Friday, May 29, 2009

Farm Life

It's been very rainy lately, and so farmwork is stacking up because the fields are extremely muddy. But as soon as something dries up, it's time to plant! (NEW--and now they're combining wheat!!)

Owen feels quite at home in the driver's seat. Jason has learned to pull the keys.
Owen knows where everything is and what everything does. That basically means he is way ahead of me, since I couldn't drive a tractor to save my life.
Jack is just waiting for the day he'll be big enough to ride. His mom is waiting for that day too!
But Helen is content to not ride. We had to force her recently, just to log some Daddy time. She chilled out and enjoyed it then, because she loves her Daddy!

Here she stayed behind and grazed on our tailgate supper. I startled her when I returned to the truck and asked her what she was doing, and after she landed, she quickly explained, "Food is all gone, in my belly!"

Saturday, May 23, 2009

This is the year...

for a successful garden. I claim it!! After years of gardening failure, I am proud to announce that I have had a successful season of English peas, which are already done and gone, and now green beans, potatoes, zipper peas...

and okra!! And this is just the back garden. The front garden is doing its part to maintain my reputation as a vegetable killer. There zucchini, summer squash, bell peppers, tomatoes, pumpkins and butternut squash are struggling to survive.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Moment of Inattention

Last night I took a break from dinner prep to feed Mr. Fussy-pants Jack. I sank into the recliner and flipped on the TV to 30 Minute Meals. I watched as Rachael Ray forked open her English muffins and put them on a baking sheet, joking about how she often burns bread in the broiler from not paying close attention. Boy, this sounds silly in writing, but I was getting caught up in the show and forgetting my own surroundings for a minute. Suddenly the piercing shriek of the smoke alarm jolted me back to reality. I was confused at first, but then remembered the tortillas I had toasting in the oven.
I threw the smoking mess on the grass. Apparently even the cat wouldn't eat them, since I took this picture the next day.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I Spy

Where did I put that baby? I know he's around here somewhere!!

Find some corn.

Find a Chatter Telephone.

An old orange velvet pillow that was left behind in our basement.

A train engine.

Four farm animals.

And a little boy in Toy Heaven, thanks to his older sister.What a goofball she is right now! We call her Trixie when her hair is in pigtails.

Slightly daring, too. Mmmm-mmm, what's a momma to do?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My feet will come out

Like I need another unfinished project around here, but I just couldn't help myself from starting this one several weeks ago.
Can you tell what it is? Squares of denim cut from cast-off clothing, pieced together to form a new object...a twin-sized blanket for Owen.

Background: Owen's Fuzzy Blue Blanket seems to be shrinking as he is growing. It's a beloved blanket that a co-worker of mine made for him when he was just born. But, as I said, it's getting too small for his turning about in the bed. He needs a much larger, heavier blanket that will prevent him from popping out of bed after he is tucked in. We are having far too many of these events:

Door slowly creaks open, shy little feet shuffle down the hall toward the living room. Squinting, blinking pajama-clad boy smiles sheepishly:

Owen: I needa go potty.
Parents: OK. Go. Then get back in bed.

Light and fan flick on from hall bathroom. Sounds of pathetically small amount of forced elimination. Lights off. Repeat foot shuffle, faster and friendlier:

O: Hey Mommy! Hey Daddy! What are you doing?
P: OWEN, go back to bed.
O: scuttling away Hey, do you wanna put my blanket on?
P: No, we've already done that twice tonight. You'll have to handle that yourself, buddy.
O: But my FEET will come out!

I think this is one project that I'm going to have to finish soon.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Jack had a major blow-out in his crib this morning. It was not lovely. It was smeared everywhere, even on his arms and face, and he had a huge glob stuck on his back, right above his pajama pants. He was grinning like a cheese grit, and somehow managed to look cute in spite of the smelly poo. I had to hold him over the toilet and wipe him down before I could stick him in the tub, and then I had to wash him off before I could draw the bath water. He had nearly gone artistic on me in his crib. It was on the sheet, the blanket and the crib rails. He had pulled down the dangling metal toucan from his mobile, an accomplishment he was quite proud of, but it was a little messy, and all I could think about was cleaning brownie batter out of beaters. The clean up got to me after a while; I threw away an almost-new cardboard book, and I am intensely practical.

The morning continued in its busyness, I got engrossed in my sewing, the household clutter and dirt began to get out of control, and that’s when the vacuum cleaner salesman showed up to clean and service the Electrolux. Man, were those gross sticky streaks on my kitchen floor ever humbling. And it continued to get humbling. Especially when he pulled out an air particle sensor/tester/thingamabob and showed me that we have 21,300 or more icky particles per cubic foot floating around in our lovely indoor air. “Any of your kids have allergies?” he asked. Not really, I said, but then I had to think about the $85 we had just shelled out for a teeny bottle of allergy drops for Owen, whose eyes had been gunking up for over a week. He explained about all the junk that’s in dirty, unfiltered air, air that hasn’t been zapped by the Aerus Electrolux purifier’s UV light, which by the way, is $1199.99 plus tax, and we can arrange that in 6 monthly payments: aerosol cans (which I don’t use), hairspray (which I don’t use but maybe I need to?), air freshener (which I don’t use often), the glue used for carpet padding (we’ve got that in the basement), dust mites in mattresses because we shed a pound of skin a year (gross!!), ad infinitum. The bad part of me had to wonder if his little machine would have sensed the air particles in Jack’s room earlier. And hey, I’m not defending the wholesomeness of our air, but I am a little skeptical of a salesman’s biased evaluation, even a nice salesman, which he was.

