March 28, 2011


We all have our quirks. One of mine is that I like to vacuum. It is, oh, I don't know ... kind of relaxing, I guess. Sort of soothing. Back and forth, back and forth, forward and back. You don't really have to think about it. You can pray or sing or even talk to yourself while you do it. (Not that I ever talk to myself. Certainly not. What a ridiculous notion.) Vacuuming is good exercise, all of that pushing and pulling, pushing and pulling, making even patterns on the carpet.

That's my favorite part, the vacuum marks on the carpet.

Confession: I like to vacuum backwards out of a room so the marks aren't marred by footprints.

*sigh* I know. I'm weird. But isn't there something so relaxing about a tidy room, freshly vacuumed? Doesn't it just feel so nice and clean?

Well, until you look at the dust on the bookshelf. I choose not to look at that. I like to look at the floor.

I have other quirks, too. Someday I'll tell you about them.

March 24, 2011

Cold or Allergies?

The Boogie, Phebis, and I are just a little sniffly, just a tiny bit sneezy, and just a tad congested with a hint of a cough here and there. I told the Boogie, "I think you are getting a cold."
"Well, no, I'm not getting one," she said, shaking her head. "I think it's just allergies coming on." (How does my kid know about allergies?)
"Hmm, I don't know," I said, "I think it is probably a little cold."
"Well, Honey, it's not a cold. I'm not sneezing or coughing or hiccuping so I don't have a cold. It's just allergies coming on."

Of course! Hiccups! I forgot about that cold symptom. Good thing I have an almost-4-year-old to set me straight.

The other day I walked into the playroom to find this:
She is standing on that toy. A climber already! Ack.

Later that same day she made her way into the kitchen (normally she can't get in), crawled right to the cabinets, pulled herself up and ...
A curious little monkey.

She sure is fun, though! I love this age.

March 21, 2011

Today Was ...

-Today was ... a million questions beginning with "Honey, why ...?"

-Today was ... a baby taking super-short naps for the sixth day in a row.

-Today was ... a really bad plumbing experience. Don't ask. You don't want to know. Believe me.

-Today was ... a Monday. For sure.


-Today I got to hear my big girl ask me questions, because I have ears to hear with, and she has a voice to speak with.

-Today I got to snuggle my baby a little bit extra before I went to work, because she didn't take a long morning nap.

-Today my capable husband took care of a plumbing issue in just a few hours for only the cost of a tool rental, and without having to call in a plumber.

And ...

Tomorrow will NOT be Monday all over again. Praise the Lord for Tuesdays.

March 19, 2011

I Wanna Come Outside!

Truly, I think this picture needs no words.

March 18, 2011

The Balloon and the Furnace

For Valentine's Day I bought two heart-shaped balloons from the Dollar Store. I bought a pink one for the Boogie and a red one for her daddy. I gave them to the Boogie and warned her to keep them away from this:

the uncovered furnace intake vent in our hallway. Like many small children, she is a bit fearful of things getting sucked into holes, and one trip under the intake with her balloon while the furnace was running caused her enough concern that she was sufficiently cautious to keep the balloons away from it.

Those Dollar Store balloons are pretty sturdy and last a long time. Those two floated around our house for a few weeks. The Boogie played with them a lot at first, and then they started to blend into the background and we got so used to seeing them that we really didn't see them anymore. They would hover for days in one corner or another and eventually ended up in the playroom. At some point every day I would look around to get a visual on them.

One night last week, though, I neglected to check for them before I went to bed. Around 6:30 the next morning the Phebis woke up to eat. While I was feeding her the furnace kicked on ... and it sounded funny. Sort of ... crinkly. Then the odd noise stopped. I finished feeding the baby and put her back to bed and went back to bed myself and after a while the furnace stopped running and I heard the crinkling noise again.

"Uh-oh," I thought. I got up and turned on the hall light and peered up into the furnace intake opening. I didn't see anything suspicious, but just to be sure I searched around for the two balloons. The red balloon was in the playroom. Hmm, strange. They were always together. Balloon buddies, as it were. I looked in every other room. No pink balloon. Oh, great. Just great.

But wait. Maybe it was my imagination? Maybe the pink balloon popped the day before, maybe while I was at work. Maybe it escaped out the front door and sailed away. Maybe the Boogie hid it somewhere. Maybe the crinkly noise was a coincidence, coming from a toy or something in the playroom.

I went back to bed. I tried to doze back off but I couldn't. I was waiting for the furnace to come back on.

When it finally did ... *crinkle crinkle crinkle*

Oh noooooo.

