecting a little blessing. I'm earnestly looking forward to the next baby--but I'm thrilled I've been able to nurse Calvin this long! My hope is that God will give us another baby shortly after Calvin turns a year, in July. But if He, as He did with Daisy and Calvin, chooses to bless us before we've weaned the previous baby, we will count ourselves incredibly blessed and praise Him for the new little life. I wouldn't trade or wish away any of my wonderful little ones.

And in case you're wondering, we will never get a dog.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


It's pronounced SHOD-n-froy-duh, and it's German, so give it a good guttural try. It means: A malicious staisfaction obtained from the misfortunes of others. As in, I felt pleanty of Schadenfreude when Perry, having a temper tantrum, threw his head back and hit it on the floor. The Germans capitalize it, so you will often see it that way.

This was our Word of the Day today; and with it we stumped David. Congratulate us!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Word of the Day

We've started a new game at our house. Every morning the kids and I visit and look up the Word of the Day. I read it to them along with the definition. I make sure they can say the word and try to explain it so they can really understand it. Then, when it's time to get David up, the kids and I tell him the Word of the Day and see if he knows its definition. So far we've done this for five consecutive days and we have been unable to stump Dad. I'm not really surprised, though. I'll let you know when we discover one he doesn't know.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Family Picture

This was taken in South Florida, in front of my in-law's home.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nocturnal Musical Chairs

It's a quarter till 8pm. Daisy has been in bed for two hours and fifteen minutes (explanation to follow) and Perry and Calvin in bed for forty-five. Perry came out about a half hour ago and said that he needed to wipe his nose. I gave him a handkerchief and sent him back to bed. I've been checking my e-mail for a little while now and he just popped out of his room again--mind you, he's supposed to be asleep and not getting out of his bed. Handing me his handkerchief all wadded up into a ball he said, "this handkerchief doesn't work anymore."


"Oh, because God made it that way."

I guess he's heard that answer a lot.

Now, as for why Daisy went to bed so early this evening? That's an easy one. No nap this afternoon. You know, I used to hear people talk about their young children that refused to nap and think That's not going to be me. They'll take a nap until I'm good and ready for them to quit. I don't care if they're 18. Well, this afternoon Daisy refused.

She refused at least eight times.

She got up numerous times in her room and I was so afraid she would wake up Perry that I finally put her down in the Pack 'n Play I have set up in my room for Calvin (The last time I found her awake and out of her bed she had crawled in with Perry and was reading. All while Perry was asleep!).

In my room she got up too many times to count. Eventually it was time for Calvin to go down for a nap so I just stuck him in his crib in the kids' room. Then when Daisy got up again I tried laying down with her in my bed. Of course that didn't work either.

So, no nap for Daisy today.

David has been out most of the day today so it was just the kids and I for dinner tonight. At about 5:15 or so Daisy was a little fussy. I told her that if she kept up the complaining I would send her to her room. I was just remembering that she hadn't taken a nap this afternoon when she got down from her highchair, walked to her room and shut the door. I'm embarrassed to say I was too busy scarfing down my dinner to pay her much notice. When I had had my fill I checked on her. I found her asleep on Perry's bed. I closed the door and let her stay there, thinking I'd sort it all out later.

About an hour later she woke up crying. When I went in to check on her she didn't actually seem to be very wakeful. I asked her if she wanted to go to bed and she nodded her head (it's hard to respond verbally when you're sucking on your fingers). I picked her up, put her in her bed and I haven't heard a peep from her since.

I really hope tomorrow is an easier day than today was.

Oh, and by the way, in case you're wondering, we did discipline her each time we caught her out of bed.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

How to Pronounce the Word "Airplane"

If you can stick your tongue out of your mouth on the right side for the first syllable, move it to the left side for the second syllable, and somehow still manage to say "airplane" somewhat decipherably, then I'd have to call you Daisy.

