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Thursday, November 30, 2006

I want this book (I need this book!)

If anyone still has to get me a Christmas present yet, this book would be a good one. Amazon shows used copies pretty cheap also.

Edit: Since someone asked, the book is about CONTROLLING your fertility-that means being able to control when you have a baby and when you DON'T.

It's how you look at it, I guess.....

Tom & I were watching a man on tv go through someone's house, child-proofing everything. We sat there laughing at all the things they were doing. I'm sure it would have been perfectly fine for most children-not ours though. For example, Tom's sitting there going, yeah right! Like that toilet lock is going to keep a kid out! They'd just keep pulling til it broke right off! And I told him, yeah, but some kids would just try to open it and when it didn't open, they'd stop. They're not all like ours(ours would just keep trying until it did break). Hmmm......Does that make our children stubborn, destructive, or just persevering?

Don't I wish it worked that way.......

Leanna said she didn't feel like going to school today. That's the first time I've ever heard that. She just wanted to sit and watch tv instead of getting ready for school. So I started explaining to her how sometimes you just have to, even if you don't feel like it. I explained that sometimes Daddy doesn't feel like going to work, but he has to so we can pay for food, and our house, and electricity....." Leanna interrupted me there to say, "We have to pay for our house? But we already paid that once!"


Since Leanna was around 2 or so, she would tell you-"My Daddy can fix ANYthing!" She really believed that he could fix anything, anything she broke she would say, it's ok, Daddy can fix it!

I think we have come to a milestone moment. Today we were watching a commercial for a kid's show, Handy Manny, where the main character fixes stuff. I said to Leanna, "Hey, just like Daddy!" And she said, "Well, not really. Daddy can't fix ANYTHING." I said "what do you mean?" "Well, he can't fix Grammy's light switch. That's electrical." She's growing up fast!

Just funny

Ok, again from Jenn's blog, she just cracks me up frequently. (Don't worry, it's a short one!) I am thinking that vi-brating slippers would probably feel excellent on tired feet. Since I have not had a foot massage from Tom since BEFORE I got pregnant with Leanna, that would be very useful!

Monday, November 27, 2006
Do you love your slippers like I love mine?
First, yippee that my readers have Lists of 5! Even better that some of you would put Mike Rowe on it. I knew that I liked you readers for some reason besides how cute you are!
Now, because my life has been so awesomely boring, you get the following quoted conversation. You may thank
Chris for the inspiration of using my actual real life as inspiration for an entry when the well is dry.
Clint: What are those on your feet?
Me: Slippers.
Clint: What is that sound?
Me: My slippers.
Clint: (He pauses while he tries to put this information together.) Your slippers are making that noise? Ummmm....wha...why? Why?
Me: They are vibrating slippers.
Clint: The hell? (Thankyouverymuch,
Jenny. It has passed on.)
Me: Vi-Brating Slippers. They’re giving me goooood vibrations.
Clint: Oh, hell no. Hell. No.
Me: And sometimes I sit Indian Style because then they double my fun!
At that point he walked away. Not sure why, but he did. I guess he thought I wanted to be alone with my slippers.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Korinna got a letter in the mail today saying Maree made top three scores of some math test, I believe it was a statewide one. (I don't remember the name of the test). There's a ceremony to present her with a certificate for it also. That's an accomplishment, and Korinna's bursting at the seams with pride. And rightly so.
So a big congradulations is due to Maree when you see her!

Hired Help

I need to hire my husband for a day or two. Seriously. Here's what I can think of off the top of my head..........We need him to fix the back door and put the inside front door up again (warmth issues). We need him to fix the stupid blinds again. He needs to finish the upstairs bathroom where the lights are just hanging because he never finished the job. He could put together Justin's toy garage that he got for Christmas last year. He could fix the thermostat on the back porch-giving us heat again- so that your pee doesn't freeze before coming out! He could hang pictures. He could re-do the computer which he's been meaning to do for forever! He could fix the vacuume cleaner again (broken same spot on the hose that it was when we got it). He could fix the cabinet doors that are falling off or the door that Leanna actually did pull off. And then there's the drawer that keeps falling apart(fixed three times already). While he's at it he could hang Christmas lights.......heck he could even spend some time with his kids so I could get some stuff done!!

Surprise visitor

We had a surprise visitor last night. We're sitting there watching tv, waiting for Gilmore Girls to come on and waiting for Tom to get home. I hear someone loudly knocking on the door. I know it's not someone we know, because anyone we know well knows that there's a doorbell inside the door. So I approach cautiously, looking out the window before opening the door. It's a policeman!
"We had a 911 call from this address?" "Oh! The baby was playing with the phone!" So he said it was ok, but took my name, birthdate, and phone number and suggested I check the phone since it was busy when they called back. I apologized again. He was very very nice about it.
What are the odds that he would dial those particular numbers, in order, and when the phone was on!

Monday, November 27, 2006

You can eat animals?!

Tonight Leanna was asking me questions about Wilbur and Charlotte (from Charlotte's Web). She wanted to know why people wanted to eat Wilbur the pig. And how could Charlotte save him? So I'm trying to explain to her that pigs are where ham comes from. And I'm explaining that they cook the pig and cut it up to eat it (yeah it's sounding really gross to me to). I can tell it's not quite getting through though. And then all the sudden she exclaims, "You can eat animals??!"

through their eyes

I love it when I catch a glimpse into how children see the world. In Justin's world, every woman is a Mommy and every man is a Daddy. I remember when Maree told Tom and I what we did for a living. Tom fixed people's houses and I gave kids cheese. This is when I worked in the deli. Everytime Maree came in I would give her a piece of cheese because we gave out free cheese to kids. So Maree thought that was what I did all day long-give cheese to kids!

