December 22, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Teeny Tiny Bit Like Christmas

I finally hauled the Christmas decoration stuff down from the attic the other day and put some things out.

Everything has to be placed above the 3-foot (read: reaching grasping toddler hands) level so it's not exactly a balanced look.

I do like decorating the top of the piano! Maybe by next year the phone won't have to sit there, too. Or the *ahem* multiple remotes ...

The Boogie thinks that the nativity is called the "actibity" and when we correct her still has trouble with it.
"I love the actibity!" she'll exclaim.
"Nah-tivity," we correct her.
"Nah ... actibity," she tries again.
She helped me decorate but I added the lights after she had gone to bed. "Look, stars around baby Jesus!" she said in the morning.

That afternoon we met Eric for dinner at Chick-fil-a. The Boogie loves to eat there but is always apprehensive about going because she is deathly afraid of the cow (and anyone else in a giant costume.) When she found out where we were going she asked, "Will the cow be there?"
"I don't know," I answered.
"Well, what day is it?" she asked.
"It's Tuesday," I said.
"Is the cow there on Tuesdays?" she persisted.
"I don't know, honey," I said, "I don't remember if I've ever seen him there on a Tuesday." That satisfied her. And then of course the cow was there, dressed in a Santa costume, walking around and waving at children and having his picture taken with them. As soon as the Boogie saw him she lost her appetite. She couldn't eat because she was watching to make sure he didn't come near us, and when he did walk past she plastered herself to my side. The Pheebs, on the other hand, is totally unfazed by people dressed in giant cow costumes, and waved and "high-five"ed this one every time he came by.

After Chick-fil-a we went to pick out a Christmas tree. On our way there Eric asked the Boogie if she brought any money. When she said no he said, "Oh, no! How will we pay for the tree? Maybe they'll take a trade and we can leave you there and take the tree home with us." She has been very gullible lately, and has a hard time telling when we're kidding. It's as if she knows that really, truly, we can't be serious but just the same maybe we are serious ... So she protested on the verge of tears at being left at Lowe's in exchange for a Christmas tree and even after we assured her that we were just kidding she didn't seem too sure that it was really only a joke.

By the time we got home and got the tree in the stand and Eric figured out what was wrong with the strings of lights it was way past bedtime so we promised the Boogie that we would decorate the tree the next night, and we did. Peabody thought it was loads of fun to shove plastic ornaments into the branches and then pull them out again. The next day when I had to constantly chase her away from the tree I realized it was probably a mistake to let her help decorate. Both girls had fun, though!

The last thing was to put the penguin on top, the doing of which I am positive I took pictures of but somehow are not on the camera memory card.

And that's about as decorated as this household gets. Maybe next year we'll put some lights outside.

December 13, 2011

Goodbye, Dog

Sophie was sweet, friendly, obedient, well-behaved, and just about anything you would want in a dog. The only thing was, this mama couldn't handle having a dog in the house. I thought I could, I really did. I didn't know it would make me so anxious and stressed and overwhelmed. Eric and the Boogie were disappointed -- Eric especially was, but he could see how much it was affecting me and agreed to take Sophie back to the shelter. She will make someone a fantastic pet, and I regret that it didn't work out for us to keep her. I feel guilty for not being able to handle it ... and at the same time I feel sooooo relieved that we don't have her any more. We'll try again someday, probably when the small persons are all bigger.

Despite how overwhelmed I was and how it ended up, I'm thankful that we got to have her for a little bit. We've just about got the Boogie convinced that it was a "vacation" for Sophie, and that's how I want to remember it. She is a real sweetheart and I'm praying that she ends up with a fantastic family who will love her to pieces.

December 4, 2011


We got one!
She's an 18-month-old Bassett mix that we found at our local animal shelter. We had been looking for many weeks, checking shelter websites and stalking Craigslist, and praying that if God wanted us to have a dog He would make it very clear. She caught my eye at the shelter and when I saw that her information said that she was good with children and babies I thought we should meet her. A few days later we got a phone call that our application had been approved, and Eric picked her up after work!