Today was the air show here in Smyrna. Now, how on earth little Smyrna managed to score an air show is beyond me, but that's beside the point. The main topic of interest this past Thursday, Friday, most of today, and I'm afraid tomorrow too, has been the airplanes themselves. More specifically, it's been the noise they create. Each time a plane flew over, Daisy cried and clung to us. It's been a LONG couple of days.

Then this evening we drove my mother to the airport (she's been visiting). This must have just been too much exposure to airplanes for one weekend because it was all Daisy could talk about when we got home. First it was, "more airplane." When we told her that the air show was finished and the planes "all gone," and she finally understood this, she walked around saying "allgone airplane, allgone airplane".

Over, and over, and over again.

She told us. She told her brothers. She told her dinner. And when David asked her to please stop saying it, she whispered it a few more times.

There was really no stopping it, I guess, so after dinner David made up a little song about it--while Daisy wandered around talking about the airplanes. She even pointed to one of David's abstract paintings and said there was a plane in it.

It was hilarious, really, to watch her say all this with her tongue out of her mouth.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Regarding The Love of My Life

Ok, let me first tell you that I would never leave a bottle of red lamp oil just sitting on the floor of the office. So that leaves four other people in my house that might. Three, really since it's unfair to count Calvin.

I walked into the office a little while ago to check my e-mail. It's not so much an office, really. The computer is in it with all David's office equipment, but so is the dryer and all the clean, folded (and unfolded) laundry. Maybe "office" is a good name for it since it's just as much David's office as it is mine. We affectionally call it The Brown Room (the walls are brown--gosh we're creative).

Before I could sit down in front of the computer I noticed that a bottle of red lamp oil was lying on it's side on the floor. Underneath it was a small pile of computer disks from David's clients. If I am not mistaken, these disks are irreplaceable audio files for David to edit, re-burn send back to the client. Don't get me wrong, I say "irreplaceable" not only because they are important. I'm serious, the guys that record them don't actually save what they record onto anything else. These disks are the only copies. And, of course, they are now covered in red lamp oil.

Like I said, I would never leave a bottle of lamp oil on the floor. The last time I saw the bottle it was on a shelf too hight for the kids to reach. My suspicion on who left it there? Well, let me just tell you that the kitchen scissors are also on the floor--underneath David's chair, where he placed them after he used them to trim his toenails while we watched a movie last night.

Because nothing says "Date Night" like trying to watch a Jane Austen film adaptation through the snow of your husband's flying toenail clippings.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Two New Things

Daisy can now get out of her crib by herself. It's a wonderful thing to have two little children open our bedroom door, climb upon our bed and snuggle me awake. What a perfect way to start the day!

Calvin is a little creeper. He can now use his hands and toes to creep his way toward a toy that is just out of reach. I'm awestruck watching him learn to use his arms and legs in conjunction.

Parenting: it never gets old.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A Dirty Post

Daisy finished lunch about a half and hour before nap time today so I sent her outside to play with David whom I noticed was roaming around the front yard, examining the plants. Perry, not to be outdone, soon followed. I finished my lunch and then moved on to the computer. I was in the middle of checking my e-mail when I heard noises at the front door. It was David, slowly followed by a crying Daisy. She had fallen into the mud. Her pants and half her shirt were drenched in that awful wet clay that is so likely to stain. I pulled off her clothes, carried her in at arm's length and stuck her into the tub. Perry jumped in shortly after.

They did this last Saturday and Sunday too, minus the falling and crying, and wile it is a good way to make sure they get a bath everyday, it's creating a laundry quandary. I fear my kids won't be fit to be seen in public because all their clothes will contain orange clay stains.

Anybody out there who stumbles upon this entry and has any suggestions on how to remove clay from clothing, I'm very happy for the help.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Downward Spiral of Snacks

Perry's new favorite thing is to ask for a snack. He asks all the time. But I know it's not always because he's hungry. I can tell by his requests. "I want something sweet on bread" are the first words he utters upon waking from his nap.