I spent a long time yesterday trying to explain to Leanna why a character in a movie didn't remember that she'd already met another character (because this was the second time we'd seen the movie, Leanna thought the woman should already remember the man since she met him the day before). No amount of explanation could make it clear to her. It's an excellent illustration of why you have to be so careful about what children watch. They just don't process it the way adults do. They don't understand that what they see isn't truly real.

Oh no!

Just had a terrible thought! My Mom's raw diet means there won't be any snickerdoodle cookies this year! Or those little coconut flake ones she makes! Not fair!!

Sunday, November 26, 2006


I love this woman's writting and her sense of humor. I'm thinking particularly of Sue here when I post this. The author's mother died within the past year I believe and she's had a very difficult time with it. This is just beautiful:

Monday, November 20, 2006
When the moment arrives, dance as if no one were watching
When someone you love dies, there are moments of unguarded grief when something will remind you of the person you loved and it will pour over you and soak you to the bone. Moments you don’t expect. Moments such as being in the grocery store and you see her favorite food and it feels as if you were punched in the gut. Or you are mindlessly channel surfing and come across her favorite show and the air is suddenly sucked out of you like you are drowning. You pray those moments will come fewer and farther between each other. Or that you will at least get a warning when they are coming. You long for the day when you will have a memory that makes you smile. Maybe, just maybe even laugh. Though, there is a part of you that feels as if that is a wish that will never come true.
Growing up with Mom was not your typical experience. She loved music and singing and dancing. While other kids were singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” I was singing Three Dog Night’s Joy to the World or Harry Belafonte’s Day-O. Yes, the blonde haired preschooler in pigtails busting out with:
Day-o, day-ay-ay-o… Daylight come and he wan’ go...home ... Day, he say day, he say day, he say day, he say day, he say day-ay-ay-o ... Daylight come and he wan’ go ...home ... Work all night on a drink a’rum ... (Daylight come and he wan’ go home)
It was always fun. I could bust a move on the drop of a dime. And had no problems doing so. It was just how it was. I learned early on how to dance as if no one were watching. How was I to know what other kids did or songs they sang? I had a blast with Mom.
Last night, the family went out to dinner after the soccer festivities. We went to a small burger joint that tries to have a 50’s diner feel to it. It’s good food and fun music. After we all sat down and had our food, I heard it. I knew it by the first note.
Bah nuh nuh (There was no way I could resist singing it.)
Jeremiah was a bullfrog Was a good friend of mine
Gabriella giggled. Clint and Brandon ignored me. Zarek waited to see what was next
I never understood a single word he said But I helped him a-drink his wine
I leaned into Gabriella and sang out:
And he always had some mighty fine wine Singin’...
I could not resist the dance. How could I resist the dance? People would stare, but I would dance as if no one were watching.
Joy to the world
I spun
All the boys and girls now
I laughed
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
I danced.
Joy to you and me
Gabriella got into the spirit of things and seemed to sense it was something bigger than her Mom just being silly and dancing. Something was happening that she wanted to be a part of.
If I were the king of the world Tell you what I’d do I’d throw away the cars and the bars and the war Make sweet love to you Sing it now...
Joy to the world All the boys and girls Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea Joy to you and me
Jiving with Gabriella and laughing.
You know I love the ladies Love to have my fun I’m a high life flyer and a rainbow rider A straight shootin’ son-of-a-gun I said a straight shootin’ son-of-a-gun
Joy to the world All the boys and girls Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea Joy to you and me
It had happened. The moment I had waited all these months for and doubted would ever come. That moment anyone who has ever lived through grief waits for doubting it will arrive yet holding your breath hoping it will.
It was happiness.
It was joy.
It was Mom.
Had I closed my eyes and reached out my hands while I spun and sang, I have no doubt I would feel Mom’s hands in mine enjoying the moment.
It arrived.
In the moment there was the joy I waited for. The peace I craved. The memory that made me laugh.
Joy to the world All the boys and girls now Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea Joy to you and me
Posted by
Jenn on 11/20 at 09:35 PM Parenting • (21) Comments • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Leanna filling out extra bank slips she took home

In our basement play/laundry station, Leanna often does bank work. Justin is displaying a piece of cardboard he found.

Amusing children

Today we had a few stops to make, including the bank. The tellers all know us on sight, we're kind of hard to miss with the big double stroller. And when Leanna's with me (not as frequently now that she's in school) she tends to be memorable all on her own. She always insists on writing her own bank slips and handing them to the tellers. The teller we got today asked Leanna how much she wanted to withdrawl today. Leanna told her $70 dollars. "Oh, what are you going to buy with that?" Leanna though for a minute and then replied, "a house." Needless to say, the teller was amused by this answer. Leanna then clarified that she wanted a little house with furniture. She started to go on but then the teller asked Leanna if she had made a Christmas list. I answered for her, no we have to do that together yet. The teller asked Leanna if she had been good. Leanna hid under the desk and just looked up at me, answering the question without saying a word. The teller then asked Leanna, what will be on your Christmas list? Our little comedianne replied, ever so seriously, "It's a long story."
Later in the afternoon we were on our way home. Justin asked where we were going, and then why. I said we were going home because we were tired, Mommy was tired, Leanna was tired, and Justin was tired. To which Justin replied, "I tired of standing in the corner!"


This is from a blog started by a man whose perfectly healthy wife suddenly became ill with flu-like symptoms about 2 weeks ago and was admitted to the hospital, where she quickly fell into a coma. She was a 29 year old Oak Ridge wife and mother of two young children. She and her husband had just recently done a vow renewal. She died right before her 10 year old's birthday.

I include the link because it's a reminder to be thankful for all the wonderful and not so wonderful things in your life. You never know when it could all be taken away.


