Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Blissfully sleeping…. thank you, god…



It’s been a mostly napless week so far here at the Suburban homeplace. Prince Evan is cutting 4 teeth at once, and his Royal Highness has decided that morning and afternoon naps are for commoner babies. He will have none of that; take it away, thou wretched servant, etc., etc.

After a goodly time of crying in his royal bedchamber, the Prince decided to fall into exhausted sleep with the Queen in her bed, and she successfully transferred him back to his… I don’t know how long this nap is going to last, but I’m thankful for it…

The beautiful thing is that all this is wearing, but its not freaking me out. I know why he’s not napping, I know why I need to hold him all day instead of doing other things, and I know its not a permanent condition. That’s the beauty of having an older baby that has finally established good routines, I guess. The hitches aren’t so unnerving…

Today has actually been quite lovely, awful, wretched, royal teeth aside. We’re finally getting a cooler spell, and we ventured out this morning for the first walk we’ve had since the temps hit the 90’s. Seth threw his football and ran and threw it again, all in delighted 3-year-old style…

And Seth has discovered Frog and Toad…. I love these good buddies. My little guy climbs up on my lap, appropriately wearing his “froggy boots,” and we read and read. What sweet stories of simple friendship… Oh, to be back in a time when friendship was like this, when your buddy would ride on the back of a turtle to the rock where you were sitting so you could picnic together on the soggy sandwiches you’d made. Or something like that…

And I’m thinking that cool, overcast mornings are the perfect times to play my Scripture Lullabies cd. I’m not getting anything for telling ya this; I just really like it. It’s so soothing for all of us. I know it calmed me down, made a smile come more easily to my face, and gave us a pleasant soundtrack for our play today. I’m considering playing it in the evenings before bed to get everyone ready for jammy time….

Monday, June 28, 2010

cousins visit…



We went to Norfolk this weekend to see David’s folks… and cousins visiting from overseas. We don’t get to see them but about once every few years. It was a good trip. Lots of game playing and pool splashing… with gentle and kind big cousins that Seth now adores…


The wives left one of the husbands with the one-year-old, jointly teething, baby boys while we went yard saleing. We came back to find this. He’s got the two spooner tandem move completely down….


We joined them for their family devotion time in the evening. Seth even asked to pray both nights, though he didn’t seem to be completely sure what it was about. I’m glad to get some new ideas. It might be about time to introduce this into our family mix… we’ll see.

Evan is upstairs fussing. You would be, too, if you had 4 teeth coming in at the same time. Poor little guy. Anyway, gotta run…



Because this was the best picture I got all weekend…. and who doesn’t love geese in bikinis?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010


We got to take a refreshing dip in a community pool this afternoon. It’s not our community pool, but thanks to the graciousness of our friends, we’ll get to enjoy it this summer. Ahhh…. it was so nice. I haven’t been in around here since it officially got hot enough to call it summer in N.C. Seth got to walk around saying, “I’m swimming, I’m swimming,” since it was 2 ft. quite a ways out. Evan squealed and squealed and squealed…. and fell in… and squealed and squealed… you get the picture. He’s totally fearless.

Revving up for a big Father’s Day weekend around here. Seth went with me last night to pick out some presents for Daddy. It felt so nice to just be able to walk down the sidewalk holding his hand, no stroller, no diaper bag. It made him seem so old to me. And he was great at the picking. I’d just lay out 3 or 4 things, and he’d pick one. “Are you sure?” I’d say. And he’d say “Yes!” with a very satisfied smile. I can’t believe I have a child old enough to pick out his own Father’s Day presents…

We painted a Father’s Day crown for Daddy. You can get it at Family Fun magazine’s website, and its pretty cute. Should’ve printed it on cardstock, but whatever...

I want this weekend to be as low key as possible for the wonderful man in all our lives. I steam mopped the floor today, and I hope to have the laundry folded by the time he comes home. And dinner involves bacon, so what more could a man want, right? =)

He calmly watched me give him The Scowl as I visually demonstrated with the jeans why I was disappointed in my exercise class. And he gently reminded me that I’ll always be beautiful… and that I might as well get used to the fact that entropy is entropy, and its only going to go downhill slowly from here. True… but men only get better looking with age. So not fair… But I do believe the beautiful part when he says it. The eyes of love are the best mirror…

Thursday, June 17, 2010

On exercise…



For the 4 of you who are interested, my exercise class has just come to an end. Yep, 9 weeks of hauling my tush and my diaper bag and my two children to a church gym twice a week are over. I will no longer be crunching and kick boxing and pilateing and jogging for an hour on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

After taking my post workout shower today, I tried on a pair of jeans that I wore when Seth was a year old. I can put them on, slide them over my hips, and button them. And they are ridiculously tight and uncomfortable….

