Sunday, October 4, 2009

Kids Live Here!

How to tell children live in this home:

Why, yes, that is a frog in our fan. Which one do you think is responsible for this?

By the way, the fan looks dusty, but I promise it isn't. I'd freak if I had dust blowing around!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hello Again...Again!

Ok, trying again. Things are really busy here, but I'm petrified that if I don't make the time to blog, I'll forget the things my kids do. So, here's to another go at making an effort to blog and read blogs.
Just in case you thought life might be easier at my house with Lolly than Linus, I present How to Know You've Lost the Sippy Cup War, Vol 1.

I've tried casually to introduce the sippy cup to Lolly a few times. She's less than thrilled with them. I tried again today. I believe this qualifies as a fail: I handed the sippy to Lolly. She handed it back, shook her head no and said, "bot bot."

More proof:
While Army, Linus, and I sipped on the most delicious milkshake ever (we split it, one sip in and we all knew splitting was a huge mistake!), Lolly was finishing off her lunch. She had a huge lunch--pasta, turkey, carrots, peas, and crackers. The kid can eat! Once she ate her last bite, she looked at a piece of bread and began her efforts to let us know she wanted it. In the meantime, I asked her to point to the light. "No, no, no" she said as she shook her head. I repeated, "Lolly, where's the light? Show me the light." Since "no, no, no" didn't work on me, she tried another approach. She lifted her palms, shrugged her shoulders, and made an "I don't know noise." Army then asked her if she wanted bread. Immediately she shook her head yes. After he gave her a piece, he asked her to point to the light. And she did. Then she laughed. Little stinker! She already knows how to bargain.
A little Linusism:
Linus asked for cinnamon toast for breakfast. I'll admit I usually cut her sandwich into however many slices she wants (or even shapes when she was younger or on holidays). She asked for it to be cut into quarters. Since I knew that meant more chances for her to spill the cinnamon, I said no. She grinned and said, "Ok, then, how 'bout fourths?" :P

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Well Hello Again!

I finally remembered my blog address, so here I am. Just kidding. We've had a LOT going on. In the past few weeks:
*Linus had surgery
*Linus had surgery issues
*Army had a birthday
*I took the girls to my parents to celebrate my dad's birthday
*Linus cut the ever living daylight out of her finger
*Linus had more surgery issues
*Linus started first grade. FIRST GRADE!!!! How'd that happen?
*Linus had a project for school
*My dad spent a week in the hospital in congestive heart failure (he's still there)
*Linus had another project for school (seriously--two in the first three days!!!)
*I've had four meetings
*I've been preparing for Lolly's first birthday, yes it's been a year. She'll be one (sob!)

Sooo, I've been busy. I've checked blogs, but probably only once in the past few weeks. I've got a load of emails to return. I've got more work to do with Linus, and I've got to finalize things for Lolly's birthday. Thankfully we only do family for first birthday parties. I can't imagine planning a huge party right now.

Oh, and did I mention I had house guests for a total of eleven of those days (not eleven days straight though).

I should be around more now though, complete with first day pics, birthday pics, pics of Big L's new haircut, etc. :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Catfish Anyone? How 'Bout a Side With That?

Two years ago, I posted my first real post here. Things haven't changed too much at my house...
Here's the first post:

An Extra Dose of Embarrassment!

(at the time this occurred, Linus was about 3)

I took Linus to lunch at a local restaurant that I love in the town where my parents live. It was just the two of us. Here's our conversation:

Linus: Mommy, look at his pecker.
Me: Linus, let's play I spy. I spy with my little eye something green.
Linus: Is it the leaf, Mommy? Look, he has a pecker too!
Me: Ok, Linus, your turn. What do you spy?
Linus: I spy something blue. (then a guy walks by and she looks in his direction). Look Mommy he has a big pecker!
Me: ( something BLUE!)
Linus looks in another direction and says, "and he has a small pecker"
Me: Um, blue! Uh, could it be that chair?
Linus: No
Me: (BLUE, BLUE, find something blue!), could it be that picture?
Linus: No, look mommy, his pecker is hard and looks old!
Me: Linus, shhh, we'll talk about that later!
Linus: Why Mommy, don't you see his pecker?
Me: Linus, ssshhhhh!
Linus: Look, Mommy, his pecker is different colors! And llllooooooonnnnnggggg! Then she points up near the ceiling.

I looked up and there was a parrot! The restaurant has fake trees with lots of parrots! She was talking about the parrot's beak!

Whoosh, big sigh of relief! Still embarrassed, but sooo glad my 4 year old princess doesn't know that kind of pecker!

And here's what just happened at our house:

Linus used a back scratcher and attached some of the hook rings from Lolly's toys to create a fishing pole. She'd "catch" other items by attaching them to the rings. When she hooked a cat, she announced that she caught a "catfish." When she hooked a sword, she caught a "swordfish." Then she decided to cook her catfish. I asked what she was cooking, and she said, "I'm cooking catfish with a side of potato wedgies."

Poor girl, she's got great ideas, and she even has a pretty extensive vocabulary, she just gets the words wrong sometimes.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Lolly has a new trick. She imitates everything, and I do mean everything. She's pretty good at it too.

For a while now, she's been making a "roar" noise which she learned by imitating Linus. She just started crawling a few feet, stopping, lifting up to a kneeling position, putting up her "claws" and saying "ROARRRR!" Then she drops back down to all four and crawls some more. It's so cute hearing her sweet little baby voice try to roar with effect. :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Extra Effort

We went out to dinner tonight. It was actually our first time going out to dinner in quite a while. We went to a quaint little burger place that has a deck that overlooks a beautiful waterfall. Linus was mesmerized. Lolly didn't care about the waterfall at all...the cafe lights on the porch held her attention. Well, that and food.

On the way home, we had to drive through a very dark area. Because there's little interference from city lights, you are able to see the stars very well. Linus announced she that it was so clear and beautiful that she could see God. I was touched. Until...

Me: You do?
Linus: I sure do. I can hear him too.
Me:You can?
L: I sure can.
Me: What's he saying? (Will I EVER learn?)
L: He's saying that he's disappointed.
Me: Really? (Right about then we were passing some road construction where they're cutting into the trees--looks like they are expanding the road. Linus is a big tree hugger, so I thought she was going to make a comment that God was upset that they were cutting down his beautiful trees).
L: He said he's disappointed that you took away my puppy and bear (stuffed animals) today.
Me: He was? I was disappointed in your behavior too.
L: Um, Mama? He was disappointed in YOU not me. He was disappointed that YOU took away something that your child loves so much.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

MORE Sweet Lolly!

Linus and I were discussing how much I love her this afternoon. She'd open her arms and say, "This much?" and I'd say, "No, more." After a few rounds of this, Sweet Lolly starts making the /m/ sound and signing "more." She's been able to sign more for a few weeks now, but so far it's only been when she wanted more food. :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Oh Lolly, My Lolly

My sweet Lolly has really blossomed lately. She continues to be the complete opposite of Linus, but that just makes being their mom even more fun.

A few weeks ago, Lolly learned to say "hi." More accurately, she learned to whisper "hi." Poor baby had been with me on errands most of the day, and she crashed in her carseat on our way home. Since she's rather small for her age (10 months, can you believe it? I can't!), she still fits in the infant carrier. I didn't want to wake her, so I quietly brought her in and put her carrier down right outside the bright lights of the kitchen. I could still easily see her, but the lights wouldn't wake her up. I was surprised when she still hadn't woken up when we finished dinner. I debated waking her so that I could feed her, but I decided to wait until after I finished cleaning the kitchen. As I'm wiping down the table, I thought I heard something. Neither Army nor Linus were near, so I decided I imagined it. A minute later, I heard it again. And again. And again. I looked over at Lolly, and she was grinning ear to ear and whispering, "Hi!" It was so adorable, and it completely melted my heart. I really wish I'd had the video camera nearby.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Extra Embarrassing

Shortly before Army and I met, a friend tried to set me up with her friend. I don't think either of us was interested in the other as anything more than friends, but my friend really did have good intentions in her attempt at playing cupid.