Her name was Sookie and she was a surrender. She's such a sweetheart it makes me wonder what her previous owner's circumstances were that they had to get rid of her. Since we're not really into the whole vampire thing we changed her name to Sophie.

She loves Eric and thinks she is his lap dog.

Sometimes they take naps together.
She is really good with the girls. She even slept with the Boogie one night. I went in to check on them around 4:30 in the morning and poor Boogie was curled up in one corner -- she'd kicked the covers off and Sophie was laying on them. A coworker had a crate that was the perfect size so now she gets to sleep in there.

Peabody thought it was soooo fun to play in the crate. She also will go up to the dog, offer her hand to be licked, and then say, "ewwwww."

Sophie is a good dog, and smart too. Even after just several days she has picked up on a few commands and knows some of the things she is allowed and not allowed to do. She was very anxious when left alone at first -- we had to gate her in the kitchen at night and when we left. The first night she paced and cried all night and we ended up sleeping on the couch with her for a few nights after that. I'm very thankful for that crate -- it was very nice to be able to sleep in my own bed all last night! She still barks and cries when we leave but we don't have to hear that since we aren't around, and I'm not concerned about her getting into anything anymore.

I've had a bit of a difficult time adjusting to dog ownership. For whatever reason it has really stressed me out and made me very anxious. Every day I'm a little bit better but I never expected to feel this way when we finally got the dog that we've talked for years about getting! I'm very glad we didn't go the puppy route this time. I didn't think I'd be up for all of the work that goes with a puppy, and now I know for sure that I can't handle that right now. Maybe some day when the kids are bigger and can help. Anyway, with God's help we are working through the initial adjustment period, and it truly seems that He has blessed us with the makings of a wonderful family pet.

November 30, 2011

Christmas Baby

She isn't really a baby anymore ... but she's my baby. I call her that all the time. She probably thinks it's her name along with Pheebs, Peabody, and P-Biz (Eric's latest nickname for her.)

Isn't she cute?

Here are some comparison pics of the Boogie at the same size.

Peabody has peed in the toilet or potty four more times over the past week. She never tells me she needs to go, but if I sit her on there from time to time she occasionally produces something, and it's always immediate so I know she has some ability to control it. I have to say, I'm impressed every time. We shall see what happens ... I'm not holding my breath that she will magically potty train herself at a super-young age.

November 27, 2011

Oh, Boogie

Tonight at church someone told me that he and some other folks had been discussing some Boogie-isms, like this one: once while song leading during a church service, BIL2 asked if anyone had any praises or testimonies. The Boogie's hand shot up before we could stop her. "Yes?" said BIL2, "Do you have a praise?"
"Well, I think so," the Boogie shrugged, "I guess."

And this one: one day months ago she told FIL, "I know everyone that I know ... but I don't know strangers."

On the way home from church tonight she asked me the meaning of several words. One was "bidet." Bidet? Really? Honestly I think she made it up not realizing it was a real word. I didn't care to explain that one, knowing that she would be fascinated and just pass it on to her cousins, so I asked, "What do you think it means?"
"Well, it just means when you're angry and you're mad and you're angry. That's just what it means." Right. "Okay, Honey, let's think of some other words we can talk about."

A few minutes later she asked, "Honey, how do you spell 'tea'? Tea is a drink, and it's also a letter, but I'm talking about the drink."

At bedtime the Pheebs climbed into her sister's bed. We tucked them both in together and said good night. "Noooo!" protested the Boogie, "I want Peabody to sleep in her own bed!"
"Why can't she sleep in your bed?" we asked.
"Because my bed is very special to me and I just want to sleep in it by myself."

On the morning after Thanksgiving the first words out of her mouth were, "It's after Thanksgiving, now can I watch Charlie Brown Christmas?"

Tonight she wanted to watch the show about that red-nosed reindeer whose name she thinks is Ludolph.

Several days ago she asked Eric if she could watch "Lou's Clues."
"Oh, you mean Blue's Clues?" he asked.
"Okay," she shrugged, "if that's what you want to call it."

