Monday, November 30, 2009

I Did It!

Woohoo!!! 30 posts in 30 days! I didn't forget even once! I think the birthdays and Christmas/birthday lists helped a LOT, but even so, I did it!

Third time's the charm, I guess! :)

The question now is.....do I continue? We'll see. I'm certainly not going to get out of bed just to post if I miss a day. Bed gravity is WAY too high for that!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Percolation

So our small group is reading the book "The Divine Commodity" by Skye Jethani. I wouldn't say that it's necessarily blowing my mind, but I _would_ say that it's bringing together some scattered thoughts that I've been thinking for years and putting some words to them.

For instance, Mr. Jethani talks about how we, as American consumers, have lost the ability to imagine God actually _doing_ miraculous things. And since we can't imagine it (or to put it in more common "church" parlance, to "have faith like a child"), it doesn't happen. Well, that's not really true....it's not that it doesn't happen, it's that we don't _see_ it happen. Because we don't believe that it could or that God could/would do it. It just doesn't make "common sense" to believe in the miraculous. And our culture is all about the "common sense."

I'm also thinking about what church should and shouldn't be. We've spent so much time and energy making church "relevant" and "seeker-sensitive" that I think we've forgotten that church is actually for those who _ALREADY_ believe. Yes, non-believers will be drawn in (especially as we practice the community aspect of being a follower of Jesus and then show His love elsewhere through service both near and abroad), but the main point of "church" (imo) isn't to "bring people to Christ," but rather to equip and renew those who already follow Him.

And as believers, we seem to think that if we "bring a friend to church," then we've done our job. Nevermind actually _serving_ that friend and meeting them where they are. We just want to get them to join our club.

Back to the imagination aspect, it's like we've run out of ideas for ways to actually _serve_ people. It's not _bad_ to bring cookies to our local fire station...but when we talk about acts of service, why do we think so small? Why do we think of things that will make someone's _day_ rather than change their lives? And it's not to say that bringing someone cookies couldn't be used by God to change their lives...but there are other ways that _DEFINITELY_ will change someone's life. Maybe those take more work? But I don't even necessarily think so.

I don't know....lots of stuff percolating....still not quite ready...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Quiet...

So we made a whirlwind trip to NC for Thanksgiving/VNB's birthday - down Wednesday night, back up Thursday after lunch - ~12 hrs of driving in just over 24 hours. Why'd we bother coming back so quickly, you ask? Well, that's because VNB had to work not just yesterday, but this morning as well.

_I_ wanted to sit at home and not go anywhere or do anything - just be _us_, together, for a day without anything we had to do or anywhere we had to go (either individually or as a group).

Well, birthday boy trumps would-be-hermit wife, so we did the trip instead.

But out of gratitude (and since he knew I needed the break), VNB just walked in the door from work, checked something, grabbed the kids, and left until at least nap time. At which point they'll (theoretically) be quiet for a couple more hours.

So I've got the place to myself. No DVDs, no one to care for...plenty to do, but still....it's quiet....no little people underfoot. I can clean something and it actually has a chance at staying clean for a minute our two! (Or I can sit here on the couch under my blanket and write a blog post...you know...whichever is more important...)

I could fix a cup of tea and actually put it on the table without it spilling and/or scalding someone! Or even a glass of water!

I don't have to fix anyone's lunch!

Now to play on the computer until I actually relax, then get up and reclaim my territory with a happy, grateful, and peaceful heart....

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Hump

So I'd have to check to be sure, but I _think_ this is the longest I've made it for NaBloPoMo! Just a couple more days and I can say that I've succeeded!! Woohoo!! (Wait....is that counting chickens?)

Anyway....

So I've been meaning to tell this little gem for a week or so now, but there were always more pressing things to post about.

So here you go:

A few weeks back, VNB took the kids for a Saturday morning to give me a little decompression time (have I mentioned lately how awesome he is? Even though he's OLD?). Since he'd forgotten we'd planned on him doing that, he was at a bit of a loss as to what to do all morning, so he took them to the train store. And since he was there, he bought a train or two. And since he'd bought a new train, he just HAD to pull out his train stuff and make a quick layout on the dining room table, much to AJ's delight.

