Thursday, September 24, 2009

Can You Hear Me Now?

One of Drew's new favorite activities is talking on the phone. At some point, the whole concept came together for him-no more nodding his head at the phone when someone asks him a question! This is really sweet, say, when Daddy calls when we are on our way to play school and they can have an actual conversation. Not quite as sweet when Aunt Kristin or Aunt Katy call and he hangs on my leg moaning to talk to them. The funniest part is the fact that he takes the phone and paces around the house while he talks (ever seen his dad talk on the phone??). Today he filled Katy in on everything he had going on, as well as a catalog of all the items within his sight at the moment!

The day we went to the fair, Drew and Lyla talked on the phone for around 15 minutes while I put on my make-up!! Now there's a conversation that will leave you stumped! And, just as in real life, it takes around 2 minutes for them to be arguing about something!

Somebody asked me recently (was it my brother??) how old my kids will be before they get a cell phone. It was my brother, and we were all out to eat, so we started discussing the pros and cons. I lobbied for the GPS enabled phone that can track your child no matter where they are!! But, based on my 2 1/2 year olds' current phone habits, I'm in big trouble.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday-Library Box

It's that time again! Whew. Time is flying and tip day just keeps showing up before I'm ready! Good thing there are tons more tips over at We Are That Family. Go check them out!

Another no-brainer today. I don't mean to insult your intelligence, it's just that I'm currently running short on brain power, and I do get proud when I find any ol' thing that works for me!

I've mentioned no less than 867 times that I love the library. Turns out Drew loves the library, too. Once he was able to grasp the concept of checking out books and then taking them back, we were money. I currently owe $6.90 in late fees. This may seem like a lot to you, but I'm just really thankful it's not more. And, I'm thankful for the self check-out set-up where I can check out my books without the shame of the librarian asking me if I'd like to pay my fine!

Library books migrate all over my house. We read at meal times, we read in my room, we read in the car. It's hard to keep all the books corralled. So, I've instated the library box. This is in the spirit of everything having a place to be put away. On Drew's bookshelf is a box that houses all the library books. So, when cleaning up and putting books away, the library ones are all together. It makes it super easy to round them up when their due date comes. It also reminds Drew to treat the books extra gently. No library books in the bed and be careful when you turn the pages!

I wonder how high your late fees can get before they cut you off???

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thinking Pink

You should count your blessings today.  This post is going to make your realize just how happy you are that I haven't blogged much about my pregnancy.  You should also be thankful that this picture that I took of my feet does not feature the great, big, giant swollen ones that have been showing up from time to time.  It. is. not. pretty.

We are in the home stretch and it seems I blocked out just how miserable these last days of pregnancy are.  And, because I'm me, there are some fun extras that are making it that much more fun.  I know from experience that I won't be pregnant forever.  I also know from experience that wishing for the baby to hurry up and come is a double edged sword.  I DISTINCTLY remember the complete state of crazy that comes along with a new baby.  I'm skeered.  How am I going to exist in the thick newborn fog while caring for another child??  It has to be possible because I know lots of people who've done it.  Most people with kids, in fact.  Somehow, though, it seems beyond me.  

I saw this quote on another blog I read today.  I laughed hard.  Out loud.  Good thing I didn't have any drink in my mouth or it would've come out my nose.  And, now that I've totally built it up to be more than it is...

"Yesterday morning, a repairman came out, tried a few things, and announced that the motherboard on our washer seems to be fried.  I'd like to be more upset, but I know exactly how she feels."

Big Mama-what a hoot!

So, hang on to your hats kids.  Sometime between now and Thanksgiving, I will be the mother of two.  And you can be sure much bloggy fruit shall pour forth.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Weather Report

Rain, Rain

Go away!!

Come again

Another day!

Drew and Momma 

Want to play!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fair Day

Does anyone besides me remember getting a day off from school to go the fair? Those were the days! You know, back when we were too young to realize just how skeazy the fair really is?? When it all seemed like a great time, when, in actuality, we were taking our very lives into our hands just riding the bumper cars?? Good old fair day...