Yesterday morning she said, "What are we going to do today, Honey? I wanna go somewhere fun."
"Where do you want to go?" I asked.
"I wanna go to Chickfila for lunch and Friday's for dinner."
"Who's going to pay for THAT?" asked Eric.
"You are!" she said, poking him in the chest.

Today I mentioned to Eric, "Wouldn't it be fun if all of my family could meet us in, say, Florida one Christmas? All of us together, no gifts, just a really fun trip!"
The Boogie's ears perked up. "I wanna go to Florida! Would Pops and Lela be there?"
"Yes," I said, "Pops and Lela and your cousins from Washington. Wouldn't that be a fun trip? Maybe we can do that someday."
"I wanna go for Christmas!" She was very excited.
"Well, maybe one year we can go for Christmas, but it would mean no presents. Would that be okay with you, to not have any presents, just a fun trip?"
"Well, maybe we could just bring some presents," she raised her eyebrows quizzically, "some very small presents, like this big," she measured a few inches across with her hands. What a negotiator.

November 24, 2011

Quiet Thanksgiving

We always spend Thanksgiving day with Eric's parents, but they are out of town this year so we decided to have a quiet day at home with a very non-traditional meal of salmon and rice. It's a good thing we didn't make any other plans because the Boogie woke up with an upset tummy. She has spent the morning on the couch watching the Macy's parade. Hopefully she will recover quickly like she usually does, and the rest of us can avoid it, since Eric has four whole days off work and I know he would rather not spend them sick at home!

I am so thankful for:
-my husband
-our healthy children
-our wonderful extended family
-our home
-our jobs
-a loving, forgiving, caring, merciful, gracious heavenly Father

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
1 Chronicles 16:34
Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.
Psalm 75:1

November 23, 2011

18 Months Old

Eighteen months old already!

At 18 months the Pheebs is wearing size 18-24 month and 2T clothes. She is wearing size 4 diapers and size 5 in shoes.

Her blonde hair is finally starting to grow in nicely. It's long enough on the top to comb to one side or the other, and curls up in the back when damp. I'm pretty sure that we will enter mullet territory sometime in the next six months.

She had her 18 month check up last week. She was
24 lbs 5 oz.
32 inches
and in the fiftieth percentile ... I think. I asked someone to write it down for me but she forgot and then so did I. We go back in a couple of weeks so I'll ask for it then. Poor little girlie had been running a high fever all of the day prior to her appointment and while the fever broke early that morning, I wasn't comfortable with her getting shots right away, so we'll go back for that. (The Boogie got her flu shot and did great! No tears at all. What a big girl she's getting to be.)

The Pheebs is just so much fun to have around. I LOVE this age. She is like a little sponge. She repeats anything and everything we say. She follows simple instructions like "Go get a diaper" or "Throw this in the trash." She says "thank you" all the time and usually adds "bye!" at the end. So we'll hand her a diaper to throw away and she'll say "Dain doo, bye!"

She tips her head to one side and asks, "why?" Sometimes she pauses then adds, "you do dat?"

The Boogie builds towers out of nesting/stacking blocks, and Peabody counts "One, doo, tree!" and knocks down the tower.
Action shot of Peabody bouncing a block off of the Boogie's head.

When she sees letters she begins to sing the alphabet song.

When she sees a rainbow she sings a song about it that she learned from "The Cat in the Hat" on PBS.

We have a travel-size Doodle Pro. It looks a lot like this. 
Peabody loves that thing. Sometimes I hide it from her because she drives me crazy with it. She brings it to me and pushes it into my hands pleading "Mama Mama Mama" and I have to draw something for her. Then she says "Dain doo, bye!" and sits down with it and scribbles all over what I drew and then erases it and then wants me to draw something again. Sometimes I draw shapes and name them -- last night I drew a triangle and she named it before I could! Impressive. I also draw faces: happy, sad, angry, surprised. She can identify those too. Sometimes we do corresponding voices which is hilarious. "'appy!" she says in a bright voice; "saaaaad" she says in a sad voice, then reaches out to pat my shoulder, "it's mmm-may [okay]"; when I say, "show me surprised face" she raises her eyebrows and shrieks; angry is a deep growl along with a grin -- she can't keep a straight face.

