Friday, September 28, 2007


Tuesday after The Biggest Loser, I went running on the lane. Gorgeous night. Full moon. Perfect humidity and temperature. Had an awesome run and went much farther than I've been able to lately, since I slacked off like a bum this summer. I've hardly been able to do 2 miles without wheezing like a COPD patient, but that night I ran 3 1/2.

But of course, now that I'm wanting to get serious about running again, I step on my ankle. It happened during that great run, on the squishy soft gravel that's more sand than gravel right now. It didn't hurt until the next day, though, and I didn't realize how much it hurt until I went for a walk pushing the babes in the stroller last evening.

So now it's lippity, lippity, not very fast, hobbling across the house from washer to dryer to kitchen to basement.

Maybe it's a good thing. Jason just came in to pick up Owen for a trip to town. Owen had locked the garage door, so Jason couldn't get in. Then Jay said maybe I should be locking them myself right now since there are several helicopters out and rumors of a jailbreak out of Pensacola, with the homes of the convicts being just a stone's throw from here. And then he made sure I knew how to load the gun and fire it, and briefed me on Alabama's self-defense laws. Apparently you can shoot if someone is inside your home, but not if he is outside running away. Great. Small-town Mennonite girl shoots intruder. What would the bishop say?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A difficult eruption

Yesterday Helen went to the doctor. She had a swollen lump in her gums, which normally one would think...uh, tooth!...but there was a bluish spot under the surface that had me worried. Plus, Little Miss Sunshine had been replaced by Little Miss Thunder, Little Miss Clingy and Little Miss Tantrum. Since her previous 8 teeth sprouted easily with a total of two tears, I feared something must be terribly wrong. Diagnosis: difficult eruption with resulting hematoma. Give her Tylenol and Orajel. Bring her back if the tooth isn't through in a month. (a month!?) Lord, help us all.

Here are some sunshine pictures to remind me of the good ol' days.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Why my work is undone

I was tidying up the kitchen this morning after having put Helen down for a nap, when along came Owen, asking me for something which I coudn't figure out. "Show me what you want, buddy, Mama can't understand you." He points at the freezer,"Hoo-hee!" I should have known. "We're all out of cookies, sweetheart. I need to make some more. You go watch Elmo and then Mommy will bring you a cookie."

So even though I needed to get my typing done, I found myself baking a quick batch of cinnamon oatmeal raisin cookies, because Mr. Weber ate all the chocolate chips (Mrs. Weber helped a little too.) Along came Owen, wanting to lick the beater. And because young Mr. Weber recently discovered that where one beater is, there also is another, I immediately plunged the other one into my soapy dishwater. But then I caved and gave him a glob of dough. His daddy taught him. And then I "fixed" his Tike bike, his "motorcycle" which is his main method of transportation from room to room, where the handle broke off this morning. Now he is learning to steer with his left hand. Too many wheelies, I guess.

I was halfway through baking when along came daddy and grandpa in grandpa's truck, on their way to the grain elevator to pick up a check. They had come to grab the trash bin because today is garbage pick up. So I rushed around the house corralling the stinky diaper trash and the kitchen trash that was brimming over with crushed cardboard boxes. Of course, in the process, I discovered that Helen was awake and playing happily in her crib. And mommy can't resist taking her to grandpa, whom she loves so much.

The guys left, and here we were, pushing lunch time, but not quite. I had some laundry to hang, so the kids and I went outside. Our busy mama cat just had another batch of kittens. Owen is obsessed with throwing them into the back of his car and giving them rides. The kitties bail out, and then he almost runs over them. Helen is obsessed with the cat's food bowl. I extracted a handful of cat-chow Xs from her mouth and flung them, only to have flung them overly enthusiastically, and they ended up sticking to a clean t-shirt that was drying on the line. Undaunted Helen then filled her mouth with dirty stones collected from the porch's edge.

"Owen, let's make spaghetti." He was into that. I started some water to boil, and he fished around in the utensil drawer and came over to me with the spaghetti server. He helped me season the sauce, since I always buy plain canned tomato sauce and put my patented signature on it. Ha. I cook with a lot of garlic and herbs. Poor Helen has had more than one occasion of garlic breath, which she exudes with lots of drooly exuberance. Which causes the one holding her to fuss over the bad smell, which makes her laugh--open mouthed--and exude all the more. The spaghetti was a hit with the kids. I glanced at the clock and noted it wasn't too much longer until naptime. (Silent cheer.)

