December 19, 2012

It's All Fun and Games Until Someone Throws Up

We made a little trek out to an area we rarely visit. Since I'm not working anymore (and even when I was I drove to and from work during non-traffic hours) and Eric gets home by 4 o'clock most days, I always forget about peak traffic times. It ended up taking us twice as long as usual and Peabody barely made it to the parking lot. To her credit, she was crying and telling us, "I'm sick!" before anything happened. I gotta admit I'm impressed that she was able to so clearly articulate what was wrong, although the only other times she's ever said that has been while playing Sick Girl with her sister. So now we know: Peabody gets car sick and will tell us that she is.

Praise the Lord, we "happened" to park near a children's clothing store with a clearance rack, since my change of clothes for her did not include a shirt. Poor thing, I had to strip her down in the parking lot. It was about forty-five degrees and windy. It's times like those that a minivan sure would be nice ...

Today the Boogie asked me, "Do tigers live in prides like lions?"
"I don't know," I said, "I guess we'll have to look it up."
"Okay, you look it up," she instructed, "look at meat eaters dot com."

This is our last week of school before Christmas break. This whole month has been kind of lax, one of the perks of homeschooling! I scheduled every Friday off but we ended up taking several random days instead. Another perk is doing school in bed while in pjs every now and then.
She is starting to read sentences now! And her printing is really coming along. I'm so pleased with her progress. I'm so thankful to be a part of it -- I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Peabody is picking up random little things, too. This morning she looked at a letter "R" on my shirt and said, "Look, it's a rrrrr."

We've been watching Leave it to Beaver on Netflix. During one episode while Beaver ran away from something Peabody declared, "Beaver dash away!"

She came crying to me that the Boogie and DR wouldn't let her play. They argued that she wasn't playing right. "Remember, she's just little," I reminded them, "and it's okay if she doesn't do everything exactly like you want."
"Yeah, I little, guys!" Peabody echoed. "I jus' little."

She was whining for the umpteenth time one morning because she wasn't getting her way. "That's enough whining," I told her firmly, "and if I hear any more you have to go into your crib."
"Otay Honey," she said meekly. But as I left the room I heard her mutter darkly, "Honey is a bad boy."

December 16, 2012


Raising children is hard work. It is demanding, challenging, very repetitive, and sometimes terrifying. It's rewarding, joy-filled, enlightening, and humbling. The truth is, I want to be thankful for every precious moment that I have with these girls.

I've been hugging them, holding them, kissing them, telling them I love them so much these past few days. After a while they squirm away, having had enough. I can't help it. I need to touch them, to have that physical connection.

My heart is heavy, and at the same time, selfishly grateful that I can look at their sweet faces and hold them close to me.

November 30, 2012

Lazy Friday

I have a sore throat. I got it from Peabody. She is on the mend. Everyone else seems to be fine. Even Eric is only a little congested despite Peabody suddenly sneezing right into his open mouth the other day as he was talking to her. He certainly seems to have a strong immune system since he rarely gets sick. I can't remember the last time I caught a cold or even had a sore throat so I shouldn't complain. It's a good day to lounge around and watch "Leave It To Beaver" on Netflix. Or, you know, write out all the words that I don't want to actually say because speaking hurts.

At the peak of Peabody's congestion she was up for a couple of hours in the middle of the night. I turned on the tv so she could watch Netflix but on PBS there was an old tv special from the 50s or 60s: a production of "The Night Before Christmas," as well as a telling of the birth of Christ featuring marionettes. Peabody was fascinated and when she saw the manger in the stable, she sat straight up and said excitedly, "Honey, that is Jesus! That is God." Smarty pants!

