Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tell me a story....

James loves to hear stories. Every day he asks for stories. We tell him stories before he goes to bed. He just can't get enough of them. And he remembers every last detail. He'll say 'member when you chased that coyote on the four-wee-wer, Mama? 'Member when Daddy drove the tractor at the farm? He remembers the stories, and sometimes 'remembers' himself as part of the story as well. I think he's got such a vivid imagination that he just imagines himself right into the story. Occasionally he gets a little miffed when he finds out we didn't 'bring him' with us. For example, he asks all the time if he was at our wedding with us. Now that would've been interesting, wouldn't it. I tell him, no, you weren't there. Mommy and Daddy got married, and then had you a few years later. His response? 'No, I don't want you to have your wedding without me!' He's a funny kid.

And speaking of stories, Jeff had to take a last minute trip to Pittsburgh on Friday because of a wee bit of technical difficulty. After his company designed and manufactured a condenser, it was put on a trailer for delivery. Unfortunately, the condenser decided to try an un-authorized 'drop test' in someone's front yard. Turns out that the truck driver had picked it up three days prior, lied about his location, and for some reason decided to head the wrong way down a one-way residential street where he somehow managed to drop the 190,000 pound condenser in someone's grass. (only 8 miles from the shop!) The township promptly issued a fine somewhere in the neighborhood of $56,000 and then someone else slapped on a fine of $14,000 for the crane to move it. After issuing a bad check, police put some sort of boot on the truck and trailer so the driver couldn't take his ride. But it doesn't end there, folks. Oh, no. At 2:00 am, the owners of the house whose yard hosted the unexpected condenser heard strange noises. Upon inspection, they saw the driver out welding under his truck. By the time the police arrived, he had removed the boot and taken off with his truck. Now he has a federal warrant out for his arrest, and he is stuck with a semi he'll probably try to unload ASAP. In order to move the condenser back to the shop for inspection, the state police had to provide escorts. The governor's office was involved. It took three hours to go 8 miles. Returning the condenser also required the 'un-landscaping' of some of the parking lot, with the impromptu removal of several trees and mulched areas. I will try to post a few pictures of the whole ordeal. The semi-truck had 15 axles! It was the biggest thing I have ever seen. Anywho, Jeff donned his trusty hardhat and steel-toed boots and inspected the condenser to see how much damage was done. He said it could be worse, but I am sure its still going to cost a whole lot of moolah to fix. That truck driver better head to Mexico and enjoy himself a stiff drink before they catch him, because I have a feeling he is going to be in a heap of trouble.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Nesting/Crafty Fever

I'm in trouble. I am officially in the nesting phase....AND I have crafty fever. I want to get everything organized, cleaned and in its place ASAP, and I also want to sew up a storm. I have a zillion projects floating around in my mind, and at least five sewing projects I want to complete before Cheepa gets here. I had better get crackin'! I'll have to take some pictures of the progress around here. At least this time I don't have the urge to carry all my houseplants outside and dust them off this time around. Wait, I don't have any houseplants. I have kids. Only the strong survive.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Perfect Day

We had the most wonderful time on Monday. It just so happened that a National holiday fell on my birthday, and that our friends were having their annual Memorial Day shindig up in the 'boonies' of our county. It couldn't have been a nicer day to sit around and relax outside. The weather was perfect, the kids got to play outside for almost 7 hours straight, and we sat around eating watermelon and watching the kids frolic to their hearts' content. Twas quite lovely!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bean Trellis of Awesomeness

For Mother's Day, all I wanted was a stinkin' trellis for my beans. I did a little research, and came up with a design of my own, thank-you-very-much. Dad asked why I didn't have Jeff design it. Jeff does a fantastic job at designing power plants, missiles, box-folding machines and such, but I don't need a trellis that can tolerate 6987 pounds per square inch of pressure, nor do I need it to withstand Armageddon. :) Jeff kindly helped with the construction of it, and I am happy to present to you the Bean Trellis of Awesomeness:

Hopefully I will still think it is awesome at the end of the summer. I am growing Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans (green), Purple Podded Pole Beans and Christmas Limas on it. We'll see how they do.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I Guess I Wasn't Missing a Thing

I haven't watched TV, or the news, in a couple months. Zero. Zip. Zilch. The only thing playing on our TV has been a few kids videos. This morning, I turned it on to see if the world was still spinning, and guess what I saw?!? A Texas woman was on national TV with her twins. The catch? Two baby daddies. Yep. She was apparently a mighty busy girl and managed to defy odds and conceive twins by two separate men. Turns out I haven't been missing anything by not watching TV.