I do think the funniest moment, apart from Jack grabbing onto the man’s rear while he was putting the sweeper back together, was Owen’s comment about the Vaseline he was using to grease a part of the vacuum: “Hey, that’s for my pee-pee!” (He felt perfectly fine about talking about his rash to a perfect stranger. I can see we have some work to do.) Sometimes I am extremely glad people have a hard time understanding Owen.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Jack pictures

This little boy of ours has me laughing at least once a day. His funny moments balance out the times I don't know what to do with his fussy little self.

Here he went to sleep with toys in his crib, and woke up playing with the O-Ball. He could hardly stop playing to look at the camera.
But he eventually paid me some attention.We like to do funny things to him while he's in his crib, the poor captive! He lost his sense of humor after two minutes. The little kid is exceedingly mobile, and gets exactly where he wants to go. He doesn't crawl, but swims everywhere. His arms do the work and his legs sweep behind him like a tail, although today I might have seen a few tentative hand/knee crawl motions. His most recent discovery has been big brother's/big sister's room. Here he entertained his sister for a few minutes until I ended the show; Helen needed a nap. He likes to go into their room when they're not there and find their treasures, like daddy's old tractor and disk. As soon as I took this picture, he disked his foot and started screaming. And we catch him in this position sometimes. Yoga baby? Notice the right foot turned outward. We're keeping an eye on that. We noticed that both of his feet turned out when he was born, but they do seem to be correcting. Help us all if he needs corrective shoes like my little brother used to kick my shins! Jack loves watersports. He splashed in his personal pool during a play date at Ava's house, and even ate lunch at the swim bar. (In other words, I spooned out his veggies and fruit while he was sitting in the water.) He loved it so much, I put him in the dishpan the next time I mopped the floor. This was partly because during the previous mopping, he had followed me, drying a Jack-sized streak all over the floor and ending up very soggy.
I cannot believe how fast time is going! In less than two months, he'll be having a birthday. I'll make the cake and then probably have a good cry.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Why I love the South

Heard recently:

While transcribing: "He has not been bad hit with ear infections." (Maybe he just had a li'l tee-tiny one?)

While running outside: "Watch out fer snehkes! I just kilt one!!" (This friendly advice was yelled out by a good ol' boy driving an ancient red truck with the winders rolled down.)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

200th post

In my recent blog silence, so much happened in our lives it's hard to know what to write about, or even if I should. The most notable thing that happened was the passing of Jason's grandfather. He lived just a few stone's throws from us, and we would often take stroller walks to MawMaw and PawPaw's house. He was always glad to see his great grandchildren, even though gradually he couldn't hold them anymore, then couldn't put his arm around them, and finally was too weak to even hold out his hand for a five. He seemed to perk up when his grands and great-grands were around, and in fact Jason and Owen were two of the last people he recognized, or was able to mention that he recognized. I will never forget the phone call early Saturday morning. We had seen him the night before, but still we wished for one more goodbye.

In a pathetic twist of plot, The Virus hit. I should say walloped. The morning of the visitation, cousin Juli had stopped by to visit, and as we were talking, Owen threw up all over me and the carpet in the basement. Juli, about to graduate from nursing school, took it all in stride like a hero! Of course we were hosting out-of-state guests, my parents included, and I felt terrible about exposing them. There was little we could do but keep to ourselves, disinfect surfaces, change shirts and wash hands frequently. Helen got it about 12-14 hours later. I heard a little whimper during the middle of the night, checked on her, and discovered her lying in her crib, covered in cold puke. Around the same time my kids were getting sick, it was hitting other extended family members in various manners and intensities. My father in law, though he had a meditation to deliver, even considered staying home from his own dad's funeral, he felt so awful! Jason got hit during the funeral, and had to force himself to fulfill his pallbearer duties at the gravesite. Following the funeral, others began to get sick, and like us, most local family members were hosting out-of-state family. So the gift went on. Lots of us holed up in our homes for quite a while, but some poor, poor people had to endure cross-country travel while they were ill. There are all sorts of pathetically hilarious events associated with this particular GI bug that I don't have the freedom to mention, and no fewer than 34 family members got the bug. (The number may still be rising, who knows?) Fortunately, Jack did not get sick, and the worst it got for me was some slight nausea and a few skipped meals. Recounting the tale makes me feel a touch ill, sort of like getting itchy when you hear of someone getting lice. And I just rubbed my ear in a scratching sort of way. I wonder how you are feeling just reading this?!
The Nests.

Just at the end of Grandpa's burial service, it began to rain. When we arrived home, what we saw in the sky was absolutely amazing. Not one full rainbow, but four! If you look very closely, you can see that the one on the bottom is a triple. My parents and I were outside. My jaw was on the ground. Poor Jason was too sick to get out of the bed. It was such a timely gift from God, a sign of peace over Grandpa's life and his family, arching over the land he once farmed.

Grandpa was a big part of our lives, and we miss him. We had a near front-row seat to the final stages of life, and it was saddening but strengthening to watch those before us face death with courage and dignity. We love you, Grandpa, and we'll miss seeing you on your golf cart. Owen thinks maybe you are running in heaven, and he wants to run with you too.