Random confession: the other day I was looking at Fiestaware online and started thinking about all that I already have (a LOT.) As I mentally went through it I realized I hadn't seen my pedestal bowl in a while. Hmm. I looked on the hutch where it belongs. Not there. I looked inside the buffet. Not there. I looked in the kitchen cabinets. Not there. I tried to remember when I saw it last. I thought I used it to take food to some kind of get-together. But when? Church fellowship? Family party? I couldn't remember. I thought about it off and on all day. Maybe someone took it home to wash it and then accidentally put it away with their own things, or cleaned it but just hadn't gotten around to returning it ... not that anyone else is guilty of doing what I do. *ahem* How could it be missing for so long that I forgot when the last time was that I saw it? I finally decided that I would post on Facebook: "Has anyone seen this bowl?" with a picture. Except I didn't think I had a picture of it. I guessed I'd have to find one online. I would do it once I finished post-dinner kitchen clean-up. I loaded the dishwasher. I washed pots and pans. I wiped off counters and stove. I went to the table to wash it off too, folding up placements to shake out, moving the bowl to clean under it ... wait, what? The missing bowl! Right on the table ... in the living room ... full of fake gourds and pears and apples ... where's it's been for over a month ... oh yeah. Whew, good thing I didn't post about it on Facebook! Then everyone would know how dumb I am! I'll just blog about it instead. Ha.

Anyway, while I was looking online I found some pieces I haven't seen before. I love this oval baking dish:

and this covered casserole dish:

and this dutch oven:
and these demitasse cups! I saw them in a store. They are teeny tiny and adorable:
and this baking dish:
 and these!:
I have LOTS and LOTS of Fiesta. I certainly don't need any more -- while we use it daily we don't use all of it (though I love the teacups for my coffee and recently started using the saucers that go with them) and I simply have no more room for it. It's fun to look at and dream of a big kitchen full of Fiestaware, though.

Another random confession: we have a pet gate across the kitchen doorway to keep Mama Dog out of the rest of the house. But even when we let her out the gate stays up ... because it keeps Peabody out of the kitchen.
For Thanksgiving I wanted to make some bread that my mom and her mom traditionally make for holidays (we call it monkey bread, though it's not the cinnamon and sugary pull-apart kind.) The day before Thanksgiving I realized that I didn't have any flour so Eric braved the grocery store for me ... but he bought self-rising flour. I didn't end up making the rolls after all and wondered what in the world to make with self-rising flour. I'd never used it before. Of course Google had the answer:
2 cups self-rising flour
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 425. Mix all ingredients together. (I like to let it sit for about five minutes to fluff up a bit.) Drop by spoonful onto baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Makes 9 large biscuits.
I saw the same recipe with slight variations in several places. Some called them biscuits, some rolls, some muffins which were actually baked in a muffin tin. To me they are most like biscuits. I made them again yesterday and added shredded cheese!

Sort of unrelated, I tried a recipe for no-rise pizza dough, too. The first time I made it with regular flour and while it was pretty good it seemed a little bland. The second time I tried it all I had to use was self-rising flour and, remembering that the first batch was bland, added some salt. I didn't realize that self-rising flour already has salt in it -- that was some salty pizza crust! Reminded me of when I was a girl and I made pancakes from scratch. I misread the recipe and put in four teaspoons of salt instead of 1/4 teaspoon. Bless his heart, Pops ate a few bites then nicely asked me if it would hurt my feelings if he didn't finish his pancake. Ha!

When I'm going to cook or wash dishes, I will watch something on Netflix on my Nook. Often the volume isn't loud enough to be heard over running water so I'll turn on the closed captioning. I was watching a British show about German-occupied France during World War 2 -- I guess the British accent with French and German words thrown in was too much for the captioning and there were several incorrect words. My favorite was when kubelwagen kept being captioned as "cool blue wagon." Those Nazis and their cool blue wagons.

Christmastime is here. We've started listening to Christmas music and watching Christmas movies. Peabody asks to watch Charlie Brown almost every day, and I'm already sick of listening to Barney Christmas episodes. I have a Disney singalong video from when I was a kid that I turned on for Peabody the other day. Every time a song ended she would call me: "Honey! It's over!" I'd assure her there was more, so she'd watch the next song and call me again: "Honey! It's over!" We watched Elf the other night. My favorite part is when Buddy is trying to get onto the escalator. As the scene approaches I start laughing in anticipation and by the time it's over I'm laughing so hard I'm crying and my stomach hurts. I've probably seen the movie ten times but it's just as funny to me every.single.time. I'm sure we'll watch it again over the next month. We are slowly acquiring a nice little collection of really classic holiday movies like Christmas in Connecticut and Holiday Inn and The Shop Around the Corner. We'll go through them all but some we usually watch more than once, like White Christmas and The Man Who Came to Dinner.