Justin is currently fascinated with the concept of bones (and that everyone has them). He will go through the list of people in his family, asking if each person has bones. He does this with other body parts occasionally too. I guess it's funny to know that everyone has a heinie and a nose! He first noticed bones under my neck and wanted to know what they were. He thought they were funny.

Clogged arteries are showing up in kids!

I've read before that they've found signs of heart disease in two year olds. What I like best about this article is that scientists are finally focusing on PREVENTION, not on what to do after you have the heart attack!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Remember Get Smart?

Follow the link to see who's been cast in lead roles for the movie version of the old goofy show, Get Smart. I used to love that show when I was a kid!!

Monday, November 20, 2006


I had the parent-teacher conference today. He said he had no problems whatsoever with her conduct (that was my biggest worry); in fact he looked really surprised when I questioned him about it. He said that she sits at a difficult table to behave at because she sits with all boys and a few of them are trouble-making ringleaders. He said her reading and writing skills are fine, they're at level but there's room for improvement. Although he tries not to put kids in groups of all boys or all girls or even just one opposite sex member; he said he had to with Leanna because he has to keep the kids in groups of the same level with reading. Otherwise they would get too frustrated if the others were ahead, or too bored if they were ahead.
She received the same scores in math, but he said he's more concerned about the math skills. In math she knows the numbers but needs work on the concepts (groupings, recognizing them out of order, etc). Next week they'll start doing graphs and he said they have only a week to master the skill before he has to move on. I think they cover an awful lot of material. Other than that he just stressed reading to her or maybe practicing things with flash cards. He recommended the simple few sentece books you can buy specifically to help learn reading. He said they sell them at dollar stores-I want to go out now and look!
So overall it was very positive. But there's room for improvement. I'll have to make it a goal of mine to find more time for Leanna. Sometimes I'll do real good, watching her do homework step by step, going over the papers she brings home and making her sound out words. Other times I get distracted or too busy or tired. It's something to work on.


I had the root cannal this morning and am happy to say that it was a breeze compared to having the 3 wisdom teeth removed. Hopefully aside from a cleaning I won't need to go see him for a long time!!

Mommy cures

This morning Justin told me he had a grouchy head. He wanted me to kiss it to make it better. I hope it always stays that easy!!

Manners already!

I love that one of Timothy's words is already "please." I've heard him use it (correctly) different times, different days. That's just music to my ears! He can say the usual Mama, Daddy, hi, bye, hello, more, words like that. Lots of words I've heard him say a few times, but I wouldn't really say they're part of his vocabulary yet. Actually I most often hear him repeat phrases rather than use a single word. The most often used phrase would be "I see you!" (as in, peekaboo, I see you!). This weekend I saw him look over at my Dad and say "Pop-Pop". I was impressed, especially since Timothy's still afraid of my Dad. Generally Timothy's ok with him as long as he doesn't get too close. Too scary! I've heard him say a pretty good version of Leanna's name. Sometimes if I ask him to he will repeat Justin's name.

Because Mother Nature Made Bottles For A Reason

Funny, I'm glad someone said it!

Sample: ".....Some parts of the breasts are okay--the cleavage, for instance--but the utilitarian parts are, objectively speaking, abhorrent. Victoria’s Secret employees understand this. They spend their days supporting and lifting the objects in question, so they know. And when a nursing woman was asked to feed her child in the employee bathroom, that’s what they were trying to teach her—that those circles in the middle of the breasts are the dirty bathroom parts. And yet she failed to understand. Her response? “I don't eat in the bathroom and my daughter doesn't eat in the bathroom.”

Chocolate milk helps athletes replenish

"......a group of scientists recently discovered that one of the most effective drinks to help athletes recover after exercise is the same thing moms across America have been giving their kids for years.
A simple glass of chocolate milk...."

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Why batteries aren't included

From my word-a-day email:

From: Tyler Kenney (tyler.kenney Batteries not included
Speaking as a member of a large toy manufacturer, those $2 batteries wouldend up costing you at least 3x their price if included. The manufacturertakes their hard cost and adds their margin, then the retailer does as well.If the batteries don't need to be in there, it's better for all parties.----------
From: cafewalter (from bulletin board )Subject: Batteries not included
I'm a (very small) manufacturer of battery-powered devices. Although I do ship my goods with batteries, I have some insight into why others might not. One big reason is that they're HEAVY. It adds substantially to the shipping cost, and also to the risk of damage owing to sudden acceleration (bumpsand drops) during shipping.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Blah Humbug

Someone broke into the van last night and made away with many of Tom's tools. They broke open one of the wing windows. So he spent much of the day fixing the window.
It's really frustrating that we just can't seem to get caught up. I really hope this string of bad luck breaks soon. Every time he's supposed to have a big job something happens, every time we start to get caught up....surprise! All sorts of things have been going on that just are not good. It's been really messing with my normal holiday spirit. I love Christmas. It's my favorite holiday. Normally if things are not going well it doesn't bother me so much because I'm still having fun going around buying stuff for the kids and everyone. This year I haven't been able to buy very much at all, and I'm just going to have to be very cautious about spending. So Christmas shopping isn't distracting me from our problems this year, it's adding to them. I can think of 19 people that we have to buy presents for, though I might be forgetting a few. Hopefully Black Friday will help restore my normal holiday spirits. At least somewhat. And then decorating the house might help also. Well, I have to find my holiday spirits no matter what, it's part of my job as a parent. If nothing else, I should be able to fake my way into it for them. Which would be good for me too I guess.

