Friday, January 28, 2011

New Tricks

Olive learned a new trick this week.  She learned to clap her hands!  In typical Olive fashion, she has to scream like a tropical bird while doing so.  She has to be vocal when she does pretty much anything.  Between her and Ivey, it often sounds like I spend my day in an aviary!

Ivey has also learned a new trick.  Ivey goes through periods of time where she flat out ignores her Daddy.  She will act as if he isn't in the room, even if he is directly talking to her.  It is teaching Jeff a lot about the fairer of the species.  Just because they may ignore you doesn't always mean they don't like you.  They just feel like ignoring you right then.  Or, maybe, they know it will make you want to talk to them even more.  Those Longinos would be totally different people if they had grown up with a sister in the house!  During one of these periods of aloofness, Jeff was trying to get her to look at him in the eyes.  He was right in front of her, and the only way she could prevent making eye contact with him was to cross her big blue saucer eyes.  Thus, a new trick was born.... "Funny Eyes".   She's taken a trick learned from not giving Daddy the time of day and reused it to crack him up and bring him to tears.  That's my girl.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bobble Head

For Olive, everything has been "yes" for a few weeks.  She learned the new trick of nodding her hear "yes" before Christmas, and it's her favorite form of communication.  She not only nods it to answer a question, but she also nods it to let you know that she wants something.  She sees a banana... and raises those eyebrows high, nodding furrociously.  You KNOW when Olive wants something!  I took her to the grocery store and she went up and down the isles, nodding at everything she recognized.  I'm sure the "No"s are coming, but for now, it's all YES!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Shhh.... Listen....

Often, a simple act, such as a diaper change, can become down right hilarious.  After taking Ivey's pj's and diaper off today, I let her run around for a bit and "air herself out".  She stood up, grabbed a buttcheek with each of her little hands, pulled them apart, squatted a little, pointed them my direction and said in a funny little whisper, "Listen!  Listen!  Listen!"  My eyebrows raised as I tried to figure out what on earth was happening.  "Itsy spider.. in my bawdom!"  Okay.  I wasn't expecting that.

For about 30 minutes, she ran around trying to get Jeff and I to "Listen" to the spiders that she swore were inside her bottom.  Even after taking a bath, she insisted they were there.  And, they were obviously making some sort of noise.  Jeff put her over his knee, inspected her bottom, and assured her that he couldn't see any spiders, just a bottom.  "Okay!", she happily responded.  And, that was that.


Yes,I should be in bed.  But, I can justify not getting sleep right now by the simple reason that Olive has already waken up and needed assistance six times in the last two hours.  If I were asleep, I would be pulled from an interrupted dream, stumbling around the room, face-planting into the edge of the door as I try to escape and quell the sounds coming from the next room.  At least this way, I am able to jump in there and help the bugger find her paci without all the grogginess.  That child has a sleeping disorder... and it most definitely sucks to be me.  But, that's not at all what this post was supposed to be about.  No more complaining of sleep deprivation or descriptions of our baby's sleep defects in this post.

January of each year reminds people that they could have a clean slate.  People make resolutions that they actually think they can follow, and some do.  Some take a look at their life, their progress, their plans, their wallets, and see how it's all working out.  According to the "plan"?  For me, I always have the same vibe with the new year rolls around.  For the first few weeks of January, my mind wanders towards January 1998 the preceding fall when a seed was planted, rooted, and took hold on me.  I was at UGA, trying to find my place among a ragtag group of friends... some I'd known forever, one I just broke up with, some, well, most, I questioned the sanity of... it was a funny collection of characters in the F3 Menagerie.

I took notice of a guy who I recognized from back home. The guy with the cute smile, sort of Morrison-esque in a way, tight jeans, and the grey ARMY tee shirt.  Could it be?  Yes. He was the long haired pizza boy that worked at Primos back home.  The guy who was way too old (and bad) to date or hang out with (my mom would kill over such things), but the perfect age for my hyper little 14 year old self to use as an excuse to go to Primos.  I didn't actually want to talk to him... I knew that guy was nothing but trouble... but I did want to sit back and have a nice view of him as he worked back there.  And now, that pizza boy was sitting here in the same herd of people who were, for one reason or another, tethered to F3, but this time, he looked like he'd managed to grow past the bad-boy thing... just enough.

The fall of 1997 was pretty fun... I guess it put the fun in dysfunctional for me, as I was a little lost and had absolutely no interest in finding myself in a relationship at the time.  However, there was a party here or a cookout there... and anytime Jeff would swagger into a function my attention focused, uncontrollably, on him.  Through the fall, my interest in this cleaned up version of the bad boy I drooled over long ago grew and grew.  By Christmas, I had a conversation with another F3 frequenter, discussing just how weird would it be if I tried to hook up with Jeff.  Adam's response was, "Not weird at all.  Go for it.", which made me smile and panic all at once.  I mean, I didn't even know if he liked me... but if he did...