It has been a REALLY long time since I have been to the fair. Well, unless you count the fair Daniel and I accidentally ended up visiting in Costa Rica. But that's a completely different story. I mean, honestly, I can't even remember the last time I went to the fair. So, I have no idea why I got a big bee in my bonnet about taking Drew to the Tennessee State Fair this week. I think this is another example of my grand mission to have the summer of fun. And, because she's my sister and has no choice, Katy got roped into the whole adventure with me!! (Really, she does have a choice, she just likes to indulge my schemes!!)

We went to the fair!!!! It was hilarious. We went Monday morning, which was exactly the right time to go. There was no crowd whatsoever and just enough activities for the kids to think it was great. I mean, first thing in the gate we rode the "trolley" up the hill and I'm pretty sure they would've been willing to do that all day. And, big shout out to the trolley, because there was NO WAY I was making it up that hill!!

Once we entered the fair proper we encountered several of those photo props where you stick your head through the holes. I tell you, Katy and I were highly entertained forcing our toddlers to pose.

Next up was the pig races. This portion of the morning was touted as a "must see" event on the fair's website. It was, um, interesting to say the least. The introductory entertainment was a "ventriloquist" (I use the term VERY loosely) with a pig puppet. He used one of those creepy voice changers. Man. I think even the kids were creeped out by this! Finally, we got the actual pigs. The pig racing lasted approximately 7 minutes total. And I must say, it was pretty funny to watch pigs run around. Don't forget the big finish, either-the pigs jumped off a high dive into a pool of water. I am not joking. It was crazy! I was laughing like a mad woman! At the same time, I was wondering just how you end up in this line of work. You know, traveling around with pigs in a trailer, setting up a "race track" for them, teaching them to high dive into a pool. Who wakes up and thinks "I think I could really get somewhere with a great pig act." This guy, donning overalls that said, "Boss Hog", I kid you not, was a pig farmer from Arkansas. Arkansas. I think that sheds some light on the situation.

The highlight of our fair experience was in the "Kid Zone" sponsored by McDonalds. This was a whole area of activities, free with admission, for little kids. There was a giant sandbox, a great big sidewalk chalk area, a playground and a bounce house. We started our time in the petting zoo. I bought a baggie full of carrot slices and it turns out it was TOTALLY worth the dollar I paid for it! Drew had a blast feeding the animals.

You should have seen these goats freaking out over the carrots. Can you see them dog piling in this picture? I'm thinking they had been fasting in preparation for the onslaught of carrots handed out by little kids.

Drew was a rock star animal feeder right up until the time he had an encounter with a giant cow tongue!! All the other animals had just nibbled the carrots out of his hand, but that cow was not shy. And Katy snapped the pic right at the exact moment Drew's hand was getting drenched with cow spit! (She gets photo credits for all the petting zoo pics. Because, you know, handing out carrot slices AND taking pictures is too much to ask of one mom...)

Lyla did not really relish the thought of getting up close and personal with any of the livestock. Until she met the llama. I'm not sure what it was about this llama that made her brave, But she pet the llama and was super proud!

The kids jumped and played until Drew was drenched with sweat and then we headed off to lunch. Which was dicey. And, it was about this time I started to get grossed out by all the skeevy-ness. We did have some of this yummy goodness:

And don't even get me started on the fresh squeezed lemonade. I'm not going to lie. It tasted like pure heaven to me. Which would explain why I spent a total of $8 on lemonade. I got a souvenir cup, which means I could get a refill for a mere $3. You know, after I pay $9 to get in the gate, which brings the grand total to $12 for a cup of lemonade. Don't tempt a pregnant woman.

After a bathroom break (of course) and a quick perusal of some 4-H exhibits (a couple of near misses-so glad we didn't smash the blue ribbon pumpkins!) we headed toward the gate. The kids were bummed the trolley wasn't running (did I mention we could've skipped everything else and just stayed on the trolley??) but all in all gave the whole fair experience two thumbs up. And even though we were tired and a little grossed out by the end, Katy and I decided it was a morning well spent.