I got a chair and stood under the furnace intake. I reached up as far as I could (not very) but felt nothing. The crinkling noise stopped until the furnace quit running and then I heard it again. It was definitely coming from the vent.

I turned the thermostat down. I sent a text to Eric at work, but he is not supposed to have his phone on during working hours and I knew he probably wouldn't get my message until his next break.

I sent another text to FIL who called me right away.
"Can you see it?" he asked. I couldn't.
"Can you reach up into the vent?" he asked. I couldn't.
"I'll be right over," he said, "do you have a ladder?" I didn't. "I'll bring one," he said. Bless his heart.

There are many perks to living half a mile from your in-laws, one of which is that it only takes five minutes for your FIL to drive to your house when there is a pink heart-shaped balloon stuck in your furnace intake, and the temperature in your house is 64 degrees. Meanwhile I located some scissors and permanently deflated the red balloon.

The Boogie woke up right before her PopPop showed up. She was excited to see him and full of curiosity as to why he had a ladder. He climbed it and stuck his arm as far as he could into the intake vent. The vent itself goes up into the attic and travels several feet before descending to the furnace in the laundry room. He couldn't feel anything. He went into the laundry room and opened up the front of the furnace.

"Aha!" he said, pulling out a ribbon, "The balloon has arrived." He had to pull out the filter which thankfully had done its job, and he tugged and wriggled the balloon out. I was waiting with the scissors and stabbed it to death and buried it next to its buddy in the trash can while FIL replaced the furnace filter. Then I went straight to the thermostat and turned up the heat.

Praise the Lord the filter did its job.

Thank you, FIL, for coming to our rescue.

And I think this will be a good weekend to repaint the furnace intake vent cover so it can be installed. Until then, there will be no balloons in this house!

March 17, 2011

The Little White House: Moved In

This post is about, oh, four months late. Well, sort of, considering that it took me about two months to unpack the majority of our boxes. And you will notice that there are STILL some boxes and plenty of plastic bins sitting around!

There is much left to do. If I try to explain all of our plans this would be a novel. Therefore, you can see for yourself the obvious things, and as we complete projects I will post before-and-afters. Two of the bedrooms do not have doors on them yet, nor do any of the closets except the hall closet. There is no window trim in the living room or our room, therefore those windows still have makeshift coverings. I'm not including any pictures of the bathroom since not much has changed: shower doors, medicine cabinet above the toilet, and nasty curtains were removed; toilet, vanity, and flooring were replaced.

For reference, here are the before pictures from when we bought the house.

Laundry room (seeing pictures makes me realize how cluttered it is ... oh well.)

Kitchen (the cooler across the doorway is to keep Pheeboo out of there.) The ugly fan above the stove does have a cover -- just needs a fresh coat of paint before we put it back up.

Living room

Down the hall from the living room. First door on the right is the playroom. Second door on the right is the girls' room. Straight ahead is the bathroom. First door on the left is a hall closet, second is our bedroom. Notice the box in front of the bathroom door? That is the Phebis blockade.


Girls' room

Our room

It's really fun to look around a room and plan curtains and new furniture (eventually) and pictures on the walls and all of that. Little by little it's coming together. Meanwhile we are so happy here! We love our little house.

March 16, 2011

Four Days Until Spring

Yesterday I had plans to take the girls to the library, but then the sun came out and we were lured into the parking lot of a nice playground along the way. The Boogie ran around and played with other small children, climbed stairs and ladders, went down slides, bounced on teeter-totters, and swung on the swings for a long time. The Phebis was less adventurous but she thoroughly enjoyed the swing!

(This is a laughing face, not a crying one.)

And now, some recent quotes from the Boogie.

While watching an episode of Curious George that I didn't recognize:
Me: "Is this a new George? Have you seen this one before?"
Boogie: "Yeah, I think so, a couple years ago."

Apparently she had a bad dream a few nights ago. The next night at bedtime she was worried about going to sleep, so I prayed with her that she would only have good dreams. In the morning the first words out of her mouth were "Honey, I didn't have any bad dreams! I only had good dreams, all about ... [pause] ... nuffin'."

Another morning the first words out of her mouth, while she was rubbing sleep out of her eyes, were, "Honey, when snails don't have slime they can't move. When they do have slime they move veeeery slooooowly."

And yet another morning when she woke up with some nasal congestion: "Well Honey, when I sleep for hours and hours and wake up very early, this hole in my nose isn't breathing very well. I think there's cinders in my pillow and they're getting in my nose!"

The other day she was calling me Hon instead of Honey. I guess that's the equivalent of going from Mommy or Mama to Mom.