She loves music and dances around when we are listening to something upbeat. We listen to Pandora a lot and while I prefer Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald, sometimes I will turn on the toddler station and the Pheebs will sing along and dance all over the place to "The Wheels on the Bus" and her favorite "If You're Happy and You Know It."

The big purple dinosaur is still the only guaranteed soother for the overwrought toddler, but lately Blue's Clues has also become very popular around here. It is very repetitive which is comforting to small persons. Peabody chants along to the phrases and does the hand motions accompanying them.

She is hitting the Boogie much less than before. She is generous with kisses (sometimes.) She really loves her sister. At bedtime we pray together and then she immediately kisses the Boogie goodnight. Then she tries to tuck the Boogie in, and she goes to the drawer to get the Boogie a "beepee." Sometimes she wants her own burpie to sleep with, because the Boogie has one. Cute little copycat.

She is fascinated when the Boogie goes potty. We use the word "potty" but for some reason she always repeats "poo poo." I guess the fascination with that word begins very early! Shortly after she woke up from a nap the other day, she frowned at me and said "poo poo?" "Oh, you need to go potty?" I asked her. She ran into the bathroom and pounded on the toilet lid saying "open!" Why not? I thought, and took off her diaper and held her on the seat ... and she peed! Into the toilet! We all lavished praise upon her but she was very matter-of-fact about it. Despite trying that again a few times there hasn't been a repeat performance, but I gotta say I'm pretty impressed that it happened at all.

Both girls like my Nook. I have downloaded several interactive stories for them, and some coloring/drawing apps and games for the Boogie to play. Peabody pleads for "a tewey" when she sees it.
"No story," I say.
"A tewey!" she repeats, grinning impishly.
"No story."
"A tewey!"
"No story!"
"Mmm-may [okay]," she concedes.

Despite what the majority of these pictures imply, my children do not spend their days dressed in pajamas. They do, of course, sleep in pajamas. I slip in to check on them before I go to bed. Sometimes I have to take pictures. I am always surprised that the flash doesn't wake them.

November 17, 2011

Things I'm Thankful For

I often take things for granted, especially the things I use on a daily basis. For example, running water. I just push up a handle and cold or hot water comes out of the faucet. What a convenience, you know? But I'm so used to it I never think about it. And a water heater, too. Imagine having to pump and haul and heat water just to wash dishes, or to cook, or clean, or bathe. I gotta say, I surely am thankful for running water and a water heater.

I'm very grateful for the appliances I use all.the.time. A dishwasher. A washing machine, and a dryer. A vacuum. A microwave. A toaster oven (we use ours all the time!) A coffee maker. An electric range. A steam mop! If you are reading this, I'll bet you have one or more of these things in your house too. Do you take them for granted? I know I tend to. I get so used to using them, I forget to be thankful for how easy they make my life.

Last month I mentioned in an email to Mrs. Specktacular that I would love for the Boogie to take piano lessons some day, but first we'd need a piano. Don't you know that within a week, MIL mentioned in passing that she was planning on get rid of hers. Soon after that Eric and his brother and their dad wrestled the piano into a truck and drove over here and wrestled the piano out of the truck and into my living room. It is old and kind of worn and beautiful.

I am just dying for my sister to come over and play some Bach for me. (Heh heh heh, just kidding Vee. :p But of course you know I would LOVE for you to come and dash off some Mozart or Chopin or Rachmaninov or Grieg or Fliszt.)

Also last month I noticed some plastic cracking and breaking off of the harness in Peabody's carseat. The seat was an Evenflo Triumph that we purchased 3.5 years ago for the Boogie, and it has been in constant use ever since. Concerned about the safety of the harness, I called the company to order a replacement. Because of how the seat is assembled there is no replacement harness available (the harness goes over the shoulder into a sliding mechanism in the seat; it is adjusted by sliding it up and down rather than removing the seat from the car and re-threading the harness through different slots -- it was one of the main reasons we chose that seat and it's been so convenient on the many occasions when we've had other children riding in our car.)