A few of us (girls) met him and a few of his friends at his apartment. The deal was they'd make us dinner if we'd make dessert. Sounded like a good trade off to me. I was surprised at how incredibly delicious their dinner was. As a freshman in college, I fixed a small plate so I wouldn't look like a complete pig. Although I would have loved seconds, I didn't dare go back. I had a very small light lunch that afternoon because I knew I'd be eating whatever they cooked for dinner and whatever we cooked for dessert. I. Was. Starving.

I had grand ideas for dessert. We were going to make a dessert that the guys thought they could only get in New Orleans. As we cleared the table, I noticed the mess the boys left in the kitchen. I was secretly pleased because I realized that I could snag another bite or two of the delicious dinner while they ran out to pick up a movie for us to watch after dessert.

I waited until they were safely out of the apartment and on their way to the store, and then I spooned a HUGE mouthful of dinner into my mouth as I danced around the kitchen. With a full mouth, I encouraged my friends to have another bite too. As I shoveled another bite in (and I'll shamefully admit that at this point I had a spoon in one hand and a fork in the other), I saw lights flash and heard a horn. My friend looked out the window of the apartment towards the parking lot, and there the guys were...watching us inhale their delicious food. They were cracking up. I was not. I have always turned red rather easily when I'm embarrassed. Thankfully they couldn't see me that well.

When they got back with the movies, they were greeted with a yummy dessert. They teased us unmercifully, then we watched the movie. The teasing went on for quite some time, and any shot we'd had at dating before was completely blown at this point.

About two and a half years later, Army got a fabulous summer job through a connection his brother had. He had a great boss, and really enjoyed getting to know him. Every time he mentioned his boss's name, I cringed. The guy had the same name as the person my friend tried to set me up with. I knew it couldn't be him though because he didn't know Army's brother and the guy had moved back to his hometown after college. Eventually he and Army began doing stuff outside work, and he invited us to his apartment one evening before going out. As we pulled up to the apartment, I was visibly squirming. I tossed question after question at Army about this guy because he lived in the same apartment complex as the guy from college. I kept reminding myself that I knew he had moved back home, so this guy could not possibly be the same guy from dinner. He also didn't work in the same field as the guy from college. As we walked up to the apartment door, I thought that it was a rather odd coincidence that Army's boss lived in the exact same apartment that I'd been in two and a half years before. Again, no way this guy could be the same guy...he'd moved back to his home town, he didn't know Army's brother, he was in a different field of work. Then he answered the door. The same guy answered the door. In lightening fast though, I debated acting like I didn't know him, but I was busted when he said, "Hi Lanny! I haven't seen you in ages. Come on in. Can I get you anything to eat?" I wanted to melt into the ground!

I never went out with them again. I decided it was a friendship Army could have, but I'd stay out of it. That worked well for me. Army's job was only a summer job, and although he and the guy remained friends for a while, they rarely saw each other once Army started med school. A few years later, my friend mentioned that the guy had once again moved back to his hometown. Dang if he wasn't in my town for a conference last week. Of all places, I ran into him at a restaurant. Lovely. Just lovely. Thankfully I had two adorable little girls with me. They were a great distraction from the fact that I just don't have my college body anymore...very likely due to that food shoveling I did in an apartment once upon a time.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I Love Linus!

A few days ago, Linus and I were chatting. I don't even remember what we were talking about, but I made the comment, "Well, that's just ridonkulous."

As seriously as can be, Linus looked at me and said, "Mama, the word is ridicleeus."

Poor girl; she's always had difficulty with ri-dic-lee-us and fab-lee-us. Honestly though, I think I prefer her way anyway. ;)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Remember When...

Linus has been reminding me that we haven't followed her dreams yet. Little turkey. She knows how to get her way.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Who's On First

My life appears to be a daily Abbott and Costello routine. When Lolly has a bottle, it's a Dr. Brown's. They have a million parts, and it takes me forever to load them in the dishwasher. Linus was watching me load the other day, and she has some questions. Apparently she thought Dr. Brown was a person we know.

Linus: Mama, how many bottles did Dr. Brown give us?
Me: What?
Linus: Dr. Brown. How many bottles did he give us for Lolly?
Me: Twelve.
Linus: No, not Dr. Telf (her pediatrician), Dr. Brown.
Me: No, not Telf, Twelve.
Linus: Mama, bottles. How many bottles did Dr. Brown give us for Lolly. Not Dr. Telf, but Dr. Brown.
Me: Twelve, Linus. Not Dr. Telf, but twelve Dr. Brown bottles.
Linus: Nevermind.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Extra Happy

Linus got an award at the Awards Day assembly at school today. I'm curious what kind of award y'all might think she received. Sooo, what's your guess?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Extra Thanks

A very heartfelt thanks to the many men and women who have served our great country and provided us the freedom that we enjoy. For personal sacrifices you've made, as well as the sacrifices your families have made, I am forever grateful.

Among other family members, my father, grandfather, uncle, and great uncle were service members. My grandfather was among those storming the beaches of Normandy. Oh how I wish I had been able to hear his stories first hand.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Guess Who

Guess who said the following tidbit. Bonus points if you can tell me what the person was talking about.

These nipples are hard, but when you suck them they go down.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Sign of the Times

Linus has this (very annoying) toy that says, "Red Alert!" Despite trying to tell her otherwise, she's convinced it says, "Credit Alert!" and goes around saying it constantly. I guess she's not too young to teach her about good credit. :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sweet Little Lolly

Afternoon carpool at the school Linus attends is run like a well oiled machine. Nine cars load at a time after snaking through the parking lot. The kids are called in stages, so they are (usually) ready by the time you get to the loading area. As we snaked through on Friday, Linus made it to the first holding area more quickly than usual. Lolly looked over (two rows away, and kind of hidden!) and noticed Linus. She immediately got a huge smile and her whole body began bouncing and shaking with happiness. It was finally time to see her Linus. Then we pulled forward to continue moving towards the loading area. Lolly panicked. She began screaming and reaching her arms towards the window in the direction of Linus. And she screamed and cried until we finally got to Linus. By the time Linus got into the car, Lolly had worked herself into a full panic and was doing that cry-breathing when you can barely catch your breath. Linus could not stand to see Lolly so upset. It's so sweet to watch their love bloom and show.

Linus has been in love from the beginning. :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Extra Sleepy

Stupid, stupid, stupid internet is giving problems, so I'm going to do a quick post and hope it works...

Last night a loud crashing sound woke us up. Army groggily asked what the noise was.

Before I could answer, he began snoring. Between Army and the dog, who never even woke up, I feel quite safe. Ha! At least we have The Bitch to protect us.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Extra Love


No Swine Flu here. Just lots of giggles and smiles. My goodness I love this girl!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Extra Sick and Tired

Tuesday morning when I tried to wake Linus for school, I was met with some resistance. As I nudged and said her name for the second or third time, she coughed and said she couldn't go to school. Then she coughed again. When I asked her why she couldn't go to school, she coughed again, snorted like a pig, coughed again, then said, "Swine flu."

Honestly, I'm not sure whether she caught a glimpse of the media hype or if she overheard Army and I talking about it. She never opened her eyes and never cracked a smile.

The child is even funny in her sleep! :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Extra Annoyed

What happened to customer service? I know I've gone off on this before, but it's on my nerves again.

