Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sunday Funday

On Sunday, Bob & I were both itching for a little fun, and I really wanted to get out of town.

So I spent a little bit of time online, searching for something fun to do that wouldn't cost much money.

I ended up settling on a walking tour of Lockerbie Square, a neighborhood in Indianapolis where old homes have been lovingly restored, and some new ones have been built to complement the existing historic architecture.

It was so much fun ... despite that fact that it was raining, so we did a driving tour, and Caroline slept through the whole thing.

Bob and I love small old houses. Our first house was small, and even though we have a big one now, we love the creativity that comes with making the most of small spaces.

And this was a new addition that was part of an old house. Bob's sold me on the idea of a modern addition added to an old building, not trying to blend in. Additions that are made to look old are nice, too, but I'm loving this little addition.

Here it is with the rest of the house.

This picture I snapped for Bob. He's always checking out paint colors, and he liked the siding/trim/window color scheme of this house. He's totally convinced that our windows need to be dark, with lighter trim, kind of like this house.

And this one? This one made us think of our first house. This is a house we would buy. It's so cute! And if there's anything that can sell me on a house, it's sweet windows.

Then we went to an antique mall, and a shopping mall (where the girls got to ride escalators, and we bought nothing but a snack for them), and then out to eat. So much fun for so little money. I could drive around and look at houses all day. I suppose that's part of why I liked selling real estate...

Sorry the pictures are a bit dark and gloomy. I had forgotten the "real" camera and only had my phone.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Yesterday, I started my garden, and I found it totally overwhelming and exhilarating.

First of all, I was armed with three different gardening books, plus the information on the seed packets, and a lot of the info was conflicting, which left me conflicted.

When do I plant this seed?
How deep?
How far apart from other seeds?
With what soil & sun requirements?
How many should I plant?

When Bob and I first started talking about our garden for this year, I was thinking about one bed of plants. Then, a couple weeks ago, I drew up a tentative plan, and ordered the seeds. For two beds.

With the seeds, and my trusty books (because there are very few projects that I don't first start with a trip to the library), I drew up the "final" plan. "Final" is in quotes because it probably isn't the final plan. Final for now.

The garden is now three beds. Three 4'x10' beds, plus walkways. All I can say is, it's a good thing the yard's big enough, because I'm not willing for the garden to completely overtake the space where the girls play.

I planted tomatoes, leeks, and lavender seeds inside last night. I am so excited about them, I feel like a kid with a pile of Christmas presents under the tree. I keep sneaking over to check on my seeds, even though I know that there's nothing more to see than there was an hour ago.

Bob's thrilled, too. We're looking forward to eating fresh produce from the garden, and freezing some for the winter.

And the lavender just equals joy for us. We love the stuff. We had a lot of it at our first house, and we plan to have lots of it here. My seed packet included 100 seeds, and I planted 48 last night. I was sure Bob was going to tell me that was overkill, but his response instead was, "When are you planting the other 52?!" Clearly, we're on the same lavender wavelength.

And speaking of lavender, guess who's getting a new ceiling in the bedroom? Yep, the girls. And Caroline informed me that she and Lucy want a purple one. Like ceilings come, all assembled, painted, and ready-to-go. I resisted, but Bob's all about it. He wants to know why they shouldn't have a purple ceiling? Well, for starters, because I don't want a purple ceiling, and this is MY house! Okay, so he's right. A purple ceiling it is.

And I hope we buy an external hard drive for my computer soon because I have no room for pictures. How can I blog without pictures?

P.S. Just to clarify, my garden will include more than just tomatoes and leeks. Lots more planting to come soon.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Watch your language around my child!

So Lucy, like all young children, has her own terms/pronunciations for things. Some of them, I get. Some of them, I don't.

This one, I didn't. It was clear, from context, that when she said, "momo-feagan," that she meant "more." But the origin of the phrase, I didn't know.

Then, it evolved into "mo-feagan."

And then, I realized she was saying, "more freakin.'" As in, "More freakin' cheese, please, Momma!"

Who taught my child that? Where would she hear such a thing?

Oh, wait.

It's possible...


But maybe...

Oh, I hope not.

She learned it from me.

It was a sad day when I realized that.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Yesterday, I took the kids for a walk around downtown, going to the bank, the library, and our favorite local coffeeshop. We had a great time. The girls were in the double baby jogger, and Will was in the backpack.

As we were getting ready to go, I heard a cat (it sounded like a kitten) mewing. I could hear its collar tags or a bell, too. I kept checking for it because it sounded like it was under the car, but I couldn't find it.

When we got home maybe two hours later, I could still hear it. I checked the inside of the van first, then opened up the hood. There it was. A cute little black and white teenager kitten, sitting on my engine block.

The girls immediately lavished their love upon it, and then started playing in the yard. Everywhere they ran, the kitten raced after them. It stuck around until Lily came out; then it scurried back into my hood.