After a few days of train play, the small group was coming over for dinner at the dining room table, so the trains had to be put away. VNB promised AJ that when we bought a bigger house, the trains would come back out.

The next day, AJ became _very_ insistent that we go to the store. He got upset when I told him that we didn't need to go to the store for anything. After a little questioning, I found out why - he wanted to go to the store to buy a bigger house.

If only it were so easy....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Hap Birday Two Three!

Happy birthday to my sweet husband! I am so thankful for you and all the joy you've brought into my life and look forward to many more years together!

Oh....and don't worry about being SOOOOOO OLD! (He's 30 - I'm older, so I can tease him.)

video

(Sorry it's sideways - I always forget not to turn the camera for videos and Blogger had issues uploading the rotated Windows Movie Player version).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Clothes vs. Toys vs. ...

So my SIL (disguised as my BIL) commented on my "what to get my family for Christmas this year" post. Since she raised a question that I think applies to more than her (and since I wasn't sure that she'd get my response if I only replied in the comments), I thought I'd dedicate an entire post to the question.

Basically, she stated that it sounded from my post like I'd rather the kids get clothes than toys this year. While that's true for the most part, it doesn't really capture all that's behind the scenes in that post. And since I think people think that I'm either:
a) overly-protective
b) overly-controlling
c) crazy
d) weird
e) all of the above
I wanted to explain a bit...

You see, my kids don't _need_ anything this year - they don't even really _want_ much (especially Joanna - pretty much you feed her, change her, let her sleep, and play with her occasionally and she's good). Plus, we live in a VERY SMALL condo that's already stuffed to overflowing with four people, a cat, a 55-gallon fish tank, a piano, and all the "stuff" that goes with all of that. At this point, more stuff is pretty much one of the largest sources of stress for (and between) me and VNB. Couple that with the fact that we both scored amazingly low (as in, I got a 0 and he got a 2, I think) on "Gift-giving" as our love language, and getting gifts just isn't important to us.

On the other hand though, we recognize that gift-giving is one way that people _OTHER_ than ourselves show us how much they love us and our kids and we don't want to completely take away that source of fulfillment for them. Nor do we want to deprive our kids of the "fun" of Christmas/birthdays (although we also don't want them to _expect_ gifts, but rather be grateful for any that come).

So, my solution thus far has been to post/email a list of the things that can be given to us which will make us (me) the least crazy while giving the most joy to (or meeting the thing that comes closes to a need for) the kids. Giving them a new VeggieTales DVD, for instance, will still add to the stuff that we have, but it will also give us another viewing option for when we're watching kids DVDs All. Day. Long. So I think the amount of craziness equals out. And while I really have no idea where we'd permanently store a board game for AJ, I also know that those will help him learn to count, which is rather high on my "to do" list at the moment (right now he can get to "eleben" sometimes).

But really, what would I _RATHER_ they have? I'd rather they get something small and you either give the rest of the money you would have spent to someone who really needs it, you save it (or give it to us to save) for someday when they want a car or to go to college or something. The kids aren't going to miss it either way.

The problem is going to come in when we have a bigger place (so I don't have that excuse anymore), but I still don't really want to them/us get any more stuff . We live in such a consumer culture. I _WANT_ my kids to learn to live simply (and _I_ want to be able to live simply) a) so that others might "simply live" (i.e., so that we can give more away), and b) so that they can learn from the beginning that gifts are something not that they are entitled to, but something which are completely unnecessary expressions of love and which should be accepted with gratitude, not expectation.

So that's what's going on in my head. Scary place, huh? It's not that we're ungrateful for any gift you would give us...I just want to maximize the joy it brings to us since I know that will maximize the joy you get in giving it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

La-dee-dah....

Yeah...I got nothin' today....

Uuuuuuuuuummmmmmmm.....

Some enchanted eeee-v'ning.....
You will meet a stranger.....
You will hear him call you....
Across a crow-ded room....

That's what's going through my head right now.

And now I need to go wipe someone else's butt and then get that butt into bed.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas, 2009 (and Birthdays, 2009 and 2010!)

Ok, so this post is primarily for our families, so both of you who read this who are not related to me or VNB can ignore this.

We're still REALLY cramped for space, so PLEASE do not give us a lot of stuff. The kids really do have (more than) enough toys.