*Yesterday we were at Home Depot, and the guy in front of us was sent back to get an identical product as the one he planned to purchase because his didn't have a bar code. We waited (and didn't mind, really) while he ran and got another one. The cashier told us we could go to self-check if we wanted to because it would be faster. We're big fans of self-check, but because we were getting items that had nearly non-existent weight, we knew from experience that self-check would give us problems. Once the guy returned and finished checking out, it was our turn. We placed our items on the counter, and on the last item, there was no bar code. I told the lady it was $9.99, but she said, "I can't just trust the price you're telling me, I have to have the bar code." Fine, I get that you can't just take my word for it, but I'd sure as heck say it a different way. Perhaps, "I'm sorry. I have to scan a bar code for it to ring up." would have been a little less harsh than I don't freaking believe you. I was annoyed (hey, they're shooting 100% on missing bar codes per transaction), so I just said, "We'll just get one next time." I was not going to make the man in line wait yet again for somebody to go get another product. The lady got annoyed with me! She told us we could go to the garden center after we finished checking out, switch out the product, and then pay for it there. Um, no. I have two kids with me. Home Depot is a nightmare with my kids when things go well, I'm not dragging them back through the store again. And really, it wasn't a time sensitive item, so we really can pick it up next time. Or elsewhere. I still don't know why she couldn't call the garden dept and ask for a price check. And for the record, without my kids, I would have just gone and paid for it in the GD, but still. Customer service people. Novel concept.

*Monday I took the girls into Walgreens to pick something up quickly. Linus wanted everything in sight, so I wanted to keep the errand as quick as possible. We made our way to the checkout, and the (very) elderly lady in front of us wanted to do two transactions. No problem. As we waited, the line grew, so the cashier asked another one to open the counter behind us and help check out. Keep in mind I have a baby in my arms and another child with me along with what we were buying. As soon as the other lady opens the other counter, the lady behind, who works for Walgreens, rushed over there and bumped in to me in her attempt to beat anyone else there. I'll give the first cashier credit, she asked the girl who bumped me to please let the customers go first (to which the girl said, "but I'm in a hurry."). No apology whatsoever from the girl, and there's no way she didn't know that she bumped me. It jostled Lolly enough that she started crying! Ugh!

What happened to training employees in customer care? I worked at a bank in college, and I had hours of training in customer service and I didn't even work in a department that interacted with customers! I volunteer at Children's Hospital, and you better bet we're trained in customer care. As a parent of a child who has been a patient at Children's, I can guarantee it's the little things that count.

I know I sound geriatric whining about customer service, but really, if I'm going to spend money somewhere, I'd rather not be pushed, you know? That's not to say I'll never shop at Walgreens or HD again, but if it becomes a trend, you better believe I'll stop. I'm a fan of locally owned stores anyway, and there's plenty locally owned hardware stores and nurseries. What's your experience?

Monday, May 11, 2009

An Extra Year Update

Some of you have asked how my father is doing. Unfortunately, he's gone downhill since my post last year. He was able to return to work, but he has since retired. Thankfully that was an option for him.

We've had quite a few scares over the past year, but the most significant came in August. Because nothing is ever boring and simple at our house, my dad lay dying, yet again, as Lolly began her entrance into this world. The doctors were very frank with my mother, and they let her know that it was very unlikely he would survive the night. What began tears of sorrow and fear became tears of hope and happiness as we celebrated life: Lolly's birth and my dad's survival.

We don't know how much longer we have with him, and quite frankly, I'm not sure how much more his body can take. For now, though, we're enjoying the time we do have.

Thanks for all your good thoughts! I cannot begin to tell you how much they meant the first time I wrote about his incident, now how much they've continued to help as we go about this journey.

Here's the original post in case anyone is interested:

Sunday, May 11, 2008

An Extra Birthday

One year ago today, I got one of the worst phone calls a person can get.

Linus and I enjoyed a fun Mother's Day Luncheon, then Army and I headed out with our agent to look at houses. While we were out, my mother called. I confirmed that we were planning to go to her city the next day, and then asked her if I could call her back when we were finished. She realized just how busy we were, and readily agreed. She planned to go shopping with one of her friends, and then possibly out to dinner. My father was out of town.

As Army and I were driving home, my cell phone rang. I fished around for it, and just as I found I found it, voice mail picked up. I looked at caller id and grumbled when I saw it was my mother. I though, ugh, she knows how busy I am--I told her I'd call when I could. Right before the tone went off to let me know I had a message, I though to myself, oh no--what if something is wrong. I dialed her number, but I got a busy signal. She has call waiting, so I knew that meant she had to be calling somebody else. I went ahead and listened to my message. It was short and her voice was filled with fear: Lan, I need you.

I tried to call back, but now there was no answer. I thought about calling my dad's cell, but since he was out of town, I knew all I'd do was worry him. Just as I was in near full panic, Army's cell rang. It was my mom. I could only hear his side of the conversation, but I knew instantly it was really bad. Then he handed me his phone.

"Lan, I'm on my way to SmallCity (where my dad was). They found Dad in a parking lot. Lan, he wasn't breathing and he didn't have a pulse. They think he had a heart attack. They have him at the hospital now. That's all I know. Can you come?"

"Wait, Mom. What are you saying? Is he dead? A heart attack is impossible. He had an angiogram not long ago, and he had no blockage. Something is not right. I just don't understand. Yes, I'll come. Where is he? Is he alive? Who found him? How long had he been down? Mom, IS HE ALIVE?"

"Lan, I've told you all I know. Can you come?"

"Mom is he alive? What hospital?"

"Lan, I don't know. I think he's alive. They had him breathing when I spoke with the hospital, but he keeps slipping."

"Hang up now! Mom, you've got to call the hospital back and tell them he's on a blood thinner and all his medications."

My dad carried a list of all his medications in his wallet, so thankfully they were able to have immediate access to all meds and dosages. "Lan, I've done that. Can you come?"

"Mom, who is with you? Have you told Sis? What about your sister?"

"Lan, I'm alone. I really need you. I called P, J, J, and K. None of them answered their cells. I was supposed to go out with P and J. They are probably in a store and not getting good reception. I haven't told you sister yet. I can't Lan. I just can't do it and drive to SmallCity. I've just got to focus on your father living."

At this point, I'm in tears. We pulled into our garage, and I'm immediately greeted by Linus. In my not-so-finest-hour, I barked at Linus to go to her room. I didn't want to make her panicked. Duh, not quite sure about seeing her mommy in tears and telling her to go to her room was going to keep her from getting upset. Thankfully we had a great babysitter here, and she went and took care of Linus. WonderDog was already at the vet's clinic--we had boarded her since we were planning to go out of town early the next morning.

Mom called back and said J and P had called her back when they saw their missed calls, but that she told them not to go up, she'd be fine. I called J and begged her to go to my mom even though mom had said no. J told me she and P were already in the car--they were dropping off J's daughter and then headed for the hospital in SmallCity. Funny thing is, they had no idea where the hospital was. Army went to med school in that state, so he knew and had to get them there over the phone. I felt better knowing my mom wasn't going to be alone the whole time.

I called Mom again and asked if she'd told my sister yet. She said she hadn't and that she couldn't. Calling my sister was soooo hard. She was in the car with her whole family. I asked her to call me back when she got home, but she could hear the emotion in my voice and demanded that I tell her what was wrong right then. I told her and she fell apart.

Next I called one of my mom's sisters despite my mom asking me not to. I had no idea at the time, but my aunt had just learned my uncle was terminally ill, yet they didn't have any answers beyond that he would die. She dropped everything and decided to come right up. I knew she would. My mom and that aunt are super close, and I also knew she'd make the trip with my sister. My sister had decided that her husband would stay home with the girls, and she'd come alone. I didn't want her making that trip alone.

Next I had to focus on getting us out of there. It took us a little while to pack and get on the road (it felt like forever!) because I had no idea how long I'd be gone, nor did I know if I'd be attending my father's funeral. It was awful.

On the trip to get to SmallCity (about 5 hours away), I was on the phone constantly. I tried so hard to be very cryptic in what I was saying--I wanted to shield Linus as much as possible--but it was near impossible. We called Army's brother and asked if we could drop Linus there for the night, and of course he said yes. I called my mom's other sister and asked her to pray. She lives about 15 hours away from SmallCity that my dad was in. She offered to take the next plane out, but I asked her to wait and we'd assess everything in the morning.