In other news, get it, NEWS...we are cautiously optimistic that we will have a signed lease this weekend. I say cautiously because you never really know until you have the check in hand. But we don't anticipate these people flaking out. They have been to see the house 5 or 6 times now. Last week, we ended up with three very interested parties in two days. One couple was very nice, articulate, and bankrupt. Yeah. That credit check does tell all, folks. (they had told us a little about it, but there was more.) Another family was very interested, and the guys sister lives across the street from our rental, but they decided they couldn't afford it after all. By the way, both of these couples tried to talk us down on the rent. I am thinking that's a big sign of when people can't really afford it, because our house is the lowest on the market in our township right now, but there are others for more money that are not in as nice of shape. The third party is the one that we have offered the lease to, and they are coming Sunday to sign the paperwork. The nice thing is that it is only one person, and two dogs. We were not going to allow pets at first but it is a fact that a great deal of people lie and have them anyway. This way, we have a deposit up front, and can hopefully find a responsible pet owner. This lady is a dog trainer, so one can hope that her dogs are well trained. It has to be better than the last tenant, with their 5 kids, contraband dog and a lack of cleaning supplies, right?!?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

Strange Happenings

Yesterday we had a full, but fun day. It included church in the morning, lunch at the 'rents with Nate and his girlfriend, a nap for the kids, and small group. And....

On the way back from my parents, because you know it is a whopping .6 miles away, I glimpsed through the trees some strange happenings. I told Jeff to turn off on a little side street so we could get closer. I knew what I thought I saw, but wasn't sure if I was nuts. When we came to the green belt that runs between my parents' section and ours, it became clear that there was a convention of geeks going on. Yes, indeed, the 'Dunge0ns and Dr@gons' crew had ventured out of their respective parents' basements and into the sun to convene for a real life 'role-play' of a script that runs along the same lines of D and D. There were approximately 30 of these strange peeps dressed in robes, cloaks, turbans, etc., with foam swords, clubs and other miscellaneous foam weaponry. And because Jeff has no inhibitions in these situations, he quickly grabbed the camera and ran down to nestle himself in the shrubbery to scope it out and take some photos. When he was spotted by the oddly-behaving peeps, he waved and they invited him to hop the creek and come on over. If engineering doesn't work out, Jeff can fall back on journalism. He'll talk to anyone. He went over and talked at length with the people. They explained that they were part of a large group of people who write scripts and role-play. Here are the cliff notes from what Jeff was told:
  • They are part of a large group of fantasy/role playing/D and D club something-or-other
  • They have their own spell books; some spells are up to 3,000 words long.
  • They throw foam balls (lightning) at each other; being hit by lightning is instant death
  • They are all part of clans and have their own strange 'fantasy' names, personalities, etc.
  • The nomads can be captured for any clan's usage and wear brown capes
  • They referred to themselves as 'geeks meet jocks' because they like to re-inact their fantasy scenarious (in public?! our house?!)
  • They take their biz-ness very seriously
  • Jeff is invited to come back next week
  • I don't think Jeff will be donning his cloak to join them. Unless they have a role in their script for a tall lanky guy in footy pajamas who gets to eat lots of tortilla chips. Then he might be tempted to go.
Apparently these people are going to continue doing this every other Sunday indefinitely, so if you are in need of some (strange, freaky) entertainment, come on over!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Backyard Intrigue

It was brought to my attention last week that there were not one, but two pesky groundhogs cavorting around the neighborhood. After I trapped the first one, the only one I knew about, I saw the second groundhog exiting the burrow beneath OUR SHED, a big fat manly-looking groundhog. This meant war, boys and girls. I set the trap and hoped for a quick catch. It was time to break up the groundhog Love Shack once and for all. This morning I was disappointed that the big guy hadn't made his way into the trap yet. However, whilst eating our breakfast, the fat lad rolled out of bed and smelled the delicious and drooled-on remnant of Katie's banana and went for it. Snap! I looked up and there he was, wondering what just happened. He soon discovered he was trapped, and is now trying to burrow his way out. Operation Groundhog Relocation Phase 2 Completed. Maybe he'll be reunited with his little lady friend when we release him into the woods. They can have their little groundhog babies far away from my garden, thank you very much.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

No, I am not crazy...

