Thursday, December 18, 2008

From My Children's Minds...

Evan asked, as he was laying in bed at 9:00 last night:
How are bagpipes made? I bet it must be some kind of whistle.

Colby woke up singing (to Santa is Coming To Town) at the top of his lungs:
Santa Claus is going to jail.

When did bagpipes enter our lives? Why is our child asking when he should be sleeping?

I frequently hear the boys playing cops and the common phrase "I'm gonna under arrested you! You're going to jail!" We've had English lessons - you can be under arrest, or arrested, but not under arrested.

A day in the life...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snow Day?

Welcome to our snow day. Ok, ice day. This is the view leaning out of the front door. I'm sure if I ventured farther than the porch it's slick, and last I checked it was +4, with a windchill of -10. I really didn't put out 6 cans of trash - it was 9 cans & bags of leaves. I should send them to TX so my nieces and nephew can play in the leaves in the fall. My Kansas City cousin is enjoying it - I think they got snow to go with it and make it worthwhile. We've played legos, done laundry, dishes, fought over TV and generally crabbed to each other. Yippee - can't wait for Christmas so we can do this every day for 2 weeks! We are stir crazy, and it's only noon. We don't sit at home well. At least my Christmas shopping, wrapping and shipping are done.

We got our Holiday gift from the hospital this week. Now I can be a homeless bag lady. Over the last many years, it's been 2 blankets, 3 different size backpacks/ duffel bags, a lawn chair with umbrella, a crank radio, and a calendar every year. If you want me to use a calendar, I need it in about August, not 2 weeks before it begins, and I don't need to know when New Employee Orientation is every month, and I already know when payday is - trust me! The calendar didn't make it home. The joke yesterday was that we could pack our belongings in our bags, sit in the lawn chair and be protected from the rain, ice and sun, with our crank radio/ flashlight, and be warm with our blankets while we sleep on the vents right outside the back doors of the hospital that are covered every morning with homeless folks. It was a long, busy, not fun weekend at work and we must make bad, insensitive jokes about it or go crazy. I really would be happy with a $4 coupon to the cafeteria - it's a little more useful in my world. Tom will get his holiday gift this week with his paycheck - it's not a duffel bag or calendar. Yeah, I like his job.

My uncle sent me this song about Illinois politics - I appreciated it.
"Get packin', Rod Blagojevich,"
by John McHugh
(to the tune of "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen")

Get packin', Rod Blagojevich
The state's in disarray
The Tribune wants you unemployed
At least by Christmas Day.
The TV pundits want your head
Could there be pay to play?
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy
Save Illinois!
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.

Good riddance Rod Blagojevich
Your Elvis look's inane,
The Senate's mad, so's Lisa's dad.
You drive us all insane.
Our transit's broke, the state's a joke,
The Tollway's one big pain.
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy
Save Illinois!
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.

Good luck old Rod Blagojevich
The feds have quite a place.
Fitzgerald's poked his nose around
And if he has a case,
George Ryan's moving stuff around
Creating extra space.
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy
Save Illinois!
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.

Have a good week, All.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Boy Scouts & Life Lessons

We made a cake. Ok, Evan made a cake. I supervised and did my best to keep my hands out of it. I gave him the choice of a tree or snowman to help me figure out what candy stuff to buy. I did the icing on the cake, Tom put circles on for the body, and Evan did all the candy decorating. It's for a Scout party that he isn't going to, but he will still get a cooking merit badge for the cake. Tom made plaques for 1-3 places. Evan broke my heart, but it's a life lesson he has really already learned. Sometimes, parents get carried away in these projects, and the kids never get their hands on them, but yet it's supposed to be "theirs." And sometimes those d@#$ parents win design trophies for their kids and the kids who did their own work get nothing. It's not rocket science to know what was done by a 6 yr old vs a 46 yr old.

"Mom, it kinda looks stupid. Everyone else's is gonna look better. Mine's not gonna win."
"But you did it, Evan. It's all yours. We helped with the hard parts, but it's your cake, and I'm proud of you for doing all the work."

Growing up is hard to do, and I hate it when my kid is disappointed, especially in himself. I think it's a cute snowman, and looks quite tasty.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Strep throat hurts. It really really hurts. After a long weekend, I now have drugs. Antibiotics are my friend. Unfortunately, Tom now has a sore throat. Evan has a dr appt later in the week for his sleep/ anxiety issues. This week, I am so glad we have insurance. I am so glad we both have jobs that are relatively recession-proof. And I am glad we have Christmas shows on TV to watch - Grinch and Shrek tonight, Charlie Brown next Monday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ho hum

Ho hum, life is moving along. It's not too exciting in the cornfield, which is just fine with us.