I've listed their current and upcoming clothing, etc. needs here (AJ and Joanna), and will do my best to keep those updated. I'll put a link over on the sidebar so that way you _should_ be able to just click the link at any time to see what they need, clothes-wise, and what sizes they are (I'll include the date they were last updated in the link title).

If you _do_ buy them toys/DVDs, here is what we have of the Thomas stuff, and here is our current DVD selection. I listed what we _have_ so that it only needs to be updated when they get something new, not every time the companies come out with another something. About the only other brand we're loyal to is Lego/Duplo (i.e., no MegaBlocks, please!). I'd really rather limit the number of "character" things they have, so even though AJ loves "Cars" and lots of other things, try to limit licensed merchandise to Thomas and VeggieTales, please!

AJ is also starting to get into board games. We have "The Ladybug Game" already, but wouldn't mind some of the basic counting/colors games like Chutes and Ladders and CandyLand. I would swear that at one point I saw a "classic" version of CandyLand in Target in a sturdy wooden box that I would FAR prefer to the current version, but I can't find it anywhere, so maybe I was dreaming.

We're pretty maxed out on books (sadly).

For me, I'm going to be getting a set of these (any brand would do as long as it's good quality and dual-driver). You're welcome to contribute to the cause. Alternate ideas would be iTunes gift cards, any Hillsong United CD, either of Michael W. Smith's last two albums (Stand or A New Hallelujah), or Matt Redman's latest (We Shall Not Be Shaken).

For VNB...I think I know what _I'm_ getting him, but I've got nothing to help you out at the moment. Sorry! This is the local train store where he likes to shop, but I don't since my college stalker works there. We don't have the new Star Trek yet though.

Also, one thing that we both want that we _do_ have a little space for would be more of our china. We'd love to end up getting 12 place settings, but we currently only have four. Macy's has finally closed our wedding registry (the gall - it's only been four years!), but the pattern is available lots of places and all that we have is the four place settings. Random other pieces would be welcome as well, but I think we'd rather get the place settings first. The pattern is called Silver Palace and is by Noritake. Here is Noritake's link.

FYI - we're probably getting AJ a toddler digital camera this year for Christmas/Birthday

Sunday, November 22, 2009

She Walks!!!

Ok, really, she steps....with a LOT of encouragement, approximately the same time as her brother (I was just looking back over the blog and all I can find is that AJ took his first steps "a few days" before he was 11 months - she'll be 11 months tomorrow).

We've been trying every so often for the past week or two and she's been getting better with her balance, but it wasn't until tonight that she slid her foot a couple of times. We're very proud of our big girl!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Success!

So VNB turns 30 on Thanksgiving. To celebrate, we did what no one thought we could pull off - a surprise party for him! Except for my excessively poor lying skills (which, really, not a huge problem, if you ask me...), he wouldn't even have suspected anything. Until, of course, he walked into the church and someone in the office asked, "so who's the party for?" He still acted mostly surprised and _was_ impressed with the fact that I'd almost thrown him off the scent.

But we did it, and it was fun, and lots of people came, and we have a LOT of food left over (come over and eat a sandwich, please!).

Even baby Abigail was there to show off her chubby cheeks! :)

The bathroom has all of its drywall again, and slowly things are finding their way back into their places. I even managed to do six loads of laundry today (only five more to go (yikes!) - helps that there are two washers and dryers). Someday, life _may_ even return to "normal." Who knows?

Friday, November 20, 2009

AJ's Clothing Info

AJ's pretty well set for the winter now (thanks everyone!).

If you do see anything you want to buy him, he's currently in 3T clothes, although any PJs that are bought now should probably be 4Ts. I don't know his current foot size (bigger than 7s, that's for sure!). Next time we're at a store with a foot measuring thingy, I'll try to remember to measure his feet.

Looking ahead:
- He's got lots of short-sleeved shirts (mostly 2Ts), but only a few pairs of shorts (all 2T)
- "Balance bike" (not now, wait till we have a house with a place to put it, please)

(updated Jan. 4, 2010)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Operation Christmas Child Hits Home

So today we collected the filled shoeboxes from the church to take to the collection site. Including ours, there were 78! A little down from last year, but I know that there are several folks out there just planning to bring the boxes to the collection site themselves, so we didn't do so badly.

