Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mommy, How Do We Spell "Knees"?

Lily has been interested in spelling lately. (She's so interested in spelling that she's forfeited her bath toys the last two nights and opted to play "How do you spell ....?" instead.) She's had basic phonics mastered for quite some time, and she's recently moved on to spelling. When she asks how to spell a word, I generally sound the word out for her, letter by letter, and help her out how to spell it. That strategy generally works well, but not always.... By now she understands that U is Q's best friend and that there are some words that have a silent letter, usually an E at the end. However, she managed to pick a few of the words Mommy had been dreading tonight: "eyes," "knees," and "light." While I can explain a lot of the idiosyncrasies of the English language, how does one explain the silent K or the -GHT combination to a 3-year-old?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Tall and the Short of It....

Lauren had a doctor's appointment last Friday. It was her 2 month appointment, and she checked out just fine. She clocked in at 11 lbs, 4 oz, which put her in the 60th percentile for weight, and at 24 1/4 inches, which put her in the 90th percentile for length/height.

Lily, measuring in at just under 37 inches, has never been anywhere near the 90th percentile for height; if I remember correctly, she's always been at the bottom of the chart for height. She's the shortest one in her class (by a couple of inches, I think), which also makes her the shortest kiddo in the whole school. I found out today that the preschool teacher had to bring in an extra step-stool just for Lily so she could reach the light switch in the bathroom. At this point, I'm just hoping that she doesn't get dwarfed by her sister too quickly....

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Have You Seen Max??

Our second kitty, Max, is a bit of a pain. He's actually pretty sweet, but he's hyperactive and generally a little bit nuts. Jimmy thinks he acts more like a dog than a cat, and I'm inclined to agree; he carries Lily's stuffies all over the house, drinks out of the toilets, and terrorizes our other cat. Lily now calls him "that darn cat" (thanks, in part to both my mom and Miss Patti) and will also tell you that "Max is a pain." The second day after we got Max, Lily started sleeping with her door 'locked' (pulled shut all the way so the door knob latches) so that Max couldn't get in her room at night. She also can frequently be heard yelling "No Max!", and she's even learned how to operate the squirt bottle when needed. However, despite all the frustration that Max is, Lily still tells me, "I love my Maxie!"

And the picture.... I 'lost' Max the other day; see where I found him!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mediocre Family Picture

Not the greatest picture in the world, but I think it's the first family picture we have now that there are four of us.... One was jet-lagged, one was about to start screaming, one was so excited to have Daddy back home, and I don't have an excuse. Anyway, it's us!!

Daddy at the Post Office

Closure isn't officially the end for Marienthal post office, but ... | The Hutchinson News:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Off to School

Lily started school today. She's in a 3-year-old preschool program, and she really seemed to enjoy her first day. She's been very excited about going to school, and she was a very happy and very excited little girl this morning. When we got to school she was a little scared, but she was a big girl and made it through the day with no tears. (And, just to let you know, Mommy made it through the day with no tears too.) When Lily returned from school, she was glad to fill me in with the details of the day....

Friday, August 05, 2011

These Boots Were Made for Walkin'

(Alternate blog title: "Who has big boots?")

Anyway, Lily decided to try on Daddy's boots today, and I had to snap a picture. Isn't this cute!!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

"I Love Her Tiny Hands!"

Lily's been a wonderful big sister. She loves "our baby" and is very proud to tell everyone that she's the big sister. She's fascinated with how tiny Lauren and she often grabs her little fingers and exclaims, "I love her tiny hands!" Lily knows that her job is to listen for baby and tell Mommy when she hears baby crying. She's a good helper, and she loves her little sister.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Moon

Lily's been fascinated with the moon and the things of the sky for quite some time now. She talks a lot about the shape of the moon, and sometimes she talks about going to the moon. Last night as we were driving home, Lily told me of her plans for visiting the moon. She explained, "I'm going to put on my butterfly wings and fly to the moon and bring the moon back and put it on the kitchen table for Mama." While there are clearly some problems with her 3-year-old logic, isn't this sweet!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Like a good mommy, I've made sure my little ones have had the recommended immunizations so as to protect them from disease. Like a good mommy, my mommy made sure I had the recommended immunizations so as to protect me from disease.... Therefore, I was a bit taken aback when the hospital gave me the results from some of my blood tests: they found that I was rubella non-immune and pertussis non-immune. So, despite being vaccinated according to the CDC guidelines when I was a child, I have apparently been at risk for German Measles and whooping cough for who knows how long now. They gave me new MMR and DTP vaccines, but that doesn't do much for restoring confidence in the system....