Tom is studying for his CCNA - Cisco Certified Network Analyst exam, which really means he has a legit excuse to come home, take over the computer and hide in the basement. But he does laundry while he's studying, so it's ok with me. When I start screeching at the kids, he surfaces and sends me to bed.

Evan - still up several times at night, but not up for very long. I really think the kid believes he can't go to sleep without one of us there. He wakes up, comes to find me, I tuck him back in and sit in the living room for 10-20 minutes, and I go back to bed, several times a night. He's pretty excited to decorate for Christmas on Friday, at least until the first friend calls. Then he'll ditch me, I'm sure.

Colby - stealing E's nintendo every chance he gets, and wreaking havoc. He's watching Dora Saves the Puppies for the 47th time this week, and I should be cleaning the toy room while he's busy.

Me - had to work a bit extra, but I'll enjoy it in the paycheck. Working for a large employer, employee satisfaction isn't high on their list, but I've paid my dues. Next time, I'll be sure to come to work with my 103 fever and share it with all my coworkers and patients. My mother told me if I didn't have anything nice to say, I shouldn't say anything at all, so I'll move on.

We are looking forward to a quiet long weekend. T-day is at the local parentals - just 8 of us, which will be nice. Decorate and veg on Friday, maybe a train show and/ or a craft show on the weekend. I'm not brave enough to take kids out on Friday, so maybe I'll net-shop.

My brother leaves DC tomorrow for his home and terminal leave. He has been separated from his family by Uncle Sam for 17 months, hating most every minute of it. I can't believe he is finishing 20 years in the Navy in February. Wow, he's old!! Good luck with the integration - while I am sure my SIL can't wait to have help surviving this game called life, she's also gotten the house and the kids on her schedule and groove, and he's coming home to retirement. Don't you have someplace to go everyday? Do you have a job yet? Seriously, I am proud of you, Big Bro. Congratulations, and you deserve a little time off.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It Didn't Kill Me

We did something tonight, E and I. I signed him up for an exercise class at the local rec plex. He wanted to play basketball before we left. I did play with him, and it didn't kill me. When I posted the "Accountability" post almost a month ago, we had played kickball after school several nights in a row. I hurt horribly from muscles that haven't been used. Three weeks for me at the rec plex and C-man going to the daycare in the mornings hasn't killed me! I *almost* like it. C can go to E's exercise class next week - I did't realize he was old enough - and maybe they'll both come home tired enough to sleep! The scale hasn't budged - I do like to eat - but I feel better, and maybe I will train with E in the spring for his race.


Sleep... where art thou?

It all stopped when Evan was about 2 1/2. Halloween was the beginning of the end of peaceful nights. He became scared of everything, and it hasn't stopped yet. He spent many months of the 2nd pregnancy sleeping on our most uncomfortable hardwood floor, including with his head under the cradle when Colby was born. He even got gently kicked a few nights of those 2 am feedings. He didn't care. Last year, Halloween, Fire Safety and Drug Awareness week all happened at the same time. Before it was done, I told our doc that he needed to medicate one of us, as we were both up for an hour or so several times every night, scared, unable to go back to sleep, afraid of everything. We had many talks about the house burning down, us dying in the fire, him having to get Colby out and breaking the window, who would take care of them, that yes, Uncle Ed would bring them back to our town to visit family and friends, and he would remember to call g'ma and she would pick them up from the cornfield airstrip - a whole spiraling story that he fixated on. A few days ago, he walked into our bedroom while Tom was watching CSI and caught maybe 3 minutes of it. The last 2 nights, we are back to taking forever (literally, over an hour with him laying in bed in the dark, before I handed it over to Tom) to fall asleep because he is scared. Tom was in the living room, just outside of their bedroom door, and had to go to the bathroom. Evan thought Tom had left him and gone to bed. He burst out crying, terrified, with huge alligator tears. Yes, we did everything wrong as parents according to Spock and T. Berry Brazleton, and almost 7 years later, we are still paying for it. I nursed him to sleep for a year, held and rocked him until I couldn't move his 50 lb bootie from the glider to his bed, and am doing it still with Colby. He's got a sippie of water, flashlight, stuffed dog, sound machine with birds chirping all night long (his sound preference), the ceiling fan humming, and his brother in their room together. Last year we even tried several weeks of Benadryl on school nights. Didn't help. I'm sure he won't be waking up when he's 16 wanting to crawl into our bed (some high school girl maybe...), but I'd like to sleep several nights in a row before then, without an elbow or knee in my back. All those things I thought were awful before I had children - the things I swore my kids would never do - an adult sleeping in the basement and 2 kids and an adult in a king size bed really doesn't sound so bad at this point in my life. Co-bedding is an evolutionary mechanism. If we can't procreate, there is no competition for the existing children.