Ps. Besides the funnel cake and the lemonade, the real highlight for me was this guy:

Look closely or you'll miss it. See the stripes? The stripes on the DONKEY'S legs??? Oh yeah, baby. A Zedonk. For those of you unfamiliar with weird animal breeding this is a Zebra mixed with a Donkey. Why was this a highlight for me?? Well, for the entirety of the time I have known my husband (which is in double digit years now) he has been telling a story about a Zedonk at the Appalachian fair. My hub spins a good yarn and the story has always been hilarious. Truthfully, though, I've always harbored a little seed of doubt about whether the Zedonk actually existed. I can now say, for sure, that it does. Heaven help us!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday-Lunch packing helper

It's tip time in Tennessee!! Well, and various other places, too! Head on over to We Are That Family for more tips.

This is another somewhat anemic tip, but it is what is currently working for me, so I'm sharing! I'm brand new to the whole having a child in preschool thing. It's been a MUCH smoother transition than I could ever have imagined, and for that I am so thankful.

One of the things that worried me about Drew starting school was the lunch eating. No idea why I would worry about him eating, because most days he eats like a grown man. I think it is a combo of being a mom (I mean, don't all moms constantly worry about what their kids are eating, long after they're grown??) and the whole PTSD from trying to get a reflux baby to eat his bottle for a whole year! Anyway, as I've mentioned before, Drew is not really into surprises. So, I decided to include him in the lunch packing process.

He gets to help choose what goes in his lunch (I give him two choices in each category) and has the task of actually putting it in the lunch box. He loves lunch packing time and has come home with an empty lunch box each day so far. We also get to talk about the food groups while we're packing. And, of course, secretly I'm training him up in the ways of lunch packing so maybe someday he will be able to pack his own lunch!

That's the point of having kids, right? Slowly, but surely, delegating all the jobs to them?? I mean, he will be three soon. Time to get to work!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Drew's Baby

Baby fever is definitely in the air. We are three short weeks away from my due date. So, you know, probably 5 weeks away from her actual arrival!! If she's anything like her brother, she'll be dragging her feet about making her grand entrance!!

Drew is definitely processing the prospect of a baby being in our home. It has been really helpful for him to experience two new baby cousins over the last several months. He at least has an inkling of what is going to happen. He has been pretending he is a baby himself, as well as playing baby without a baby! He pretends to be doing stuff with a baby-playing with it, changing it, etc.

So, I decided he needed a baby of his own. On Saturday, I took him to Build-A-Bear to make his very first bear. I love, love Build-A-Bear. I think it is a genius idea. It is a little like Disney World-everyone who works there is super perky and cheerful. And how could you not be? You're surrounded by fluffy goodness and miniature items for bears! Miniature golf clubs, and skate boards and roller skates. The sweetness of the place will give you cavities!

Drew was super confused when he was picking out his bear shell-he kept saying he wanted the one on the shelf. You know, the one that had stuffing and wasn't all floppy! I told him to trust me on this one and we headed to the fluffer machine. The machine was noisy and so he was a little timid, but soon he realized his bear was starting to actually look like a bear! I could've burst into tears watching him kiss the little heart and put it inside his bear. Sigh.

Next, we headed over to the bear washing station and he was totally into it by this time. He brushed and brushed and brushed his bear. After all the grooming, we picked out some baby pajamas, a baby bottle and rattle, and some baby diapers for his new "baby". He was so excited that we could go ahead and dress the bear! Once we paid for everything, Drew immediately held the bear just like a baby and walked around the mall "feeding" him. It was priceless.

When it came time to ride the carousel (a must do anytime we're at Opry Mills, you know!) Drew insisted on taking his baby with him. It was great.

On the way home we talked about what he might name his baby. He decided on Fred. No idea! The bear is also referred to as "beary weary" "honey bunny" and other rhyming phrases since busting out a rhyme is one of Drew's new favorite pastimes. I wasn't sure if Fred (or sometimes Freddie) was going to stick as the name. But today, in a moment of hunger and thirst before lunch, Drew laid his head on the table and declared, "I'm missing Fred." There you have it. Fred it is!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Just wanted to let everyone know, we have officially entered the "Why?" phase. I swear Drew asks me "Why?" around 100 times in a 15 minute time period. He was at the park with Uncle Mick yesterday (who, by the way, saved the day! He played with Drew while I went to the doctor. I, along with the office staff, heartily thanks him!) and asked him "Why?" quite a bit as well.