On the way there, there was an unbelievable amount of road construction, so our 5 hour trip ended up closer to 7 1/2. I was constantly in contact with my mom and sister getting updates.

I prepared my mom for seeing my dad with tons of tubes (assuming he was alive) and his color being off. Thankfully, Army knew exactly what to expect, so he had me tell her exactly what she'd walk into. Finally she was able to call us with the good news that he was alive. Better yet, he didn't look bad at all. Sure he had a few tubes, mom said, but he looked just like himself. Why I believed that, I'll never know. I guess I needed to believe it.

Mom called and asked us to stop at her house and let her dog out. I wasn't all too happy, because I wanted to get to my dad, but we did it. At that point, I decided Linus would go on with us. She knew something was up, and I could NOT just toss her off to a relative.

After what seemed like forever, we arrived at the hospital. My father had been moved from the ER to CICU. Since it was a small city, they had a small hospital, but that small hospital was wonderful. They didn't want my mom to be alone (before her friends got there), so they had one of the security guards available for anything she needed. He brought her fresh coffee constantly, bottled water, blankets, etc. We all came to love this man. He checked on my dad for the longest time after the incident. They also had a private entrance to the CICU. We LOVED that!

We finally learned that what we were originally told wasn't accurate. Dad had been in a place of business when everything happened. This business had security cameras that captured it all, so we were able to get a detailed story. Apparently Dad had cardiac arrest (but NOT a heart attack) and his heart and breathing stopped. He dropped between two displays, and it took three minutes for anyone to see him. Once he was seen, they called an emergency, and two other people there began CPR. An ICU nurse noticed the commotion and removed the CPR guys because they were doing it incorrectly. By this time a person at the business trained to use a defibrillator came (seriously, what are the chances?) and she and the ICU nurse shocked Dad back into a good rhythm. They continued with CPR until the ambulance arrived because he still wasn't breathing on his own. He had to be shocked multiple times and eventually he even began breathing sporadically on his own. He tried to tell them about his medicine, but he was unable to talk. He continued to go into bad rhythm in the ambulance, so they had to shock him in there too.

When Army and I went to see my dad, my mom, Sis, and aunt were already back there. Linus stayed with mom's friends (she knows them well). Linus, naturally, entertained the CICU waiting room. My mom lied! My dad looked AWFUL. He had tubes coming from everywhere. His ventilator tube still had the attachment they use in the ER while they are trying to keep the mouth open, so it was shoved in there and made him have a grimace on his face. He was completely unresponsive.

When the doctor saw new people in the room, he came in immediately to explain, yet again, what was going on. I asked Army a question, and the doctor gently explained the answer to me. When he found out Army is a physician, he gave him the rundown in words that are way above my head. Army asked a few above-my-head questions to which the doc answered above-my-head answers. Then doc turned to me and saw the completely lost look on my face and brought it all back down to my level. That meant the world to me. Within seconds of him leaving, Dad began choking on secretions in his vent. They called a RT, but apparently Dad couldn't wait for her to arrive. The ICU nurse went into action, tubes went flying, a doc came running, and my sister and I broke down. Army walked us out of Dad's room, while Mom stayed behind. As soon as he got us to the waiting room with my aunt and mom's friends, he ran back to be with my mom. It was awful. Absolutely awful.

Despite the fact that it was now about 2 in the morning, Dad's nurse insisted my sister and I come back to his room again so that we could see that he was now ok. I'll forever be grateful to her for that.

Mom's friends went home, and Mom decided to stay the night in the CICU waiting room. Because of Army, I knew the statistics: most people who code do it again and do not make it. I wanted to stay too, but Mom wanted me to take Linus to a hotel. Army, Linus and I headed out. Mom, Sis, and my aunt stayed.

The next morning when the doc rounded, he told my mom how happy and surprised he was that Dad made it through the night. That stung like I never imagined. I was happy to know my father was still with us, but hearing how close he came was awful. We were also given the news that if he didn't wake up within 24 hours (he was in a coma), that he likely wouldn't.

We all looked for glimpses of hope, yet Dad did not wake up. We'd think he moved a finger, just for a nurse to tell us we imagined it. Hour by hour went by, and our fear grew.

Saturday night (over 24 hours since the incident) my sister went back to the hotel with us. She had a connecting room. She called me, and we had the dreaded conversation: what if we have to have the really dreaded conversation--do we remove him from life support? They had prepared us that we may have to discuss it since he didn't wake up. Army kept insisting that we give him 72 hours. If he still didn't wake up, he'd want a brain function test run, then run again 72 hours after that.

Sunday morning (Mother's Day), they let us know that 24 hours had well passed. Mom insisted Dad has always done things in his own time, and that 24 hours didn't count for him. Army insisted we give 72. During the past day and a half, I'd made calls to other family members to keep them up to date. Many of them are physicians too, and they agreed with Army: 72 hours was a must. Somehow I was appointed the family spokesperson, a job nobody wants, so I had to speak to zillions of people.

Late Sunday afternoon, we decided to go for 72 hours and screw the 24 hour idea. My sis had been out of town the two weeks prior, so mom sent her home to her kids, and my aunt home to her ailing husband. Army called work and let them know to cancel his appointments...he wouldn't be there.

Later Sunday afternoon, a priest was called in to say a blessing over my father. I begged everyone to tell my dad that this was NOT Last Rites, but nobody did (I was at the hotel with Linus, so I couldn't tell him myself). They all thought I was nuts--Dad was in a coma, it didn't matter what they told him. I, however, had been watching his vent like a hawk, and had seen that he was beginning to breathe over his vent and on his own some. I also noticed that his respiration number changed very obviously when we were in the room talking. I KNEW he could hear us. Anyway, nobody told him it was NOT Last Rites. The priest got started, and within a few minutes, Dad kicked his leg hard. It was as if he was saying I'M NOT DYING! Army got the nurse, and she got the doctor. He did that dreaded sternum rub (for those of you who haven't seen it, it's awful---they rub their knuckles into your chest as hard as they can). Nothing. Not a budge. They called it coincidence that he moved. We knew otherwise. Then Army pointed out the respiration number and that the respirator was doing 100% of his breathing. They said he was slipping further. Army said he had worn himself out trying to kick.

They sat us down and said that patients simply do not "just wake up" like that, that they do it very slowly. Mom said leave it to my dad---he'd 'just wake up' like that. The doctor said he certainly hoped so and asked if he could add Dad to their prayer chain at his church. Of course!

Mom and I though he opened his eyes just a tiny bit, but we were told he didn't really. Nothing significant happened that night. Army spent the night at the hospital that Sunday night while my Mom came back to the hotel for some rest. Naturally she couldn't sleep, so she was back at the hospital before dawn. Then I got a phone call: Lan, HE'S AWAKE! Come quick!

I raced over there. He sure enough was awake. He was fighting the vent, so they removed it with the warning that he'd likely have to have it placed again. He didn't. Once the vent was removed, he began reading everything on the tv. We were amazed. So was the doctor. My sister rushed back. They asked us to leave while they assessed him, which they said would take 1-2 hours, so we grabbed a bite to eat. When we returned, Dad was eating a popsicle, though he was begging for banana pudding instead. They said he had to have the popsicle, and that he couldn't have anything milk based for at least another day. Within an hour he was eating that banana pudding. :)

It took a few more days to get him moved to a bigger hospital in a larger city. During those days it became rather obvious that this would be a long road. He did not know who any of us were, what he did, where he was...nothing.

He had to have surgery at the big hospital, then a few weeks later was moved to a rehab facility. He was in the rehab facility for a month or so. While there, he began to learn our names once again. He did, however, have tremendous memory issues. There was no way he could be left alone. His license was taken away (no complaints--he obviously couldn't drive!), his freedom was taken away.

Once he left the rehab facility, he went home, but he still required 24/7 care. It was very difficult to see my strong father in such a state, but we were so thankful he was alive.

