Friday, February 27, 2009

It's a............................
























































boy!

Everything looks great and I'll try to post the ultrasound pictures soon. (technical difficulties)

James and the Stwirrels: BFF's

James loves the 'stwirrels' in our neighborhood. He will sit and watch them, narrating for Katie and I every move they make. What I find exceptionally funny is that he will start yelling at the squirrels, getting louder and louder as they don't respond to him. He will shout 'Hey, stwirrel! How's it going? What are you doing? Where are you going? Hey, stwirrel! Come back here!!!!' Its very entertaining to watch. He has also determined that the electrical wires running from pole to pole are actually 'squirrel roads.' He told Mom yesterday that the tree trimmers came to trim the branches so they weren't in the way of the squirrels' roads. I love the way he thinks.

And in other news....today is the day! Stay tuned to find out the gender of Numero Tres. (as long as the baby cooperates!)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cheepa

James is getting more and more interested in the idea of Cheepa. He talks to my belly and waves. He and Katie take turns blowing raspberries on my growing baby bump and giggling like maniacs. James tells Cheepa stories. Actually, he tells him/her the only story in his repertoire: Once 'pon, there was a tractor and it said to the other tractor 'no, you tan't drive!' He sings to Cheepa. Yesterday, he did the funniest thing. We were at the Grammy and Chappy's, and James was sniffing scented markers. Pretty soon, he was holding them up to Katie's nose, then Grammy's, then mine, and then...he would hold the marker close to my belly and say 'you smell dat, Cheepa?' James also has a variety of activities he imagines Cheepa doing. Sometimes, 'she' (James thinks Cheepa is a sister) is taking a nap, or swishing around, or getting a snack out of the fridge in my tummy, or watching TV, or swimming, taking a bath, or dancing in green boots. He also says that Cheepa says 'hi' to him. The cuteness is just too much. And speaking of cuteness, yesterday when we got back from the 'rents, Katie was taking her jolly toddler time walking to the door. (I dare not carry her these days; she can do it herself, thank you very much!) It was cold, and I was trying to coax her to get moving. James walked over and ever so gently took her hand, and slowly walked her to the door. He didn't walk too fast for her, or push her over, just held her hand and helped her along the sidewalk. It was just too precious. And speaking of precious, or not, the M@tag man is supposed to come fix my dishwasher today. I just want them to fix the thing without any hassle. It is under warranty so hopefully everything will be covered. How do people live without dishwashers? Rather, how does one suceed in having a life that consists of anything other than doing dishes without a dishwasher?!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

P.S. We're not naming the baby 'Cheepa.' That's just what James started calling the baby and it kind of stuck. Until Friday, when hopefully we will be able to narrow the names down to one gender or the other. This is the first kid that we don't have a name picked out for yet. Poor Cheepa!

Going to Heck in a Handbasket

Why is it when it rains, it pours. Last year was crazy, and I was hoping that this year would be nice and uneventful. What was I thinking?! In the last month or so, we found out our tenants are moving out. We found out a lot more drama then we needed about that too. Then, Katie's disappointing hip check. Then, we find out our rental is trashed. Like, almost as bad as when we bought the place. Then, our dryer died. Now our dishwasher. My precious dishwasher!!! Oh, and Katie's crib is recalled, the kind where they tell you not to let your child take one more nap in it, ever, and here's all your money back while we're at it. Fortunately on that front, we were just given a nice crib for Cheepa, so she can sleep in that till we return the other one. All this, and its only February!!!! I think I will be going on vacation for the remainder of the year, somewhere where trouble can't find me. :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