Much appreciated

Tonight Laura stopped over to visit while she was doing her laundry at my parent's house. She asked if Timothy needed clothes for Christmas and I said I wasn't sure, I still had to go through his stuff again. On a whim I asked her if she'd come upstairs and help me. She agreed and we sorted through his stuff, getting rid of all the stuff too small or just seasonally inappropriate. She helped me carry the neatly piled clothes over to the boys' room and add it to the other dresser. I've been wanting to move his stuff from the baby changing table into a real dresser for a long time now. But doing that stuff alone would have taken me 2-3 hours between stops to take care of the kids or deal with discipline, trying to carry the clothes through the hall while holding Timothy(to keep him from trying to go down the stairs himself), etc. I think it took about a half hour with Laura's help. I know it was a small thing to her, but I wouldn't have tackled it tonight without her help. Having someone else there really made such a difference. I wanted to say thank you for that!!!!

The tea party

After the cookies were made we sat down at the table to have some tea and cookies. Leanna wore her Cinderella costume(what better occasion is there for it?!) and enjoyed some mint magic tea. Always the rebel, Claire refused tea and drank soda. She only came over because she heard we made cookies. Justin was having one of his ultra-crabby nights (where he refuses to fall asleep and so obviously needs to), and Grammy held him so I could finsh up the cookies and get the tea, etc. Thank you to her and Aunt Laura for all the cookie-making help!


Leanna enjoyed the flour a little too much.

Almost done making cookies....

Laura thought it was funny that I wanted to get a photo of the entire outfit.
Here Timothy can't wait for the cookies, so he eats the table.

Making Fairy Princess Cookies

One of Leanna's 5th birthday presents had been a bag of fairy princess cookie dough, iceing, fairy dust(sprinkles), and a fairy wand to go with it. We planned all week to make them Friday night and then have a tea party afterwards. We were all tired by the time they were finally made so it was a quiet tea party.
Here's some shots of the cookie-making. They started out with a normal mix.....then it started turning pink.

Spending time with Aunt Laura

Just hangin' out on the couch together

THe club-house

Leanna and Justin made a club-house Friday night. As it was also the night of Leanna's fairy princess tea party, Leanna put on a slip to make cookies. So Justin put on one of her slips too. Here he is fixing the clubhouse, drilling a wall into place.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Dizzy Boy

Every once in a while I will look over and find Timothy turning around in a circle, over and over and over! He seems to really get a kick out of it.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

the kids

I love their eyes! I couldn't get Timothy to cooperate though.

Justin was pretending that the corn flakes were a box of pizza. Note the laundry above their heads on the couch-that would be Timothy's work.

Imaginative play

Justin was playing with some of Leanna's unsharpened pencils last night and he told me, "this is me and Mommy and coffee!" It was unclear whether the third pencil was supposed to be a cup of coffee or if it was just a person named coffee. Good to know his imagination is working well.

I guess he likes Ravioli

Leanna forgot to take her Ravioli dish to the sink and Timothy found it.......apparently it was good.


A really really bad day. A trip (in the rain) to the dentist's office to confirm that I do indeed need a root cannal. He said, "I didn't want to tell you the last time." I guess because I was in enough pain from getting the 3 wisdom teeth removed. $75.oo for him to tap on the tooth that's hurting and tell me that! Tom's in the wrong field. So I have to go back Monday and have part of a root cannal. Did I mention we don't have dental insurance?
I am so tired of being in pain. It's been one thing or another this year. Frankly, the dentist is starting to annoy me. He just goes so far out of his way to reassure you that it bothers me. He's kind of smarmy. My sister's gone to him and she agrees. Then we got absolutly soaked comming home. One bright spot was that a lady stopped in her car and yelled out to ask if we wanted an umbrella. I told her no, we're almost home. A minute later her car pulls over (she'd turned her car around) and she hands the umbrella to me. That was really sweet. Sometimes people can be nice.
Going home was just depressing.....The house is trashed-the kids have spent this week getting into stuff. Last night Justin took out two pans and decided to skate around the kitchen floor with his feet in them. Today Timothy took out all the remaining pans to play with. And earlier this week Leanna and Justin took out all my cookie cutters. I couldn't get too mad because they came over to me with big smiles on their faces, here Mommy-we made you some egg salad! And they had a big plastic container filled with cookie cutters. That was the "egg salad." So now I have to wash all the cookie cutters and the majority of my pots and pans. We've had so many appointments lately-I'm sick of waiting around in offices. I can't fold laundry around the kids anymore because Timothy grabs all the wash and throws it in and out of the basket. Sometimes I think I'm being sneaky and will almost have it all folded and he'll come over and knock all my piles over.
It's just been one of those weeks where everything has been going wrong. Drinks keep spilling, food isn't eaten and there are messes everywhere. The kids have been obnoxiously loud and fighting constantly. Justin woke up this morning yelling, Leanna hit me! Even after I explained to him that she couldn't have, she was still sleeping, he still kept insisting she had! Justin ripped two library books, and in the one book he ripped two pages. I'm just overwhelmed by how much there is to do. And very tired.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Kicked off the plane

Hopefully no one uses Delta airlines.
Heaven forbid anyone see a bit of breast! Or a child being quiet and content during takeoff.(though you can walk out your front door and see plenty of "boobage"walking around with no purpose other than to be seen. That's all I'm gonna bother to say right now.


"You cannot use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have."