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Going Home

It's time to go home!! After 2 days in the hospital, I'm glad to be headed home. Lily has had a blast staying with Grammy and Grammy S. over the past few days and visiting Mommy in the hospital, but I think even she is ready to go home as well. While I generally don't let people take pictures of me in the hospital, I think I'm glad I made an exception this time....

Thursday, July 07, 2011

It's a Girl!!

Surprise, it's a girl!! (To anyone who know we were expecting, this is no surprise. To anyone who didn't know, surprise, it's a girl!!) Baby was due yesterday, scheduled for tomorrow, and arrived today. Lauren Ivy was born at 5:27 pm, weighing exactly 8 lbs and measuring 19 3/4 inches.

Here's a shortish version of a relatively short 'coming into this world' story: I felt a little off when I went to bed last night, but I really didn't think anything of it. (Hey, when you're pregnant, when don't you feel 'a little off.') When I woke up this morning, I felt weird. (I don't know how else to describe it; I just felt weird.) Lily forced me to eat some breakfast, and I spent the morning working on my to-do list for the day (some cleaning, packing for the hospital, getting the house in order, etc). Contractions started about mid-morning, but they weren't too bad and they were fairly infrequent. Jimmy came home from work just before noon, and we decided that we should probably pack the car and head toward the hospital. (The hospital is about an hour away.) When we got in the car, contractions were about 8 minutes apart. The doctor, taking into account travel time, had told us to head to the hospital when contractions were 5-7 minutes apart, so we thought we had plenty of time. We called Grammy S and made arrangements to drop Lily off at her house en route to the hospital. By the time we were fairly close to Grammy S's house, contractions were about 4 minutes apart, so we called Grammy S, changed the plans to have her meet us at the hospital to pick up Lily, and rerouted, taking the most direct route to the hospital. We arrived at the hospital around 1:30 and then spent about 30 minutes in the waiting room before being escorted to the last available labor and delivery room. From my perspective, nothing good happened during the next hour or so. Contractions continued, my nurse disappeared, and I filled out paperwork, some of which I had filled out and submitted weeks ago. At the end of that hour, they finally got my IV started, the nurse told me I was too far along in labor for an epidural or pain medication (which really made me mad since we'd essentially wasted the last hour plus in the waiting room and on paperwork), and she called in the doctor. When the doctor arrived, she disagreed with the nurse, called in the anesthesiologist (much to my relief), and said things were going along just fine. From that point on (or from the time the epidural took effect), things went just fine. I called my mom around 5pm, just before I went into hard labor, to let her know that baby was on her way. Half an hour later, baby arrived. (And half an hour after that I was still filling out the paperwork that gave the doctor permission to actually deliver the baby.)

Since Lily was induced, I wasn't quite prepared for the whole 'spontaneous labor' thing. However, I did learn a few things in the process.... Labors apparently get shorter with subsequent children. Next time, start toward the hospital at the first sign of contractions in order to allow sufficient time for paperwork and hospital snafus to be handled in an orderly (or not-so-orderly) fashion.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Potato Chips

At approximately 6:18am, a half-asleep child wandered into my bedroom. She was mildly upset, and she was mumbling something I was unable to understand. After having her repeat herself several times, I finally managed to piece together her phrase: "I need potato chips!" (I confirmed that this was, in fact, what she was saying....) Although I did not attempt to deduce why she needed potato chips at 6:18am, I did offer to let her climb up in bed with me. That seemed to make everything okay...sans potato chips!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"Garbage Plants"

While I had hoped to put in a full garden this year, that didn't exactly happen. I did, however, plant a pair or cabbage plants and a few little planters of herbs. Lily helps me to take care of the plants, and she is very good about reminding me to water them. She likes the herbs, but she is especially fond of her "garbage plants." I've reminded her numerous times that they're called "cabbage," but she just can't quite seem to remember that yet....

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

House Renovations

We've been doing some work on our house lately. (Well, we've been doing some work on our house for what seems like most of the past year, it's just been recently that we've been able to see a few projects through to completion -- or near completion!)

Our first major project was a re-doing of the garage. We put up a wall to add in an office and a library. Both rooms are nice sized, and it's wonderful to have a place for all of our books (which had been stored in about a dozen plastic totes since we moved) and a quiet place to work that is attached to the house, yet still separated enough from the house to be quiet and allow for some real work and productivity.

Given that the remaining portion of the garage wasn't quite large enough to still accommodate the cars, we decided to turn that into a usable living space as well. It's essentially a den/game room at this point, which is nice....