The rep asked why I needed it and when I explained she said, "Oh, that is a safety issue. I can issue you a new seat. All you will need to do is send the old seat back so we can inspect it." A new seat? You mean, a FREE, brand-new, FREE seat? Yes, she assured me, a brand-new, free seat. "The only thing," she stressed several times, "is that it won't be the same color as your seat, so if you want to keep your old cover it will fit on the new seat." Keep the old cover? Are you kidding me? The cover that the sun has oddly faded from gray to purple, that has gone through multiple diaper leaks and blow-outs, that has been thrown up on, that has had juice and milk and lemonade and tea and milkshakes spilled on it? The cover that is spotted and stained and has crumbs firmly cemented into every crevice no matter how many times I wash it? Keep THAT cover? I will happily take a brand-new cover with the brand-new seat, thankyouverymuch.

I was so pleased with Evenflo customer service. Each person I dealt with was so pleasant and helpful. And I never dreamed they would replace the entire seat -- I truly thought I could just order a new harness!

November 7, 2011

Hello, November

October certainly flew by. Now we get to write 11 at the beginning and end of each date. How can 2011 be almost over?

I finally added pictures to and published the entry I wrote a month ago about our visit from the Specktaculars. Procrastinator, much? I blogged so infrequently last month that my friend from California emailed me to see if we were okay.

Peabody is learning new words every day. She is starting to say more phrases. She answers questions like this:
Us: "How are you?" or "How was your sleep?"
P, nodding: "Gooooo' [good]."
Us: "Do you want ______?" or "Are you okay?"
P: "Mo [no]."
Us: "Where is ______?"
P, holding hands up: "Mahna mo! [I don't know]"

She says her own little version of "here it is!" and sing-songs "where are you?" If we ask her "Where is Lela?" she says "Mahna mo! Leeee-la, whey ah yew?" and then finds a picture of Lela. If we ask her where Pops is she runs into my bedroom and points at the pictures of him as a little boy that I have stuck on my mirror.

All footwear is now "plap plop." She brings me her slippers. "Plap plop?" she asks sweetly, pushing them into my hands and flopping onto the floor. I had to pack away all of her summer sandals because she would bring them to us and then get mad when we wouldn't put them on her.

She has started saying "I want." Last week she told me "I wanna 'nack" after hearing the Boogie ask for a snack, and at Chick-fil-a said "I wanna play."

A few days ago she came up to me, asked "Ha yew?" and reached up for my hand with a limp fist. She didn't grasp my hand, but when I took hers in mine she shook it up and down. Then she said, "bye!" and walked away. Now she does it all the time. "Ha yew?" How're you? Ha!

She has started shaking one finger at us and saying "No no no!"

She calls her blankies "lally" which is so cute.  All of her blankies have silky edges; while we were in Washington my mom put silky edges on a couple of Peabody burpies so that we could stop taking big blankies everywhere with us. The Boogie still sleeps with burpies but Peabody knows the difference between hers and her sister's. When she finds a Boogie burpie she exclaims "beepee!" excitedly, but calls her own burpies lallies.

She loves orange Tic-Tacs (I never, ever, ever would have given the Boogie Tic-Tacs at this age.)

We signed up for Netflix which has a wide selection of Barney episodes. "Mama mama mama," Peabody says, banging on the tv, "blah blah blah Bee!" She quivers with excitement when we start an episode. She sings the songs. She does all of the hand motions. She babbles the dialogue with the right inflection.

She likes to buckle things -- as soon as I get her down from her chair she has to buckle the straps.

She loves baby dolls and carries them around patting them on their backs and kissing them. She puts them in the doll stroller and pushes it all over the house.

I often tell her, "You are so cute! I just want to eat your face." Then I nibble all over her cheeks and neck. She pretends to nibble on me. "Nom nom nom," she says. Eric taught her that and it makes me laugh every time she does it.

I have to hide my Nook from her because when she sees it she immediately starts begging "a tew-ey, a tew-ey, a tew-ey!" She has figured out how to turn it on and frustrates her sister during story-reading because she jabs her finger repeatedly at the screen, disrupting the narration.