January brought us all back to classes and apartments and our psuedo reality. Jeff started spending more time around the apartment... and not the F3 hub, but my actually apartment.  He tried to "work on" my computer (a computer that ended up never working right and we ditched it the first year we were married).  He installed Instant Messenger, so that he could slyly chat with me (while being able to proofread and filter out any stupid comments before sending.  If only such a filter could have been permanently in place.)

We went a few places, but I always wondered if it was a "date".  By mid-January, there was no more denying it.  One kiss can change your perspective, your concerns, your plans... your life.  Leaning against his chest with his arms holding me tight I actually knew that this would be my home.  It felt just like we had been close our entire lives but had been zapped by that memory eraser from Men In Black.  It was was like something "all came back" that hadn't even happened yet.  At least, for me.

In 8 months, he had sold his Gibson SG to buy a ring, we were engaged, and in 8 more months we were married.  But, it all began as we said goodbye to 1997 and hello to '98.... and so I will forever come to a new year and think of how blessed and lucky I am to have found such a fabulous husband and daddy... and how lucky I am to still be just as head over heels madly in love.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


We are all getting adjusted to life with a big girl.  When we put her to bed, we close the door, which she cannot open.  However, at around midnight, when I head to bed, I crack it so that she can get out all by herself in the morning... allowing me to get as much shut eye as I possible can.  Well, the other morning, she came bouncing into my room, announcing that she "waked up" and "found momma"!  She was so pleased with herself!  At breakfast, Asa informed me that Ivey had come into his room in the middle of the night, looking for me.  First of all, I don't see how on earth Ivey could have made it out of her bed, out the door (which is right across from mine), opened the door at the top of the stairs, went down the stairs, across the house, through a baby gate, and into the converted garage where the boys' dwell.  I doubted his crazy story even more when he emphatically explained that he was actually awake at 3am making a Lego invention when she showed up looking for me.  First of all, he was asleep when I went to bed at 11.  Second of all, he sleeps like a rock, and third of all, there is no way she made it all the way out there without me hearing her.  He dreamed it.  Silly boy.

After a little while, Addison told me that Ivey came into their room in the middle of the night.  It was a very similar story.  Ivey came in, they were already awake, she made it through the baby gate by herself, she was looking for me, and so on.  We decided to bring each boy into the kitchen, one at a time, and grill them on how it all went down.  Their stories were the same, they even both added, separately, that Asa had to help Ivey back through the baby gate.  Addison did decide that it probably wasn't the middle of the night, but early morning, instead.  He said the sun was just starting to come up.  Now, Asa usually wakes up long after Addison, but Asa was particularly excited about building his Lego invention, so I believe he could have waken up early.  All the adults agreed that, although the timing was off, the story was true.  That little stealth girl of mine made it all the way down and across the house, to her brothers.  Looks like we'll be locking the door at the top of the stairs, or leaving our door opened, from now on!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Big Girl Bed

The other day, I put Ivey down for a nap only to see her coming down the stairs an hour later, ladybug in hand, with a huge grin on her face.  "I waked up!  I happy!  Out my bed!"  Yes, my long legged girl climbed out of a very very low crib with ease.  She was so excited that she told me throughout the day of how she "waked up!", not that she'd been asleep, of course.

It is a constant battle to keep two year old whining and temper tantrums properly dealt with, so I choose my battles.  I need her to be in her room for a couple hours a day, this is the only way we can get school completed.  However, I don't care if she's peacefully snoozing in her bed, peacefully snoozing in the corner, or serving plastic waffles to Pooh bear.  So, I converted her crib into her new "big girl bed".  She hasn't slept in it yet (she ended up sleeping at Grandmomma and Grandaddy's house last night for some one-on-one time), but she was so excited yesterday when I put up the rail.  Olive was also excited, since now she can climb right up into Ivey's bed, too.

I tried to use a little of the "big girl" excitement to talk about how great it would be to not have to wear diapers anymore, and to get to wear all of these pretty panties.  Ivey's still pretty uninterested in going to the potty, but she did want to put all of her panties on, at once, over her clothes.  Hey, it's a start.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ice-Fest 2011

The weather man warned us that it would start snowing on Sunday.  We were due to get 3-5".  Just as predicted, the sleet came down right at 6pm.  However, while everything north of us got tons of beautiful snow, we just kept on getting sleet with a little snow here and there.  We woke up the next morning to a sheet of snowish stuff.... and although you couldn't make a snowball out of it, you can certainly can slide down hills on a Tupperware lid!