My whine for the day. Should have taken a nap instead of cleaning the gutters, but there were trees growing from the gutters on the garage. Maybe we'll all sleep better tonight.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Results

It's official! Obama wins, at least in first grade. 18-4 was the final count, with 100% of the students in attendance voting, only once. The voting officials assured us that no dead people voted. There were no problems or even long lines reported at the polling place, except for the incident where Susie kissed Jimmy, and Johnny pulled her ponytail.

I'll just be glad to see Merry Stinkin' Greedy Materialistic I-Need-That-Toy Christmas commercials instead of campaign ads. I'm a little crabby - our county finally sent out property taxes, due in December and January. Bah humbug, that messes up the Christmas cash flow. At least we've already got the big Santa gift for the kids- I love it when he delivers early. Just wish Wii could get it out and use it...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Colby's Comments of the Day

As we are walking past the local funeral home...

Can we go see Uncle Albert in the bed?

As we are walking home from playgroup...

The leaves are falling on me. Why are the trees tired?

I can't quite get him to understand the death and burial process. I told him Aunt Buck was going to see Uncle Albert where he is buried in a few days. That just confused him more. Uncle Albert is not at the funeral home anymore. One of these days he'll understand.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Can someone smarter than me tell me how to get these pics to show up in the slideshow box at the top?? I know I have smart friends who read this!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Rough patch

If you know my mom, say a prayer, send a happy thought, send a card. Her sister went to the nursing home 2 weeks ago with alzheimer's having gotten the best of her. It hasn't been a great adjustment, which was expected. Her best friend, Vel, from Columbia passed away yesterday. She and I are making the roadtrip - Col, Nauvoo??, here? this weekend. I'm driving, she's navigating where she needs to be. Vel was 88 (I think), and didn't graduate from high school. She was very self-conscious of her writing and spelling, so would make her daughter write her cards for her. She always remembered the big days in our lives, including sending my kids $2 bills for their birthday or Christmas. They started the Quarter books which has driven my mother nuts for the last several years. So glad the US Mint is almost done with that! I think she had told us for the last 10 years that she wouldn't make it through another winter. Rest well, Vel. I'll think of you every time I see a $2 bill.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Another weekend at work - I learned CF sucks. Wait, I already knew that. If my children ever have a chronic illness, please don't let that change the way I treat them. Chronic illness should not equal wimpy, puny, pathetic or rude, especially to the folks trying to help you get better.

On to the point...

Our school participates in a big marathon in the big city every year. The kids who want to are asked to complete 26 books, 26 good deeds, and 25 miles in their community, and the last mile is at Forest Park on the day of the marathon - Read, Right and Run. I told Evan I would run with him last year when we did this, but didn't get my butt moving. Now I know that we can't run with the kids on marathon day, but that doesn't mean I can't challenge and help him. Last year, he walked the mile with a volunteer and cried. This year, I'd like for him to feel like he can actually run it, and he's starting to get a tummy like his parents. I ditched the Weight Watchers membership today, and joined our rec center last week. Now it's time to get serious. It's too easy to skip the WW meetings and waste the $$. There is a pool that the kids like at the rec center, which will get us through spring break on a 6 month membership, when it's warm enough to be outside. Poor Colby - one morning last week we were walking after I dropped Evan at school, and it was 42 outside. Little chilly when you're in the stroller, not generating any heat. If you see me on a regular basis, hold me accountable for going to the gym. Hold me accountable for eating crap and drinking soda. Encourage my kids to eat good stuff, despite their sweet tooth. Give me trouble for feeding them fried chicken for dinner. I can probably learn to cook healthy, if I put forth a little more interest and effort - right after I learn to cook...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Kitchen

There's the before, more or less...

Memorial Day weekend - the beginning of kitchen demolition.

We bought this house from Tom's parents when we were expecting child #1, but I never really planned to stay here for long. It's little, old, and needs lots of work. I have figured out that we aren't going to put it on the market and get a bigger, nicer, fancier... maybe next summer. We bought it, it's ours, and it keeps me working part-time, not full-time. With that, we have (ok, Tom and his dad) gutted & redone 1 bath, added a 2nd in the basement, a playroom, bedroom, and utility room in the basement, and most recently, the kitchen. I think we're staying here till it's paid for, at which point having the 2000 square ft house with the $200,000 mortgage won't sound so appealing. We'll just have to add a wheelchair ramp!