AJ and I filled our box last Sunday night (Joanna and I had bought all of the stuff, but she wasn't so much into the packing). It was VERY hard for my little man to see the fun toys get packed away (along with some soap, pencils, crayons, some copy books, candy, shirts, off-brand play dough, and a few other things), but eventually he got excited about the present for the boys and "dirls" (it helped that he got his own set of play dough to play with). The box has been sitting on the counter since then, and he's mentioned it a couple of times - "Dat p'esent not foh Ay-Day. Dat foh boys an' dirls." He was very excited this morning when the box was clearly ready to leave the house. I had to explain to him that _we_ weren't going to bring it to the boys and girls today, but that we'd give it to someone else who would bring it to them. ("Although," I said, "wouldn't be cool if one day we would get to deliver our own box?!" Planting the seeds early...)

So after our MOPS steering team meeting this morning, AJ helped me load the boxes onto the cart and then into the back (and floorboards) of the car. It was kind of a blessing that we didn't have quite as many as last year since I had an extra passenger (CaptainConundrum) and car seat (Joanna) that weren't there last year (well, Joanna _was_ there, she was just still hitching a ride in my uterus). When we got to the collection site, he helped carry in and stack the boxes, but we saved one for last - OURS.

I'd taken one home from our October MOPS meeting for AJ to help fill, knowing that it might be disastrous, but that it was worth it to teach him early to give to others. He'd been excited when he saw the wrapped box - "Dat foh me, Mom? Dat foh me?" To which I replied, not sure how much he understood, "No, Buddy, that's a present for a little boy or a little girl somewhere else in the world who doesn't have any toys." Thinking that we'd bring it into the store with us when we went to buy the stuff to fill it, I left it in the car, between the car seats.

Every now and then, he'd ask again, "Dat foh me, Mom?" and I'd explain again that no, it was for a little boy or girl far away who maybe didn't have toys to play with. Time passed and passed and there was never a good opportunity to take him out to buy the stuff for the box, so last Sunday after choir practice (when he was _not_ with me), I stopped by Target, and hit their "Dollar Spot" and school supplies aisle. When I came home, AJ was excited to see both the box and the new toys. (Again, "Dat foh me, Mom?" "No, Buddy...") We talked as I packed the box about the little boy or girl who maybe didn't have crayons and paper to draw with or toys to play with or soap. We talked about how they lived far away, about how much God has given to us, and about how that means that we need to give to other people.

He cried a little when the toys went straight into the box, but he was surprisingly good about it, eventually repeating his mantra - "Dat not foh me, dat foh duh boys an' dirls." He was especially upset because the box was getting new play dough, so I was glad when the box was all packed and I could surprise him with his own play dough (which I think has all already dried out or been eaten by Joanna!).

I was reminded at my meeting this morning that if you donated online (you're supposed to pay $7 per box to cover the costs of shipping, etc.), you could print out a bar code to track where your actual box had gone. Since I hadn't yet donated, I borrowed a computer and printed out a barcode for us and taped it on OUR box, which sat on CaptainConundrum's lap the rest of the way to the drop-off location.

After AJ had helped unload the boxes at the drop-off point, I pulled out OUR box from the dashboard. As I handed it to him, I asked if he wanted to pray over it, and he said yes! So we prayed, thanking God first that we had been given so much that we were able to give to others, but then praying that the boy who got our box would enjoy drawing with the crayons and playing with the toys and eating the candy and using the soap. There were tears in my eyes as I thought about how proud I was of my little man, not yet 3, who was so generously and happily giving up fun toys that he would love to a little boy that he'd probably never meet.

Then we got to the stacks of boxes and he started to cry. We asked where he wanted to stack his box and got an incoherent response. Thinking that he maybe just couldn't reach the top of one of the stacks, I helped him put the box down, at which point he collapsed onto the floor, face buried in his hands, boohoo-ing about how he wanted to draw (with the crayons that our prayer had reminded him were in the box). I picked my sobbing boy up off of the floor and carried him to the car (picking up an "I donated a shoe box" sticker along the way), reminding him about his crayons at home and how we were giving OUR box to a little boy who didn't have any crayons.

