Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Cliffs of Insanity

Yesterday was full. Today is full. I am looking forward to vacation--Grandpa and Grandma B love to help with their lovable grandchildren!

My mother in law and I put cookie plates together, on behalf of the farm. Jason and his dad are delivering them this morning to the busy businesses they do business with. I guess Hendrix Tractor will still get one, the dealership that sold them the ill-fated International!

On each plate are monster cookies, peanut blossoms, chocolate-chocolate chip, mint chocolate chip, chocolate-ginger crinkles, chocolate-almond spritz, Rice Krispie squares, candy cane fudge, decorated gingerbread cookies and dipped pretzel sticks. Peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate were added later.

Last night, our family opened presents after a candlelit meal of fish sticks and tater tots. (My family's old tradition.) We also added potato chips to the menu. Hey, if you wanna make it fun for the kids... Besides, we don't normally eat that kind of food, so a little part of me gets excited too at the delicious goodness of cruising through the frozen section at the grocery store, and the indulgence of potato chips...yum.

Helen got an "H" pillow, made by Mommy out of hot pink velour. She also got a supercute set of stainless steel pots, pans and utensils, which was were the hit of the evening with both kids. Mommy got a toaster oven, and I let Owen play with it, with the new dishes of course. Today he is having a difficult time realizing that the toaster oven is not a toy. I made him a play toaster oven out of the box, but when he realized it was not like the real thing, he burst into tears all over again. Then he played with it until it got smashed several times and he burst into tears again.

Owen got a toy combine and a tractor mat. He had been playing with the mat while I was making it. It wasn't the hit I was hoping it would be. Oh well. Just my ego. He played with it a few minutes this morning.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Changing Colors on the Farm

Last week, Jason and his dad bought a new (used) tractor. It was an unprecedented event, since they bought red instead of green. Owen refused to ride in the International. He's been indoctrinated with all the John Deere merchandise.

It turned out Owen might have had some sort of premonition. Red decided it couldn't take the pressure of performing in a field where Green had been king.

Jason was bush-hogging cotton stalks. He smelled smoke, but didn't see any trash fires around. He got out of the tractor to perform a cursory check, and saw flames. So he threw the contents of his water jug on the fire--sort of the equivalent of spitting. Then he climbed back INTO the tractor to grab a rag to beat out the fire--probably sort of like waving at it. He briefly contemplated driving the tractor to a water source. Yes, with flames underneath it, burning next to the fuel tank. (It must have been the man in him. I would have been running for my life.) Then he dialed 911.

Thank God for insurance.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Rude Noises

Yesterday and today Owen finally figured out how to hold air in his mouth and "spit" it out noisily, and he's been entertaining all of us in the house, in the car, at the table, and playing in the livingroom. We're just so proud of ourselves. He's been spurting water like this in the tub for a long time, but couldn't do it with air until now. I feel like calling his speech therapist and breaking out in celebration. We've got a long way to go, but finally a start! Tonight I walked into Owen's room while his daddy was putting him to bed. "He's making rude noises during prayer, and I don't even care!" Jason announced.

His speech therapist, Mrs. Stafford, or Mrs. Wendy because it's easier to say, comes every week. So far sessions have been less than great, mostly due to a certain little someone's attitude. Mrs. Wendy brings lots of fun stuff to do, but Mr. Owen likes to do anything but what she brings. We've been working and working on P and B sounds, and all the little mechanics that go into them. Put your lips together!

Owen's pretty solid on H, M, N and a little on W, all sounds that require very little effort. We're trying to get a referral to a different ENT who would be able to evaluate his palate, but so far haven't had good luck getting an appointment with the one of our choice. We really don't know what is going on with his oral mechanics, so I find myself in a hard spot with the speech therapy. How much progress is he capable of achieving, how much is he just refusing to cooperate, and how hard do we push him?

On a different note, we had Jason's family Christmas yesterday. I got some treasures, I tell ya! My sis in law is quite crafty, and made some matching earrings for Jan and me. I'm thinking about asking her for a coordinating necklace for my birthday. If you're having trouble seeing the picture, Les passed over the fancy beads and chose useful bobby pins instead.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


Helen insisted on wearing her gloves one day this week. She even took a nap with them on. I removed them, and she protested loudly. I replaced them, and she happily played until supper. She was a might upset with her drink until she figured out how to grip her cup just right. Now why won't she leave her socks on?