Maya Angelou

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Justin's 2 year old checkup(late)

We finally went for Justin's 2 year old checkup. In my defense, at Justin's last checkup the doctor did say I didn't have to bring him in again until he was 3 or 4 unless I wanted to keep shots current! The doctor and I had discussed how these well-check-ups are largely a waste of time, and he said that Justin's doing fine, unless he gets sick, there's really no reason except shots, for him to come in. But I do like to find out how tall they are and how much they weigh(and how it compares to others). So anyway, Justin is 35 3/4" tall (85th percentile) and weighs 26.5 pounds(about 35th percentile).
It was weird, as soon as we walked in we ran into one of my sister's apartment mates. She even did Justin's finger-prick test (hemoglobin levels and for a lead level). Generally Justin cooperated with coaxing. They had him wear a little mini-hospital gown. That's a first. They had a medical student do most of the check-up. He seemed nervous and had trouble getting Justin to cooperate. He just didn't have the manner that most doctors seem to have. He asked Justin to demonstrate turning pages in a book and moving his hand back and forth. Justin playfully refused. The first thing the doctor said when he walked in was how Justin looks like the kid from the 6Th sense. Eyes, nose, hair-everything! By now I'm just nodding my head, yes, I hear that often. The doctor really got a kick out of it though. Well, I just hope he won't go through the awkward stage that kid(from the 6Th sense) is in now. (no drunk driving either!!)
Boring visit. I was surprised to learn that Justin's so tall. And no shots today!! Yay!
Most embarrassing moment: The doctor told Justin, "Ok, you passed!" Justin only knows the word passed in connection with gas. So guess what he thought the doctor meant! He said, "I passed gas?"

Is it me?

Another one from the coincidences post-I'm starting to wonder if Tom or I have some similar problem. I think really we just have bad luck with electronics and appliances! Almost 2 years ago I got a brand new coffee maker and microwave for Christmas. The coffee maker never worked right and died this past year. I then broke the glass plate in the microwave(while cleaning it!) and it eventually started sparking and catching on fire. Our video camera is broken and you know about our digital camera that went for repairs for like 5 MONTHS!! We had to get a new dishwasher this year (though to be fair, the old one was maybe 20 years old). The thermostat Tom put in the back porch room about a year ago is broken and we think the house thermostat is off too! The computer on the third floor has been slowly dying for the past few years. There's probably more that I can't think of now.

The post:
I was talking with a group of people, told them all to hush (don't remember why), and a few seconds later the phone started ringing. They got really creeped out. :)
Funniest(for observers...): technology HATES me. Street lights, cd players, radios, house phones, work phones, fax machines, all computers, appliances, cars, you name it. They just FAIL. I counted NINE street lights turning off as I drove under them last weekend. My cell phone is the worst, it drops every (and I mean absolutely EVERY) call I make. Everything else just breaks or malfunctions. Even my friend's car GPS thing suddenly thought we were in Portland, and we live in Seattle. He was so confused... You have no idea how often I hear, "sorry, this really never happens!" when a cash register freezes up or the gift card de-magnetizes and never works again. The IT guy at work is convinced that something about my magnetic field just messes up all electronic things. Too bad, 'cause I would totally be a techie...
Posted by:
Eve November 13, 2006 at 10:02 AM


Ok, Dilbert again. He asks his readers to post amazing coincidences. All kinds of stuff about people meeting people from other countries here or viceaversa........I just got a kick out of this one:
I went to visit my sister, who I hadn't seen in several years. I got off the plane, and she was there to meet me and she was wearing the exact same shoes as me and had an identical purse. Wierd.
Maybe not so much a coincidence, but a case of "Oh great I am a product of my DNA and environment and there is no free will and I am just the output of some program. sigh."

Posted by: Penny November 13, 2006 at 10:16 AM

Monday, November 13, 2006

What's new in kindergarten

Leanna's school gave her perfect attendance awards for Sept. & October. It's like little dog tags attached to her bookbag with the school's name on it.
So far as I know, she's doing all kinds of shapes-drawing them and recognizing them-in school right now. Still working her way through the alphabet, perfecting the letters, and writing words that start with the same letter. Twice a week they go on computers to do math and reading programs. She sings America the Beautiful in her cute little kid voice. And she only occasionally messes up the bigger words in the pledge of allegiance.
We got the book-It pizza certificate last month, working on this month's (you have to read 3 books a week to her-easy!) When asked, Leanna said she's learning how to do games and puzzles. She already learned counting!!

Still painting

This is what I'm working on currently. It's a jewelry box for Leanna for Christmas. I have to fix the flower in the middle yet. The kids kept crashing into me, making my arm jump while I was painting the flower.

Making food

Wasn't that so nice of her? Leanna made cheerios-in water-for Justin to eat. And since he liked it, she decided to do half the box at one time!

Crossing my fingers.........

I'm crossing my fingers that this will be not an aberation, but the was a very good day. Leanna got up, got dressed, put her shoes on, brushed her hair, and ate her breakfast. And I didn't have to yell at her once!! That never happens! Do you know how nice it is not to have to spend the time before school yelling at her and settling disputes between Leanna and Justin (mainly)? It really affects your mood. It was wonderful. After school we even managed to get home with only one small incident(she hit Justin, not hard though). Usually she comes out of school full of energy and it comes out in negative ways. Without any yelling-me or the kids-I bet the neighbors didn't even know we were home today!!

dysfunctional family letter generator

Take a quiz to find out if you have a dysfunctional family and if you do, write them a letter!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Just curious........

Anyone know where to find a pretty crockpot? I know, sounds silly but I'm looking for one that isn't plain white. If I have to look at it, might as well be pretty. I saw Target has a plain red one on sale this week, but I was hoping to find one with pretty flowers or something. Anyone seen any?

Evil evil mornings

I don't even want to think about what next year will be like when I have to get up early every day to get the kids ready to take Leanna to school. UGGGHH. I am not a morning person.

