December 29, 2006

I May Be Sick, But...

I can wear size 10 pants again! Not that I wouldn't like to drop another couple of sizes, but it is a great start to be down that far in two months. Breastfeeding is a wonderful thing for so many reasons.


The Baby Boy's big sisters are trying their hardest to give him a complex before he even learns to crawl. They routinely come in during diaper changes and comment on his "cute, little p----!" They think everything about him is fascinating.

The other day, the four year old again came in to observe a diaper change and this time she asked, "What's that big thing under his p----?" I told her the proper name for that particular body part, but she was skeptical. She asked if her big brother also had them. And then she asked if her dad did. I wanted to stop pursuing this line of questioning, so I informed her that all boys did.

"Really? Does our dog have them too?"

"Uh. Um. Well, he used to."

"What happened to them?"

This continued on through an explanation about our not wanting him to make puppies and that the vet did the procedure.

I just hope that next time she's mad at her brother, she doesn't suggest we take him to the vet.

December 28, 2006

In Sickness and in Health

Yesterday was my ninth wedding anniversary. We'll have to celebrate later. For the record, we currently have one bronchial infection, one UTI, three on and off fevers and lots of snotty noses.

December 22, 2006

Nice Place You've Got There

That Other Jordana, formerly seen at The Pregnant Waddle, has a lovely new location for her blog and a new blog title as well.

That Doesn't Make For the Happiest Holiday

My four year old is convinced that one of Santa's Reindeer is named Cancer.

December 20, 2006

So Many Things...


We just bought a house...

And there is this thing called Christmas coming up...

It's keeping me busy and I'm not even the one playing general contractor.

We closed on the house on Monday, December 11. On Wednesday, we had the porch roof ripped off and met with a fencing contractor.

On Friday the HVAC guys started redoing all the ductwork. Also on Friday, we had a dumpster dropped off in the backyard at the new house. Also on Friday, my parents arrived with two van loads of stuff, including, but not limited to, a clawfoot tub, a dishwasher, a sofa, and a four poster bed. Also on Friday, we had to go to my husband's office Christmas party, which is a fun family affair with good food and lots of silliness.

On Saturday we (including my parents) all got up, dragged ourselves over to the new house and spent the whole day filling up the dumpster by clearing the piles of scrap wood filled with nails, trash, nasty underwear and other garbage from the backyard and garage. My mother also started in on the attic.

On Sunday, after church my parents and Justin worked on the attic and the backyard some more. Throwing away peed on mattresses left in the attic and much of the "insulation" (aka newspapers) left up there as well. The dumpster was full.

On Monday, I had to take the littlest to the doctor for his two month checkup. Justin took the day off from work and spent the whole day working on cleaning the attic. The first dumpster was hauled off and a new one was brought in its place. I watched kids, trimmed a tree and met with the guys who built the cabinets in the kitchen and whom we hope will finish the job now that it's under new management. Unsurprisingly for Nashville, they are country music singers as well as carpenters. Justin also met with a fellow who does a lot of the lawn care in the neighborhood and signed him up to clear the part of the backyard affectionately (or not) known as "the jungle." The guy told us it would really help with the snakes in the summer. That made me really happy.

On Tuesday, the yard guy started clearing brush and the HVAC guys finished all the ductwork and installed a new upstairs unit.

Today, the electricians began their work removing old ragwire and knob and tube. I baked cookies so we'd have a present for the kids swimming teacher, went shopping for Justin's secretary (I knew I had forgotten someone!) and bought an oven for the new kitchen. The credit card company thought my card had been stolen with all the shopping and made me wait at the appliance store for about 20 minutes while they verified my information over and over again. I was glad they were looking out for me, but it made us late for swimming. And since I had been up baking cookies at 7 this morning, I wasn't about to miss the chance to give them away.

And this evening? We have Bible class and I have to get over to the other house so I can mark all the places I want the electricians to put in lovely new outlets.

The fun never ends around here.

December 15, 2006

Let It Snow

No, it isn't snowing here. I think we have a predicted high of 60 degrees today. However, one of my son's favorite Christmas projects and something we have done together every year since he was semi-able to handle scissors, is to make a snow flurry of paper snowflakes.

There are directions all over the web for folding the paper. Once that's done, we go to town, cutting and snipping and making a big mess to be swept up later.