We also recently did a major overhaul on some of the floors in the house. When we bought the house, we knew that there were hardwoods underneath the carpets and we had the general intention of pulling up the carpets and refinishing the wood floors. A couple of weeks ago, we actually began to tackle that project. We pulled up the carpet in two of the bedrooms and the hallway, sanded, and refinished the floors. We're quite pleased with the results, and we're very happy to be one step closer to being an allergen-free house! Only one more bedroom, a living room, and a dining room to go....

Monday, May 30, 2011

Potty Training

Well, at least somebody has a use for the potty!!

After months of having the pretty pink potty in the bathroom and prompting occasional attempts at using it, we've started diligently working on the whole potty training thing. (It's about time!!) However, Lily's not particularly interested, and our successes so far have been limited. At this point, Max seems more interested in the pretty pink potty than Lily does....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lily's Big Girl Room

We've been re-doing Lily's "big girl" room for quite some time now.... We converted part of the garage into an office and library, and we re-did the former office into a new room for Lily. We decided to go with the pink princess theme: we painted the lower half of the room pink and then put up a princess border around the center of the room, leaving the top part of the room a cream/off-white color. It created a nice balance in the room -- pink, but not too pink. Grammy got her a pink princess bedspread for her birthday, and that goes wonderfully with everything else in her room. Lily loves playing with all of the toys in her room, and bedtime battles have ended totally and completely since we moved her to her big bed in her big girl room. (Lily moved into her room about a month ago, and I think we've only had one ot two nights when she fought us on going to bed. Otherwise she just runs to her room when we tell her it's time for bed. I hope it stays this easy!!)

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

"Mommy, Look!"

Lily pulled me into her room today, proud of what she had made. She told me what her picture was, but I had to ask her at least half a dozen times to figure out what she was saying. So, my question for you: what is this? "Mommy, look at my ______________!" Try filling in the blanks....

Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's a Boy!!

Allow me to take a moment to welcome the newest member of our family -- Max! Max is a 14-week-old "tabby-mese" (Tabby-Siamese mix) kitten that has adopted us. He showed up at church about two weeks ago, and he ended up coming home with us. He was underfed and crawling with fleas, but both of those things were easily fixed. When we took him to the vet for his first check-up and kitten shots, we also found out that he had ear-mites; he's on meds for those now. (And so is Tucker, since Max managed to share them with him....) Overall he's a pretty sweet kitten, though his behavior is more dog-like than cat-like. We're in the process of training him not to rummage through the trash cans, drink out of the toilet, or eat the plants. Lily's enjoying the new kitten, though she gets a little upset and frustrated when he misbehaves....

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

ASL Update

The alphabet is mastered!! Lily still has trouble forming a few of the letters, but she can recognize all of them easily and quickly. When signing, she almost always asks for help with the M, and she uses her other hand to move her little pinkie into place for letters like I and Y. However, she can now do the ASL alphabet as she's singing the aplhabet song, and she's becoming interested in spelling words with her hands. At this point she's more interested in the letters and spelling than learning the signs for words themselves, but I'm hoping that will come soon.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I Need Drums!!

Lily's been enjoying all of the toys at Grandpa Brad's house this week. Among the favorites is the drum set. Also, she's taken note of the guitar collection....

We went to the Tennessee State Capitol and the Tennessee State Museum today. We managed to navigate downtown Nashville without too much trouble, and we must have climbed dozens and dozens of flights of stairs today. When we went to the museum, and Lily noticed an old guitar that was on display there: "That's just like Grandpa Brad's guitar!" she said excitedly....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Hermitage

Among today's stop was the Hermitage, the Tennessee home and burial place of President Andrew Jackson. It's certainly interesting to see how history is presented differently in different parts of the country....

The Zoo

The first stop on our Spring Break agenda today was the Nashville Zoo. Lily was very excited about going to see the animals, and the weather today was wonderful. However, a whole lot of other people also seemed to think it was the perfect day to go to the zoo. The lines were exceptionally long when we got there; we stood in like for over 45 minutes before we even managed to make it through the front gates. The zoo was certainly busy, but it didn't seem particularly packed once we were inside. The overall outing was enjoyable, but the zoo was a little disappointing -- no bears, no otters, no lions. At least there were elephants, giraffes, zebras...and that was enough to make Lily one very happy little lady.

Monday, March 14, 2011

One Long, Rough Day....