Owen helped Daddy wash his truck today. He was allowed to scrub the tires, but spent most of the time getting his rag and brush soapy and wet.

Friday, December 7, 2007

New Word

I'm not a morning person, but the other week I woke up with a sense of humor. Jason groggily raised his head, eyebrows all matted, eyes squinting, one side of his hair sticking straight up and the other side plastered to his head. "Nice hair!" I smirked.

"Does it look like some kid's traddlehook?" he yawned, half smiling.

"What's a traddlehook?"

"Huh? I said 'Does it look like some kids try to look?'"

So now, around our house, the word for bed head is traddlehook. That's quite the traddlehook you've got going on there, Owen. Helen, your car seat gave you a traddlehook. Ooh, mommy's got to comb her hair to get rid of her traddlehook.

It's a good thing I've got a shelf-full of traddlehook solutions.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Shopping and Junior Miss

My Black Friday shopping trip did me well. I found lots of great bargains, and I stuck to my list. The worst store was Joann Fabrics, which had two lines--one for the cutting counter and one for the cashier. There were lots and lots of people out for the deals--I had no idea Pensacola had so many creative women. While waiting, I browsed, along with everyone else. I found myself getting stuck in the middles of aisles, with slow-moving/stopped women at either end. Near panic attack. I was joyously relieved when my cutting number was finally called. A young, hip-looking girl smiled smartly, back from her break, and proceeded to assist me at the cutting counter. She complimented my fabric choices, like a good fabric cutter does. I thought--ha! I got the fast one, the one who knows what she is doing with these electronic fabric receipt thingamajigs with all the technology that confuses most fabric cutter-people! She slowly and surely proved me wrong, I am sad to say. She ran into loads of problems with her techno-gadget-thingie, and had to ask her coworkers for advice numerous times. They inattentively and somewhat distractedly responded. I finally had my ticket in hand and was about to get Jan's fabric measured, when I noticed an error in her entry--she had only punched in 2 1/2 yards of my flannel instead of the 4 1/2 I had gotten. Even though it was a measly two bucks we're talking here, my conscience won out. So I very politely called her attention to it, and she debated me. (Insert internal roll of my eyes--I'm doing your store a favor, chick, don't question me; thank me!) Then she re-measured my fabric to make sure, and said, "Oh, you were right. I'll have to redo the ticket." I asked her if she couldn't just make a new ticket for 2 yards (since, you know, 2 + 2 1/2 = 4 1/2.) She didn't notice the feverish desperation in my eyes or the sweat on my forehead. She certainly didn't notice how extremely patient I was being. "No, you see, this ticket is WRONG," and she grabbed it, crumpled it, pitched it, and proceeded to re-enter all the information for the third time, having to go out onto the floor to find one bolt of fabric that had already been put back in its place. Meanwhile, my phone is ringing every 2-3 minutes. Jan wants to know when I'll be done, since she is holding a place in the cashier's line for me, and she is getting closer and closer to the end. Just 5 more minutes, I kept reassuring her, nearly in tears of panicky desperation and annoyance. Can't this girl just hand me over to someone who knows what she is doing?!

Fortunately, we all survived. Some of my fabric turned into a little red-n-white number for my kitchen. What a fun apron. Even pie crust answers to its siren call, and obeys my rolling pin's every move. Just kidding.

Here are some outtakes of Helen's 1 year shot. I didn't end up with anything.

This morning, I taught the 2s &3s at the 9:00 service at church. Since we had a lunch meeting after the 11:00 service, Jason brought the kids to the later one. While I was on the floor with 7 sweet toddlers, telling them the Christmas story with the manger scene--what a privilege!--Jason was at home, getting our kids ready. He got Owen in the tub, and left to dispose of a really nasty diaper. He told Helen to stay put. While he was out of sight distance, he heard a clunk, but no crying she made. Lo and behold, when he arrived back at the bathroom, here she was. Little stinker! The soap you see in the background has a tiny mouth-shaped piece gone from one corner, complete with little teeth marks. We haven't had a problem with her playing with the bar of soap since that bath, but we have seen bubbles in her diaper. Just kidding about that last one.