Why do you ask? Just because I drove about an hour and 15 minutes to acquire 25 pounds of rhubarb doesn't make me crazy. I discovered a rhubarb farm, and oh, how I love rhubarb. Its just so darn hard to find, and when you do, it costs an arm and a leg, and its nasty looking. So, at $2 a pound for nice, freshly picked rhubarb (organic to boot!) I went for a drive. Actually, I got 15 pounds and Mom and Rach each got 5. We take our vegetables very seriously around here.

P.S. Rach, there is a bunch of rhubarb the size of Texas shoved in my frige for you! Its taking up most of the top shelf. :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My friend, 'Con-Rachel' took some really nice pregnancy photos of yours truly tonight. I am so excited to have these pictures, since I don't really have any nice pregnancy shots with the other two babes. Here is one of my favorites.

I'll post a few more tomorrow if time allows. We have two rental applications in one day, so we have to get a lot of calling done. We'll see....

Monday, May 11, 2009

67 Days?!

My trusty baby ticker thingy has informed me there are only 67 days till my due date. What?! How can this be? That's just a hair over two months, and last time I checked both my babies were early. We'll see. I can't believe the time is coming so quickly. I am starting to think more about labor, or more specifically, wondering if I'll make it to the hospital on time. I really hope I go into labor while Jeff is home. Last time, my labor was two hours, from the time I woke up to the time I had Katie. Not two hours and change. We're talking two hours flat. Now I know that my labor might be longer with this one; there's no way to tell, but I won't be waiting around to find out. I am excited to meet this new little person! It would also be nice to have my bladder back too.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Kids' Shenanigans and S-C-O-R-E!!!

It was warm enough yesterday to play in the hose!; James and his outfit of the day

Katie in her cowboy gear; Saying Cheese!

Orange Smile!; Sharing an orange

And cha-ching! We caught the groundhog that plagued my garden last year. He actually stayed away from most everything, except my entire crop of peas and several cilantro plants. Who knew groundhogs liked cilantro?! He will be moving on to some greener pastures far away from my garden. Coming to a neighborhood near you! (Just kidding! I think.)

According to Jeff...

...this is another reason to go bald.

Friday, May 08, 2009

It wasn't 16 Barbies....

....or a partridge in a pear tree. Rather, it was a pair of women's sunglasses clogging the toilet (besides, or course, the rocks and the ball).

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Just when you think....

Just when you think there are no more surprises...

Jeff found two large-ish rocks and a bouncy ball lodged in the toilet he was reinstalling. And the problem is, the toilet is still flushing slow. How the heck do you get stuff out like that? And what will we find? 16 barbies and a partridge in a pear tree?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Dare I Ask?

James: I just peed, not in the toilet!

Jeff and I: Uh, what?

James: I just peed not in the toilet!

Meg: Uh, where exactly did you pee? (wondering if I really wanted to know)

James: In the yogurt bucket (We have a yogurt container in the bathroom the kids use to scoop water with in the bath)

Meg: Huh?! (heading toward the bathroom)

I discovered that James indeed had peed in the yogurt container, with nary a drop on the floor. He had then carefully transferred it to the toilet and flushed it down. What a guy. I tried reaaaaally hard, but couldn't keep a straight face, so Jeff had to have the 'don't do that again' speech with James.