Timothy-getting better

Timothy's still feverish, off and on, and wants to be held a little more than usual, but other than that he's normal. I had to take him to the doctor yesterday because you have to go back 2 days after this one shot he had at his check-up. They check if there is a bump on your arm where the shot was given, and if there is it means you have some kind of rare lung disease. Timothy doesn't have the lung disease, but I mentioned the fever to them and the doctor said, well since he's here I'll check him just to be sure. We were the only ones there, it was so nice! So they took his temp, and she checked his breathing, eyes and ears (to make sure there wasn't an ear infection). Everything checked out ok. She said that the fever just means his body is doing it's job-making anti-bodies to fight the shots. She said they don't know why some kids get fevers and others don't. (So there's no worries of Scarlett fever Sue!) I'm glad my kids are as healthy as they are. I've been really lucky in that respect. That whole wisdom tooth-ordeal really brought home to me the meaning of the phrase, "if you don't have your health, you don't have anything."

Friday, November 10, 2006

Timothy's feverish

Last night Timothy started getting a fever around 7 or 8. His doctor's appt. had been at 9 in the am, and he had no reaction to the shots up until that point. It started out slight, but then he got really hot and just stayed in my arms, sleeping off and on. I figured it was just a reaction to the shots and nothing to worry about. But then he was warm enough that I got the thermometer to check. An under-arm temp of 100. I don't have a lot of experience with really sick kids, but I vaguely remembered from the time I called for Justin that a temp can be fairly high and still ok for a child that young. I wasn't worried, I just figured I'd just keep him undressed and make sure he didn't get too warm. I know that a fever can be the body's way of getting rid of impurities and it can actually help you to heal faster. So you don't always want to get rid of a fever. I had to get up for a minute and had actually thought he felt slightly cooler when I had Tom hold Timothy. Tom was worried as soon as he felt how hot the baby was. He asked for the thermometer and took his temp under the arm and then in the mouth twice. He got an oral temp of 103.2. I gave him some children's tylenol then. Tom was ;really worried so I figured, well, better safe than sorry, right? So I called and they have a nurse call you back. We must have got a new one because she didn't sound very sure of herself and she kept reading the same stuff from her computer over and over. She had us take a rectal temp. too (I made Tom do that). I finally had to just ask her-what temperature would he have to reach for us to need to take him to the hospital? She said 105.0 or over. That was all I really wanted to know. Aside from sleeping extra and not being as playful as usual that night, he was normal. The nurse concluded the same thing I did-it was just a reaction to the shots and all you can really do is give Tylenol and water and keep him dressed light.

He's still warm, but not as bad as last night. The nurse did say that the fever can last a few days and still be a normal reaction to a shot. Wow. This is the first time I've had to deal with something like this. Poor Timothy.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dr. checkup

Doing the pain-in-the-butt well checkups again. Late, but better late than never. Timothy is exactly 19 pounds at his 1 year checkup. He's 3o inches tall which is between 50th and 75th percentile. His weight is between the 5th and 10th percentile. I asked about percentiles, otherwise they don't tell you.
We had a nice doctor today too. It figures he was just visiting-he has his own private practice, he was just helping them out. He was older and foreign-two qualities that usually mean the doctor's info is outdated, but not in this case. This guy encouraged me to continue breastfeeding; said if people say things about it, that's their problem, not yours; he was anti-medication, by which I mean that he urged natural cures first, drugs as a last resort. He was going through a general overview of the next year and even mentioned that children's cold medications don't work and generally make children hyper and jittery, which I have read also.

The lower weight in comparison with other kids his age is probably largely due to his still breastfeeding. Add to that the fact that I don't give the kids juice(which adds sugar which adds weight) only water and milk. Plus my kids are all pretty picky.
Also keep in mind that kids today are getting fatter and fatter. Basically what I'm saying here is nobody need worry about his weight. He is well above average in development, if there were a problem it would show there.

Yummy smells & tastes.

I made apple bread last night with a little help from Leanna (she poured in a few ingredients). I highly recommend it-it smells heavenly while baking! Then you eat it warm with butter-sooooooo delicious!


Yesterday Leanna became a member of our public library. She now has her own card. The librarian explained the rules to her. This is exciting to me. It encourages her to read and find things that interest her and it's a good lesson in responsibility. Because any books she checks out she answers for. We have ripped pages before. Maybe now this will stop. Last night Justin tried to bite one of the books she got on her card. "No Justin!" she yelled as she grabbed the book. "I'm sponsible for that cause it's on my card!"

Good news!

The actual article isn't so exciting, here's my summary of the important parts:

"Bargain hunters are in for fire-sale prices this holiday season, although shoppers at upscale stores still may have to pay top dollar........... Wal-Mart will likely step up pressure on other retailers of toys and electronics. In a statement to investors that accompanied the October results, Tom Schoewe, Wal-Mart's chief financial officer, said: "Price rollbacks on key toys that went into effect in mid-October generated significant lift in unit volume." ...........Discounting will be particularly welcome news for lower-income shoppers. They haven't seen the same kind of momentum from wage growth and jobs creation that well-heeled consumers have felt. The Labor Department's latest numbers show that the industries that have been hiring are in services, education and health, while the number of retail and manufacturing jobs has fallen.........."Persistent gains in jobs and income are skewed toward the management and professional jobs held by higher-end consumers," says Frank Badillo, senior economist and vice president at research firm Retail Forward. "

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I feel the same way.....