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

I used to be the Health-Food-on-a-Budget guru. For at least one of their birthdays I didn't even make cake because I felt it was too sweet--despite the fact that it was a once a year celebration.

Today I made cupcakes. What was the occasion? Well, it's Saturday, isn't it?

Friday, March 28, 2008


Tonight I put the kids to bed a little earlier than usual. Last night they were up extremely late and were very fussy today, despite their sleeping in, so I thought they would be ready to turn in at 6pm. They settled in quickly and I thought Mommy Time would come early tonight. However, halfway through doing the dishes, I heard crying. I walked to their bedroom door, stood outside and listened. I could hear Calvin and Daisy crying and Perry making some sort of noises. When I walked in I saw that Perry had turned the light on and was sitting on his bed, "reading" a book out loud. No wonder the two little ones were crying! I quickly fixed the situation and now we have quiet again. Who knows how long it will last, though.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Daisy: The Were-Seal

A New House

Or, at least the kids think it looks like one. We've purchased a large shed. I was kind of getting tired of the sawdust all over the clean clothes, so, new work space it is, then! David is very happy and has spent the day filling it up with all his essentials--paint, paintings and painting utensils. There will be other stuff in there too, but I won't go into that lest some stranger happen across this blog and try to rob us (except for the large dog we'll be putting in the middle of the shed, I'll tell you about that).

Daisy woke up this morning feeling kind of yucky. But I won't tell you much about that either because I know some people (like my mother) just don't have the stomach for, um, that kind of stuff. I made her some ginger tea and we're hopeful she'll start feeling better soon.

Perry and Daisy are having such fun playing outside in the new drainage ditch. It's not quite finished, but hopefully it will be soon.

Calvin has started getting up onto his knees. It might not be all that long before we have three mobile children in the house.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Wake-up Call

Funny? Yes. But thankfully, not Me and Calvin. Probably more like me and Perry--when he was little(r). But now being on our third little one, I've grown a little more, um, less sensitive to their cries. I remember having a really hard time not picking Perry up every time he cried. David had to hold me down once or twice so I would just let him cry it out--which was something I had read up on before his birth and was committed to doing under the right circumstances. It was a little harder to do than I had anticipated. I quickly got accustomed to it, though.

I don't exactly remember how we dealt with Daisy on this. I suspect she was a little easier than Perry. Though she was a velcro baby (wanting to be held all the time).

In the mornings with them I basically got up At First Cry. There was no way I could get any rest with my little baby crying in the next room. Not that any of my babies have been real keen on crying, actually. They kind of yell out a little shout every few seconds, pausing and listening in between. It's as if they are saying "Mommy!" Listen. "I'm in here!" Listen "Come and get me!"

But now with Calvin... As long as he's not really crying, I don't get out of bed until Perry comes to get me up--usually after 7am. Even then it takes me approximately ten minutes of eye fluttering to work up to stumbling out of bed. Thankfully Perry's so wonderfully patient with me.

I wonder what I'll be like after, say, our tenth baby. Hopefully I won't require a nuclear explosion to rouse me from my slumber.

Friday, March 21, 2008

It's Here!

Yesterday we saw something we haven't seen in a long while. Squirrels! We went outside to play, hunted down all the dandelion puffs we could find and blew them all over the yard (like responsible homeowners don't do).

Ahh... I do believe Spring is finally here.

But then again, maybe it isn't quite here. We're really nervous about that. What if it continues to get warmer and warmer but then we get a late frost like we did last year. Then all our trees will lose their blossoms and we'll be left with another fruitless year--literally. No pears, no plumbs, no peaches, and no apples. I was worrying myself sick over it last week but then realized I can't do anything about it. If it's going to freeze, it's going to freeze.

In the meantime, I can enjoy the squirrels.