It’s hard for me to accept that this is probably as good as its going to get. I worked out twice a week, and I probably lost a little weight, definitely got toned, and enjoyed the break from the munchkins for an hour.

But…. really…. this is as good as it gets? After all that? And I still can’t even really get back in the jeans I wore AFTER SETH? I didn’t think I was asking for the moon here. Looks like I was…

Its hard not to be angry and disappointed about that.

I’m not willing to put any more work into it than I already have. I’m not willing to eat nothing but nuts and raw vegetables. I’m not willing to give up my Dr. Pepper. So there ya have it… its over. I’ve lost. Defeat tastes bitter.

But I’ll live. And the little face above was worth the loss of my flat stomach and my small behind.

And, since I now know how easy it is to lose ground and I don’t want things to get any worse, I’ll be exercising once a week probably for the rest of my life. Step class starts in July…

Twist stix…

Hey, y’all…

Well, summer is in full swing around here, and we’re making popsicles. And not just any popsicles, either!!!

We’re using these things that I got at Food Lion last year. They’re awesome! They actually work! No mess or anything….

Any suggestions for things to fill them with? I’m always looking for new popsicle recipes…

Monday, June 14, 2010

on broken bulbs and other things…


We’re getting back into daily life here. After three weeks of being without Daddy, we had a lot of de-stressing to do. I realized that I’d been on edge and just kind of tired of everything, and it’s nice to be coming out of that.

It was very tempting to try and get another day of relaxation today, but David needed to get back to work, and I needed to try and find normal again. This morning flew by, with a little time at a playground and “school” for me and Seth.

He’s doing so well. We’re trying little worksheets for the first time, and he’ll go through most of the alphabet with me and tell me the sounds of the letters and some words that start with them before his 3-year-old attention span is shot…

Doing this makes me feel good, like we’re learning how to learn together. But its also stressful. Today I thought, “How am I ever going to do this when Evan stops taking a morning nap?” And I knew a moment of despair. I know that I’ve learned how to negotiate schedule changes and daunting hurdles before, and I know that I’ll do it again. But I wonder where the limit is…

In a perfect world, with a perfectly sinless and completely flexible me, I could have a dozen kids and homeschool them all, and all would be lovely. But I’m a broken me, and I acknowledge my brokenness. I can’t do all the things I wish I could do. Maybe I can only homeschool two of these little beings… I don’t know. But I do know that it’s easy to freak when thinking about homeschooling even one well while trying to care for one other little one.

I was pep talking myself through the morning, sistas.

But we rolled on, and I even attempted an errand to the “place with tractors” (aka Lowe’s). What ever possessed me to think that I could actually pick out new front porch lights with two small children? As I drove away, realizing that I’d bought the wrong thing, I thought about all the other times I’d optimistically made this same mistake, leaving me with a growing pile of returns.

But I wasn’t about to turn around and go back. It was naptime, and Seth had already broken an entire box of light bulbs by throwing them gleefully from the cart while I talked to a vested employee. Hey, at least I got the laundry detergent we were running out of, right? =)

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

perception isn’t reality….


DSC_1797 This is from last year, but the scene’s pretty similar these days. =)


I’m realizing lately that its very easy to feel like the end of the day comes, and you haven’t done much of anything. BUT… I have a nagging feeling that it just isn’t true. I know I’ve done a lot, and in order to combat the feeling that I haven’t, or that the day hasn’t been a success, I’m going to try and list today’s good stuff here.

- Made homemade waffles from scratch, resisting the urge to grab the box of Bisquick sitting there.

- Did a craft with Seth involving cutting and coloring and identifying the biggest and smallest, counting, and lining up in order.

- Read him at least 15 books, some long, some short.

- Put out the bean box on the deck for him to play.

- Took off his clothes, put him in his bathing suit, he played, put them back on him again, etc.

- Fed him a picnic lunch outside.

- Got the baby’s new rocking horse down and showed him how to use it.