To flatten out the snowflakes after they are all cut out, I iron them on the lowest setting on my iron that steams (I think it is "wool"). After that we either punch a hole in them and hang them some place, or I use a bit of double-stick tape to tape them to the windows. After the holidays, we can throw them away and start fresh the next year.

Here's this year's display:

The Battle of Nashville -- 142 Years Later

On December 15, 1864, the Battle of Nashville was fought on the land where my current house now stands. The Battle of Nashville was the final death knell for the Confederate Army, and it wasn't long until the war was finally over.

The current battle monument is located just down the street and our neighbor one street over from us found a Confederate cannon ball while digging in her garden.

December 13, 2006

Progress and Hope

To clarify my entry from yesterday, the first estimate we got several months ago was from a fellow no longer with that particular HVAC company, primarily because he was low-balling every estimate. The previous owner had had an incredibly cheap and crummy HVAC job done and so really nothing should have surprised me -- we already knew it was substandard equipment and that it hadn't been properly installed.

Since we had gotten an estimate though, I was a bit shocked to find out just how much more the real costs would run. The worst case scenario was having to replace everything. It seems that that is not going to be necessary. However, we will have to put in new ducts and a new unit upstairs, since that stuff all has mold in it. We have better estimates now and the price, while much worse than we thought, is not as bad as we feared.

Some things are really clicking faster than we could have hoped. Our roofer came over this morning and his men have been busy tearing off the porch roof -- all three layers of which were rotten. We'll be getting a new metal roof next week. Next week the electricians are supposed to begin their work and if the weather is good we might get a fence to hold in the dog and the kidlets the week between Christmas and New Year's.

While this doesn't take care of all the things I would like to have done before we move, it will make a big dent in the list.

December 12, 2006

Money Pit

As much as you tell yourself that things will cost more than you expect and you know you are getting yourself into a heap of trouble, I still wasn't expecting our revised HVAC estimate to be seven times the first estimate. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

December 11, 2006

Closing Day

Today we close on the money pit. The house we live in now has been pretty easy on us and this one won't be. I'm looking forward to the space and the prettiness, but I'm just a little scared.

Actually, I'm terrified.

Update: Pictures!

December 07, 2006

I Wish I'd Taken A Photo

This morning, the two year old asked for some "egg knock" to drink and then with her upper lip dripping, she smiled at me and asked, "Do you like my musk ox?"

Grammar Time

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
Make a Quiz

December 05, 2006

Books, Books and More Books

We have a lot of books. A lot of books. Since we're moving, I've been packing books. I can't pack them all right now, but I have to pack enough of them to make our house look less cluttered. I haven't finished packing books yet and have already filled over ten boxes. One begins to wonder whether the family love affair with books is a good idea when one packs and carries these boxes.

Along with the high brow reading material contained within some of these boxes, I also filled one entire box with our Tintin, Asterix, Calvin and Hobbes, and Bloom County collection. I can't believe we own that many comic books or as many books of any kind as we do, and yet as I pack them and look through all of them, there are very few I sort out to send to Goodwill and even fewer once my husband puts back in all of his books.

Light Reading

The four year old studies theology.

December 04, 2006

Way Back When

Seven years ago on the last day of November, the baby I was expecting was overdue. I was miserable and kept poking my belly announcing to the creature inside that I was issuing an eviction notice. Finally, on that last November day, I started feeling contractions. Once in a while, but not often enough to actually seem like labor.

That night, we went to the mall to walk around and time contractions. Later, I decided (way too early) that it was time to go to the hospital. They did keep me, and I labored all night. With the dawn, my desire for natural labor had comletely disappeared and I got an epidural. Which turned out to be a good thing, since until I got it I had not dilated any further from where I'd been when I checked into the hospital.

Then I labored and labored and labored. The day passed. Everything moved s-l-o-w-l-y. Finally, after 25 hours and three hours of pushing, The Boy was born at 10:20 p.m. on December 1. He'd managed to make it as hard for me to get him out as possible, being over nine pounds, facing up instead of down and holding his hand up to his face.

I became a mom. The authorities trusted me to bring home a tiny little human. I had very little idea what life would be like with a demanding, wailing creature around and now seven years and three more children around, I can hardly remember that time before children.

The Boy has grown and changed so much in seven years, that I can barely recognize the face of the baby I once cuddled in the lean, lanky boy. Usually I think I want to keep him and see what the years to come will bring.