If I'm feeling better I might have Eric bring down the bins of Christmas stuff this weekend so we can decorate! For once I'm looking forward to it.

Last confession: it's after lunch and I'm still in my pajamas. If I wait a little longer I can shower and just put on clean pjs, right? Right.

November 29, 2012

Boogie Words and Other Stuff

The Boogie is getting so grown up. She is such a sweet girl. She is so kind to her sister (most of the time!) and is a big helper to me. She is getting taller and beginning to outgrow size 5 clothes. Her hair is very, very long -- I keep thinking that we should cut it off to donate but I just can't bring myself to do it yet, even though she tells me that she wants short hair like her cousin EK. Two adult teeth are filling in her gap, and she has two more loose teeth. As my dad said when we were in Washington, "She is such a five-year-old. She acts like one, and thinks like one, and talks like one!"

She is doing well in school. She's learned lots of letters (actually she already knows most of them) and can sound out simple words as well as recognize many sight words. I like the A Beka curriculum so far. The math has seemed overly simple -- in the tenth week of school we are finally introducing some number concepts that are new to her.

While we were on our vacation her Washington cousins introduced her to that classic riding-in-the-car game, Slug Bug (or as Eric wrongly calls it, Punch Buggy) though she doesn't like the slugging part (so I only punch Eric when I see one.) For a while she consistently confused PT Cruisers with new Beetles though she's much better about identifying them now. She is also obsessed with Jeeps and added them to the game -- we resisted for a while but she was pretty insistent so now we play Slug Bug Jeep whenever we walk or drive anywhere. Even Peabody will randomly call out, "Slu' Bu' Deep! I got two points!" (For the record, there are WAY more Jeeps around here than VW Beetles. I hardly ever see a classic Beetle, and almost never see a van or bus or Karman Ghia.)

One day both girls were doing a turkey craft. There were some leftover fall-ish stickers so I helped Peabody put hers on a piece of paper in a sort of scene. When the Boogie was finished with her turkey she said, "I want to do a crime scene too." A what??? Finally I figured out that she wanted to copy Peabody's paper. I corrected her but she kept referring to it as her crime scene. I have NO idea where in the world she even heard about crime scenes! Word Girl? She is hilarious.

We rented a movie from Redbox for the girls. I returned it once they had watched it. Shortly after they went to bed that night we heard sobbing. I followed Eric in to find the Boogie sitting up in bed crying her eyes out. He sat on the bed and asked her what was wrong.
"Well," she wept, "I was just thinking about the movie,"
Uh-oh, I thought, something scared her. Then she continued, "and Honey took it back and I think I'll never get to watch it agaaaaaiin!" I abruptly left the room so she wouldn't see me laughing. As I did I heard her sob, "I think I won't get to watch it again for a hundred months!"

She has a very vivid imagination and will pretend-play Peabody is usually willing to play with her. She still loves to pretend she is a doctor and/or an animal rescuer.

Wild water! Ha!

She also likes to pretend that she is an animal -- I finally had to tell her that she is only allowed to crawl on hands and feet instead of hands and knees as she was ruining the knees on all her pants and leggings.

One of her recent thought tangents is "what if?" which she likes to discuss in the car:
"Honey, what if we were driving in the car and a big deer just jumped right out into the road, right in front of us? Then what would happen?"
"Honey, what if the moon fell out of the sky? Just pretend. Then what would happen?"
"What if there were no more cars for people to drive? Then what would we do?"
"What if we got to church and it all fell down in a big pile? Then where would we have church?"

Mrs. Cowboy sent me this link for a toddler sewing basket and I made up an embroidery hoop for each girl. Peabody isn't that interested, though she'll play with hers for a little while, but the Boogie loves it!

She made this slightly embellished "D" all by herself. I was very impressed.
Next I'll teach her to sew on buttons and mend hems!

