May 31, 2007

Theological Questions

Today the oldest two kidlets were having a heated discussion about whether or not God makes "pee-pee." The four year old chose the pro side, arguing that since God makes everything, He is directly responsible for the creation of this particular waste product. The seven year had a more nuanced argument that while God may have designed his creation to excrete substances this way, that He is not in fact involved every time some gets made. The four year old, obviously, could not agree to this point and finally, after some arm-twisting by their mother, they agreed to disagree about the particular origins of urine.

When I had children I had no idea what kinds of topics would come up for discussion.

May 30, 2007

Brushing Up on Swedish

Okay, I can't say I'm brushing up on a language that I don't speak. I can say "I don't understand anything." in Norwegian and a Swede would understand me, but that and Skoal are as far as I ever got in mastering any Scandinavian tongues. All that may have to change though. It looks like I may be getting a Swedish sister-in-law. My older brother came down with Lena, who is in the US meeting the family. If all goes as planned, he wants to move to Sweden in August. My big brother is finally growing up.

May 29, 2007


There just isn't too much to say these days.

We've finished history for the year, but still have about 4 weeks worth of math left. Other subjects are somewhere in between.

We're still living with a friend. Only some of the purple house actually has had the floors replaced and there are so many other things to be done before we can live there that the mind boggles. I've given up on the idea of a vegetable garden this year.

Everything is fine, but it seems to be in a holding pattern at the moment.

May 18, 2007

Chunky Monkey

The Baby had his seven month follow-up weight check yesterday. For those of you following along, at six months he only weighed 13 lbs 11 oz and was below the bottom of the weight chart's percentiles and he'd only gained 11 oz in two months. The doctor wanted us to make sure he got more calories and suggested supplementing with formula.

The formula was not well received in liquid form, but after a few days of trying he was willing to eat it mixed with cereal and I started feeding him solids at least three times per day and making sure I nursed him more often and longer.

After a month of gorging, he's up to 15 lbs 2 oz, which, while by no means a big baby (that puts him in the third percentile for weight), is a rapid increase back up to his personal normal curve. We're happy and so is the doctor. Now we just need to keep it up and make sure he keeps eating enough.

May 17, 2007

What a Difference Sight Makes

My four year old has been through one reading lesson book and sort of learned something, but what she had learned, she was slowly losing -- which is one of the reasons I took her to the eye doctor. Now that she has glasses, reading is coming back. Today she actually demanded to do a reading lesson -- and that has never happened before.

May 15, 2007

The Birds and the Bees

Before we had children, my husband and I agreed we would be open and honest about things like how babies are made. I kept waiting for my seven year old to ask questions (especially as he waited for his younger siblings to arrive) and occasionally we'd have simple conversations about parts of the puzzle, but he never seemed much interested in the whole process.

My husband, of course, felt inclined to just ignore the whole thing, because whether or not he thought in theory that full disclosure was the best policy, when one is the parent of a bright and talkative child, there are things one doesn't want to hear brought up in conversations with strangers.

Now that The Boy is seven though, it seemed like he really ought to know what's what, and since my husband continued to shirk his fatherly duties, a few months ago my son and I had a little talk. Naturally, he thought that it was all a little weird and gross, but we moved on and haven't chatted about it much since.

The other night we were coming home in the car and the children were a bit fractious, so my husband proposed singing songs. "Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast" and all that. My four year old wanted to sing "I Gave My Love a Cherry" which always makes me think of John Belushi smashing a guitar in "Animal House" but I was willing to overlook my biases.

We launched into the song and when it was sung through, my daughter said, "If you want a baby not to cry when it isn't sleeping, you have to give it lots of nur-nur." I was so pleased to think she'd picked up a little subtle breastfeeding propaganda.

Then my seven year old said, "If the guy singing the song wanted to give his love a baby, he'd have to marry her first."

"True," I said. I didn't like where this conversation was leading though. I know that boy too well.

"And he wouldn't actually give her a baby. He'd just give her some sp-rm. [singing] I gave my love a..."

[Both parents scream] "NO!!!! No more singing."

Maybe my husband was right.

May 14, 2007

Welcome Home! We Broke Your House.

So how was your weekend?

Mine wasn't quite what I expected.