This reminds me of one of my favorite poems by Carl Sandburg. It's called Arithmetic:

Arithmetic is where numbers fly like pigeons in and out of your head.

Arithmetic tells you how many you lose or win if you know how many you had before you lost or won.

Arithmetic is seven eleven all good children go to heaven - or five six bundle of sticks.

Arithmetic is numbers you squeeze from your head to your hand to your pencil to your paper till you get the answer.

Arithmetic is where the answer is right and everything is nice and you can look out of the window and see the blue sky - or the answer is wrong and you have to start all over and try again and see how it comes out this time.

If you take a number and double it and double it again and double it a few more times, the number gets bigger and bigger and goes higher and higher and only arithmetic can tell you what the number is when you decide to quit doubling.

Arithmetic is where you have to multiply - and you carry the multiplication table in your head and hope you won't lose it.

If you have two animal crackers, one good and one bad, and you eat one and a striped zebra with streaks all over him eats the other, how many animal crackers will you have if somebody offers you five six seven and you say No no no and you say Nay nay nay and you say Nix nix nix?

If you ask your mother for one fried egg for breakfast and she gives you two fried eggs and you eat both of them, who is better in arithmetic, you or your mother?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

On the Job Training

David loves sausage, biscuits and gravy. But there are degrees of love. He doesn’t love them enough to wake up on a Saturday morning and us all out to a restaurant just so he can have his beloved breakfast. He’s much too frugal for that. There are things I love that much, like pancakes for instance, but since I’m not the bacon-bringer-homer, I make my own. And that’s how he loves sausage, biscuits and gravy—enough to ask me to make them for him on a somewhat regular basis.

The first year we were married I really wanted to make his birthday special. I asked him the day before if there was anything specific he wanted to eat the next day. What he really wanted was sausage, biscuits and gravy but since we were trying to be vegetarians, he guessed I shouldn’t make it for him. We had only been vegetarians for a short time, and it was before we adopted the high moral stance of believing that special events like birthdays were exempt from any dampening of the holiday.

The next morning he woke up to the smell of his favorite breakfast. He stumbled into the kitchen where I greeted him with a cup of coffee and the confirmation that his nose had not deceived him.

He initially dug into the first few bites with relish and then slowed to ask how I had made it. I hadn’t yet decided weather I would tell him, but since he asked:

“Well, the sausage is soy sausage and the biscuits and gravy are made with soymilk!” It was evident I thought I was very clever, but that he didn’t.

“The soymilk that’s in the fridge?”


“The same soymilk that I just put in my coffee?”

“Yes….” My smile faded into puzzlement now. He stood up, walked to the refrigerator and opened it.

“Rachel, this is vanilla soymilk.”

I tasted my Frankenstein’s monster for the first time. It was sickeningly sweet—though the texture and undertone were reminiscent of what I had tried to create.

Even though I told him he didn’t have to, he choked down the entire plate.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Baby Blues II: The Continuation

Last night we couldn't get Daisy to eat her dinner. It's been starting to concern us because she hasn't really been interested in eating for a couple of weeks now. Oh, she'll eat all the white bread I give her, minus the crust--but as the Good Book says, "Man does not live by bread alone."

Anyway, David had the good idea of putting ketchup on her food last night in hopes of tempting her to eat it. But he didn't want to open up the gigantic can of ketchup we bought at Sam's Club (hey, does it really save you money if you never use it but instead go out and buy a whole bunch of little bottles because you don't want the contents of your huge can to spoil?) But, I digress... What's the next best thing to ketchup? Barbecue sauce! Or, as David lovingly referred to it, High Fructose Corn Syrup Sauce.

Oh, it tempted her all right. Next thing we knew she was gagging on a mouth full of cabbage, trying to suck the barbecue sauce off it.