November 25, 2012

Encounters With Peabody

Peabody is happily playing with trains and tracks in the playroom. The Boogie decides that she wants to play where Peabody is. She starts to pick up tracks. Peabody protests. The Boogie angrily destroys the laid tracks. Peabody hits her with a train. The Boogie begins to wail. I send Peabody to her room. Peabody cries. I find out what happened, and tell the Boogie to reassemble the tracks. I deal with Peabody and have both girls apologize to each other. I tell Peabody that the Boogie is putting the tracks back together for her. "No," sulks Peabody, "I not want it. I wanna put away."  I throw up my hands in exasperation and leave the room.
P: "Honey, I got a boo-boo, right dere. I gotta little blape [scrape.] You kiss it ah me?" I kiss her knee. "Honey, I wanna Diego bam-baidge."
Me: "We don't have any Diego bandaids."
P: "I wanna Dora bam-baidge."
Me: "You don't need a bandaid. You're not bleeding."
P: "Yes, I bleedin' [she isn't]. I wanna Dora bam-baidge."
Me: "We don't say 'I want'."
P: "Please I have a Dora bam-baidge."
Me: "All right."
P: "I don't want one! I don't." Runs away.
Me: "How are your panties?"
P: "Good."
Me: "Are they wet or dry?"
P: "Dey bly [dry]."
Me: "Do you need to go potty?"
P: "No."
Me: "In a couple of minutes you need to go."
P: "O-tay. Honey, I wanna enem."
Me: "We don't say 'I want'."
P: "Please I have enem."
Me: "Thank you for asking nicely, but M&Ms are for when you go potty."
P: "Oh! Honey, I wanna go potty."
The "p" word is still very popular. Now it is also used as an angry word. I'm sure others who hear her think that she picked it up from us. Lovely.

At the store:
Me: "Come, get into the cart."
P: "I not ride ina cart. I wanna walk."
Me: "We don't say 'I want.' And this time you have to ride." I put her in the cart where she refuses to sit.
P: "Noooo! I not ride!"
Me: "You need to obey. Sit down."
P: "Poopy!" Plops down, sticks her thumb in her mouth, scowls ferociously at me.

At home:
Me: "Peabody, time to go potty!"
P: "Well, I don' wanna go potty."
Me: "It's time for you to go."
P: "Well, I already!" Raises her eyebrows and shrugs her shoulders with her palms upturned.
Me: "I know you already did but it's time to go again, so go potty right now."
P, angrily: "Poopy!" Stomps into the bathroom.

Me: "It's almost time for your nap."
P: "Well, I not take a nap."
Me: "Yes, in a couple minutes. You're tired and crabby."
P: "No, I not take a nap. I not pleepy."
Me: "Yes, you ARE going to take a nap. And don't be a sassy mouth."
P: "I NOT a sassy mouf. I not take a nap."
Me: "Daddy told you not to be sassy mouth. Do you need to talk to Daddy?"
P: "No."
Me: "Okay, then. No sassing. And in a couple minutes you have to take a nap."
P, under her breath: "Poopy."

P: "Honey, I wanna play a game."
Me: "We don't say 'I want.' And it's time for lunch!"
P, falling the ground in a dejected slump: "Poopy."

P: "I want that. You give it ah me?"
The Boogie: "No, I'm playing with it."
P, whining: "I want it!"
TB: "No! I had it first!"
P, hurling herself to the floor: "POOPY!!!"

So charming.

She tells me, "I wants more paiet [quiet] time." Quiet time is when she is overwrought and I make her lay on my bed for a blanky and thumb fix. She quickly discovered that my Nook is often on the bedside table. If I say yes to quiet time the next question is, "Please I play onz your Nook?"

On Thanksgiving after we ate dinner but before dessert, she came up to me and asked for what sounded like "paiet." "You want to have some quiet time?" I asked, puzzled.
"No," she exclaimed, exasperated, "I want PIE!"

Hearing "I want" a thousand times a day was making me crazy. I tried responding, "We don't say 'I want'," and that was making me crazier. I mentioned it to my mom who suggested, "Just ignore her." So I started to ignore it, or answer "What?" repeatedly until Peabody rephrased her wants into some semblance of polite request. She still says "I want" but often catches herself, or only requires one "What?" from me to get it right.