I sat down in the living room to fold laundry while Owen watched this episode of Reading Rainbow. Along came Helen. She is the destroyer of folded laundry piles. Stacks of washcloths see her and quiver. She found one of my socks and chewed happily on it, until I couldn't resist her and stuck the pair of socks on her arms. She pulled them off with her teeth, giggling all the while. Good ol' Levar Burton on Reading Rainbow had an interesting program that both Mommy and Owen enjoyed. It was about African musical instruments. After the show was over, Mommy made some instruments for Owen to play. The rubberbands on a Velveeta box was the favorite, until the young maestro broke a band. Helen was fascinated by the shaker I made with an empty spice canister and pearl barley. The barley made a better sound than the brown rice. She agreed. She carried it around until her nap time.

Owen got put down next. I told him the story of a little boy named Owen who only wanted to eat spaghetti, and then told him to go to sleep.

Unplanned interruptions. It's why it takes me several days to vacuum the floor. Before we had kids, I used to clean my entire house, do all the laundry and bake bread on Saturdays. plus maybe entertain in the evening. Life is so different now, but the kids are growing up quickly. I can't help but play with them as much as possible!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

i Caught

...Helen lending a hand with freshly laundered towels,

and then emptying the laundry room wastebasket. Guess how dryer lint looks on a baby with a cold?

...Owen helping Vanna select the correct letters. Wheel!! of!! Fortuuuuune!!! is one of Owen's favorite shows. This is both a motivator--Owen, finish your supper and then we can watch Letters!--and an annoyance--tear bursts at commercial breaks. He is now learning the sounds of the letters, and hits the correct letter on his Leapfrog bus when given its sound.

...Helen's toe rest. Those poor little piggies have quite a job to do, helping her balance. They deserve an occasional break.

...and a dirt-covered Jason. That is Jason, right?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I am happy to say that my daughter can officially don GRITS wear--items that proudly bear the "Girls Raised in the South" logo. Here she is taking a bite out of okra. Raw okra. Atta girl!

Friday, September 7, 2007


I'm waiting to finish the last Harry Potter book. Unfortunately, Jason called dibs on it and he's in the middle of it. He's also watching Raymond reruns. Hmmm... I smell a plot.

**I'm actually waaaaay ahead of him in the book, because yesterday I delayed several tons of housework to read, and then I stayed up til nearly 2.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Project: Scrap denim rug

Owen finally has a rug in his room! I was inspired by Grandma B's hand-made scatter rugs, although she made hers out of doubleknit fabric so they wouldn't ravel. Her garage and house were and still are always neat as a pin, partly due to throw rugs by all her doorways. She custom made these rugs to fit any surface, and I do believe she even has some in her vehicle. She made a tiny one for me out of red and pink fabrics when I was little, and it is now in Helen's room--that is how long doubleknit fabric lasts!

I made Owen's out of old denim. I used thinner fabric, not the thick stuff like jeans are made from. It was satisfying to cut up yucky old denim clothes. One day I was sick of wearing a pair of old shorts, and the next they were part of a rug! Also included in the rug are at least two jumpers, one dress and a pair of denim slacks my mother in law donated to the cause, a nasty work shirt of Jason's and a skirt of mine that my dear husband abhorred. (He said it looks better as carpet!)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

And we're back

This morning, I baked pumpernickel rolls for Jon & Kimberley's beach wedding. My mother in law is coordinating the food, and this is my small way of helping her. I tried not to cough or sneeze over the dough, heh heh. I even tied my hair back. Ever have an experience with hair in food? The one firmly etched in my memory is--back in the day, now--a piece of homemade pizza at my school's weekly hot lunch, served up graciously by school moms. I have that old Saturday Night Live sketch playing through my mind--I forget who was in it, but someone had on a black, long-haired wig and was stirring up some spaghetti sauce. The taste testers kept pulling long strands of hair out of their food and gagging. Eww, gross. I'm making myself queasy.

This morning I also got my computer back from Southern Computer, with sparkling new memory and wonderfully restored e-mail.

Owen is now allowed to climb the tree just off the back porch. I expanded his boundaries. The little booger has handled his new freedom carelessly, I'm afraid. I have already found him out in the shop, "driving" the mower, which he clearly knows is off limits without an adult along. (We found a black widow spider out there several weeks ago.)

Helen is just getting over 3-4 days of fever and a runny nose. It took both Jason and me to hold her down and suction her nose well with the snot sucker. Yesterday, she was finally over her fever, but she dished up a huge helping of cranky with a side of mommy-hold-me. Today we finally found our sweetheart underneath all the crabbiness that sickness can bring.

And here is the little flirt making the acquaintance of one little gentleman we were babysitting. This was after a meal of--gag me--baby cereal eaten rather distractedly, which was after getting sweaty while playing on the back porch, attracting all sorts of dirt and bits of yard clippings with said sweaty limbs and face, which was after a new sweet and clean girlie outfit (yellow eyelet lace skirt is hidden), which was after her bath.