We are working our way through all of our The Dick Van Dyke Show episodes. The Boogie enjoys them and often asks to watch some "Bick Van Ike." She knows that the Dick Van Dyke character is Rob but has a hard time remembering the names of other characters. Ritchie is "Rob's boy" and Laura is "Rob's lub [love]."

Last week was MIL's birthday so the family met at Maggiano's Little Italy for a surprise dinner. It was yummy food and good company!

The Boogie has been asking to go to the Olive Garden. As far as I know she's never been there, or at least not since she was very small, so I don't think she is remembering going. Yesterday I asked her, "What is Olive Garden?" wondering if maybe she thinks it's something other than what it is. 
"Well," she said (every answer or statement begins with "well,") "it's just a place ... where dere's lobsters ... what was that place where we went, what has the spinny doors?" 
That took me a moment; we hadn't gone anywhere with lobsters, but the spinny doors ...
"You mean Maggiano's?" I asked.
"Yes! Maggiano's! What road is Maggiano's on?"
"It's on Route 38," I answered, puzzled as to what this had to do with Olive Garden.
"You're correct!" she exclaimed. "Maggiano's is on Route 38. And so is Olive Garden!" And she's right! We drive right past Olive Garden to get to Maggiano's; Red Lobster is also nearby which I guess explains the lobster reference. I was impressed by her navigation skills, but she still hadn't answered my original question.
"You're right about where Olive Garden is," I said, "but I want to know what it is."
"Well," she started again (remember, every explanation begins with well,) "it's just a place where you go, and find a place to sit, and eat dere!"
So, clearly she knows what it is and where it is and all I can think of is that she has been seeing commercials for it.

And not to leave out the Small One, her eight teeth are coming along nicely; she is cruising along furniture and even transferring from one thing to another, but she refuses to try to stand alone, or walk unless we are holding both of her hands; she waves "hi" and "bye" and someone at church the other day said they thought she said "hi" while waving; she shakes and nods her head although I don't think she means anything by it; she eats waffles and cheerios for breakfast, and likes green beans and broccoli and black beans and corn and diced peaches;  and over the weekend she started saying "uh ... oh ... uh ... oh." It's so cute! Of course she won't do it on command or if the camera is anywhere in sight. Now we're trying to teach her to blow kisses. I love this age.

March 11, 2011

Ten Months Old

This girlie is ten months old today! We got her an iPhone.

Soon we'll have to plan the first birthday party!

March 8, 2011


Whose child is this, anyway? Gross little girl.

(Notice what's playing in the background?)

March 6, 2011

The 6-Hour Virus

When I wrote that I hoped the Boogie's tummy ache would be short-lived, I didn't actually think it would happen. But it did. So strange. After just a few hours she was totally fine. Bizarre.

Since it was less than 24 hours since the Boogie's last "episode" and Phebis is still kind of snotty, we decided to keep the girls home from church today. I got to go this morning and Eric went tonight. When it was almost time for him to leave he wondered out loud what to wear, and the Boogie heard him. "Hmmm," she said, " I think ... the red dress would be good," and ran off to her room. She was gravely disappointed to learn that she would not be going to church with Daddy. I'm glad our girl loves to go to church! Lord willing everyone will be germ-free by Thursday.

I am feeling much better today! I'm looking forward to getting back into my regular routine this week. There are lots of little projects around here that I want to work on -- I just need some inspiration. Or motivation. Or coffee. Would you believe that I haven't even unpacked all of my books yet? The horror!

While I was sick I found some episodes of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" online and started watching them. Then toward the end of last week we got a box in the mail: the whole series on dvd from my parents! My Pops is an online bargain-hunter and said he found a really good deal so decided to order them for us as an early anniversary present. We were so tickled with our gift and have been watching episodes every chance we get. I've seen them all before but it's been a while and they are just as entertaining as ever. Plus they are clean entertainment, you know? No surprise swear words or anything like that. Although Eric read somewhere that the network received angry letters from viewers regarding the capri pants that Mary Tyler Moore wore, so she was restricted to wearing them in only one scene in each episode at the beginning of the series. My, how things have changed in fifty years ...

March 5, 2011

On The Couch Again

This time it's with the Boogie who woke up with a tummy ache. Per her usual she has been begging for food ten minutes after emptying her stomach. We tried a few bites of applesauce which was a no-go, and have moved onto saltine crackers. I have wishful thoughts that this will be short-lived, like a 6-hour virus or something equally ridiculous.

Please, God, oh please oh please, do not let Phebis get this. At least the Boogie can anticipate an "episode" and hold her own bowl. Plus her diet does not consist mainly of milk. *shudder*

To top off our fantastic morning, Eric texted me that he has a flat tire. He gets off work in ten minutes and then I guess he will put on the spare and take the flat somewhere to be patched. I hope it can be patched. And I think it's time to sign up for AAA.