She came into my Sunday school class. When it was time to color she turned her paper over to the blank side to scribble on.
When I looked at it a minute or two later I saw this:

Amazed, I exclaimed, "Did you do that? Did you draw a happy face?"
"No," she said firmly, "it a angry face."
She continued scribbling and drew another face, then a square-ish circle with a long tail. "Look!" she said, "A kite!"

Amazing! A little artist. She does not get that from her mother.

She really is sweet, when she wants to be. She will offer to share something with her sister; she likes to snuggle with us; she will randomly tell us that she loves us, or that she loves someone else. She tells me, "Honey, I likes your eyeblows [eyebrows] an' I likes your hair," as she gently touches it. She is delighted with Baby O-nee and loves to be in the nursery with him.

The girls acquired some hand-me-down toys from cousins, including Woody and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story. Peabody brought them home and played with them for a looooong time all by herself. She pretended to buckle them in the car and drive them somewhere; she tucked them in her sister's bed for naps; she brought them to me and had them introduce themselves repeatedly. "Hi, I Woody. Dis Buzz. Dis Peabody. Wha's your name? Oh, you Honey? Hi Honey! I Woody! Dis Buzz!"

She stayed awake long after she was put in bed last night, and finally called to me that she needed to go potty. Annoyed, I got her out of her crib and took off all of her layers. Squinting and blinking in the sudden light of the bathroom she looked up at me and asked, "Are you my darlin', Honey? Are you my darlin'?" Sweet little girlie.

November 20, 2012

Peabody Pees on the Potty

Pheeboo is potty-trained!

I've been putting it off for months now. She's seemed pretty ready for a long time. It's just, you know, I'd rather change a diaper in the back of my car or even in a public bathroom than help my toddler use a public toilet. Just sayin'.

But then our washer went on the fritz and for a while I thought I couldn't wash diapers and after all of the money spent on cloth diapers I was loathe to spend more money on disposables so I finally decided to just DO IT already.

Then I realized that I actually could wash diapers but I'd already made up my mind.

We are of the no-bottoms potty-training persuasion around here. Peabody did great while half-naked. She had only one accident that way. I made the mistake of introducing underwear too soon. Guess what? Undies give a false sense of security. Learn from my mistakes. She had a lot of accidents while wearing them. We started on a Monday morning and by Friday night I was starting to think maybe she just wasn't ready. Then the very next day it just "clicked" for her.

Four weeks and a bazillion M&Ms later she is doing so great. She's pretty good about using the little potty on her own when she needs to, or telling us that she needs to go if we aren't at home. Accidents still happen but they are growing fewer and farther between (further between? Farther apart?) She's been waking up dry from naps for a couple of weeks, and this week she's stayed dry all night twice! I gotta say, I think that's pretty impressive for 2.5 years old.

I sold some of the cloth diapers on Craigslist and figured with what I initially paid, what I recouped, and the cost of laundering we just about broke even in the four months that we used cloth as opposed to disposables. I kept the diapers I liked the best for her to wear at night so we might end up coming out a little ahead. I'm really glad I tried them because now I have a good idea of how I want to cloth diaper the next baby ... whenever that happens!

November 10, 2012

Sandy And Athena

That was quite a storm. Eric's shop closed at noon on Monday the 29th. I spent the morning getting completely caught up on laundry, bathing the kids, and vacuuming one last time. Once Eric got home we just waited, alternating between watching the news and Netflix. The wind got stronger throughout the day, though the worst was after dark so we couldn't really see just how strong it got. I took this video with my cell phone but it doesn't do justice to the crazy gusts.

The wind made Mama Dog very anxious. We moved her crate into our bedroom so she could sleep with us that night. She snores.

We never did lose power. We didn't even experience any brown-outs, just a little flickering here and there. A few small branches came off of the tree in our front yard; part of our neighbor's tree came down onto the fence between our yards but didn't damage it. We are very, very thankful for God's hand of protection.