The men in my life do some good work! Yvonne & Rosie, thanks for the decorations.

The Birthday Boy

We celebrated this weekend. It was a party for the birthday boy, but also a "we're close enough to done remodeling to show off our house" party. Colby has more trucks, tractors, fire engines, ambulances, Batman and Leapster stuff than he knows what to do with. He is having so much fun with his new loot! We all enjoyed an afternoon with family and friends, sitting on the patio, munching in the new kitchen, and the kids trashing the playroom. All of Tom's siblings, my parents & sister, Colby's daycare buddies, and Evan's friends that have younger siblings Colby's age all came over to celebrate. And to think, 3 years ago I was a week overdue and making everyone else miserable. I can't imagine life without him. What a joy!

Monday, October 6, 2008


Mizzou played Nebraska on Saturday. #4 ranked Mizzou. Mizzou harvested corn in Nebraska by the time it was done. GO TIGERS!!

Work lesson of the weekend - don't ride your bike home from the bar if you actually drank at the bar. You might get hurt. If you choose to drink and pedal, you should wear a helmet. I appreciate the gas conservation effort, but you negate it with an ambulance ride.

Oh, poop. Tom had a great weekend with the boys, and Colby is getting the hang of potty training. I was a little worried that he'd want diapers back, but they did fine. Amazing, dads really can handle things when we let them. I should get out of my own way more often. We got 1 kid out of diapers, and the other 1 needs them today. I really hate it when my kid stays home because it's the right thing to do, not because he feels sick. He's driving me nuts, and creating more poopy laundry. Really, he could go to school with a change of clothes, couldn't he?? I am pretty sure his teacher doesn't need that to deal with, and it wouldn't get me "mother of the day" either. Another day in the life...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What Are They Learning?

Do you know what our kids are learning in school? Evan and I talk the most when he should be sleeping. Tonight, that was 10 pm. Bad parent, bad, bad. As he was laying in bed, he was telling me about 5 ships in the ocean, "like 20,000 miles, not like a big ocean." He weaved Christopher Columbus into it, so I thought they had talked about Columbus Day coming up, but then he said they were off the coast of Somalia. Ok, Chris wasn't near Somalia, was he? And you do know he's been dead for about 500 years? No, now, not way back then. Wow - current events - social studies - in 1st grade. Not just the cheesy weekly reader magazine. There are plenty of pirates off the coast of Somalia holding boats hostage and getting millions of $$ in ransom to fund the Taliban. I explained the pirates were really bad guys and would kill if they didn't get their ransom, but left the Taliban and Iraq out of it. He knows there's a war and his friend and neighbor's dad is gone until next summer training & fighting in Iraq, but we can save that for 2nd grade. I'm still waiting for the computer lab to be kept up like it should be, a real library in the school and art classes, but at least they are getting real news. He knew about the hurricanes a few weeks ago, too.

It's 1st grade. I can read the readers, I can quiz the spelling words. My kid brings home sounds tests. I'm sure I learned it - I can sound out words in a dictionary - but it's already greek to me. Bring on the math - that I still know. E asked me how to spell "ray" - a middle name. Then he told me all about the sounds the "a-e" combination make. Go to sleep, E. I don' know or care how her parents chose to spell her name.

Colby? 4 accidents today, the first day we ventured out of the house for more than an hour or so. Yesterday? No accidents. Time to do some laundry...

Happy Anniversary, T. I'd do it all again.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Miracle Sunday


This post started out in my head about how cute C and his buddy Steven were this week in church. Evan wanted to sit in the front row, which was fine. The band started playing & singing, and C was in the front row, fingers in his ears - it was too loud. It was hysterical in church, and we are a pretty relaxed crowd. My friend's husband and teenage daughter sing in the praise band. Her 2 year old walked up next to his daddy and big sis and grabbed an open (and turned off) microphone and started singing during 1 of the songs. Just hilarious, and so stinkin' cute!

Now, for the sermon...

Is God at work in your life?

Today we celebrated Miracle Sunday at church. We are building a new church, sometime soon. An anonymous donor donated $30-40,000 to the building fund, on the condition that the rest of the congregation matches it on a given Sunday, in addition to regular giving and our building campaign. We have had yard sales, ebay auctions, a silent auction at church - anything to come up with "extra" money. We have also celebrated God's miracles in our lives. It's not about the lightning strikes, it's about the small things that have made such an impact to change our lives.

It's about a country church and the adults that embraced me as a teenager when my parents divorced, supporting me through college and beyond, starting my walk as a Christian.

It's about taking that first "real" job 500 miles away from home, only to find out home is what you make of it, not a place on a map.