It's been one of those "when it rains, it pours" days around here, except the water wasn't coming from the sky.... We started with a visit from an electrician. We did some work in our garage, and we decided that it might be a good idea to have a professional electrician look things over to make sure everything was done correctly. Everything checked out okay, so that was a relief. After the electrician, spiderman (AKA, the exterminator) came. He sprayed outside and treated the inside of the house, and everything was okay with that as well. However, he did leave the door to the hot water heater closet slightly open when he left. The door sticks a little bit sometimes, and I always check to make sure the cat didn't run into the closet whenever the door's left ajar. When I opened the door, I found a nice puddle of water under the hot water heater. We figured out the the hot water heater had a leak, so we turned off the water, drained it, and went to find out about getting a new one. We ordered a new hot water heater, and it will be delivered and installed on Monday. The bad news is that this means we're a whole week without a hot water heater; the good news is we're to be gone most of the week for Spring Break. And regarding Spring Break, we were originally supposed to leave yesterday, then plans got rearranged so we were supposed to leave tomorrow, and then today (sometime between the exterminator and the hot water heater) plans got changed again and so we ended up leaving today. Amid the flurry of people and things today, there was also packing and preparing to travel that complicated everything even more. At this rate, I'm just hoping that "Spring Break"actually yields some sort of real "break!"

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

ABCs, ASL, and Ws

Since Lily seems to have a pretty sound mastery of the ABCs (upper case letters, most lower case letters, and basic phonics), I decided to hunt up something else to try to keep her interested in letters...and I ended up with ASL. I downloaded an ipod application that has the ASL alphabet, numbers, and colors and I printed off a couple of little basic sign charts. Lily's doing pretty well with them so far, and she seems to enjoy making the letter signs. Her hands, however, aren't quite coordinated enough to handle sign language yet. It's kinda cute to watch her use her left hand to pull and move the fingers on her right hand to form the letters...

And, regarding the W.... Up until a few weeks ago, she has referred to the letter "W" simply as "double." The later part of the alphabet has long gone "T-U-V-double-X-Y-Z." The "W" is now complete.

Saturday, March 05, 2011


Lily got a new toy last weekend when we went to visit Aunt Janet. It's a little portable case with a chalkboard on one side, a magnet board on the other, and a set of letter and number magnets that goes along with it. The toy wasn't really something that Lily needed, as she has an easel with a chalkboard and a whole refrigerator full of magnets, but she seemed particularly interested in it and it wasn't expensive, so Mommy gave in. Over the past few days, she's been working very hard to write her ABCs on her chalkboard. She can do most of the letters without help, and she's made considerable progress in the last few days. (And, at this point, none of the letters are backwards!!)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wonderful Spring Weather

The weather these past days has been unseasonably warm and wonderful. It's been very warm outside, and we've been making the most of it. I've been working outside in the back yard, trying to get everything cleaned up and in order for spring. We have a nice little back porch, so I'm trying to get it all cleaned up and ready for the BBQ and picnic season. I also bought pots and seeds for planting some herbs, but it's too early to plant those out yet. (And I have had to keep reminding myself of that lately!) Lily's been enjoying the opportunity to be outside as well. The little neighbor girl (who is about a year older than Lily) has been over to play twice this week, and Lily's certainly enjoyed having a playmate these past few days. However, she also does well playing by herself and helping Mommy work in the yard.

Lily got a swingset for Christmas, and she's been having a wonderful time playing on it lately.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I Don't Generally Like Rap Music, But...

...occasionally I find something that I like.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Important Life Lessons

There are some things that children should learn early in life. Baking brownies and licking the bowl are among them!!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Cute, or Creepy?

This segment appeared on one of Lily's Seasme Street podcasts. What do you think: cute, or creepy?

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Winnter Weather Updates

So, today's 30% chance of snow became a 60% chance of snow which ended up being a constant snowfall from 7am to 7pm.... My, aren't weathermen wonderful....

I essentially ended up with a "week off" this week. Classes and work were cancelled from Tuesday through Friday, and just about everything else has been shut down as well. We had snow on Tuesday -- somewhere between 9 and 12 inches, depending on which news station you prefer to listen to. It's been quite cold, and I don't think we're supposed to have temperatures above freezing for quite some time either. (I'm simply expecting that the gas bill for this month will be considerably higher than usual. Fortunately, we haven't had any problems with power outages or anything like that, so I certainly won't complain!) I'm guessing we had another 4-6 inches today, but I haven't heard any 'official' reports on that as of yet.