Two days later, everything was still a solid sheet of ice, now shiny slick instead of snow-like.  The kids had a great time sliding around, even though every one of them should have been completely sore from all the slipping and falling down.  We even got out a piece of a salvaged swimming pool liner and slid down the hill on it, which worked pretty well.  It wasn't snow, but since it's melting now and we never lost electricity, I can say it was fun nevertheless.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Living with Mim and Papa

These kids of mine have got to L-O-V-E living with Mim and Papa.  Sure, you get the added attention, the extra bedtime hugs, the bonus people to ask for a cookie.... a sucker who'll let you sit up and watch America's Funniest Home Videos when you should be getting into bed.  But, life with Mim and Papa is fun in its own unique way.  For example, tonight I asked Addison if he could find Asa and go help him clean up some LEGOs.  "I can't", he answered.  "Asa's having tea."  Yes, he and Mim were enjoying a cup of hot peppermint tea with a splash of honey.  As I sit here in my room, at 10:00 at night, both of my boys are up playing a mean game of rummy with Mim.  Luckily, we homeschool, so I just don't care.  Oh, and it's a snow day ta boot.  They had a big day sledding down the ice hill on Tupperware container lids and still got in a day of school.  Let 'em play!


I know that there are homeschool families who have seven children, three of which are under three, and they act as if it can be done easily if you just do this or that.  Well, either they are full of it, they are on speed, or I am defective.  Or, maybe this is success.  Maybe these insane days of feeling like I'm inside a pinball machine, with bottles and diapers and taking the two year old to time out for whining (again) and whipping up PB&J (again) for lunch and folding clothes while calling out spelling word ... maybe that's success.  Maybe it's not supposed to be pretty, or feel easy.

Ivey used to be much better at the school table.  Now, she is a demanding, whiny two year old with very strong opinions about what she wants to do... and a strong need to have her turn at the flashcards.  We are still making it work, but I'm finding that it's much easier to do school with Olive awake than with Ivey.  Ivey gets kicked out of school for talking multiple times a week.  Still, there are times where the stars and moon align and Ivey quietly participates in school time.  I had one of these days on Friday, where I found myself teaching math, reading, and preschool art, as well as supervising Olive's play.  Of course, I then became bus driver, lunch lady, and janitor. Thankfully, I wasn't a school nurse.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Current Randomness

 Ivey digs her new kitchen that she got for Christmas.  It has a phone hanging on the side, which is very convienient for calling your brothers and telling them that dinner is ready.  She gets in these moods where she goes back and forth to the phone, as if she is frantically answering lines at a telethon. Her response to her imaginary phone call goes something like this...

You talkin' to me?

She also sang a great rendition of Old MacDonald that went something like this...

Old Macdonald had a kitchen.... says Meow Meow here Meow Meow Meow
Ev... ry... wwhherrre.


The other night, we went to the Atlanta Bread Company for dinner, because they have free kids' meals with the purchase of an adult meal and large drink.  We really need an extra adult to make it work out just right, but we still headed out for some soup in a bread bowl.  Asa struggled to open the door to the restaurant.  "Why did they make this door so HEAVY?"  He grunted.  Without skipping a beat, Addison answered him.  "So the moose or deer don't get in.  You remember that video where the moose came in the automatic door and came into the grocery store?" Asa just nodded in agreement.


Asa has been waiting for a week for me to get a new ink cartridge so that he can print out the alternate instructions to his KNEW roller coaster kit.  He made the included instructions, but he wants to make a different version... and that requires ink.... which requires me to make it to the store to purchase it.  He has been very patient, but yesterday he cracked me up as he slumped into the living room.  He complained that he has to have those instructions because he has run out of projects and he hasn't been able to make anything new in two whole days.  He said that he has to have projects to work on all the time or he is totally bored.  Jeff feels his pain.  Those two vibrate with energy, and have to use it to make something... all.  the.  time.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Busy Beavers

Back Property Line
Yesterday, I was able to go out to the property and tromp back in the woods without a kid strapped to my back.  Jeff and the boys had ventured to the back corner and found where beavers had been hard at work on various dams at the mouth of the pond.  The mouth of the pond, and a small corner of it, is on our property.  It seems the boys traded the "beaver dam" at our last house for many real ones!

This new area that we found is absolutely beautiful!  I don't know if we would be able to cut a drive all the way back there, but it would be awesome.  I definitely want to keep these beautiful creeks free of large farm animals, so the kids can explore and play!

I also was able to check out all the work that my three boys have been up to lately. Sure enough, the kitchen is completely gone.  Jeff had stacks of wood that we will use to build a barn further back in the woods.  Getting rid of that house, building a barn, and cutting a driveway over the creek(s) are all things we can try to get done while we are in a holding period to build.  Jeff found culvert on Craigslist, so we have something like 47 feet of huge pipe just waiting to be used.

Newspaper Insulation - June 13, 1959

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Family Photos

I take a lot of pictures, but it is just impossible for me to take pictures that have me in them.  It has been since 2003 that we had any sort of family picture taken.  I think we were well past due for some shots!

We didn't realize it at the time, but Ivey had a horrible double ear infection when we took these.  The poor girl was in a terrible mood... clingy and way more whiny than usual.  Thanks to Randall Granier, we managed to pull through and get some great pictures, with the help of some peppermint candy and a whole lot of being silly.