Peabody hits her sister a lot. She is reprimanded and instructed to say "sorry" and hug or kiss the Boogie. Sometimes she apologizes immediately on her own: whack then "wahwry" and a smooch. One day Peabody hit me. "No hitting," I told her sternly, "say 'sorry, Mama'." "Wahwry," she said, then walked over to her sister and kissed her. Ha!

She says "thank you" with no reminder. The other day in a store I asked an employee a question, thanked her, and turned to walk away. "Day doo!" Peabody called over my shoulder. "Please" is a work in progress although she will always repeat it when prompted.

There is no consideration of possessions. If she wants something there is much shrieking of "MINE! Mine mine miiiiiiiine!" If she doesn't get her way she pitches a fit while rapidly stamping both fat little feet. Sometimes she throws herself on the floor and kicks her legs. Every now and then if really enraged she will attempt to bite. So charming. Life is so hard when you don't get your way all the time.

On the flip side, she can be very snuggly. She strokes our cheeks and snuggles her head on our shoulders and will come up at random times and kiss us.

 I found a pack of party-favor glasses on clearance. The Pheebs likes to wear them and can put them on by herself. One day we went for a walk and she wore them for the whole time. If she saw something interesting she would take them off to look at it more closely, then put them back on when we started walking again.

The Boogie has been playing with her cousin DR a lot. The rest of the NJ cousins go to school every day. Last year DR and the Boogie were practically sworn enemies; now they are best buds! Usually they will play nicely for hours, although when they've been together a lot over the course of several days I can tell that they are entering into sibling squabble territory. Overall they get along great, though.

The Boogie likes to talk about God. She is very interested in the concept of Him being everywhere all the time. While putting together a puzzle, "Honey, God is with me. Me and God are gonna play with this puzzle." She found a list that I had misplaced: "Praise the Lord!" she exclaimed, "Praise the Lord, God found this list."

She talks a lot about being five and going to "pembergarden." I just realized the other day that when she turns five in April she is going to think that she'll start kindergarten right away, so I've started telling her "first it will be your birthday, then it will be Peabody's birthday, then it will be my birthday, and THEN we'll start kindergarten." She goes back and forth between informing people that we are going to have a home school, and telling me that she doesn't want to go to school at home, she just wants to "go to that school where you have to ride the bus."

A couple of weeks ago the Boogie's little friend T stayed overnight so his parents could have a mini-getaway. The kids had the best time together! I wasn't sure how T would do at bedtime -- he'd never stayed at our house before and I feared that there might be a few tears shed -- but he did great. He slept in the same room as the girls and much talking and laughing ensued after the lights went out. The Boogie was the first to succumb to sleep, and then after a while T did too. I could hear Peabody chattering away long after the other two went silent.

T is very cute and very polite. I tossed some of his clothes in with a load of laundry I was washing -- he saw me take his socks and asked what I was going to do with them. "I'm going to wash them," I said. "Oh, thanks!" he said.
A while later he asked, "Are my dirty socks clean yet?"
"Yes, they're clean," I told him, "but they're not dry yet. Next they'll go into the dryer."
"Oh, thanks!" he said.
Later he saw me carry the basket of clean clothes to my room to fold everything. "Are my clothes in there? Are they clean?" he asked. I said they were, and that I would fold them and put them in his bag. "Oh, thanks!" he exclaimed. Such good manners. We all enjoyed his visit and the Boogie especially was very sad to see him go at the end of the second day.

Both girls like to draw on the magna-doodle thingy (what are those things called?) The Pheebs brings it to me and pushes it into my hands. "Mama mama mama!" she exclaims. I draw some shapes and name them. She takes it from me, scribbles all over my drawing, erases it, then pushes into my hands again. And repeat. The Boogie had it tonight. She drew an irregular circle, filled it with dots, and said, "Look, Honey, it's a germ! It's a germ that will make you sick." Where does she come UP with this stuff?

She sits with us in the service on Sunday nights. I looked over at her last night and saw this:

They are so much fun, these girls!