After several months, we began to see little sparkles in his eyes, symbols that he was regaining his jovial personality. We collectively breathed a sigh of relief. Fear was replaced with hope. Although the dad I had grown up with may never return, I at least had a little bit of him. I could hug him. Linus could sit in his lap. A wife had a husband, two girls had a Daddy, and three girls had a grandfather who we all almost lost.

Exactly one year later we celebrate a re-birthday with him. I'm so proud of his accomplishments. Through tons of hard work, he's regained his independence, his life. Last week, he even got his license back. He taught a bunch of family and friends to never give up. That's a lesson that will take us so very far! Actually, we've learned that lesson twice--my uncle, the one who was terminal, is still with us. And he's not listed as terminal anymore!

I love you Dad! Thanks for sticking around! :)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Extra Happy Wishes

To all the Mommies, Birth-Mommies, Step-Mommies, God-Mommies and Mommies-to-be, Happy Mother's Day!

I plan to spend the day with my two girls. Linus formulated a plan for breakfast for me (Army had to spill the beans because he knew I wouldn't like it) that I'll enjoy with a smile. The thought she put into it more than makes up for the not-so-great food. Anyway, it's the company it's all about! Later, we'll probably plant some flowers. Unfortunately, we won't be able to go see my own mother.

How do you plan to spend the day?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

An Extra Special Evening

Mid-afternoon Army and I were hand delivered invitations to a dinner tonight. The invitations were hand written, personalized, and they were detailed. At the appropriate time, Army and I made our way to that party.

We didn't have to go too far to get there...just up the stairs to the playroom. When we made it there, our hostess with the mostess, Linus, surprised us. She had soft music playing, a table set perfectly, dimmed lights, and fancy napkins that she made. She presented us with a hand-written menu complete with prices and pictures to go with each item.

Army and I oooh'd and ahhh'd and finally made our selection. While we waited for our dinner to cook, we were presented with imaginary tea, which Linus poured for us, tea cookies, and soup. Linus joined us for dinner while Lolly happily bounced in her Johnny Jump-Up.

After dinner, Linus told us the dessert list. She highly recommended the Cinco de Mayo Sundae, and she stood back and tall while we made our selections. We both chose the sundae, which was imaginarily delicious, and then the three of us enjoyed the music and conversation.

Who knew dinner prepared by a six year old could be so delicious and fun?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

An Extra Prayer

Linus goes to a religious school. She learns a prayer each quarter. While I don't believe that rote memorization of prayers equals a true religious belief, I do see their reasoning behind memorizing the prayers. Linus has a LOT of trouble memorizing the prayers each quarter though. A whole lot. Their current prayer is the Hail Mary. We've made a lot of progress towards memorization thus far, but I think it's obvious we've got a way to go still.

Hail Mary
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Linus's version
Hail Mary, full of God, the Lord is with me. Bless it are thou among women, and bless it is the fruit of the womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for our centers, now and at our death. Amen.

I try to say a bit, then have her repeat it. Here's our conversation:
Me: Hail Mary
L: Hail Mary
Me: Full of grace
L: Full of God
Me: Linus, Grace like your name. GRACE. Surely you can remember that, right? Full of Grace
L: Full of God
Me: The Lord is with thee
L: The Lord is with me
Me: Blessed art thou amongst women
L: Bless it are thou among women
Me: And blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus
L: And bless the fruit of the womb Jesus (I left that one alone because I think it's better than many kids' fruit of the loom
Me:Holy Mary, mother of God
L: Holy Mary, mother of God
Me: Pray for us sinners
L: Pray for our centers
Me: What did you say?
L: Pray for us centers. Aren't we praying that we do well at our centers, especially on Fridays during free centers time?
Me: Sinners, Linus, not centers. Like a sin.
L: Oh, well, we should probably pray for our centers too.
Me: Now and at the hour of our death.
L: Now and at our death.
Me: Amen
L: Amen.
Me: Your turn. You try it on your own.
L: Ok. How does it start?
Me: Hail Mary
L: Hail Mary. What's next?
Me: Full of grace
L: Like me!
Me: Yes, like you.
L: Full of God.

Ugh! She'll get it eventually, right?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Extra Long Lashes

Have I ever told the story of the lady at the Dollar Tree? We were in there one day, and she commented on the great lashes my girls have. After going on and on about their eyes, she asked me to look up (I was digging for money), and when I did, she laughed and let me know that my girls' beautiful eyes did NOT come from me. Thanks lady!

Is it wrong to be jealous of my girls' eyes?

Linus--you can't see the full effect of her lashes here, but it gives you an idea

Lolly--she was only 6 months old here...imagine in a few years!

An Extra Round of Pics

Be forewarned: I've figured out the issue (looks like my photoshop has seen its last day), so I've got pictures...and more pictures...and more pictures. Daily pics. :)

When Linus was 9 months old, she got a Cheerio stuck on her nose. It upset her at first, but I laughed, and eventually she thought it was funny too. I loved that set of pictures, and I planned to stage some with Lolly. Well, Lolly took care of that on her own for me. Check them out:



Nearly identical expressions:

Lolly isn't really very fond of Cheerios. She'd much rather throw them on the floor. :)

Any idea how to do a video for the technologically challenged? Every single site I've tried to use to upload it says it's too big of a file.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

For Your Viewing Pleasure...

Is there anything cuter than a chubby little rubber band fist feeding an adorable lipped baby mouth?


That's a Cheerio on her nose. More to come...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Extra Random

Sorry about yesterday's post!

Y'all are cracking me up. I checked my stats yesterday so that I could try and tell who saw it and who didn't (I couldn't tell because I hadn't paid attention to times). Y'all came out of the woodwork to read that. I had nearly 5 times the amount of hits for the same day last week. Maybe I should be edgy more often (kidding).

We had a fabulous field trip today. I was hoping for lots of pics, but I took TWO. What kind of mother, especially a camera happy mother, goes on a field trip with both kids and only takes two pics?

I really want a warm brownie with chocolate chips in it right now. How's that for random? Doesn't it sound good though? What's your favorite dessert type food?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bite Me!

***Remorse has set in. I'm removing it***

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Um, yeah, reality sinks in

And this, my friends, is why we'll only have two...*

We got a phone call this morning that Linus stuck a bead in her ear. As luck would have it, Army wasn't in the office today, so I couldn't just run her by so that he could remove it. That would be way too easy.

On my way to pick her up, my mind wandered; dancing around my mind were thousands of random thoughts. After the obvious I hope she's ok and not too scared, I moved on to dang, I'm glad we didn't skip her bath last night which progressed to I hope her ear isn't full of wax. Then it occurred to me that you have to put a reason for checking your child out of school. I was not putting "stuck a damn bead in her dadgum ear" on the sheet of shame for all the parents to see. I opted for "sick" since she'd have to go to the doctor...that does make her sick afterall, doesn't it?

What do you say when you pick up your child who has just stuck a foreign object in an orifice? The accident report cracked me up. The blame game has already begun...found a bead in her own classroom and stuck it in her ear (she wasn't in her room when it happened). Ha! I'm not blaming y'all for this. My child did it. Actually, the first version of the story from her lips involved a bead that she found in her classroom, stuck in her pocket, and it magically jumped in her ear. She eventually said, "Well, it didn't exactly just jump there on its own. I stuck it in the empty space." I'm sorry Linus, did you just tell me you stuck a bead in the empty space between your ears? Please, my baby, please let's find another way to phrase that.

While we were in the car, we made it to the root of the reason for the tears. She was worried the bead was going to roll further in and go to her brain. I could have settled for "What brain Linus? You stuck a stinking bead in your ear. Are you sure you used a brain for that one?" but instead I nicely told her that it couldn't and wouldn't. Oh, but I'm not a doctor, so how can I know? So we had to call Daddy so that he could assure her that it wouldn't go to her brain. I'll have to remember the comfort that gave Linus the next time we write one of those huge education loan payments to Sallie Mae.