Just about everything around here seems to have shut down this past week. I ended up with an optometrist appointment yesterday (which was rescheduled from Tuesday), and we saw a couple of horse-drawn sleighs merging with traffic a few blocks ahead of us. We made a quick trip to the grocery store yesterday and then ventured all the way to Wal-Mart today. We've discovered that eggs, bread, bananas, and some medications are in short supply as delivery trucks can't make it in to the stores. However, we did see the Blue Bell truck in the grocery store parking lot. No bread, eggs, or cold medicines, but we have ice cream!! Gasoline also seems to be in short supply at the moment...but we managed to find a station that hadn't run out yet. (Granted, it was the gas station in town that nearly always has the highest price on gas, but under these circumstances.....)

Lily has been excited about the snow, and I took her out to play in it this morning. Although it was cold today, it was also very still so there was no significant wind chill factor influencing how cold it felt outside. Lily had a blast! She trudged through snow drifts and ended up face-planting in the snow several times. She made some snowballs and wanted to play catch with them, which didn't work so well....

In short, we've fared pretty well so far. The only weather-related damage we've suffered as of yet is a cracked windshield on our car. We haven't ventured out much, but we've been able to get out enough to keep from getting to stir-crazy. Ironically, the one of us who seems the most stir-crazy is the cat, and he's an inside-only house cat who never gets to go outside anyway....

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Thoughts on Birthdays

I have no real thoughts on birthdays. I try not to think about them. Lily, on the other hand, has been very interested in birthdays lately. She's learning how to sing "Happy Birthday," and she was very excited when we went to the birthday party of a church friend last weekend. Today the following conversation took place in our house:

Lily: I'm three.
Mommy: No honey, you're two.
Daddy: You'll be three on your next birthday. Do you want Daddy to buy you a big cake for your birthday?
Mommy: Daddy bought a cake last year. It's Mommy's turn to bake a cake this year.
Daddy: But the cake is a Daddy thing.
Lily: No, it's a Mommy thing.
Daddy: Well, then what is the Daddy thing?
Lily: Toy shopping.

I guess she's got things pretty well figured out....

Friday, January 28, 2011

My Grammatically Correct Toddler

Sometimes when it's time for bed Lily wants to watch VeggieTales. Given that most episodes are too long for pre-bedtime viewing, we've resorted to watching Silly Songs segments instead. Here's the one she requested tonight:

Tonight was a sing-along night.... When it got the the "he don't got a belly button" part of the song, the little Lily voice beside me sang "he doesn't have a belly button." Mommy was proud!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Lemon

We got some new kitchen items over Christmas, and we've been trying some of them out lately. One of the things that we got was a microplane, so Jimmy picked up a lemon at the store when trying out a new recipe that called for some lemon peel. After grating a little of the peel, he put the lemon in the fruit bowl with the grapefruit and oranges. Lily, who has been eating a lot of Cuties and oranges lately, was excited to see something new in her fruit bowl. After a day or two of just looking at the lemon, she informed me that she wanted to eat the lemon. I told her that lemons are sour and yucky and that she probably wouldn't like it. She insisted: "I want the lemon. I'll eat it all gone." (And she told me this repeatedly!) I gave in, peeled the lemon, and put a few slices in her bowl. She took one bite, and there were tears....

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tales from the Big(ger) Bed

We converted Lily's baby bed to a toddler bed last weekend, and this past week has been quite an adventure as far as bedtimes and naptimes have been concerned. We've had success with bedtimes, but naptimes are another story....

So, on night one, getting Lily to sleep was a challenge. Both Mommy and Daddy started the night sleeping on the floor in Lily's room. Daddy got kicked out when he started snoring after about 30 minutes. Mommy ended up sleeping on the floor for about 2 hours until Daddy came in and woek her up.... On night two, Lily went to sleep all on her own. On night three, Lily wanted to go to sleep in Mommy's bed, so we started off in Mommy's bed and she got moved to her own bed after about an hour and a half. After the first three nights, she's been pretty good about going to bed in her big bed. Sometimes she still gets up and we have to try the whole going-to-bed thing more than once, but she's doing pretty well with bedtimes overall.

Naptimes, on the other hand, have been an entirely different story.... So far we have not managed to get Lily to take a nap in her own bed. We've had several days where naps were missing altogether, a few days where naps amounted to couch naps with Mommy, and two days where she took 'tent naps' in the little indoor/outdoor tent that she got for Christmas. (It's really cute to see her all curled up with a few pillows on the floor of her little tent....) Though she's fighting taking naps, her attitude at 4pm on no-nap days indicates that she certainly isn't ready to start going without naps altogether....