October 13, 2011


The Boogie was being silly in the car. "You are so goofy," I told her.
"Sometimes," she replied, "I think I'm just a genie-us."

The other day she went to library storytime with her auntie and cousin. "Will you miss me?" I asked.
"No," she said, "I never miss anyone when I'm with Auntie J and DR."

Peabody babbles sentences and ends them with a word that we can understand. Blah blah blah Daddy, blah blah cracker, blah blah blah cup. Something she's been saying for a week or two sounds like "dooooey." Blah blah blah dooooey. I thought she was saying "What are you doooing?" because I say that to her sometimes. But I figured out the other day that she is saying story. I like it so much that I instruct her several times a day to "say 'story'." She will try to say almost anything we tell her to.

Her answer to almost any question we ask her is "no" with an m.
Me: "Are you sleepy?"
P: slight hesitation, quick headshake, "mo," sticks her thumb in her mouth.
Me: "Do you wanna play with toys?"
P: slight hesitation, quick headshake, "mo," snatches a toy from my hand.
Me: "Do you need your blanky?"
P: slight hesitation, quick headshake, "mo," runs over to pick up her blanky.
Unless it's related to consuming anything. 
Me: "Do you want a cup?"
P: "Cup! Cup! Cup!"

We went for a walk while the Boogie was gone. Peabody noticed some American flags stuck in someone's fence. "Flag," I said. "Laig!" she repeated. We continued around the block. An old black dog ran alongside us inside his fenced yard, barking. Peabody slowed down, fascinated. Finally she stopped, turned toward the dog, and "barked" ferociously back at him. At this age the Boogie would have burst into tears if a dog barked at her. Peabody has some spunk. After dinner we went on another walk with the Boogie. Peabody found a leaf and waved it over her head. "Laig! Laig!" she shouted. The Boogie and I laughed. "No, silly girl," we told her, "that's not a flag, it's a leaf. Leaf!"
"Laig!" she shouted, waving her leaf.

Tonight she brought a pair of her sandals to us and babbled something ending in "plap plop." I looked at Eric and frowned. He looked at me and frowned. Then it dawned on him: "Flip-flop!" he exclaimed. Ha! I think I like that one better than "dooooey."
"Pheebs, say 'flip-flop'."
"Plap plop."
Okay, I am easily amused.When it was time for church I said, "Let's put on your socks and shoes," and she looked at me in consternation, pointed at her feet and said, "Blah blah blah plap plop!" So, she wore sandals to church.

Another new one today is Dora: "Doowah."

Man, I love that kid.

October 4, 2011

A Specktacular Visit ... And Other Things

We had a really great time with our friends from Warshington. They arrived early early on Saturday morning the 24th and went to a motel and then we picked them up around noon. We didn't do much the first couple of days, except visit and eat. Their almost-4-year-old informed me that she wanted her nickname to be Ace, so that's who she'll be here. Ace Specktacular. It sounds like a comic book superhero!

The two-year-old is called Tootie by her mother so I'm going to call her that, too. It makes me think of the Margaret O'Brien character in Meet Me In St. Louis. Tootie is adorable and has an amazing vocabulary for her age, a combination, I think, of being a girl and having an older chatty sister. I certainly hope that Peabody follows in those footsteps.
Tootie Specktacular!

Ace was intrigued that the Boogie calls me Honey, and throughout the week asked her mom on a regular basis if she could call her Honey, too.

I worked Monday afternoon as usual, and switched shifts with a coworker to work Wednesday and Friday mornings instead of afternoons, so that I could be home when Eric got home and we could maybe all do something together.

On Tuesday Eric left work early and we all drove out to Barnegat Light on Long Beach Island. After walking on the jetty and watching some fishermen and boats, we drove to a beach and watched the waves and some surfers and let the girls play in the sand for a little bit. Peabody was totally enthralled by the ocean!
The girls were intrigued by people fishing
Peabody didn't want to ride in the stroller
I love their little flip-flop feet

Then we drove kind of south on the island and ate at a little diner called The Chicken or the Egg. One of Eric's coworkers had told him about it. It was decent diner food but I didn't think it was anything amazing. The kids did fairly well, considering that they were in and out of the car a lot, ate dinner late, and were getting pretty tired.