I'm trying really hard to answer him with some sort of true answer, but man, some of the "Why?" just doesn't make any sense. And so then I just ask him "Why?" right back. "Why do you think so, Drew?" This is quite a stunner-he sits quietly for a minute, realizing he can't ask "Why?" to my question!!

There is sweet relief when he asks "Why?" and I answer, and he FINALLY says, "Oh."

Friday, September 11, 2009


The other day, my sister was cleaning out her email inbox and sent me a picture of Drew and Lyla when they were babies. It was a picture I sent to her around the the 4th of July, 2007. It made me cry. So, I decided it might be fun to take a look back. I'm in that kind of mood these days. My son is growing up-potty trained, no pacis, big bed, and play school. Sigh. Here are a few highlights from the early days. I loved dressing up Drew and Lyla for photo shoots. Cut me some slack-I had to find something to do!

Happy St. Patty's Day~2007

Happy Easter~2007

A little light reading

Happy 4th of July~2007

Farmer's Market~2007

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday-Extra cup holder

Happy Wednesday!!! Time to load up on great tips over at We Are That Family!

I have to say, I feel a lot of pressure to come up with the best tips ever. Ha! This is not one of them. This is a complete no-brainer that took me about 6 months to come up with. Drew's car seat (which I love) has no cup holder. This has been an ongoing problem and has resulted many times in a "milk situation". You know how I feel about spilled milk. So, I have been halfheartedly looking for a cup holder for his seat. And I was thisclose to spending twenty bucks on one of these.

I even asked my Dad if he had one of his old window models lying around (because it was a real possibility!) because I didn't think they existed anymore. But guess what!!!!! They do!!! I found this yesterday at the auto parts store for $2.50!

It slides right down between the door and the window and stays put whether the window is up or down. Drew was ecstatic to have a new place to put his cup. And I'm ecstatic that I might not have to clean stinky milk out of his seat ever again. Fingers crossed!

First Day of "School"

We did it!! We all survived Drew's first day of play school!! It went remarkably well-no tears from Drew at all. As for me, well, that was a different story. I teared up the minute we left the classroom and had to work hard to hold it together until I got to the car. I mean, half my neighborhood takes their kids to this preschool, and I didn't want to make a giant fool of myself!

Drew had a great time playing and I got lots of "mommy jobs" done. I picked him up early because I am still unsure about his napping at school-he still takes a pretty long nap. He was not happy about leaving early, so tomorrow we'll try out the nap at school. He pottied for the teacher and ate his lunch (two of my biggest worries!) He was in a great mood all afternoon so I don't think he was overly stressed.

Here are a few pics of the big day:

The classic first day of school on the porch shot

With Daddy before school

Showing Daddy some toys

There was a picture of Drew and I on the porch. It got banished to a far away place. I can do that-it's my blog. Let's just say I'm seriously channeling this guy just now...

I'm so excited for all the new things Drew is going to learn and experience. And I'm really glad it's just two days a week. I missed having a sidekick!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Time Keeps on Slippin'

Big day today! Well, big last 24 hours really. Yesterday morning Drew's new "big boy" bed was delivered (and set-up!) and by nap time I had it all ready to go. He was so pumped to sleep in it, even though his new room still looks like a construction zone. I told Big Dan last night that just switching a couple of rooms around was as bad as moving. Then we lamented the day we have to pack up our whole house and actually move. But, I digress. Drew slept in his bed for nap and took a GREAT nap. He still cranks out a three hour nap about once a week, but I'm sort of secretly hoping that the new bed is magical and he'll go back to sleeping better at nap time. He also slept great last night, despite the gigantic thunderstorms that rolled through. I kept thinking, "Well, SURE there would be thunderstorms his first night in his new room." And then I prayed serious, fervent prayers that the power wouldn't go out. The Lord had mercy!

I got a little choked up when I tucked him in and shut his new door last night. I mean, he looks so TINY in that big ol' bed!! Twice, when walking by his old room I was startled that the door was open. No idea where my child would get the "averse to change" quirk...