- Did a puzzle with Seth and helped him search out all the pieces.

- Took them both to the park and pushed them on the swings for an hour. Played peek a boo with Evan. Watched Seth dig in the sandbox and cheered him on.

Now, that’s some useful stuff isn’t it? I’m not a hopeless mom, right?

Ok, now here’s why it can tend to feel like nothing:

- I’m already stressed from being without David for over two weeks.

- Seth is, too, and he has whined all morning, acting pretty ungrateful for just about everything.

- He threw a library book in the kiddie pool again today. He threw the same book in there yesterday, but today he clearly knew it was wrong. Maybe mad at me for telling him to stop whining all morning? Who knows….

I think its easy to feel like nothing much of value has been accomplished because we try, but things don’t go so pleasantly anyway. But… it doesn’t mean we haven’t tried to honor God and our families. Just keep pluggin’ on, Ellen….

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


Evan has started throwing Cheerios on the floor periodically. He likes to eat one, throw one, eat one, throw one. He started this at my parent’s house. They have a dog. We do not. I do not like this new habit.


I sat in the overflow room on Sunday because I was late to service. I noticed a slightly different crowd in there than you’d see in the main service. It was a slightly more diverse and less well dressed crowd… and I was glad to see it. But I wondered… do these people come late and sit in the overflow room because they don’t feel like a part of the church as a whole? I don’t know, but I wonder. I sure hope not. I think I decided long ago that I have a “ministry” to wear jeans so that others will feel comfortable doing so, and I couldn’t care less that most other ladies are wearing skirts or nice pants….


I am currently letting Evan eat off a plastic plate while he sits on the kitchen floor. He’s happy, and if they’re going to end up there anywhere… Anyone else tired of seeing the word Cheerios when they come to this blog?


My toenails look awful. The polish is always nicked. I have good intentions of doing something about it, but I don’t. I guess I just don’t care enough to work on it when I have a free moment. Reading or wasting time on the internet wins. =)


I started the Beth Moore Esther study this past Tuesday. I asked a lot of gals to do it with me, and I was starting to think that it’d just be me and one other girl. I wasn’t really worried about that… God knows what He’s doing. But at the last minute, two other girls joined in. I’m really curious to see what God is going to teach our little group over the next 9 weeks. I wonder how we’ll impact each other. So if you’re thinking of us on Tuesday nights, pray that our time in my living room in our PJ’s will be fruitful and God honoring.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

how to make a rainbow cake…


I saw this cake at a couple of blogs several months ago, and I decided then and there that we had to have it for Evan’s 1st birthday. For one thing, it’s really cute. For things 2 and 3, it doesn’t take long to decorate, and it isn’t something cool that he’d rather have when he’s older, like a tractor or a car.

So here’s the slacker way to do this…. I’ve seen more complicated arrangements elsewhere…

1. Buy two boxes of white Duncan Hines cake mix.

2. Mix the batter according to the box directions.

3. Put equal amounts of batter into 4 bowls.

4. Take out your Betty Crocker gel food coloring and color each bowl of batter a different color. Stir in with a spoon.

5. Take 2 greased 9 in. cake pans and start layering approx. equal amounts of batter into them. Measuring cup of red, splat of blue, etc. Do the 4 color rotation twice in each cake pan.

6. Discover you have some batter left and make some cupcakes with it. You don’t want to overfill the cake pans.

7. Frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting recipe, cover with Skittles and marshmallows, and you’re done!


8. Oh yeah… enjoy seeing the toddler’s faces when you cut into it…. =)


I thought “Musings” sounded better than “random incoherent mutterings,” though I’m not above making that a post title at some point.


Dad and Mom aren’t terribly computer savvy, and I’m currently benefitting. Let me explain. =) Mom and Dad also had a recent renovation, and Mom’s beloved behemoth of a stainless steel sink was a victim. They hated to throw it in a landfill, but they didn’t know what to do with it. Enter the idea of loading it into the back of their daughter’s minivan so she can post in on Craigslist in her own fair city.

So she did. The thing is huge and an unusual size. It was hard to figure out how to price it, but if you wanted it new from the company, it would cost you $1,000. I decided to try selling it for $100, the proceeds to be split between the parents and myself…. their idea of good commission, and I’m not arguing.