We got home, and despite LOTS of drama, Army was able to look in her ear. Sure enough, there's a bead. Naturally, since Army doesn't make a habit of carrying all of his instruments home just in case, he didn't have the needed equipment for the beadectomy. A humiliating call to the dr's office later (I know there's no way we're the only ones who have ever called for this despite the way they made it sound) and Linus had an appointment. After some playful drama (and,really, I don't blame her at all---I'm sure I'd be a little dramatic if somebody was fishing something out of my ear) the bead was removed. Poor Linus, the dr handed it to Army who promptly inspected it then threw it away. I think she wanted it as a battle scar memento.

Once home, Linus played for a few minutes, then she fell asleep for a solid four hour nap. I think the worry wore her out. But OH MY GOSH! She woke up full of energy. Bedtime didn't come easily tonight. The house was very quiet while Linus napped (imagine that!) so Lolly fell asleep and took a three hour nap. Wow! The two of them were on a roll tonight. L-O-U-D and W-I-L-D.

•Not really. I'll post about it someday though.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Extra Sad

I'm sad tonight. I've actually been thinking about this for several weeks now. I know some of my friends from another group that I'm a member of will understand (and for those of you waiting for your first or second, please know I'm not trying to offend you at all!).

Before I say anything, I *do* know that I have two fabulous children. I love them dearly, and I think that's apparent from my posts. They mean the world to me, and I cannot imagine my life without them. I'm so sad, though, that this is likely the end of the road for babies for me. I've always dreamed of a big family--not octomom big, but big nonetheless. While I'm happy for people who have newborns, I want to experience that one more time so badly. I know Lolly is still young, and I absolutely adore the age she is now, but I just don't have that finished having children feeling. My arms and heart ache when I see a newborn. While I'm not ready for a newborn right this very second, I'm also not ready to close that door for the future.

For whatever reason, I keep torturing myself too. For the members of the other group I referenced earlier, I look at the monthly stats every single month. This month, we would have gone out several times. I don't know why that hurts so badly--maybe the what if? I also keep playing back exactly what was going on with Lolly one year ago on a daily basis. I miss that. I miss the non obvious pregnancy blossoming into the quite obvious one. I miss the dr's appointments. I miss the excitement. And I miss the final result: a new life to hold and nurture. A new life to revel in. A new life to stare at for hours on end, to breathe in with every breath I take, to love, to cherish, to help mold in to a wonderful little being.

I love all the new experiences Linus gives me, and I love watching Lolly grow, but I'm not ready to acknowledge that it's over. As Lolly turns another month older, I relish in her accomplishments, yet I mourn the fact that I'll never get to witness it first hand with another. It certainly doesn't upset me so much that I can't enjoy Lolly, but it's there lurking in the back of my mind.

Lolly is getting old enough that some of her newborn toys, equipment, and clothing need to be given away, yet I can't do it. Thankfully I do need to send my sister some newborn clothes, but the rest of it? It's in Lolly's room. I can't do it. I just can't. Packing things away as Linus grew wasn't hard for me. This time, it's killing me.

I don't want to sound ungrateful. I am incredibly thankful for the two children I have. I'm just having a difficult time coming to grips with this being the end of the road baby-wise. :( I keep waiting for reality to sink totally in, but it just hasn't yet.

Extra Blah

Why are posts so much funnier in the middle of the night?

Last night (Saturday night) was had a comedy of errors here. I went to bed (close to 3!), but because of everything that had happened, I couldn't fall asleep. As soon as I did, I was startled awake by Army. Then again, I tried to fall asleep to no avail. While I was lying in bed, I was composing in my mind what I planned to blog the next day. And you know what? It was really 3:30. Now? Not so much. So why is it that it's so funny in the middle of the night, but not the next morning?

I'm tired of the blog blahs! I thought (again, at 3:30) that they were passing. Looks like they aren't.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Linus Strikes Again

Mama, do you believe in following your dreams?


Good, because last night I dreamed we went to Walmart and got the same backpack as Maddie, the one I've been asking for.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Extra Love

Lolly. My sweet Lolly.

Lolly is seven months old now. How'd that happen so quickly? This is one of my favorite ages. She's a total monkey right now (I don't lift her up, but she won't let go). If she's lying down, she hooks her legs around my arm, her arms around my wrist, and she hangs on. She loves climbing things as much as her little body will allow. She's still an itty bitty thing, but she's getting big chunky thighs. Have I ever mentioned how much I love baby thighs?

I love her toothy grin. She's been working on getting her two bottom teeth. Poor baby, they both broke through on the same day. If you ask her, "Where are your toovies (that's what Linus called teeth when she was a baby)?" she'll open wide, stick her bottom jaw out a bit, and smile a big ole smile. I can't get enough of it. I ask her constantly. :)

I love listening to her babble. There's nothing sweeter than hearing "Mama" even if it doesn't have any significance to her yet. I still love it. I also love listening to her inflection. You can tell her mood by her babble. When she's happy, it's such a sweet babble. If she babbles a bit, but doesn't get the attention she wants, she gets louder and more direct.

She's obsessed with her feet. She holds them constantly, and they often find their way to her mouth. Her feet are finally starting to fill out a tiny bit. They are still really narrow, but we're getting there. Until recently, her feet looked like newborn feet, only a tiny bit longer.

She's far more into the oral stage than Linus ever was. If Lolly can pick it up, it's in her mouth. If she can't pick it up, she leans her head toward it so she can get her mouth on it. She's also much more analytic (can you even say that with a baby this young?) than Linus was. Linus was the most content baby ever. NOTHING bothered that child. Lolly is determined to figure out how things work. She's twist, turn, manipulate, etc objects until she can figure them out. We used a binky clip for about 30 minutes before she figured how to unclip it from her dress. She studied it and studied it until she could get it off.

And best of all, she's a cuddler. She loves to put her head on your shoulder and pat your back. I love it more! She loves to be cradled in your arms. If you lie down with her on your chest, she's transformed instantly into peacefully sleeping baby. It's instantaneous. Of course, that comes with the flip side too--she can't stand for me not to be in sight, and she does not like strangers at all.

Linus is still her favorite person in the world. I hope they are able to share the fantastic friendship that my sister and I have!

I remember wondering the same thing I've heard several friends wonder as the birth of their second child approaches: How on earth can I love this second one as much as I love my first? I remember everyone telling me that it wasn't just possible, it was a given. I secretly thought they were wrong. I simply could not fathom loving another child like I love Linus. I was so wrong. Turns out there was room in my heart to love another child with everything I have.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

An Extra Eww!

Marketing people should ask Linus for her opinion before they use their ideas on products.

At Costco this evening, Linus noticed this product:

Hey, look, they have wipes for WonderDog now!

Wait. Ewww, that's gross.

Ewww, I'm never wiping WonderDog's bum! Ewwwww! Mama! Ewwww! Gross! WHY, Mama, why would they make that?


Army and I somehow stifled our laughter...until a lady walked over to check out what the commotion was about and cracked up!

Moral of the story: Don't put a DOG on a wipes container. There's nothing cute about poop, so don't try the puppies and babies angle! Linus will call you on it!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Break Review

Our Spring Break can be summed up in two words: great and horrible.

Monday--rain, rain, rain, and more rain. We didn't get to do nearly as much as we wanted to.

Tuesday--portraits. We actually got a few good shots. As expected, Linus worked the camera while Lolly refused to smile. I can't wait to get a good look at them. All in all, it went much better than expected. Of course, in our book, it's always a success when we are not asked to not return.

Wednesday--the begin of the decline. Lolly stuck her finger in my eye. Not just a little poke-- she really stuck it in there. I called Army to complain and see what I could do for the discomfort (not much, we didn't have anything in the house to help). He called back to check on me, and decided to run home to bring me some numbing drops. They helped immensely, and he decided to stay home, which helped even more! He never ever cancels appointments. Thankfully his partner wasn't busy Wednesday. It seems my complaining was justified. The numbing drops held me over until I could get it looked at, and when I did, the dr said Lolly had not only scratched my eye, but she also damaged a muscle when she stuck her finger in the area between my eyeball and where it meets the head! Ouch! I still can't see well out of that eye, but it doesn't hurt as badly as it did.