That was kind of it for dinner for me--at least until after they had gone to bed.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Baby Blues

I've been wanting to add the Baby Blues strip to my blog for a while now--just because I love it. Enjoy!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Musical Construction

This is a picture of our back yard. No, they're not putting in a pool--I wish they were! They're widening the drainage ditch that runs through the yard.

Notice how few men are working on it right now. That's because they're too busy...

getting ice cream from the ice cream truck.

The ice cream truck went through the neighborhood last week, too. The kids and I were playing in the back yard at the time (dodging construction equipment). Perry heard the infamous music and wandered toward it, like a bug toward light. This was his first experience with the ice cream truck so he just wanted to find out where the music was coming from. I had to call him back--but not before the truck driver saw us, stopped in front of our house, and then realizing we weren't going to buy any of its wares, slowly drove away.

Perry said, "Did you hear that truck making music? Was that so silly?"

"Yes, I heard it, it was so silly."

"Why was it making music?"

"Um... Yes, I heard it, it was so silly."

I didn't want to lie, but I didn't really want to tell the truth either.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Post-nap Snack

It's just after nap-time. Perry and Daisy are sitting on the sofa with a bowl of popcorn their father gave them to share. He leaves the room and then returns. Perry has moved the bowl from between he and his sister to the other side of the sofa--out of her reach:

David: Perry, you're supposed to be sharing that popcorn with Daisy.

Perry: I decided not to.

Just another one of those times you have to leave the room so he won't see you laughing.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Treasure Hunting

Yesterday evening Perry and Daisy were playing in the living room. While walking through I heard Perry tell her, "Daisy, you are my little treasure." Which is something their father says to them often.

Daisy's answer? What else. "Noooooo."

She responds the same way when I tell her she's beautiful. It's a game for her--to say "no" to whatever you've just said, and then you say it again so she can say it again and grin. You can read the happiness in her smile, the knowledge that she's loved. I'm ruing the day when we tell her she's our little treasure or that she's beautiful and she doesn't believe us. They mean so much to us, our little children do! I want them to always know and feel it. In some ways I wish we could shelter them from every negative thought. But I guess going through the self anxious period is just part of growing up. At least I have a few more years before that sets in.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mommy: The Indoor Slide (a.k.a What I Want to Be)

I made curry for dinner tonight. It turned out to be too spicy for the children, so after they had their second helping of rice they scrambled out of their seats and ran into the living room to push each other in the stroller (Stroller in the living room? Don't ask.). David and I let out a sigh. We tried to keep them in their seats for a little while, but really dinner tonight was just so much more pleasant when it didn't include the entire family.

"I just want you to be happy, but you seem miserable," David said.

Miserable wasn't quite the word I would have chosen. But I was unhappy. These past few days have been really difficult. I tried to think hard about why.

"You know, it's much easier for me to be patient with the kids when they're not whining. I can talk to them, play with them, read to them, whatever...but when they start whining, It just breaks down all my defenses. It's like torture. The CIA should ban whining!"

"Maybe we should start disciplining them for whining."

So we told them. We told them about how our house had turned into an unhappy place because of their whining and that there wasn't going to be any more of it. This was their warning. The next person who whined was "in for it."

This decision made me feel a lot better. I suddenly felt like I was in control of the house again, rather than it swirling through chaos.

A little while later Perry pulled me into the living room to play with him. I had such a weight lifted off me that I was able to really have fun with them. I sat on the sofa while they jumped on me and tumbled off. Then Perry had the good idea of sliding down my outstretched legs onto the floor. They must have done this for ten minutes. It was really a riot--for me too. These are the moments I love. These the ones I want to have more of and remember. Hopefully, with our new household rule, we'll have more of these moments and less of the whining children and yelling, stressed and bummed out mommy.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Public Nurs-ance

A little while back we went to David's art opening. The gallery is a long, narrow, one room space in down-town Murfreesboro called The Alley. The joint doesn't open until 7:00PM and we thought long and hard beforehand on how we were going to attend this thing--since the kids' bed time is 7:00. The last time I didn't go to one of David's openings because of the children he was really bummed out about it--and understandably so. I make a point of going to them now, unless there's a really good reason not to. So our options were:

A) Get a sitter for Perry and Daisy while David, Calvin, and I go to the opening.