A Post from Katie Granju:

ferber and teenagers
Today someone was telling me how hard he finds it to hear the baby of a friend cry herself to sleep. This friend brings her baby to work with her and at naptime, she shuts her in a spare room in her portable crib and lets her scream and sob herself to sleep. So other people in the office have to listen to it and it's really hard to hear.I have always just HATED hearing babies and very young children cry. If I am in a store or waiting room and I hear a baby crying and can see that no one is picking the baby up or offering any comfort, I feel like my head is going to explode and I often have to leave. I just cannot bear it.I always want to go up to the mother or father of the crying baby and tell them how short the time is in their child's life when all it will take to soothe him/her is some cuddling and holding. As the mother of three complex, very different children who are now 15, 11 and 8 years old, I long for the days when I could make my children's tears stop by simply rocking them or nursing them. It was all so much simpler then, and I wish I had appreciated that period of mothering more at the time. Now, I'd give anything for one more chance to go back in time and rock a sleepy, baby Henry until he nodded off. I wouldn't miss a single opportunity.

Big Families, again

Another article, this one asking if big families really are on the rise.

(When Martin crunched the numbers from a 2004 government survey — the most recent available — he found that 28 percent of women age 35 to 44, who are winding up their childbearing years, have three kids or more. Ten years ago, it was 29 percent. The numbers for younger women haven't budged much, either.Martin says it's not so much that big families are back, as that they never disappeared in the first place. "Large families have consistently been common," he points out. )

The idea that brothers and sisters teach each other social skills is a popular one among big-family moms, and there's research to back it up. A 2004 study of more than 20,000 kindergarteners across the country found that teachers rated students who had at least one sibling as having an edge in social skills: better at making friends, better at helping other kids, and more tuned to the feelings of others. (The catch: having any siblings was what made the difference, and kids with lots of brothers or sisters didn't have any advantage over those who had just one.)

Researchers have also turned up some downsides to big families, although experts argue about how valid they are. About a hundred years of studies — from the 1870s to the 1970s — found that on average, the bigger the family, the lower the intelligence of the kids. One theory holds that as a family grows, the parents have less time and money to devote to each child's education and intellectual development.But some researchers think IQ scores have more to do with socioeconomic characteristics — large families are still more common among low-income parents with less education, and kids tend to match their parents' academic achievement. "It's factors like income and education that the studies are actually measuring,"

Rodgers also believes the effect of family size on both intelligence and social skills pales in comparison to parenting styles. "Imagine two households, one with four children and one with two," he says. "In one household the parents spend a lot of quality time with their kids, the house is filled with books, and the food on the table is nutritious. In the other the parents pretty much ignore the kids and sit around watching TV. What do you think is more important: The number of children or the quality of the parenting?"

I would guess that parenting style would affect quite a bit here. There's a huge difference between large families because the parents aren't careful or want more welfare and parents who truly love lots of kids. There's a huge differnence between parents who love their many kids but don't bother with them and say, a large homeschooling family who do put the effort into spending time with the children. Just as families with only children can do much to teach their children social skills. Today kids go to preschool and daycare and gymboree, or even just hang out with their Mother's friend's kids or their cousins, etc. so they have plenty of experience sharing etc. There are so many stereotypes out there that people apparently still believe-like that all only children are spoiled or all large families force the older children to give up their childhood to raise their siblings. Yes, there must be some families out there that fit those descriptions. But hey, there were only three of us and I spent a lot of time helping with my baby sister-and loved it. (that's just my personal example) Plus I think that parents today are aware of those stereotypes and therefore make effort not to rely on the older kids so much in a large family, or to make sure their only children do play with other kids. I doubt these things were ever as much a problem as people seem to think anyway.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Books & kids

Justin enjoyng Curious George and Leanna fell asleep one night "reading" my library book.

New boots

Here's Justin, showing off Leanna's new boots and his baby. And the lovely necklace.

(I can hear Pop-Pop J. worrying now)

A day's work

Here's what we did today since Leanna had off from school: the giant green blog is a Daddy Dinosaur (by Justin), the otehrs are various paintings by Leanna, and the white thing is what I'm working on now.

Havin' a party

This is Justin playing that the "people" (paints) are having a party.


This font is red because I am red-faced. I really really wish I was one of those women who have it all together. Work a job, volunteer, raise the kids, keep a perfect house, and still have time to go out with friends and husband and do things I am passionate about. Sadly, this is not me.

Now, I can be creative, but the house just has never got the focus of it. And the few things I've wanted to do to the house(I know how I want to decorate both bathrooms) have to wait for Tom until I can start. There are other things I can think of, but they cost $ we don't have. Although the main thing stopping me is TIME. The kids drain so much of my time and energy. And right now I'm trying to work on making Christmas presents. I can only do one project thing at a time. So my kitchen table is covered in paints and wood stuff and paint-brushes and sandpaper. If I was single I would have it cleaned up in between working on stuff. But that would waste valuable time for me-as it is I get stopped a million times while I'm trying to work, by the time I give up trying to work I have to make supper or pick up Leanna or take care of something else pressing. This does not make for a clean house.
And last night the kids were crazy and Tom didn't get home until about 8:30 and by that time although Justin was exhausted he didn't go to sleep he just enjoyed sitting with his Daddy and Timothy refused to sleep also. So only Leanna crashed and I never got the kid-free time I needed to straighten up. Why am I writting this?
Because my mother-in-law brought stuff into our house today while I was still in the bedroom with the kids. We were actually up, but hadn't gotten dressed yet or even out of bed. We were just playing together since Leanna didn't have school today so there was no rush. We thought we heard someone yell, but I just dismissed it as a kid yelling outside.

Of course she picks a day to drop by when I haven't cleaned at all the night before. Of course she picks a day when I just collected the dirty laundry and piled it on the kitchen floor, intending to take it down the the basement the next day. The floor was a minefield of toys, blankets, and other unknown objects. I hadn't vacummed or even done dishes the night before. Eeek.
Not that my house is particularly neat on a regular basis, but it's not always that bad. So while I'm greatful that Santa-in-law, I mean Nanny Sue dropped by, I really wish it had been on a day when the place looked normal!!