He calmed down eventually, and I'm still _VERY_ proud of him, but what can I say? He's not even 3 yet. We've done well not getting too much "MINE" from him, but he's still a very little boy.

Someday I'll remind him of this, his first time giving away something that was hard. I think on that day maybe _I'll_ be giving away something hard as he goes out into the world to do the work that God has for him to do. A mommy can certainly dream worse dreams for her little man.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's the End of the World as We Know It....And I Feel Fine...

So I'm sitting here, watching a Discovery Channel offering about the various ways that the world could end in 2012....and I can't help but laugh. They're just so......dramatic......every time they describe some horrible way for millions of people to die due to some natural disaster, they say something to the effect of: "but _that_ may just be the tip of the iceberg" and then they go to commercial. When they come back, they go, for instance, from talking about a specific volcano in the Atlantic that could erupt, cause a massive landslide, and that would cause a ginormous tsunami. They didn't say which way(s) the tsunami would go, but it showed graphics of the entire Delmarva peninsula being underwater. Then there was a graphic of Air Force One with a huge wave crashing over it (the Capitol Building was another favorite to show waves crashing over). Knowing a little bit about that particular geography....there's a LONG way between the east coast and Washington DC (or Andrews AFB, as the case may be). I get that tsunamis (especially "mega" tsunamis) would go a long way inland....but really? A wave significantly higher than the Capitol Building making it _TO_ the Capitol Building? I can see some flooding making it into DC - it is a swamp, after all - but _that_ big a wave? That would take like all of the water in the Atlantic.

Leading up to this most recent commercial break they said what has got to be my favorite line EVER in a doomsday scenario show: "Space is full of lots of things just floating around _looking_ for something to slam into!" I can just see the asteroids out there, chatting with each other - "So have _you_ seen anything good to slam into? Me neither....wait...what's that over there? Oooooohhhh that little blue and green planet looks like it might be fun! Let's slam into THAT one!"

Seriously?

A "disastrous traffic accident in space!"

I _told_ you everything is cooler when you add "in space" to it!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Joanna's Clothing Info

Joanna's pretty well set for winter (thanks!). But just in case you find something adorable, she's currently in 9-mo stuff, although 12-mo stuff doesn't quite fall off of her anymore. Since she's really learning to walk right now, I'd rather her be barefoot, so no shoes, please!

Looking Ahead:
- A forward-facing car seat (theoretically she could have this by the end of the year, but there's no way she'll weigh enough by then). We'll probably buy it from Babies 'R Us, so a giftcard could be designated for this purpose.
- Shoes for spring/summer (no idea what size at this point, but probably size 1 or 2) - sandals, "church" shoes, and maybe sneakers.

Please avoid pink, especially in the shirt. I don't mind accents, but I'd rather the base color not be pink.

(Updated Jan. 4, 2010)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thomas Trains We Have

AJ is a HUGE fan of Thomas the Tank Engine and all of his friends. We therefore have ended up with quite the collection of Thomas train cars. We ONLY collect the wooden railway series, so don't buy it if it says any of the following: TrackMaster; Die Cast Metal; or Take Along!

These are the engines that we have:
- Thomas (plain - two - one with a band-aid holding on his face)
- Mud Covered Thomas
- Easter Thomas
- Sir Handel
- Peter Sam
- Percy (came with the Easter Thomas set)
- Lights and Sounds Percy (2 of them)
- Lady
- (Repaired) Hiro
- James
- Psalty
- Mighty Mac (hasn't been seen in a while)
- Gordon
- Henry (hasn't been given to AJ yet)

Other cars that we have:
- Trevor the Tractor
- Terrence the Tractor
- Annie & Clarabel
- Troublesome Trucks (we have the giggling one in hand right now, but I think I've seen the non-giggling one recently)
- Musical Caboose
- Aquarium Cars (Shark and Octopus Cars)
- Winter Caboose
- Milk Barrel Car & Cow Car
- Cherry Picker & Spotlight Lorry (What? They're British!)
- Sodor Zoo Cars (from a different series, but they work in a pinch - have the Lion car in hand at the moment, haven't seen the monkeys in a while)
- Express Coaches
- Harold the Helicopter
- Chicken Cars
- Two plain wooden freight cars that came with the Easter Thomas set

"Sets" that we have:
- Roundhouse (non-deluxe)
- Stacking Risers
- Suddery Swing Bridge
- Round-About Action Turntable

Other cars that we've had in the past, but may or may not still be in our possession:
- Toby (been MIA for quite a while - at this point, we're declaring him officially gone)
- Terrence the Tractor (I've seen him recently)
- Non-giggling troublesome truck
- Sodor Zoo Monkey car

(Updated Apr. 7, 2010)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mmmmmm.......Pomegranate.....