Ketchup Packets are Wondrous Things

If my memory serves me well, James has been to a fast food restaurant only three times. Once in Maine, when he was about 20 months old, once in Colorado, where he refused to eat the food, and then once last Saturday. We went to the only place I have ever heard of that serves chicken for breakfast: Chick-fil-@. He got a kid's meal, which I can assure you is the first kid's meal my poor deprived kid has ever had. When he got his bag, he asked 'Is this mine?' When I said yes, he sat down and pulled out a box of chicken nuggets, an envelope of fries, a bug catcher toy, a juice box, and.....ketchup packets. Now it is worth mentioning that he was so distracted by both the juice box and the mysterious little packets that he didn't even notice it was a toy he removed from his bag. He quickly dove into the juice box, and asked me what those little things were. When I explained to him that they had ketchup inside, he was quite enthralled. He even brought a couple packets home with him. Since Saturday, he has been asking me to make eggs so he can have 'that ketchup' on them. Who knew that a few ketchup packets could give my kid something to anticipate for days?! He did, eventually, realize he got a toy with his lunch. He picked at the chicken nuggets, and ate a few fries. But who cares about toys and chicken nuggets when there are ketchup packets to be had?

And in other random news, I canned strawberry jam today!!! Its not quite strawberry season here yet, but the grocery store had a decent sale on strawberries and I couldn't resist. It was fun!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Hello out there....

After another full weekend spent guessed it....the rental, our list of 'to-do's' is finally getting very short. However, we have the added ISSUE of being told that the township has decided to mandate that we replace our perfectly fine stainless steel chimney liner with a new welded stainless steel chimney liner, to the tune of about $1200. I want to scream. And cry. Anyone want to a buy a house? :) I can't wait till I have my life back, and I can blog about fun and bizarre things (not like how I cleaned out the vanity at the rental this weekend and found that although there was a perfectly nice toilet right next to it, they managed to deposit both the Numeros Uno and Dos INSIDE THE VANITY CABINET! What the heck!)

Anywho, this week is hopefully the week I will plant my much anticipated garden. Its been raining, so that's why I say hopefully. My seedlings are busting at the seams and need to be planted. It is also the week I plan on relocated our pesky groundhog to some greener pastures, far away from my house. He'll have to find somewhere else to forage this summer, because if I catch him in my garden it ain't gonna be pretty. Have you ever seen a ginormous pregnant lady chasing an evil groundhog out of her garden? Me neither, and I don't want to. This years plan includes:
  • Rutgers tomatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes (can't remember the variety)
  • Yellow Pear tomatoes
  • Green Zebra tomatoes
  • Orange Banana paste tomatoes
  • Poblanos
  • Anaheim chiles
  • Some sort of roasting chiles
  • Red Belgian bell peppers
  • Green bell peppers
  • Eggplant, if I can ever get some to sprout
  • Tomatillos
  • Cosack Pineapple Ground Cherries
  • Cucumbers
  • Jack-Be-Little Pumpkins
  • Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans
  • Purple podded pole beans
  • Christmas Limas
  • Black Turtle bush beans
  • Sunflowers
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Dill (already outside)
  • Purple Dragon Carrots (already outside)
  • Chioggia Beets (already outside)
  • Green Onions (already outside)
And to think this is the abbreviated 'I'm pregnant and due in July so I probably shouldn't go too overboard' list. There was so much other stuff I wanted to plant, but that'll have to wait till next year when I can double the size of my garden and reach down to pull weeds without bumping into a human being inside my ever-growing belly. (which, by the way, is garnering a lot of 'wow-you-really-popped-out' comments lately)

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Alrighty then.

A few days ago we attempted by go grocery shopping. By this, I mean that I hauled my exhausted children, and my exhausted self to the grocery store. I know, what was I thinking? But it was either that, or chew on shoe leather for dinner. The trip didn't turn out so well, with Katie throwing her first ever, in-public, on-the-floor fit, and James loosing his marbles too. We didn't end up getting everything we needed, but hey, at least we have ketchup to put on our shoe leather now. The one funny thing that came out of the trip was this: James was getting very frustrated by about the fifth isle, and wanted to go home. I was fumbling around with my coupons, looking for a certain one. He looked up at me sternly and said, 'Mommy, make up your heckin' darn mind!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!' Yes, that came out of my little boy's mouth. While I have never said that exact phrase, I have been known to say 'what the heck? And 'darn it' too. So now, I must remind myself, yet again, that certain words don't always sound that great coming out of a little boy's mouth.