I posted pictures and dimensions, and wouldn’t ya know it, there’s a home for every sink. Some guy with a ‘6o’s farmhouse was looking for a 42 in. double sink to fit in his hole, and he wasn’t going to haggle.

I now have pool money for the summer. Mom and Dad, you got anything else potentially valuable you wanna sell? I’m lookin’ to make some date money…


An old plastic tablecloth makes a good cover for a kiddie pool. It’s also a great way to keep dried pinto beans from lodging themselves into the crevices of your deck. I’m just sayin’.


Having a written plan for filling the next several hot and humid evenings without David helps keep me from panicking at the thought, even if that plan includes nothing more than “play in pool” or “make crafts with marshmallows.” Trial ends Friday… we hope.


Dad dropped by during naptime on his way home from the beach. One of the best gifts he’s given me lately was sitting in my house while I got to go to the library. I came away with my arms loaded with treasures of mindless escapism… Agatha Christie, John Grisham…. I love my books, and I love knowing that I can put my itchy fingers on something and instantly be transported into a different world for a couple of paragraphs before a fight breaks out over a plastic dinosaur.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

1st birthday photos…


Here are some first birthday photos. This is from the little family party we had my parent’s house. In contrast to Seth, Evan does not like it when a group of people suddenly burst forth into song and stare at him. Happy Birthday to you, big boy. =)


He’s decided that he likes cake. All kinds. He knew what it was this morning at the park party and started whining and screaming when I wasn’t giving it to him fast enough.


My tip to you… If you’d like to have a quick, neat, simple birthday party, schedule it at 10:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning at a hot park. =) Take your own ballons tied on strings to put up and simple snacks. No frouffy serving bowls, either. Everything should fit in a few plastic grocery bags and a cooler for ice and drinks… Only invite a few friends, too, just your bestest local ones that can appreciate a birthday party for a 1-year-old. Voila! And cleanups a snap.

Disclaimer: Yes, I think fancier birthday parties can be da bomb, but I’d rather save energy and creativity for the older parties when the kids get a lot out of it and enjoy it more. Simple is good for the 1st birthday. And the cake turned out really cute! More on that later…

seth and the Groundhog…


Once there was a boy and his grandfather who loved to do things together. The boy was game for whatever his Papa had cooked up, especially if it involved boy stuff like tractors and dirt…

One day, the boy followed his grandpa out to the barn to see something extra special. Little did he know that he was about to get initiated into the more hillbilly side of his genteel country heritage…


“Look around the corner, Seth! What do you see?”


“What is it, Papa?” “Why, it’s a groundhog, my boy. I trapped it with cunning and an apple for your edification. Whadda ya think?”


“ Papa, I do believe that he looks mighty like the Rodents of Unusual Size in that movie my parents think is so funny. And what sharp teeth he has!”


Rodent: “Grrrr. Snarl.”


“Well, my boy, we shall take him and let him run free at the farm up the road where he can’t dig holes under the barn any longer. I wonder if your mother will let us put him the back of her minivan. Not really the authentic country way to haul groundhogs, but it will have to do.”


Editor’s note: We do not recommend transporting groundhogs in minivans. They stink, and if they were to get loose, your upholstery would be no more.


“Run, Groundhog, run! Live and be free… and don’t come back to our house. ‘Cause Nana says if the grandchildren weren’t around that you’d already be in Groundhog Heaven…”


And so ends the story of little Seth and his groundhog… Tune in next time to hear about little Evan and the man eating cucumber plant…

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Back to town...

We're leaving my parent's house after dinner tonight. Sigh. I'm ready to get back home and back to a routine. But... I'm really going to miss the two extra pairs of hands.

I can't say I haven't gotten rested up. Now its time to use the rejuvenation to go back to work with renewed enthusiasm and vigor. Right? Right. =)

And I'm plenty blessed, I know. David's been watering the plants and feeding the cat when he comes in late at night, and though the grass is supposedly as high as an elephant's eye, I can laugh at that. Maybe I'll take a crack at it during naptime one afternoon...

I have multiple friends living close around me. I can probably get one of them to come and sit in my house tonight for a little bit while I get the weekly shopping done across the street. We'll have milk for the cereal tomorrow morning. =)

And now the baby's waking upstairs in my brother's old room. At least he got a good morning nap... and a bath this morning. Oh, Mimi and Pop Pop, they both LOVE Evan's birthday bath toys!