You're Stuck in the 80's, Dude

Jeff likes 80's music. A lot. It is a running joke that about every third song that comes on the radio is 'one of the best songs ever.' To prove that Jeff really does say this a lot, I will let you know that James heard a song he liked and said 'Mommy, this is the best song ever!' The song Jeff loves most of all is 'What's love got to do with it' by Tin@ Turner. This is serious stuff, folks. It is his all time favorite song. A song that says 'what's love, but a second hand emotion? Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken? Whoa, oh, oh, what's love got to do, got to do with it?' He says he likes it because a)its one of the best songs ever written, b)it has a good tune, and c)he likes the flutist playing in the background. He likes anything by Tina Turner, but this is his favorite song. My favorite thing to do for Jeff is to sing at the top of my lungs in my worst Tina voice to any of her songs. He loves it. Emphasis on loves. Rolling one's eyes is a gesture of love, right? He insists that if it wasn't the best song ever written, they wouldn't play it so much. He also insists that there are other Tina Turner fans out there. Hello? Are you out there? Take the survey and solve this dilemma once and for all. Personally, I just think he likes Tin@ Turner so much because her hair looks just like mine in the morning.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Garry, Garry, Quite Contrary: An Odor Clause???

***Names changed slightly***

So...let's chat about the guy who has showed me up to see the house a few times now, shall we? This guy, Garry, came to see the house, was appalled at the condition (we were too), but like the layout and was really interested. He wanted to bring his wife to see it, and set up an appointment for Wednesday. Well, he didn't show. Turns out, the story goes that he wrote it down in his planner as Thursday. Whatever. I gave him the benefit of the doubt since he had originally said Thursday, then said Wednesday was better. Funny thing is, I sent him an email too saying Wednesday, but obviously he didn't read it. This time, I wised up and told him to call me when he was almost there and I would head over. Guess what?! He never called. Bla. Bla. Bla. He got caught in a meeting at work. Couldn't call. Couldn't email. I have no idea why his wife couldn't have called. Anyway, we were just about done with him. However, he said he really wanted the house and had the application filled out. Given the current economic climate, we figure we better give everyone a good look and at least review the application. So, he set up an appointment for this Wednesday. Confused yet? Me too. He called at the last minute and asked to change the time. At this point I just wanted to show him and his wife the house and be done with it once and for all. So I said OK. I did tell him I had stuff to do and the time couldn't be adjusted yet again. After waiting for my limit of 20 minutes, I was just ready to leave when who pulls in? You guessed it. Garry and his wife. I showed them the house, again reassuring them that we will be replacing the flooring and painting the entire house, as well as necessary repairs (all of which we are willing to put in writing as part of the contract). While I was showing them the house, they started asking if this would be replaced, or that would be replaced. I was hesitant to give him a firm answer as I had no idea what Jeff had told him. While we are more that willing, and obligated, to make sure the house is clean and in good repair, we ain't promisin' the world, honey. The house is 50 years old! So, I again reassured them that we would write it into the lease contract. He called me that evening to say that they were really wanted the house, but were concerned about the odor. What would happen if the house still smells after new floors and paint? Could they get that in writing. I kindly explained to them that while we don't anticipate the smell lingering, and we don't want it to smell, odor is a subjective thing. By putting a 'smell' clause in the lease, they could basically walk away from the deal by saying the house smelled a little funny. Seriously? I explained to them that we wouldn't be able to do that. Then...oh, then, they emailed us about a few other things. They want to know if we will be replacing the appliances, because some of them look like they are not, and I quote, 'in the greastest condition.' We all know that used appliances are just not acceptable in a rental home and would of course be replaced, right? Not!!! So, we told him that the appliances were staying (unless they don't work) and that they can use their own if they want. At this point, do we really want to rent to them? Uh, no. What if a light bulb burns out? Would we get a call? We've decided that if they try anymore finagling we are just going to tell them that while the house will be presented in a clean, freshly painted state, with certain repairs made, it is AS IS and if that's not OK, then you might want to look elsewhere!!!