I think the title says it all....

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Kids DVDs We Have

There's actually a method to my madness here, I'm not just posting something completely random.

VeggieTales:

- The Ballad of Little Joe
- An Easter Carol
- Esther
- Gideon: Tuba Warrior
- Heroes of the Bible (Daniel, Dave & the Giant Pickle, Esther)
- LarryBoy & the Fib From Outer Space
- LarryBoy & the Rumor Weed
- Lessons From the Sock Drawer
- Lyle the Kindly Viking
- Madame Blueberry
- Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella
- Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Sampson's Hairbrush
- Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving
- Sheerluck Holmes and the Golden Ruler
- Sing Alongs: Dance of the Cucumber
- Sing Alongs: I Can Be Your Friend
- Sing Alongs: I Love My Lips
- A Snoodle's Tale
- The Ultimate Silly Song Countdown
- Very Silly Songs
- Where's God When I'm Scared?
- The Wonderful Wizard Of Ha's

Thomas:
- Come Ride the Rails
- Free Sampler DVD: Fun With Thomas, Two Thomas Adventures
- Hero of the Rails
- It's Great to be an Engine!
- Milkshake Muddle
- Team Up With Thomas
- 10 Years of Thomas
- Thomas and the Magic Railroad
- Ultimate Christmas

Full Length Features:
- The Adventures of Milo and Otis
- Alice in Wonderland (Disney animated version)
- Babe (VHS)
- Cars
- Finding Nemo
- Ice Age (VERY scratched)
- Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
- Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
- The Lion King (Disney)
- Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa
- Monsters, Inc.
- Muppets from Space (VHS)
- Robin Hood (Disney animated version - VHS)
- Shark Tale

Other:
- Awesome Animals in the Bible
- Awesome Mysteries of the Bible
- DangerMouse Seasons 1-4
- Darkwing Duck: Volume 1 (3-DVD Boxed Set)
- Elmo's World: Birthday, Games & More!
- Elmo's World: Flowers, Bananas & More!
- Elmo's World: Head to Toe With Elmo!
- Hermie: A Common Caterpillar (It's About Being Special)
- Psalty's Praise Party Two!
- Psalty's Songs for Li'l Praisers
- What's in the Bible? With Buck Denver DVD #1: In the Beginning
- What's in the Bible? With Buck Denver DVD #2: Let My People Go
- The World's Greatest Bible Stories & Songs: Daniel in the Lions' Den

- The World's Greatest Bible Stories & Songs: David & Goliath
- The World's Greatest Bible Stories & Songs: The Story of Jesus

(Updated Apr. 8, 2010)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Let's Gooooooo Mar'land!

So VNB called this afternoon saying that a co-worker had season tickets to the MD men's basketball game tonight that he wasn't going to be able to use, so he was giving them to us! We tried to find another couple to go with, but couldn't think of anyone that could come (no names came to mind until we were driving there, then I thought of like a dozen folks - sorry!). So instead of finding and paying a sitter, we just brought the kids with us and had two extra seats.


AJ's never been a big fan of loud noises, but I'm very gratified to report that he was only upset when they were playing canned music over the loud speakers. When the band was playing, he was all smiles and spent the time dancing and shouting! He even got to the point during the second half where he'd heard the "Victory" song so much that he had his own little run around in a circle dance to it and it alone. By the end of the game, he was distracting the other team's free throws, cheering when MD got a basket, and yelling "Let's go Pirates" at inappropriate times (he mostly sees ECU games with his Daddy, so I guess he's still got a little to learn).




Joanna, having spent 9 months in utero while her Mama was playing for Amplified (our Rock 'n Roll service), has never been bothered by loud noises, so she was busy clapping (her most favorite thing ever!) and melting the hearts of the folks behind us.




AJ even got to meet Testudo!