B) We all go.

Here's the clincher... The Alley doesn't close until 2:00 AM and we only have one car. Because David's art was there, he had to stay for at least most of the evening in hopes of selling some. In the end we wound up all going. The kids and I left at some sort of a reasonable hour and a friend stayed with David and brought him home much, much later. (Sorry for continuously commenting on how late this place is open, it's just so mind boggling to me why anyone in their right mind would want to be up that late, let alone be out).

We are always nervous when we go out in public at time intervals when the kids would otherwise be asleep. Will they melt into little puddles on the floor? But the kids behaved wonderfully.

While we were there, I had to nurse Calvin. I'm really used to nursing him in public and so it doesn't bother me. I just throw a blanket over my shoulder and the top of his head and we're good to go. No one has ever asked me to stop or to leave and I've got a quick come-back if they ever do.

Most strangers who see a woman sitting with a blanket over her shoulder know what she's doing and just ignore her. That's most people, I guess. While I was sitting there two men walked up and stood two feet in front of me to look at a painting hanging on the wall behind me. I thought they would quickly realize what I was doing and come back to the painting later. They didn't. I guess they were really engrossed. They stood there talking about the painting for a little while before I apologized for being in there way, thinking they would then see that I was nursing and move. They barely noticed that I said anything and continued talking. I just looked down in a sort of sheepish way. Then, one of the men walked right up to me and hovered over my shoulder to examine the painting further. He couldn't have been closer to me if he had been sitting on my lap! And he just stood there, right in front of me, leaning over my shoulder. I finally told him that I would get out of his way and got up and moved. They must have stood there a half an hour more looking at that painting. If only it had been one of David's paintings they were enraptured in I could have forgiven all.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Funny Little Things That Happened Today

When Daisy gets up in in the morning she's a little grumpy--for that matter, so am I. If I don't get into the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face before I get Daisy and Calvin up, the whole morning is a blur.

Anyway, back to Daisy... When I put her on the changing table first thing in the morning, she really doesn't like it. She'd rather me just hold her and take her into the kitchen and get her some oatmeal. However, she really (and I mean really) needs changing. So I try to speak sweetly and gently to her.

This morning I laid her down to change her diaper and said "Hi sweetheart! Did you have a good sleep?"

At hearing this her frown disappears and she says "Yeah!" the way only she can say it.

Me: "Let's have a good day today," trying to be really enthusiastic about it.

Daisy: "YE-ah!!" nodding her head vigorously.

Then she stuck her little foot into my ribs and kicked me--rather hard.

I was stunned.

This evening Perry came into the kitchen where I was washing the dishes.

Perry: "I'm going to sing '2 Little Monkeys Jumping On the Bed.'"

Me: "Ok, great idea!"

Perry: ........"I'm going to sing '2 Little Monkeys Jumping On the Bed.'"

Me: "Ok, honey, go for it."

Perry: ............................

Me: "Are you going to sing it?"

Perry: "It's loading."

I looked at him in amazement. He repeated that "it was loading" and then proceeded to sing the song--but slowly--as though his little internal computer was having a hard time with such a bulky file.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Yesterday, my three year and two month old son wrote his first name! I'm amazed and proud. It feels like the world is right at his fingertips.

Actually, it feels like that for all of them. They are each right on the cusp of a new milestone. I love waiting in anticipation for their next accomplishment.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Family Tree

The other day I took Perry and Daisy with me to Publix. At the check-out counter the man bagging our groceries asked Perry his name. Perry responded with: "Perry, and this is my wife Daisy."

Luckily the man didn't understand what he said.

Perhaps we've been in Tennessee too long?