If you've made it to the bitter end, I am impressed. That was a rant alright. But guess what!? One week til the ultrasound!!! Start making your bets, folks! Will it be a boy or a girl? Or one of each? Just kidding about the one of each. Now that would be a shock and a half.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Good Old-Fashioned Fun: A Franch Tale

At our church growing up, we had an ‘Old Fashioned Sunday.’ This day was one of the highlights of our summer/fall. Everyone would dress up in old fashioned clothes and we’d have potato sack races and three-legged races. Mom made me the most beautiful Laura Engalls dress ever. I still have it. Having one of these Old Fashioned Sundays also meant that there would be a pig roast. This was and remains one of my favorite culinary events. If there is a pig a roastin’, I’ll be there! Being a PK (pastor’s kid), and living on church property allowed us to be privy to all the goings on prior to the shindig. This involved two fine gentleman camping out in the yard so they could start the grill in the middle of the night. The day before, they would bring in the pig and get it ready. This involved a pig head. I remember one of the guys, probably to gross us out, wrapped it in a sheet and used it for a pillow to take a nap on the grass. Little did he know that we were not deterred by dead pig heads. I do believe we later participated in a rousing game of kick the pig head around the yard. Yes, that is the classy sort of activity us Cheyney kids participated in. Of course, along with roast pig, there came an assortment of mystery jello salads, all you can drink KoolAid and lots of other yummy things. After eating a round or two, or six, at the kids' table (which was always placed in front of the enormous world map in the fellowship hall…that map is still there, and is now quite outdated….USSR anyone?), we would head outside for more potato sack races and other fun. Sometimes we would even take our friends out back and stand at the edge of the ‘deep ditch’ looking down at it. It was forbidden to go too close to the ‘deep ditch’ so we felt we were living on the edge by taking our friends to see it. Such fond memories of those afternoons spent with KoolAid mustaches and greasy hands, playing till we were worn out.

***Re-reading this, I realize it is terribly full of run-on sentences, grammatical mishaps and rambles. I don’t have time to re-write it so hope I didn’t drive anyone nuts! ***

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pictures, and a Hidden Camera Video....

The 'chapters' are back in vogue, at least for a day:



Misc. Katie Pics:



The C@rs cake I made for a friend's son. That's a lot of red food coloring!!!



Whenever I bust out the camera, James clams up. Therefore, when he was lustily belting out a song from Veggie T@les this morning, I secretly positioned the camera to catch his antics. He is singing the song 'Because I Love My Ducks,' and it is clear that he only remembers one line from the song. Enjoy!

video

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I've tried so hard to protect them....



Please don't turn me in, but my kids have never had mac and cheese. Its not that I am morally opposed to it or anything; in fact, I kind of like the stuff, especially when made with Veleveet@. I just have never made it for my kids. They don't know that there is a difference between kid food and adult food. They just eat whatever we are having and they are pretty darn good eaters. But now...my children have been corrupted. They have crossed over into the land of processed fake orange cheese. Who helped them cross over? Chappy!!! With a certain mischievousness, he sat James at the table in front of a bowl of mac and cheese. James loved it, and immediately began shovelling bites into Katie's mouth as well. Then they asked for more. They basically ate my Dad's lunch right in front of him. That's what you get for introducing your grandkids to processed food! What's next, Dad, chicken nuggets? Purple ketchup? :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Issues

I woke up at 6:15 this morning, and couldn't go back to sleep. Why? Because, of course, I was thinking about my garden, where I would plant stuff, and how I would manage to can or freeze or whatever, around the 'big event' of the summer. Because I just can't stop thinking about dirt, and seeds, and plants! Serious issues, I know.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Random Randomness Version 524.3a

This is totally random, but...

  • I just finished reading Little Pink House, which was a fascinating but infuriating read about eminent domain. It does sort of make me want to join some backwoods militia and quit paying my taxes to a government who uses its power to take people's homes away for $$$$. Ok, enough ranting. It really was a good book.
  • I have joined this Handmade Christmas Crusade on Cr@ftster, which challenges you to make gifts each month to put away for next Christmas. I finished a dress for Katie today, and I have made several ornaments, a skirt and an apron for Katie. The dress I made out of an old corduroy skirt of my Mom's. The other two aprons are for two very special birthday children. James is also going to help me whip up some fun playdough for them. Sewing for James is up next.
  • One of the fine chaps who showed me up on Wednesday seemed to have written the date down wrong on his calendar and thought he was coming Thursday. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I told him I would show him the house yesterday. Again, he showed me up. This time I was smart. I had told him to call me when he was almost there. I did sit around waiting for him to call, but at least I was at home. His excuse? He was stuck in a meeting at work. Nice.
  • While the weather was in the upper sixties the other day, we took the kids to the park to enjoy the weather. Here are a few pictures:

  • And last but not least, James with his 'stirring is weally, weally hard' face. Its tough being a chef, but someone's gotta do it.