Very early Saturday morning, the lady we're staying with left town for the weekend. We meant to get up early and go work on the fence at the Purple House. We finally got over there at 11. I got a little weeding done, but no fence was constructed and we had one incident while unloading the car of "Look Daddy. [Smash]." As the two year old "helped" carry the dog's water bowl.

We went to a cookout at a friend's and had a lovely lunch followed by a drive down the road a piece to the town my sister-in-law and her family live in. My nine year old niece had decided instead of a lemonade stand to have a craft stand and invited The Boy to participate. I suspect no one will be surprised that the only people who came to shop were their parents, but they were both pleased with the $3 or so they earned -- especially, because I paid with Sacajawea dollars.

Saturday night we got home late, put the kids to bed and were lounging in the living room reading the newspaper and running a load of laundry when the 85 lb., epitome of dumb blonde, yellow lab that lives here came running into the room tracking water everywhere. The laundry room had flooded. We dried the floor and pulled out the washing machine to dry underneath it, where we discovered that the problem was not the machine failing, but a backed up drain pipe.

Upon going down into the basement to see if we could find the problem, we discovered it wasn't hard to find, since water was and had been for some time, spewing all over the basement. I suppose it is a good thing there are twenty-four hour plumbers and by 3 in the morning, there were two blockages cleared -- of course, though, in the process, the dog ran away.

At 5 in the morning, the phone rang. Some one on the other side of a nearby major five lane road had found the dog and Justin went to pick him up. Justin snoozed a bit more, but then we went to church, grabbed a quick and rather un-Mother's day-ish (but it was all we were up for) lunch at Sonic and came home and passed out while the larger children did puzzles. Then I ran another load of laundry and water started spewing all over the basement.

So the plumber returned. Sigh.

The only good news about the plumbing (besides this not being our house) is that all the sewer pipe problems came before the part of the pipe where the toilets empty in, so the nasty water leaking out contained stuff from the washing machine and dish washer, but not fecal matter. Nonetheless, it will be quite a clean up job.

We did, of course, call and report all this to the homeowners (who have, in fact, had problems in the past), but I think there still is some law out there that states that all plumbing problems must happen late at night, on the weekend, when the homeowners are away.

May 11, 2007

Finally the Shirts I've Been Longing For

For the last several years, every time I raised my arms, I had to either show off my belly that, after carrying four children, is not a flat or pretty sight, or figure out a way to raise my arms and pull my shirt down simultaneously. Suddenly t-shirts are now on the market that are long enough to actually keep me decent and not make the general public nauseated when I try to grab something above my head. It makes me so happy. I actually went out and bought myself several new shirts.

I probably should be stock-piling for the next short t-shirt trend, huh?

May 10, 2007

What's New?

Here I am, ensconced in house number 2 of our vagabond trip around the city. For those who have forgotten the details -- when we sold our house, the Purple House was not quite ready to be lived in. So we moved into the house a friend had had on the market for almost a year. She got a contract a week after we moved in.

Last Friday the furniture got moved out and we moved into the upstairs of our friend's other house. We may happen to know the kindest, most charitable people in the world.

The children are taking the homeless life pretty well. The seven year old is resisting school work a bit more than he had been and I need to think of some way to make it more interesting. The four year old is much mouthier, but that could just be her too. Fortunately the little ones take it all in stride and just keep smiling.

As for the house we own and would like to be living in -- some major work is getting down. The master bathroom has all the woodwork completed. Now all the woodwork needs to be painted (it's primed on all sides though) and the grout needs to be sealed, but then the bathroom will be ready for the fixtures to be installed. A large amount of termite damage has been repaired, meaning that a lot of the walls are now straighter and since we had to rip of the floors in those areas, the new ones will be a lot less bouncy. We have one last piece of termite damage to get fixed. It's not very big, but unfortunately it is, of course, the most difficult. Fun times.

I keep hoping we'll turn a corner and the house will be ready to move into soon, but if we're turning corners, I think we must be rounding an octagon. Ah well. We knew we were morons. We just didn't know how large our moronitude extended until we bought the Purple House.

And that's about that.

May 09, 2007

At The Risk of Turning This Into A Hypochondriac's Blog

I'm recovering from food poisoning. Never eat pizza that's been left out overnight.

May 01, 2007

And Now With Fevers and Vomit

It's never a good thing when a child comes downstairs and says, "There's something that looks like oatmeal all over the bed."