He's such a peanut in his bed. Check it out! And I would like to state for the record that I took these pictures slightly crooked because I was in a hurry. Big Dan's painstaking job on the letters did not produce the crooked letters!

And as if that weren't enough, today we went to meet Drew's play school teacher!! That's right! Drew will be going to play school two days a week starting next week. We registered him for the program back in the winter and have had some life upheaval since then, so we were on the fence about whether to keep him enrolled. In the end, we decided it would be the best choice for everyone. Today was a little open house, so we met the teachers and Drew was able to play in the classroom. The classroom is great-just what you would hope for in an early childhood classroom. His main teacher is totally a preschool veteran, which I love. She is super sweet and I'm sure has lots of experience dealing with neurotic first time moms. Which, you know, is lucky for all those kind of moms...right. I know Drew will take some time to adjust, but I think he will end up really liking "school". Especially the part about getting to play outside on the playground for an hour!

I can promise you I will be a complete wreck when I drive away on Tuesday. Good thing I'll have the whole morning to myself to sob!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday-Corralling Bed Sheets

Tip time! Tip time! Can't wait to see all the new ideas I can find over at We Are That Family!

I can't take credit for today's tip. It's a tip from Aunt Martha...Martha Stewart that is. And, to be truthful, I probably shouldn't call her "Aunt Martha" because Martha and I don't really get along. I'm usually rather put out by her crazy schemes, but every now and then I get sucked in, like a moth to a flame! Just this morning I was consulting my Homekeeping Handbook. I know it's shocking that I would own a book like this, but I do!


The tip. Martha suggests that after ironing your sheets with linen water (A-HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!) you should fold your sheets and pillowcases and slip them inside a pillowcase from that set. This way they stack neatly in your linen closet and all your pieces are together and ready to go. I have been doing this for a while and I love it. I love clean sheet day, and this makes it so simple. You just pull out all the pieces and slap them on. Don't you suppose Martha slaps her sheets on???

And now it's time for me to put my feet up. I've been washing walls today. What??? I've used WAY too much elbow grease...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Don't be alarmed. I haven't completely gone off the rails. Yet, anyway. It's just that I am so conditioned to think of September as the start of new year. I guess 17 straight years of school will do that to a person. But, really, I'm much more motivated to set goals and be productive this time of year than I am in January. We all know how I feel about the dead of winter.

There is always such a big energy going on this time of year. I get all caught up in the back to school madness even though I am not going back to school! And don't even get me started on school supplies. I LOVE them. Yes, I have bought some school supplies, glue sticks included. Luckily, for the budget's sake, we unearthed all sorts of school supplies in the great attic purge- notebook paper, binders, sheet protectors, notebooks. Heaven.

So, I'm waiting for Fall. Counting down until the air gets crisp.

In the meantime, we're keeping things rolling in the summer of fun! Over the weekend Granddad came for a visit and he had approximately 30 seconds to catch his breath before Drew gave him a list of activities he'd like to do. Starting, of course, with this:

And, dang it, I fully intended to take a load of photos over the weekend, and I got exactly two. I get super ADD when I have people over. I get all caught up in the visit and forget to take pictures. Which, is too bad, really, because Granddad looked AWESOME in the dress up clothes!!! We also got to have lunch with all the brothers and Granddad, and I thought Drew's heart might explode with happiness! Not to mention the approximately 2 pounds of peanuts he ate at the steakhouse.

I do have to say it's time for baby sister to come along because I am seriously outnumbered in that crowd!!

Today Drew and I went back to the zoo. The weather was so amazing and we had a great time. What was not so great was my waddling. And the flashes I kept getting of going into full blown labor at the zoo. With a dead cell phone. But we made it! Drew set the agenda, letting me know for sure what animals he wanted to see. And, we had great luck with the animals today-they were out in full force. Except for the porcupine and anteater. I'm not sure these two really exist. I've yet to see them.

I had big plans for getting stuff done during nap time today-you know goals and all. Too bad I almost fell asleep driving home from the zoo! So, I'm sitting here now lamenting the fact that the grocery store was out of chocolate peanut butter Chex mix and trying not to slip into a coma.