All in all, we had a great time! Here's hoping this co-worker can't make a couple more games! :)

(Oh, and Maryland won - like 80-something to 40-something - they were playing Charleston Southern U? I dunno...it was a blow-out, as befits one of their first games of the season.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gentleman(?) Caller


So about a week ago, I was coming in from the car (it had to be a weekend, because I didn't have the kids with me) and I noticed this large, black and white cat hanging around. S/he scattered when I came near.


A few days later, Monkey (our cat, yes I know it's confusing - keep up) started attacking the sliding glass door to our porch. Sure enough, our "friend" (let's call him/her "Tom" for the sake of argument) was sitting back there looking in.


"Tom"

He's (she's) done that for a little while at least once a day since then, much to Monkey's dismay.

And mine. You see, s/he seems to like best to show up right about the time I'm trying to get things quiet - or about the time the baby who had screamed for several hours had fallen asleep on my chest (well....we'd probably been asleep for a while at that point, but after 2+ hours of screaming, no amount of sleep is enough).

So if anyone wants a cat - s/he seems friendly enough when I can get out there without Monkey attacking - I've got one for you (yes, I'll be putting up flyers one of these days). I'll even throw in a litter box for free (got a new one that Monkey refuses to touch).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Look What I Can Do!

video

As her big brother would say, "So toot, Baby, so toot!"

(toot = cute)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hippo Birdie Two Ewes!

Happy birthday to AJ's favorite "Unc Toady" or "Unc Toy!"

Just think, next year on your birthday you'll be an old, married man!

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Fever

So Joanna's got "the fever" now too. Good thing, too, because otherwise she wouldn't have woken up at 11:15 which eventually reminded me that I hadn't posted yet today.

She woke up from her afternoon nap a little out-of-sorts and pretty much stayed that way all afternoon. She was VERY clingy and seemed tired. Then, about the time VNB got home, her fever got up to about 101, so we gave her some Motrin. After a quick nap on Daddy's chest, she hopped up, right as rain. Until bedtime. When she screamed like a banshee for most of an hour. Then woke back up about an hour later. Reminding me to post for today.

And we've come full circle.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Silver Lining...

So here's the silver lining of the cloud of sickness we've been in this past week or so:

With Joanna nursing as much as she has, I've lost between five and ten pounds, putting me back at my pre-Joanna weight! There are still ten pounds to go to get to my pre-AJ weight ( and a _LOT_ of exercise/toning to get to my pre-pregnancy _shape_), but AJ was well over a year old before I was at this weight.

Woo hoo!

(And thanks to my FIL for pointing it out!)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Arg...

Really, one of these days I'm going to remember prior to 11:38 PM and post something witty or at least interesting.

In the meantime, today AJ seemed to be at least maintaining. When his fever spiked, he was miserable. The rest of the time, he was ok-ish. We've made it through Day 1 of trying to keep him in his room. We'll see how long it lasts.

Joanna seems to be perfectly fine again, although she _really_ needs to gain some weight now.

VNB managed by himself for a few hours while I was at Amplified ("leading" the service tonight). That's been interesting. Most of the songs we sing are "guy" songs, so I have to radically alter the key in order to get it to something I can sing...but I seem to be over-estimating my voice in both directions. Well, over-estimating isn't quite the word. What I can do by myself and what I can do in the heat of the moment in front of a bunch of people are apparently different things. My range shrinks a bit....especially after a full rehearsal and then a whole service!

It's definitely been a learning experience. And once I find a group of songs that will work for me to sing, I'll definitely need to learn to talk intelligibly occasionally in between songs.

Oh well...next month...

Friday, November 06, 2009

2AM Wake-Up Call

So at approximately 2AM this morning, AJ started crying and saying that he had to go potty. While helping him to the potty, I noticed exactly how warm he was. When he was practically in hysterics because he wanted to go to his friend's house, VNB woke up too and we took his temperature - 101.4. Some children's Motrin later, he was sacked out on the couch, watching a movie. We waited an hour to see if the Motrin worked on the fever (it did), then we went back to sleep (all of us).

After a call to the pediatrician (the third since Tuesday - two for Joanna, one for AJ), we were pretty sure it was the flu, and according to her, 99% of flu cases in North America right now are H1N1.

