Friday, May 30, 2008

Crispy Deliciousness

Today’s entrĂ©e includes two crispily fried thighs, along with sides of charbroiled neck, shoulder, and arm. This delectable dish starts with increasingly growing horror at the shade of one’s “slight tan” and will be followed with next day muscle aches, feverishness, headache, and generalized misery. All for the simple price of 2 ½ hours spent mowing the lawn to surprise your husband, and believing that while your face could use some sun block, the rest of you would be fine, and would perhaps end up with the aforementioned “slight tan”. You too can enjoy this tasty treat; sign up at your local skin cancer factory today!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Shoot Gun

"Mommy, tomorrow can we go hunting?"

"What, Gabe?"

"Tomorrow, can we go hunting?"

Laughs. "No, babe."

"But I want to go hunting!!"

"Well, maybe when you are a little older, you can go hunting with Uncle Quentin."

"What did you say?" (eagerly)

"I said, maybe when you get a little bigger, you can go hunting with Uncle Quentin."

"Does he have a water gun or a shoot gun?"

Silent laughter. "He has a shoot gun." I love this phrase, "shoot gun".

"Yeah, I don’t have a shoot gun here, not at my new house."

Thinking to self - "Yes, and that would be opposed to ALL the shoot guns we left at the old house....???." The mind of a boy is a mysterious thing, filled with dinosaurs, shoot guns, and lots of smashing noises.



My eyes drift open to the call of my child,wafting down the hall. "NaNa!!" I groggily clutch the last vestiges of sleep to my warm nest in the covers and burrow into the pillow.


OK, fiiiinnnneeee. I roll out of bed and pad sleepily down the hall toward my beckoning son. He greets me with a happy chortle and eager bounce. "NANa!!"

His pajama'ed body cuddles into mine as we head down the hall. He is warm and smells of sleep and needs a large amount of kisses. A running commentary ensues on everything he sees - "Da? Dah. Da! DAH!!" We get him some milk in the kitchen and head back into the bedroom.

Together we stand at the sink, him on his footstool, busily at work with all the items on the sink within reach. As I wash my face, I feel the warm weight of his sturdy body leaning heavily into my side, reaching his baby toothbrush into the enticing stream of water. Our sleep rumpled selves reflect in the mirror, his tousled hair and bright eyes. The house is quiet; his brother is still heavily asleep. The morning sun floats softly through the window. The grass is green, the sky is blue, the babies are sweet.

This is a good life.

Tim has been sick, so last night he slept down the hall in Gabe's room, away from the noise of the babies, in an attempt to catch up on his health. I tucked Gabriel, who had fallen asleep in the living room at 6 PM and was wide eyed and talking vigorously, into bed beside me, so as to not lay for an intolerable length of time beside him on his cushion that he sleeps on in our closet. Gabriel talked happily into the dark...and then he was sleeping.

This morning I found him snuggled up on the carpet on the floor beside the bed, wrapped securely in his beloved dinosaur blanket. Apparently the floor wins, hands down.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Life in 2008

life with boys


  • shrieking contests
  • death defying stunts such as sturdy little bodies hurling themselves off the couch onto cushions on the floor as Mommy yells loudly and runs around trying to maintain lives and limbs
  • splashing contests in the bathtub
  • giggles in the shower
  • Brother pulling Baby in the wagon
  • screeches for drinks in sippy-cups
  • rides on the lawn mower
  • self entertainment outside. I love self entertainment.
  • Gabriel seesawing from being bored when the baby is sleeping and asking repeatedly to wake the baby up to screeching outrage when the baby ventures a chubby hand toward his toy/activity/food/etc.
  • cackles of laughter when Daddy comes home
  • Israel copying every activity of his beloved older brother
  • warm bodies in laps while reading books
  • wet kisses
  • soft bellies and smooth cheeks
  • sweet breath
  • stinky diapers
  • Thomas the Train, Cars, and dinosaur underwear
  • tricycles and tractors and dump trucks and drumsticks
  • lots of requests for milk and snacks
  • long days when Tim has an evening meeting
  • dirt digging
  • toy squabbles
  • A generalized love of toothbrushes and all things toothbrushing
  • sweet slumbering
  • Making each other laugh
  • Making Mommy want to pull her hair out
  • Making Mommy laugh
  • Making Mommy’s heart smile