Thursday--Lolly to the babysitter so I could spend some one-on-one time with Linus. We ran some errands, then we had a really nice lunch at a local bakery. We ran another errand which was a total bust, but other than that it was a great day. We didn't get to plant the seeds Linus picked out, but we knew we could do it the next day.

Friday--I got a new niece! She weighed one ounce more than Lolly, and she was the exact same length. I can't wait to see her and hold her! I planned to plant seeds this morning, but Linus slept late. When she got up, it was windy. Really windy. It was a no-go on the seeds. My ear started hurting, and by Saturday I had a raging ear infection. I'm wondering when my body is going to get the memo that I'm in my thirties, so I should not be getting EIs anymore!

We didn't get to do many of the projects I had planned, nor the ones y'all suggested because of my eye. We'll spread them out for after school fun, weekend fun, and summer fun. Thanks so much for the great suggestions! They all sound great! I'll try and post pics of what we did get to soon.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Extra Crafty

Spring Break began for Linus today. I had planned "Camp Spring Break" for around our house to keep her occupied, but today was rainy, so we went through more than I expected. We've got tons of outside activities and toys, but until the weather clears up, we're stuck with indoor things. We are members of a great science center, so that's on the list, but things like the zoo won't work in the rain.

We're doing portraits tomorrow, and that should take a few hours of our time. I'll likely come home from that in need of a very stiff drink (why, yes, we did have a photographer tell us that our child was the most camera happy child she'd ever seen, but please find another photographer because she couldn't keep up with her). Stiff, people, very stiff. Recipes welcome! Funny side story, that photographer has pics of Linus on the wall because, yes, she is in fact camera happy. You're shocked. I can tell.

I'm not against down time at all, but Linus is definitely a child that needs planned activities too. This is the child who told me no more ballet lessons because she had to stay too still. She loves gymnastics. Imagine that.

So far, we're making:
*a kite
*another bulletin board for her room (possibly)
*ice cream the old fashioned way once we finish reading Farmer Boy (Little House on the Prairie series)
*we may do another butterfly garden, but that's not exactly time consuming
*chalk (possibly--she has tons, but I think making some would be fun too)
*a mirror for her bathroom--I'm letting her bling it all up!

So, all you crafty and not-so-crafty people out there, I need some more ideas. What were some of your favorite things to do with your children or when you were a child?

Friday, March 13, 2009


Linus slipped a little gem in on the way to school Friday morning.

L: Mama, Quinn asked me if I wanted to kiss him yesterday.
Me: Um, uh, really?
L: Yeah, but it's ok. I told him no. Not just no, but no because we are too young. No because I'm not his girlfriend and he's not my boyfriend. I told him we're in kindergarten!
Me: Good for you Linus!
L: Mama, I'm not even thinking about marrying him, so there's no way I'm going to kiss him!

Ugh! Why does it have to start so young?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Picking Up Linus

Every afternoon, I'm treated to the best show. It all starts when I put Lolly in her carseat. The tears begin to fall, but they are immediately replaced with a smile as soon as I utter, "Let's go get Sissy." She babbles on for most of the ride to get Linus. We usually have to wait a few minutes before they dismiss, so Lolly looks at the clouds and carries on one-sided conversations with them. Sometimes, if I'm lucky, she'll even sing to the clouds. After dismissal, but before carpool line begins moving, Lolly will begin to fuss just a bit. It's as though she's saying, "Where's my Linus? Let her out! I'm ready for her." As soon as we begin moving, Lolly begins squealing with delight. As we pull up to the loading area, Lolly becomes quiet. She waits in great anticipation for her sister. The second the car door opens, Lolly's head turns quickly and she gets the biggest smile on her face. As Linus climbs into the car, Lolly's smile grows even more, and she begins kicking her feet. As soon as Linus is buckled in, she turns to Lolly. Day in and day out they have the same conversation:

Linus: Hi there. Did you have a good day?
Lolly: Aaaaaa
Linus: AAAAAA yourself

Then Linus begins making silly faces and Lolly giggles. That makes Linus giggle as she continues to make silly faces. Lolly's laughter eventually graduates to a belly laugh. Their eyes never leave each other.

Every single day this exact scene occurs, and every single day it makes me smile. It never gets old. :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Extra Info, Linus Style

Leia sent this to me so that I could ask Linus the questions. Her daughter had great answers! I hope y'all enjoy Linus's answers as much as I enjoyed the answers her daughter gave! :)

How Well I Know Mommy
Linus, March 2009

1. What is something Mommy always says to you? I love you.
2. What makes Mommy happy? When I'm on green. (Behavior chart at school)
3. What makes Mommy sad? When I'm on yellow.
4. How does your mommy make you laugh? tickling me
5. What was your mommy like as a child? Linus & Lolly
6. How old is your mommy? I don't know. 20 or 21.
7. How tall is your mommy? Stand up and let me think. (Stands up to measure me & accidentally bops me on the head)
8. What is her favorite thing to do? give hugs to me
9. What does your mommy do when you're not around? She finds me!
10. If you mommy becomes famous, what will it be for? helping people home and never eating out...ever...never ever again. (Ya think she's still a little bitter?)
11. What is your mommy really good at? cooking
12. What is your mommy not good at? I don't know, maybe not being nice to Daddy (as she giggles)
13. What does your mommy do for a job? She makes me hot chocolate and makes sure I'm on green.
14. What is your mommy's favorite food? club sandwich
15. What makes you proud of your mommy? that you hug me and give me kisses and make me grilled cheese
16. If you mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? It'd have to be on the cooking channel.
17. What do you and your mommy do together? sleep
18. How are you and your mommy the same? we hug cheethother (each other)
19. How are you and your mommy different? She's taller.
20. How do you know your mommy loves you? she always gives me hugs
21. What does your mommy like most about your daddy? they dance together and throw snowballs at cheethother (it snowed last week)
22. Where is your mommy's favorite place to go? out to eat (gee, Linus, is that a hint?)

How Well I Know Daddy
Linus, March 2009
1. What is something Daddy always says to you? clean up your playroom
2. What makes Daddy happy? hugs & feeling his beard (she calls his 5 o'clock shadow 'beard seeds' and she loves to run her hand across it and giggle)
3. What makes Daddy sad? when I get in trouble
4. How does your daddy make you laugh? tickles me
5. What was your daddy like as a child? he was a child?
6. How old is your daddy? I don't know, 20? (So that makes us what, 14 when Linus was born? Just call him Alfie!)
7. How tall is your daddy? (jumps up and raises hands) this tall
8. What is his favorite thing to do? hug me
9. What does he do when you're not around? finds me
10. If Daddy becomes famous, what will it be for? a rock star
11. What is your daddy really good at? helping people who are sick
12. What is daddy not good at? behaving and changing Lolly's diapers (not true, he's very helpful)
13. What does your daddy do for a job? work
14. What is your daddy's favorite food? Pizza with green olives
15. What makes you proud of your daddy? that he comes home from work
16. If your daddy were a cartoon character, who would he be? Jerry (from Tom & Jerry)
17. What do you and your daddy do together? throw snowballs at cheethother
18. How are you and your daddy the same? we walk the same
19. How are you and your daddy different? he's tall, he has short hair, his hand is bigger, his eyes are green
20. How do you know your daddy loves you? he gives me kisses
21. What does your daddy like the most about your mommy? he likes her lips--I know because he kisses them!
22. Where is your daddy's favorite place to go? I wish he liked McDonalds & Wendy's!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Happy Birthday My Baby!

Happy Birthday

my sweet Linus!!!

Today you are SIX! My goodness, time flies!

Thank you for six of the best years of my life!

When you were one, you discovered your grandmother's velcro rollers (which, thank goodness, she doesn't use).

You got a musical set for your birthday, and you loved to climb in the drum!