Big Boy

I've noticed Justin's really been maturing lately. He's asking more intelligent questions and understanding more of the answers. He's been voluntarily using the potty quite a bit, even getting upset when his Daddy tells him to just go in his diaper (because Tom doesn't feel like taking him). He had stopped using the potty for a while, so whatever prompted him to start again came solely from him. He's been very into having stories read to him the past few weeks. That is a big change for him. I could read little books to Leanna when she was a tiny baby, and she would look at the pictures and then eat the book. Justin could never be bothered with it. Not even to eat them. But all the sudden he loves books. And sometimes he will read you a story too. I love that-you find out the most interesting things about how they see their world. For example Justin was reading a highlights magazine with a picture of a boy and girl. He looked at the picture and told me sadly, "Girl can't kick." Gee, who does he have in mind there?!

A compliment

This morning Leanna decided she would pick out my clothes. She knocked the drawer out of the dresser though(it doesn't have anything to keep it in the dresser) and everything fell out. She found an old heart shaped lace sachet, which she just loved. I explained what it was for and she sniffed it deeply. "It smells like Aunt Laura made it!"

(Aunt Laura always smells good)

Monday, November 06, 2006


We had a nice time this weekend with Aunt Laura helping me get the kitchen cleaned enough to bring down paints (with Halloween costumes out of the way we are currently doing painting projects). I got a little done and Leanna had a lovely time making a giant mess. Then Sunday we walked around Q-mart, and found a couple small Christmas presents. Leanna is very upset because she thought a present we bought for Aunt Laura was going to be for her. To her credit, she was all excited about sharing it with Aunt Laura when she visits. But she was really upset, crying that she knew Aunt Laura would never let her play with it and would just put it away!! And afterward we spent the evening with Nanny Sue and Pop-Pop. Nanny Sue (& Pop-Pop, unknowingly) was playing Santa Claus a little early. The kids must have had a lot of fun too since afterwards Leanna asked them if she could come back the next day!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Why you should never fall asleep at (our) family parties

These are Laura's pictures of me decorating sleeping beauty. (I love you Claire!!) It could have been much worse-my cousins tried to give Tom a swirlie to initiate him into the family!

(For those who don't know, a swirlie is when they hold you upside-down in the toilet bowl and flush).

scary fall

This morning Timothy fell down the steps. From the top. I saw his little body tumbling over and was actually holding Justin, who I had to throw onto the couch in order to get there quicker. (he wasn't hurt) I arrived at the same time Timothy landed. Lukily for me, no matter how many times I clear out the bottom of the stairs, there is always a pile of something there. In this case a bunch of shoes and slippers broke his fall, and he only had a bloody lip. He must have bit it in the fall. Thank God that was all that happened! I could tell from his cry that he was only scared and not really hurt. He was more subdued than usual after that though.

morning dreams

Leanna dreamed this morning that she and Maree were in the living room playing beach. Both Pop-Pops were there, although they looked alike. She said there was only one Nanny Sue though, and I had to laugh at that, because they surely broke the mold after they made Nanny Sue! Lol! There is only one Nanny Sue!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Christmas shopping-question

`As my sister pointed out to me, Thanksgiving is only three weeks away! Yikes! In theory, I knew this. But it's suddenly hit home that BLACK FRIDAY, my favorite shopping day, is almost here and we still don't have money for Christmas!! Usually I put aside money for Christmas well in advance, say from income taxes or an extra large paycheck or whatever. Then I slowly chip away at it, buying a present here and there. I do the bulk of the shopping Black Friday and after. And I like it that way.
But this year has just been really rough. We didn't expect his Uncle to stick him with no work in the beginning of the year. It took quite a while to get caught up from that. Hopefully it was a good thing because it forced him to find other work. He's been working completely on his own projects since June. Which is scary. He loves the freedom, but you really don't know when the money will come in. And then jobs just kept getting delayed or cancelled. Jobs that were supposed to leave us with extra money ended up with extra expenses or just took so long that the "extra" money ended up having to go to bills. And we've just been struggling too much with the regular bills to put any aside. So pray for us that he will get a job big enough to put aside Christmas money-and soon!! And feel free to mention him to anyone who is looking for work done to their homes!!
Anyway, thinking about all this has left me do you, dear readers, do your Christmas shopping/planning? Do you set aside certain amounts to spend on everyone on your list? Do you just buy and then try to even it all out? Do you make a list? Do you buy it all months ahead of time and have it all wrapped and waiting? Do you ask others for ideas for presents or just completely wing it? I'm not looking to change my methods, I'm just curious how others do it.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Weird PA

I'm enjoying this book about our weird state. Even Tom stopped to glance through it and he doesn't read! I found one so far that I am sure I know of.......Hexenkopf road. And I'm pretty sure that I went (with other people, duh) looking for the place called Cult House, Devil's Road or Satan Road. I think it's the same legend. I just started the book last night. Libraries are wonderful.

PS> Hey Laura, there's a shoe museum in Philly.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Moments of happiness

Yesterday Timothy walked over to Justin and gave him a long hug. A real one. Justin was really thrilled and so was I!

Why I blog.....

"The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions -- the little soon forgotten charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment, and the countless infinitesimals of pleasure and genial feeling."
— Samuel Taylor Coleridge

For a few quotes and pretty pictures

"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I cannot reach them: but I can look up, and see their beauty; believe in them and try to follow where they lead…"

"All things are literally better, lovelier, and more beloved for imperfections... .that the law of human life may be effort, and the law of human judgment, mercy."
— John Ruskin

"Youth would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life."
— Herbert Henry Asquith

"I like trains because they make sounds that fit their bodies."
— Brian Andreas

"Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy."
— — Guillaume Apollinaire