The Phebis seems to be showing a slight improvement in nasal congestion. She is not fighting me quite as much when I wield the saline spray and aspirator (which is just a fancy word for snot-sucker.) I don't know if she realizes that it gives her some relief or if she is just resigned to the indignity. Or maybe I'm just getting stronger.

Spring cannot come quickly enough. I am done done done with horrid winter germs. Today is a little bit warmer and I have some windows open to air things out. I am so looking forward to opening every window in the house and feeling warm breezes blow through ... Meanwhile I think it's time to break out the Lysol spray.

I just looked at my calendar to see when the first day of spring is, and it's not marked! What kind of calendar is that, anyway? The Google says spring will arrive on March 20, so only 15 days away. Glory hallelujah. Plus daylight savings time begins next weekend. I love the "longer" days.

March 3, 2011

Down For The Count

I don't remember the last time I was so sick for so long. I spent about five days on the couch. For the first three days it was all I could do to drag myself to the bathroom, or into the kitchen to make a sandwich for the Boogie, or into bed at night.

The girls were so, so very good. The Boogie was such a big helper, going for diapers and wipes, fetching snacks and drinks, even getting clean clothes for both girls. Phebis was content to roam around and play with her sister. Thank you Lord! Eric took good care of me when he got home from work, making dinner and doing clean-up.

I am feeling better, but not well. I feel pretty wiped out. Every day I can do a little bit more, though. Yesterday was my first afternoon back at work, and I lasted four hours before getting sent home, ha ha.

I would like to take this opportunity to say how grateful I am for my job and coworkers. I used to always be the flexible one. I could work any shift, any hours, fill in for anyone at the last minute. Now I'm no longer that person and I'm so appreciative of those who are. My coworkers are so good to cover for me when my kids (or I) get sick, or when I have a doctor's appointment to take someone to, etc. The doctor and the office manager are good to watch out for me when they know I'm not feeling well, and they don't hesitate to send me home if they think I should go.

There are so many things I've been wanting to write about, so this is going to be one of those boring recaps that I must post from time to time in order to have something to reference when I wonder "when did we _____?" This is, after all, my journal.

At the beginning of February we took both girls to the Philly Auto Show. We go every year but this was the first trip with kids. It was also our first time to go on a weekday instead of on the weekend, and what a difference in crowds! I told Eric that we should never go on a weekend again. The Boogie was excited to go to Philadelphia on the train, and she was excited about the idea of going to the car show, but I think she thought it would a be a show, like a performance. She quickly became bored and asked a dozen times when we would go back to the train. Some rainy day we are going to take the Riverline from one end of the line to the other, just for the fun of riding the train.

While at the auto show we picked up a flyer for Ringling Bros. circus. I stuck it to the fridge and eyed it for a couple of weeks and finally we decided that we should take the Boogie. We didn't tell her (of course) until we were walking up to the building. We sat waaaaay up in the nose-bleeds and the performers were like little ants down there, but we could see well enough and it was so much fun! The Boogie has talked about it daily ever since, telling us that she reeeeally wants to go to the circus again "with Pheeboo!"

Speaking of Pheeboo, she had her nine-month check-up last week (right before I got sick.) I searched for the post with her six-month stats but apparently I never wrote that one. So, for comparison:
6 months old -- 18 lbs 10 oz 27 inches (95th percentile)
9 months old -- 20 lbs 13 oz 29 inches (75-80th percentile)
Her pediatrician attributes the drop on the growth curve to becoming more active in the past three months. She certainly is active, crawling everywhere like a little wind-up toy. She also just cut teeth #7 and 8. Now she has another head cold. Poor baby. It's rough for her since she is a thumb-sucker. It's hard to suck your thumb when you can't breathe through your nose.

Today was the Boogie's first visit to the dentist. She should have gone before now but I was a procrastinator and never scheduled it. She did very well today and has no cavities, praise the Lord! She didn't like the suction tool (Eric says "no one likes those things") but did fine until it was time for an x-ray when she freaked out. I blame myself for not preparing her but it just didn't occur to me that they would want to do one today. They managed to get one picture and hopefully next time she will do better. 

And now, as a reward for making it through the boring recap, a few words from the Boogie.

After having her teeth brushed before bed: "Look at my teef, Honey! Are they clean? Do they sparkle, like this? 'Ding!'"

When she came home from church with Eric the other night, I asked her if she missed me and she replied, "Well, Honey, I just didn't think about it on my mind."