The day before you turned two, you fell down and bumped your head on the coffee table. I rushed you to the dr's office, and thankfully you were fine. It never even bothered you!

That year Easter was less than three weeks after your birthday.

You loved to curl up and pretend you were watching tv.

You loved playing in your 'house' when you were three and for many years to come.

You got a bike for your third birthday. "Please may I ride?" came out your mouth ever single time we pulled into the garage and you spotted the bike.

At four, you discovered make-up. Give it a few years, Sweetpea.

Dance, dance, dance! You loved the parade!

At five, I took you for a haircut. They knew it was your birthday and treated you like a princess.

You picked out a cupcake that night. We had a real cake at your party.

And now you've turned six. This morning when you got up, you asked me, "Mama, are you proud of me?" Yes, my sweet, I sure am.

"And, Mama? Are you a little heartbroken too?" You can always make me smile!

I love you Linus!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Questions I've Been Asked This Week

Linus stumps me with her questions on regular basis. I think I've mentioned the time she asked our realtor what a square foot is when she was four. Our realtor nearly fell off her chair. Over the past week, she's had some doozies.

*(I was cooking pasta) Mama, I see the smoke (steam) coming from the pot, but then it disappears. What's happening to it? Where is it going? Why does it disappear? *Side note: I LOVE the way she says disappear: dis-duh-peers

*Mama, when you die, what happens to your peepee and poopoo?

*Mama, after you die, what does God put on you? What does he use for a diaper?

*Mama, can I have at least a brother and one more sister?

*Mama, how exactly do babies get out? This has been asked several times, but my sister is due soon, so her pregnancy has brought up several questions.

*Mama, how do babies get in?

*Mama, can we pick up dinner tonight and pretend you made it?

*Mama, how come we can't see the moon during the day? Where does it go? Sometimes I see it, but not usually. When I do see it, it looks like a puff of smoke that is in a circle like a moon, not a lighted up moon. How come?

So far I can answer her questions, but I think I've only got another 6 months or so until she passes up my abilities!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

An Extra Stand

I've mentioned in the past that our family has eaten out more than we should. Lately, though, I've been a cooking machine. It is very rare that we eat out anymore. With flu season, Army comes home pretty late, and with school, Linus needs to head to bed pretty early. Eating out simply isn't an option most nights.

Linus usually loves whatever I cook. She will eat chicken any way it's served, which makes it very easy for me. Army is very easy to please--he doesn't care if we're having a gourmet meal or sandwiches. I have had a lot of variety in the meals I'm cooking, but apparently it's not what Linus was looking for.

One night this week, Linus fell asleep around six. She woke up and took her medicine around nine. We offered her dinner, but she decided to go back to sleep instead. The next morning on the way to school I asked her why she didn't want dinner the night before. I had to laugh at her answer:

We never eat out anymore. I was taking a stand.
Edited: Oops, I got it wrong! I can't believe I did that. She didn't say she was taking a stand. She said she "was making a statement." Same thought, different words.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Ya think she knows?

I have serious issues with my children growing up. It's happening too quickly. Waayyy too quickly. I, however, don't want Linus to be aware of my desire to keep her pint sized forever. I get the feeling that might be unfair. ;) I thought I was doing a pretty good job at hiding it until this morning in the car.

You know, Mama, I'm going to be six next Wednesday. I know you're not ready for that, but you need to be prepared. It's going to happen. You can't stop it.

I guess I don't hide things as well as I think I do since my FIVE (saying it as often as I can until next Wednesday!) year old can see right through me.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Last Call

Army and I went to a fundraiser auction tonight that benefits the school Linus attends. While we were there, a guy approached us to buy a raffle ticket. Army asked what it was for, and the guy said, "It's alcohol. Lots of beer and hard liquor." I perked up, but Army declined saying, "No thanks. I don't think we have any more room for it."

What? No room? How much liquor do you have???

Remember, Linus attends a religious school. We looked like total lushes!

PS--We did buy a raffle ticket, but we didn't win. :( It looked like a great assortment!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Extra Strange

Army and I had to go to a government agency yesterday. We had a three hour wait, and we had to have Lolly with us. I thought it would be difficult, but Lolly was amazingly good. She took a little nap in my arms, and when she was awake, she was content to look around or play with us.

When she was sleeping, we couldn't help but hear a conversation between two guys. Guy #1 did the bulk of the talking. He talked about "mounting" women. He also told his friend that it is "much better to be rode than to ride." As he's talking about 'mounting' and 'riding' ladies females, he mentions one person who 'rode me good' and then turns to his friend, Guy #2, and says, "I don't see your cousin any more. You know what she's up to?" HELLO?? Don't talk to me about what you do with my cousin. Ever. A few minutes later he mentioned a controlled substance and how much he hated it. Another guy there (not Guy #2) asked him if he had anymore and how much he'd sell it for.

Once we were called up, we were sitting close enough to another couple to hear one of them lose her temper. She dropped just about every curse word I know. She pitched a fit better than any child I know can do. Really, did she think cursing the lady behind the window out was going to make her do something she had already said multiple times couldn't be done?

What has our society come to that this has become acceptable? I'm in my 30s and I can guarantee you my mother would still chew me out if I acted like that. Not that I ever would...

Monday, February 16, 2009

An Extra Meme

A (late) Valentine's Day Meme. Got this from Leeann.

♥ How long have you been together?
17 years together, married 10
♥ How long did you know each other before you started dating?

Time-wise--not too long, but we had one of those total cliche relationships since we talked for hours when we met and hit it off immediately.
♥ Who asked who out?
He asked me out, but we had been out with a group of friends several times first.
♥ How old are each of you?

We're both in our 30s. I'm a cradle robber though (barely, only by 4 months)
♥ Whose siblings do/ did you see the most?

That's a toss-up. His live closer, but we still see my sister several times a year. We talk with my sister much more often.

♥ Do you have any children together?

Two of the cutest in the world! :)
♥ What about pets?

We have Wonderdog. We also had a fantastic dog that we got on Valentine's Day shortly after we got married (he wasn't a V0Day gift). He's been gone 3 years, and I still miss him. Is that odd?

♥ Did you go to the same school?
When we met we attended separate colleges, but I transferred to his.
♥ Are you from the same home town?

♥ Who is the smartest?
There's NO WAY I could have gotten his degree! He's smarter book-wise and life-wise. And he's definitely smarter with money!
♥ Who is the most sensitive?
♥ Where do you eat out most as a couple?
We rarely eat out without our children.

♥ Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Not far, maybe 800 miles.
♥ Who has the worst temper?
I explode and it's over. He brews and brews and brews, then he explodes, then he brews and brews and brews.

♥ Who does the cooking?

♥ Who is more social?
He's social at work, in general though, I'm the more social one. He does better when we go to some formal function where I don't know a lot of people though.

♥Who is the neat freak?
Neither one of us are real neat freaks, but that is one of the things I explode about. I can't handle a house that is too messy for too long. I crave order.

♥ Who is the more stubborn?

without a doubt, me
♥ Who hogs the bed?
me, I guess, though probably neither of us

♥ Who wakes up earlier?
he does because of work

♥ Where was your first date?
a bar--we're really classy like that
♥ Who has the bigger family?

He does.

♥ Do you get flowers often?
No, but I tend to think they are a waste of money--they die!

♥ How do you spend the holidays?

with family

♥ How long did it take to get serious?

not long at all; we really hit if off pretty immediately
♥ Who eats more?

him, hands down. well, except sweets--he's a cookie person who can eat them and then walk away. I'm a grazer with sweet.

♥ Who does/ did the laundry?

Me. I'm not sure he knows how to use our machines. He did use to do his own for a short while though. His idea of laundry is tossing it in and turning it on. I sort, change temps according to type of clothes, etc.

♥ Who’s better with the computer?
I use it more, but he's better
♥ Who drives when you are together?
Always him. He gets car sick, so he has to drive. I don't mind one bit!