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Life of Late

Gabe taking a "bath in the bowl!!" the other day when it was sunny outside. He LOVED it!!
The baby was a little jealous and had to cram his own little self into a bowl.
A Squintin' Sonny.
Gabe fell fast asleep on the couch on Sunday evening.
Sugar pie.
And this little sugar pie is into climbing onto EVERYTHING!!! I came out the other week to find him perched on top of the speaker in the living room.
Cheesy Boy with his Daddy.
Gabe thoughtfully peruses his Caillou book, specially requested from the library.
Happy boys in the shower.
Tim driving the boys around the yard.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Sometimes these boys just wear me out. At the end of the day, when Tim has been gone for work all day and then is gone again in the evening for a meeting, and I’ve wrestled the boys in and out of the tub, looked haggardly at the drenched bathroom rug from Gabe throwing washcloths and cups out of the tub, broken up arguments, scolded Gabe repeatedly for not listening and sent him to plenty of time outs, hauled the littlest one off the top of the table, on top of the magazine table, on top of the trunk in his room, on top of anything and everything he can climb on, stopped him repeatedly from jumping on the couch and risking his little neck, picked up Legos, picked up fish from the fish game, picked up cars to put back in the car basket, felt a great wave of despair finding the many many many cards from the Bible trivia game dumped and mixed up in Gabe’s underwear drawer, sent Gabe to sit on the chair for dumping out powder, put more clothes in the dryer, and still need to clean off the table – I am just so DONE. A Mommy needs a break at the end of the day, and sometimes the day just keeps going and going and going. Haggard frizzy haired sigh.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Mouse Massacre

There was a mouse slaughtered in my kitchen this morning. And quite gruesomely, I might add.

Chloe had been OBSESSED with the back of the refrigerator last night. This morning she was equally glued to the pantry door, so I figured I'd open it for her and make her happy. Suddenly there was a great scuffling of claws and snuffling and snorting of dog and there was smear of mouse from hither to yon. Wow. I didn't know the addle-pated dim-witted peering ol' Snooch had it in her.

Now, a clean kill perhaps I could have handled. Cute mouse lying deadly and quietly on the floor was potentially palatable. Blood and guts and mangled moist mouse lying in the midst of a war torn arena...on the other hand...I took one look and my knees literally got weak. Praise the Lord for husbands.

Tim came home and used my kitchen spatula (??!!!????!!???) to clean up the "remains". The kitchen spatula has now been permanently retired. Well, whatever. As long as I didn't have to go near the horrible thing.

Just last night I had been quite crabbily making a list of Chloe's pros and cons, and the con list was quite lengthy, as opposed to the stubby pro list which contained three measly items -

1. Cleans up the food the baby drops
2. Is sometimes cute
3. Hopefully curbs future child allergies

I guess I can begrudgingly add a fourth item now -

4. Slaughters rodents

"Six year old Jack Russell Terrier for sale. Sometimes cute, cleans up food children drop, and may prevent future allergies in said children. Barks wildly and insanely loudly at anyone who comes to the door, thinks about coming to the door, once came to the door, or may come to the door at a future time. All barking generally takes place whilst said children are peacefully napping. Is incredibly and irritatingly allergic to grass. Obsessed with rubber ducks. Will not eat macaroni. Wafts "Essence of Anal Glands" whenever nervous, stressed, or worried, particularly on a trip. Mangles soft footballs. Insists on sleeping on the bed, yet will not jump up there by herself. Slaughters rodents. "

Maybe I'd be able to get at least $2.50.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day, Mom and Carol!! You are both wonderful mothers who are a rich blessing!

I spent my fourth Mother's Day doing something I'm sure plenty of other mothers around the globe were also doing - staying at home with a sick child. Israel has been feverish (101-102 temp) the past several days, so I decided not to inflict him on other children at church. Or other Mommy's. :)

That child wears me out when he is sick. Let me present a portrait series I call "Variations on a Theme".
Indeed. I felt as if I had an invisible line stretched behind me pulling a trotting, fussing, wailing, hot little furnace fusser wherever I went. He wants rock time, lap time, hold time, read time. We read books a lot yesterday, with particular focus on "The Gabriel's Book"'s, which he LOVES. They are two books that my Mom made for Gabe when he was about Israel's age, that has pictures of her and Dad, and the dogs, and the cows, and their house. Israel has a different perspective. To him, they are about Gabe's shoes (Israel is obsessed with shoes), Gabe's sippy cup, the golf cart, and the "singing" pages. The singing pages consist of two pictures that show Grandma Edith cuddling Gabe and singing a nighty-night song to him. Israel will just look and look at those pictures, and then he will squirm around on my lap, lay his head on my shoulder and "sing". Yesterday, he pointed at another picture of Grandma, unrelated to the singing picture, and cuddled close to sing. Then he turned around in my lap, pointed again, and was back to my shoulder. He repeated the process about seven times. :) Sweetheart.

When Gabe and Tim got home from church they brought me in the following:
Gabe wide-eyed-edly gave me the penny and dollar he had clutched in his little fist that he had found in the car. Tim said he was all excited when Tim told him it was "Mama's Day" and they were going to pick Mama some flowers.

"Yeah," said Gabe, "and I'll give her some money!!" (holding up the penny)

"Do you want to give her that dollar, too?" asked Tim.

I am a rich woman.

Friday, May 09, 2008

A Day

The baby has slept in this morning due to a 4 AM drink and diaper change bit. I shuffle around the house feeling blessedly well rested. Gabe pads out of our closet where he is still sleeping (another post), hair sticking in all directions. “Mommy,” he says sleepily. “I need a snack.”

My two children are currently splashing around, diaperless and muddy in the mud puddles left behind by the rain this morning, and having a gleefully splendid time. My eyes are sort of wide and unblinking at the thought of all the cleanup that awaits me.