So we spent the day trying to keep Joanna (who was successfully keeping down solids today!) away from him and monitoring his symptoms (runny nose, cough, fever, aches). There was a small chance that Joanna had it too and was just presenting differently, so VNB (and his dad) took them to an urgent care place to get them tested. Neither of them had strep, but AJ definitely tested positive for the strain of flu that contains the H1N1 branch. Joanna did not (confirmation that she just had some random virus that made her vomit, but nothing else).

So we came home, ate dinner, and completely remodeled our house. AJ and his train table are in his and Joanna's room (the crib's pushed up against the wall and we took out the chair I usually nurse her in). Joanna's in the pack 'n play in the playroom. Neither of them was a big fan of the arrangement. Well...AJ's a big fan of having his toys in his room, but they really seem to do better with sleeping when they've got each other in the room. Joanna especially took a while to get to sleep.

We have no idea how long this will take or if any of the rest of us will get it. Apparently we're not contagious as long as we're not coughing or anything.

We're going to try to keep AJ in his room as much as possible. It's going to be an interesting few days...

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Success!!

So there's still work to be done, but I finished my analysis for work today! Yay!!!!! And the amazing thing was that the very first time I worked through all of the numbers, I got it right! There's one little thing that I need to go back and fix (that won't make a bit of a difference in the long run), and then we have to do our pseudo-documentation (just a memo saying very briefly what we did) and our charts for the review and we're "done!"

I sent my compatriot the final results and then said, "I'm logging off for the day - I'll get back to you on more stuff tomorrow!" And I did! And my house was mostly clean by the time small group got here tonight!

So tomorrow I get to tackle the mountain of laundry that has sprung up since last week. it's really not that much, it just seems like a lot because it's been dumped in our floor instead of being put in the hampers (mostly by me, I'm not pointing fingers here). And the pile got added to considerably today when Joanna projectile vomited on me and my sofa blanket twice today (well, twice on me, once on the blanket, but they were both basically all water and pointed exactly at me - which was good for the laptop that was within splashing distance).

Anyway, she hasn't thrown up since then and that was three hours and a nap after she'd eaten last...and she's kept down 1/3 of a banana since then, so yet again I'm hopeful. I talked to her pediatrician today and was relieved to hear that MANY people are calling in with the same symptoms, so it's just a bug going around - no fever, not respiratory, with vomiting, but as long as you don't lick anything that she's licked or drooled on, you probably won't catch it.

So that's been my day. Vomit and risk analysis and cleaning.

Ah, the life of a work-at-home, rocket scientist mom. It's glamorous, I tell you!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Life...

I really have nothing of interest to say tonight. My mind is pretty mushy. I've been working around the clock to try to get a project done for work for about a week now. I could be done if I'd stop messing around and just get it done, but instead I find myself doing Griddlers.

Soooooo addictive.

Ok, really....I do have interesting things to say....lots of stuff percolating in my brain right now. Some silly, some theological, some political, some medical (nothing to be concerned about, just looking for a new doc), some parental, but mostly silly.

But in the meantime, at least I haven't forgotten yet! Woohoo! I've made it to day 4!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Dude...

Dude...it's only November 3rd and I already would have totally forgotten if I hadn't gotten out of bed to burn some CDs for VNB really quickly and checked my email. Someone commented on yesterday's post. I've only got 24 minutes left, but it still is November 3rd!

So far, so good.

That's how I feel about ABC's remake of "V" too. I'm anxiously awaiting the next few weeks to see if they decide to screw it up or keep going with it being the same (that is, AWESOME), just updated (i.e., even AWESOMER)!

Monday, November 02, 2009

See, I Told You So...

Remember when I did this to my smallest child? Well, you can tell me now how right I was...


(Nevermind the grumpy-looking Pirate behind her - he'd had a long night of making sure another little pirate (see below) didn't find his way into traffic.)


And here is her equally-cute older brother:


Now if only I could take Joanna from the next picture to put into that last one, and it'd be perfect!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Postage

OK, so I totally planned on posting the world's cutest pictures tonight, but instead I'm still working, trying to get something done for a deadline at work. I promise, pictures tomorrow (unless I'm still working on this then). But this counts as today's post.

Really, I won't phone it in every day...