Thursday, February 12, 2009

Crazy Dream

This morning, James told me there was a cow with 'wegs' (legs) in our living room. He said Daddy stood on the couch and spit. Then a fireman came in and shot the cow's legs. Hmmm. Maybe that's why he was crying and kicking the air last night, pointing and saying 'don't tum in here! don't tum in here!' That kid has got a fertile imagination!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

And so it begins...

Ugh. We had two appointments to view the house today. The first appointment, at 10, was a couple whose husband had seen the house on Saturday. He said he was very interested, wanted to 'start the process,' and got an application. The other guy, whose appointment was at 11, I know nothing about. Anyway, guess what?! Yeah, you guessed it. No one showed. Or called. Or emailed. I sat there with my kids for 1 hour and 20 minutes waiting for nobody! Thank goodness it is a beautiful day out and we walked up and down our old street, picking up sticks and nuts and whatever else caught the kids' eyes. This is such an ANNOYING process!!! And I don't think I mentioned before, when we went over on Saturday, we found the house to be in bad shape. Its going to be a lot of work to get it back to where it was. Jeff is much more laid back about it. He just says 'this is what renting is about.' I say 'but I don't wanna deal with it! They trashed our house! Now we have to fix it! Waaaaa!' I try to remind myself that they have paid our mortgage and then some for the last year, which is a nice profit. But still...waaaa!!! OK. I'll stop whining now. Hope y'all are having a good day!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Fast Food What?/Market Research

This morning, at the last minute, a friend and I decided to meet at the mall play-place so our kids could play. I decided that there was no better time to use my free Chick-f1l-@ breakfast coupon than now, so we stopped on the way. I should say, I haven't eaten there since I was pregnant with Katie and had a free breakfast coupon. I got sick and swore never to go again. Well, I guess I was tempting fate. We pulled up in the drive thru, and of course, a voice comes out from the sign asking for your order. I gave her my order, and James, looking at me strangely from the backseat, says "Mommy, who are you talking to?" I started laughing, realizing I don't think he's ever been in a drive thru. I tried to explain the whole concept to him, but he didn't get it. When we were waiting at the window, he kept asking me 'what are we doing here?' Poor kid. He is deprived of the American kid's dream. He has no clue what fast food is, or Dor@ the Explorer, or chicken nuggets for that matter. I think, however, that he'll survive.

And on to the mall...where we went to play. Someone was trolling around looking for a mom with a child 12 months or younger. Now, normally, I have no interest in surveys, except that this one paid $40 in cash for answering a few questions. The lady ran up to me, thinking Katie was younger than she is. I told her she was just a bit older, and the lady said 'well, just say she is 12 months! We really need someone!' As tempting as it was to earn $40, I told her I wouldn't lie to get the money. She was practically begging me to do it. I told her that I just wouldn't lie and say she was only 12 months, and here is the kicker. The lady said 'Hey, that's what market research is all about.' Lying? And we wonder why a lot of statistics are skewed?!

PS. I have a headache now. Think its from the fast food or the market research?

Friday, February 06, 2009

Not so encouraging...