Israel cranes from his high-chair, waving a short needy arm toward the luring siren of the light switches. “Bah!!” he sputters toward his lunch. He’s having none of it. Baby needs a nap.


Gabe sits in the empty diaper box covered with his dinosaur blanket, making train noises. “Mommy!” he calls, “Come sit in my twain wif’ me!” After a sweaty experience yesterday of sitting beneath the dinosaur blanket, I perch atop the “blanket car”. He scuttles down into his box and “talks train”. We are in Henry the Train. In case you were wondering.


“But Mommy!” Gabe wails pitieously, “I wan’ to go to the ch’uch wif Daddy!”

”Tonight,” I reassure him. “Daddy said tonight after supper.”

“Ok,” he sniffles.


The house is empty. The boys are at the ch’uch wif their Daddy. They played “dwums” and watched You Tube videos on that new-fangledy-dangledy highspeed int-er-net. I could hear them chortling with glee in the background when I called Tim. I was home all by my little ol’ self. Heh heh. This I could get used to.


Tonight Gabriel would not settle down to sleep until I had found him a “baby monitor” so he could also “listen” for the baby. The other night I had found a five-sided package of some green line stuff that looked like the baby monitor. Tonight it was MIA. I dug a pack of nine-volt batteries out of the drawer and turned it around to the white square side, “turned on the power”, made the appropriate “sqssshhh”-ing hissing monitor noises with my mouth, and told the boy that he was a good big brother. He eyed the “monitor” with a small satisfied smile and settled down with his Cheezits. Don’t tell anyone I put my son to bed with some Cheezits.


Thursday, May 1 Tim and I drove to Virginia with the chillun’s, spent the night, and then left the next morning, sans said chillun's, to drive to Kentucky where Tim’s friend from Asbury College, Sam Cullum, was getting married.

Let me tell you about the awe-inspiring wonders of traveling long distances without the precious cargo of young children. Oh. My. I had forgotten such a life existed.

1. There was sweet silence in the car, aside from when we wanted to talk, the radio, or the air conditioning. Silence. I read, dozed, and watched the spring green mountains roll past my window.

2. I put my seat all the way back (no car seat blocking it) and took a NAP. A NAP.

3. I did not have to repeatedly break up toy squabbles, reassure cranky children, check diapers, root through the toy bag, pour liquids into sippy cups, find suitable snacks in snack bags, sing songs, make faces, hold the dog, or deliver dire warnings to misbehaving youngsters.

4. In the hotel room, I could flop down on the bed all by myself and flip through the channels to watch whatever my little heart desired that did not involve golf, basketball, football, or cartoon animation.

5. I did not have to go to sleep when the boys were tired.

6. I only had to worry about bathing and dressing myself. I even got to paint my nails. As I watched TV. In my quiet room.

7. I did not have to wake up in the night to soothe a fusser.

8. We could go 5 different places in one day with no nap deprived cranksters in the back seat. We moseyed out for a late breakfast to Denny’s, where the only “happy minutes” we had to keep track of were our own. Then we shopped at Target. Then we drove to check out our unsold house. Then we went to get ready for the wedding.

9. I did not have to entertain my children during the 4+ hours of wedding and reception. Sheer bliss. My purse contained no toys, drinks, snacks, nada. Except for me. :) The relief of not having to “caretake” made me very eager to help with the babes in arms that were around.

Endorphins are still shooting off at the memory. It was a wonderous, wonderous thing to experience.

However, I missed my baby boys with a buzzing intensity that made it hard to prolong our departure as planned until Sunday afternoon – we met up with some church friends for lunch. By the time we pulled into the driveway, I was all atwitter and flew out of the car to cover my one child still awake with hugs and kisses. It’s such a Catch-22. You can’t wait to have a break from the 24/7 parental duties, but then you just miss the little critters so much you almost wish they were there!! The little critters, however, were happily thriving at Grandma and Granddaddy’s, with scarcely a thought to the absent parentals.

Anywho, we did have a great time. I was so very happy for Sam and Amber, the happily married couple. It was a lot of fun to catch up with friends, and the extended adult conversations without that “divided brain” thing you do where one side of your brain listens while the other watches the boys were very therapeutic!! I got to see Isaac, Eli, Prema, and Cadence with my own eyes. We had a leisurely Sunday morning breakfast with Josh and Brittany, whom Tim is "joining in holy matrimony" in a few weeks.

The ol’ house looked just the same, just waiting for someone to love it. It was sort of weird to go inside. Neighbor Bud had a TIA while we were gone, Neighbor Jean gained 6 pounds. :) Neighbor Cecil has been mowing our yard, that nice man. Neighbor Cecil’s wife broke her knee and so they have to sell their house, too. We got all caught up.

Sam and Amber, you had a bee-yoo-tee-ful wedding. We are thrilled for you guys. Come visit anytime!! :)

The wedded smooch.
Isaac Cullum (Sam's nephew) peers over his Daddy's shoulder. Apparently, Isaac was eagerly anticipating the thought of playing with Gabe. Who wasn't there. Errrr - oops. Samuel and Amberly Cullum.
Oh look. It's us.