The other day we had a snowstorm. Somehow I just didn't realize that it was coming, and had waited to go grocery shopping until that afternoon, which was of course when the snow started. It didn't stick until after dark, and it was heavy and wet. That night snow kept sliding off the roof which freaked out Mama Dog -- after getting out of bed every ten minutes to shush her I finally slept on the couch and let her sleep in the living room with me. At one point I heard a really loud thud and sliding sound. I thought it was a BIG chunk of snow sliding off ... but it was a big branch from the tree in our front yard. Thankfully it didn't do any damage to the house or take out any lines, but it did take out a couple other branches on its way down.

I certainly hope that these storms are NOT a precursor of weather to come this winter!

November 9, 2012

Trip Miscellanea

Rather than remember our trip chronologically, I have written about several different things (click on the links to go to the individual posts):

But there was lots of other stuff too.

We got to spend some time with my dad's brother and his family after the wedding. It's been years since I've seen them, and Eric only briefly met them when we got married. Where are the pictures of them? Sadly, not in my camera because I didn't take ANY. Also I hardly have any pictures of my dad, from the whole trip! You'd think I would have learned by now ... I guess everyone is just going to have to come to New Jersey so I can take pictures of them.

Auntie Vee was at the wedding too, of course. We got to meet her boyfriend with whom Peabody became totally infatuated. She calls him Mr. Nafan and still talks about him all.the.time. He rode a motorcycle, and had an iPad with which he would entertain the girls for long periods of time. Now that we're home Peabody will sometimes come up to me with a backpack and tell me, "Hi, I Nafan. Dis my pack-pack, an' my LeapPad [she means iPad]. An' dis Auntie Vee," gesturing over her shoulder, "an' I got a helmet. An' I wide on my motorcycle!" Then she holds her arms straight out in front of her and runs away, making loud revving-engine noises.

We went to Pops and Lela's beach a few times (not actually theirs, but the one belonging to their community.)

We went for walks and picked blackberries from the bushes that grow like weeds everywhere.

We watched old movies and episodes of classic tv shows. The girls were introduced to The Red Balloon; Peabody asked repeatedly to watch it during the rest of our stay.

We went to Cabella's one day. The girls liked the giant fish tank, and the animals all over the place.

We spent quite a while in there, and ended up in the toy section. The Boogie saw a rubber band gun and begged -- begged -- to buy it. We often browse through toy sections in stores, and both girls know that when we're just looking, we're just looking and not buying. For her to plead for something meant that she really, really wanted it. Such a funny kid! A rubber band gun? So, we let her get it.

Of course we drank gallons of coffee. And we came home with a lot of it, too, from our favorite local coffee roaster.
In the Denver airport

My most favorite coffee stand ever
We drank a LOT of these.
Pops's "vintage" coffee grinder

My favorite coffee mug
And honestly, we spent a lot of time doing not-a-whole-lot.

Lela played for the girls and they all sang and sang.

A cute little nephew had a sleepover. He drove cars around making engine noises; he ran around with his 2-year-old cousin; he looked even more cute in his suit.

Girls laid around ...

... and spent some quality time with their Lela.

We tried on glasses.

Peabody finally figured out how to play this little puzzle game on my Nook, which was (and still is) wonderful for entertaining her when needed.

We went out to eat; visited different churches; saw friends. I got to spend some time with my newest SIL -- she is a lovely person, a wonderful match for my brother, and fits right in with our family! I look forward to getting to know her better, and spending more time with her in the future.

On the second flight on our way to Washington, Peabody got tired-er and tired-er until she was pretty much at the end of her rope. She was VERY crabby and finally fell asleep ... ten minutes before we landed. Figures, right? We waited until everyone else got off the plane, and managed to get to baggage claim and get all of our luggage before she woke up. Being in so many new places and seeing so many new faces made our normally cheerful 2-year-old shy and clingy the whole time we were there. Her behavior became much worse after Daddy returned home, and considering how the trip out went I dreaded flying home by myself with both girls. We had a layover in Denver and when we boarded the second flight I sent a text to family asking them to please pray that P would sleep on that flight! Praise the Lord, she did, and we made it home without any issues. Whew!

I'm so very thankful that we were able to go. I'm so glad the girls and I were able to stay as long as we did, even though Eric couldn't stay the whole time with us. Hopefully we can work it out the next time for Eric to stay a full two weeks.