After a long visit to CHOP, we're back. I was hoping for encouraging news, but didn't really get it. Her hip hasn't really improved since her last visit. It has improved overall: the hip is in the socket, and the femoral head seems to have grown a bit. However, the doctor is concerned that if it doesn't progress enough, she'll have to have surgery in 2-3 years. Its just a waiting game to see what happens. He does want to see her in in 4-6 months, and wants to keep a close eye on her. Basically, her socket is shallow and her femoral head is a lot smaller than the 'good' one. So, over time, there is a chance that the femur could begin to slide out of the socket and cause uneven wear to the socket. That would cause arthritis. To correct the problem, and if you are squeamish stop reading now, they would cut away the bottom edge of the socket, and move it down, filling in the gap with donor bone. That would create the proper shape and keep her femur from sliding out. After the surgery, she would be in another SPICA cast for 4-6 weeks. Its really hard to tell what will happen. Her hip may just decide to correct itself. It may not. We'll just have to wait it out and see what happens I guess. I know I'll be doing even more praying in the meantime. Oh, this parenting stuff is nerve-wracking!

Who Knew?/Big Day

Did you know that there are artists who sculpt with cigarette butts? That is taking recycling to the extreme! Eeew.

And today is a big day for us. Katie goes to CHOP for a check-up. I am hoping for good progress! I'll keep you updated.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

A few short clips of...drumroll please...Katie WALKING!!!!!

video

Chef James

James is suddenly smitten with the idea of being a chef. I can promise you, he didn't get that from Jeff. I think it started with Chef Spaghetti, or whatever his name is, on Curious Ge0rge. Then he saw a chef on Rata-too-e, however you spell that. Anyway, he has been wanting to 'help' with everything I cook. I feel bad sometimes, OK, a lot of the time, because having a three-year-old 'help' is really not helpful at all. Sometimes I want to pull out my hair, so I end up turning him down a lot. I am trying to think of things he can do, preferably without spilling flour on the floor. Last night, I decided to make him a Chef's hat. I had an old white table cloth which I cut up and this morning, sewed it together to make the perfect Chef's hat. Voila! One very happy boy. Then, to keep with the theme, we checked out kids' cookbooks at the library. Now, he wants me to make him baked potatoes dressed like mice and cupcakes decorated like puppy dogs. We'll have to see how creatively we can work some of that stuff into our menu without me losing my sanity while sweeping twelve cups of salt off my floor. But with a face like this, how could you stay annoyed for long.....

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Pictures I Liberated From My Camera

Here are the latest happenings around here:



The kids love when Jeff comes home...they like to climb up into his lap and do whatever he is doing. The other night, they played dominoes. Almost every night, one of the kids will bring Jeff a book and they both climb up for a story!



Today I made Cranberry Jelly! It was so fun to can, especially since it was snowing outside. I had a big bag of cranberries I bought a while ago and I put them to use making jelly. And, I used my awesome food strainer. I just had to include glamour shots of it, since I love it so much. Grandma...thanks again!!



And one of my latest crafty projects. I joined a swap on Cr@ftster for embroidered Valentine's tea towel. They partner you up and you get to make a towel for each other, plus an 'extra' item (something small). This is the towel I made for my partner. I really had fun with it, but I am sad to have sent the towel off today! I should make one for myself.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Coming Soon

Unfortunately our renters will be moving at the end of the lease. You know what that means, folks?! More crazy potential tenant stories to tell!!! I sound excited, but really I'm not. Its a lot of work, drama, etc. Remember this time last year? Crack-heads, dead-beats, weirdos and the like all flooded through our house. We had several people who told us they needed to find a place because they were getting their house foreclosed. Now lets do the math, folks. If you can't pay your $1200 a month mortgage, what makes you think you can afford a couple hundred more than that for rent? Anyway, so far this time around, a whopping week into it, we have had only what appear to be relatively 'normal' people show interest. Now, I haven't met anyone face to face yet, so we'll see. Betcha can't wait, eh? Oh, the stories I'm sure we'll have to tell. Until then, here is a little James ditty for y'all. Surprisingly, as I discovered this morning, there is a time when mispronunciations are not cute. James came to me and said 'Hey, Mommy, I'm a titty. I'm sweeping like a titty.' He meant kitty, and I am pretty sure anyone would be able to figure that out, but still. That's one word I hope he learns to pronounce soon!