On Wednesday I worked in the morning but Mr. Specktacular hadn't been feeling too well for a couple of days, and Peabody had thrown up right before I left for work, so we just hung out at home for the rest of the day.

Thursday was Eric's birthday but he had to work. The rest of us went to the zoo in the morning. The forecast was predicting rain, and as we drove over the bridge into Philly the sky looked very foreboding. Soon we drove into torrential rain but just as quickly passed through it and when we got to the zoo the sky was clear and blue! Praise the Lord. The zoo was damp and the mosquitoes were awful! I think the rain kept people away, though, because it really wasn't crowded there at all which was nice.

On our way home we stopped at Costco for the enormous birthday cake, which I took to 52 in order for MIL/FIL to sneak it to church for me. Eric had no idea! It was fun to surprise him after the service. The girls made him cards, too.

Friday morning MIL came to our house and stayed with the four girls for the morning while I worked and Eric took Mr. and Mrs. Specktacular to NYC. The weather all week had been muggy and rainy and just really not that great, but Friday was gorgeous and perfect for walking around the city. The little girls played very nicely all day which was a blessing for me! I remembered to pull out my camera for some pictures of them before bed.
These two little girls became BEST friends
Tootie was full of hilarity
Peabody was scowly, per her usual

We really did have a nice week. I hope it was the right combination for them of going places and doing stuff and also staying here and relaxing. I think Mr. Specktacular was a bit bored -- he mowed our grass one day for something to do! Every day Ace and the Boogie played together from the minute they woke up in the morning until they went to bed at night. Tootie played with the big girls sometimes, and sometimes entertained herself. Peabody did her own thing and was a fairly constant nuisance to the older kids.

On Saturday we went out for lunch and stopped by 52 afterward so the Specktaculars could say good-bye to MIL/FIL. Then we drove them up to Newark and dropped them off at the airport. 

Good-bye, Specktacular family! We surely enjoyed your visit!

There is an Ikea near the airport so we went there and walked around for a bit after dropping them off. The Boogie wanted to play in the ballroom which, though it sounds like it should be something like this
is actually a play area filled with brightly colored plastic balls. After she played we bought a few hotdogs for the road, loaded up in the cars, and started home. As soon as we got on the turnpike the Boogie said, "Honey, my tummy hurts," and immediately threw up. Praise the Lord we had both cars which meant we had spare car seats so were able to stop at a rest area, clean her up as much as possible, and switch out car seats and put the offensive one in the trunk. Praise the Lord she was wearing a completely zipped-up jacket which we could take off since I didn't have any spare clothes for her. Praise the Lord we also had lots of old towels in my car which we covered her with to hopefully catch any more "incidents." Praise the Lord she was fine for the rest of the way home. And praise the Lord she did NOT throw up in the ballroom although I do have some guilt about the other kids in there who were probably exposed to her germs. Oh well, what can you do? She was acting fine and I had no idea that she wasn't feeling well. Thankfully she quickly recovered.

We've enjoyed our company this summer. I'm so thankful that we have the extra room for folks to stay with us. Even though our house is tiny we were able to absorb the extra bodies fairly easily! And having our own washer/dryer is incredible. After having them for ten months I still don't take them for granted, and they have seen quite a bit of use over the last 3 months. I must admit, though, that while having the borrowed futon from 52 has been a great blessing and I really do like having it in the playroom, I am just about ready to send it home so that the computer desk and ALL of the toys can go back to their natural habitat.

This fall I must, must, MUST do some decorating in the living room. The most I've done is set some pictures on the bookshelves. There is nothing on the walls at all. The trim and back door in the laundry room needs some fresh paint, and I think I know what my first sewing project will be (after I *ahem* take my sewing machine out of its box and figure out how to use it): curtains for the laundry room windows. I figure no one will really see them so if I mess them up it won't be too noticeable, right? Then I want to make a valance for the kitchen window. I'm thinking fabric with a coffee theme would be perfect for in there.