It's about a chance email address from a friend and co-worker, who is now my sister-in-law and aunt to our kids. Eight years of marriage this week - woohoo!

It's about infertility after a successful pregnancy, and a pregnancy with no drugs and only 1 ovary.

It's about watching my mom get sick and feeling helpless. And watching my dad and stepmom help my sister and I to help my mom - families coming together in unexpected ways for unexpected things.

It's about a warm, welcoming church when I felt isolated and alone in a corn field in Illinois. Five years later, I don't want to be anywhere else on a Sunday morning or Tuesday night.

Did you make plans for your life when you were 20? I remember talking to the Wesley pastor. My plans? Move to Ft. Worth, work at the hospital where I was born and spent quality time as a preemie 34 years ago, own a Ford Ranger, be a department manager in a big hospital. At that point, there wasn't a husband or kids in the future. I couldn't think that far ahead. I did all of that except buy the Ranger and be a manager when I graduated from college, and it wasn't what made me happy. Now I've got the F-150, work as little as I can and still pay the bills, live in a cornfield of a town, and raise kids - none of which were my plans. And I'm happy, and God's in the middle of it. I still would like to live someplace bigger, but my husband's family is here and it's a great place to raise kids, and that's more important.

And the total for Miracle Sunday?? $55,000, + the donor's $$.

Let's go dig a hole. God has more work to do in this cornfield.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Superheros, Undies and Soccer

Evan playing soccer, Colby watching soccer holding his buddy's very special fillup tractor, and a weekend outing to Meramec Cave earlier in the month.

E's bizarre bedtime conversation...

Mom, can you fix a broken head?
Well, it depends on where and how hard you hit your head. But it's a definite hospital stay, so let's not do it, whaddya say?
I was thinking, if I was a superhero and hit the bad guy with a brick in the front and the back and the very back and...
Good night, Superhero. Close your eyes, close your mouth.

Colby is in day 4 of underwear. It's about the third time I've tried this, and maybe it's finally working. 4 changes of clothes on Monday. None today. Woohoo!! He certainly has not been like his brother to potty train. E was much easier and less stubborn. C would prefer to just be naked, and really isn't bothered by wet undies. I want to be done with diapers, but he could care less. I can count the number of accidents E had on one hand since we put him in undies, including at night.

For those of you who thought you were coming to a soccer game and then C's birthday party, the game got moved... to tonight. There was a miscommunication and we thought it was practice. Oops, nope, game. We lost 0-2. E had fun, got a little exercise, and all was ok.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Birthday & Welcome Back

Yesterday was my dad's 67th birthday. I did call and wish him a happy birthday, twice. Colby gets mad if he doesn't get to talk on the phone, so we called a second time - happy birthday papaw, wuv you, goonight. As Tom has worked evenings for the last 3 months, we call him at work and tell him about our evening. So to Colby, every phone call ends in wuv you, goonight.

For those interested, Tom is working on the trim in the kitchen this morning- 4 months of hard work, 3 hours at a time in the mornings and all day on Mondays. When he goes to days next week, his dad can move the morning coffee/ work session across town to Tom's sister's house. Aunt Buckie is packing up and moving today and tomorrow. Perhaps a bit bittersweet for her as she is leaving the last place she and Uncle Al lived together, but we are all happy to have her in town. Evan has heard the stories of his older cousins when they lived across the street from Aunt Buck the last time they were here, and he is ready to create his own memories. He asked this morning as we were walking to school if he could ride the bus home to Buckie's house. Not today - movers won't be here until tomorrow. He wanted to buy her 2 carseats for her birthday. Welcome home, Buckie!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Question for the Day

Evan's question for the day, 9/22/08:

Do dogs and people go to the same cemetery?

Good question, but we don't have a dog, and won't have a dog. Nobody has died since Uncle Albert in May, so I just had to wonder where that came from. Tom answered it - he buried his dog in the woods. Papaw didn't think it should be buried in their yard in the city, and Tom thought the dog should be able to run in the country. It just led to more ?'s about dogs running free. Good night, Evan, you're stalling sleeping.

Colby's conversation for the day, 9/22/08:

As I pick him up from library, his first adventure on his own as a toddler...
M: Did you have a good time at Library?
C: Where?
M: Where did you just spend an hour?
C: Here, at the "libary?"
M: Yes, at the library.
C: What did we do here?

C's fascination for the week, and foreseeable future is a catalog of farm implements and dealers from Napa. Other folks pick out houses from these magazines, but C has latched on to tractors. Mommy, read my story. What dat tractor doing? They are all "fill-up" tractors - anything with a scoop or bucket. Lookatdat fill-up tractor.