We put out some food for it last night, and this morning, I pulled it out from under my hood again. Later in the day, I gave it both milk and water (it enjoyed both), and then it took another nap, where else?, under the hood. This evening, we were all out in the backyard: Bob splitting firewood, the girls playing, Will taking it all in. I pulled the kitten out (I had never used my hood release before all of this. Now I'm a pro.), and he played with us, scampering behind the girls, or Bob, as they moved about.

Tonight, Lily needed to go out. I let her out, and Caroline said, "What just climbed the tree?" I thought she was talking about a vine or something, but then Bob came to me and said, "Did you see that?!"

Well, it was the cat. By the way, I asked Caroline if she wanted to give it a name. She decided it should be called Hoo-doh. Then later, I realized I'd missed the last consonant. It's actually Hoo-dote.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: HOO-DOTE!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

You never know what you might find...

when you live with Caroline. [Warning: this post is picture-heavy.]

Take this, for example: stadium seating, Caroline-style.

A crayon in the living room during quiet time:

Thank God for Oxi Clean.

Caroline took it upon herself to fill Will's pockets while he was doing some tummy time. (Because what six-month-old doesn't need a maraca and a marker?)

Momma, I drew a long snake!

Yes, honey, you sure did.

This is what happens when Caroline dresses herself. Pajama shorts worn as underwear, under a bathing suit, with hospital-issued non-skid socks, plus Daddy's shoes.

This is a bag she packed so she could go see her uncle Jon in Japan. (That's right, Caroline, bring that teapot!)

This is the "barn" she built around Will. "He likes it, Momma!"

She was using rubber bands on a little peg board, and she'd been given strict instructions to NOT TOUCH THE FLOWERS. She swears she didn't, but, um, what's this??

Oh, Caroline, how I love you.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Boy and his Dog

So Will discovered Lily, our dog, about a month ago. She provides him with endless entertainment. Just seeing her walk by makes him smile.

Lily doesn't mind being loved so much, either.

When she's looking for some lovin', she will bring you her stuffed duck so that you'll play with her. We don't throw it for her (inside), but we know what she's looking for, so we give her lots of good rub-downs. It makes her happy. Last night, Bob and I were busy cleaning up the kitchen, so she took her duck to Will. Put it in his lap, in his bouncy seat. And he gave the biggest belly laugh ever when she took it back.

I tried to recreate it for you, but of course, it wasn't as sweet as the first time.

Be warned: if this looks the slightest bit dangerous or violent, I promise you it wasn't.

Also, in case you're wondering, I couldn't get the duck away from Lily at one point. I think it was stuck in her teeth. We finally got it out.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Our church is part of our family

Do you have young children? Do you take them to church?

Have you ever had that sinking feeling that, though they are YOUR children, you cannot control them, and you need help?

You haven't? Okay, come back and read tomorrow's post, but not this one.

The morning started with a small battle in the bathroom with Caroline. You see, she likes to go to the bathroom in other bathrooms. A little variety. (Grocery shopping at Target? Let's go to the bathroom! At a restaurant? Let's go to the bathroom!) So I wanted her to try to go to the bathroom at home before we left for church, so that we wouldn't make the inevitable bathroom trip in the middle of the service. She didn't want to try. I sent her in to the bathroom anyway. When I went to check on her, I found her with a SOAKING wet baby wipe ... and I do not want to know how that thing got so wet. Preemptive bathroom trip: fail.

We get to church, and all is going well. Caroline announces that she has to poop. I leave Will with Lucy's godmother Demetra, and take the two girls to the bathroom. So far, so good.

We go back into church. The kids are doing relatively well, though I'm a bit flustered, since I prefer to have Bob with me, helping keep the kids in line. You know what they say about going from two kids to three (or more)? No more man-to-man; now it's zone defense. So true.

A couple minutes later, Caroline tells me she needs to pee. Are you serious? Yes, she is. So this time, I leave Will in his car seat, Lucy with Demetra, and Caroline & I go to the bathroom. When we get back, they're reading the Gospel already. And then I look down and see that while Caroline did wash her hands, she failed to wash off any of the soap on the BACK of her hands. So back to the bathroom we go.

By the time we get back this time, Lindsey's holding Will, Demetra still has Lucy, and I'd like to actually participate in the service. Caroline starts asking me if she can go see Michelle, her godmother (um, no. A little too much activity from our family this morning. No more trips across the church.). When it's time for Communion, Caroline ends up going with Brian, her godfather. Lucy's with Demetra. Will's with Laura, his godmother. I go up for Communion, blessedly by myself.

And I feel like a loser. This morning felt like musical children.

The kids really weren't misbehaving or acting up; they were just needing different things from me at the same time (the nerve of them!), and I only have two hands. At home, I can prioritize, and if someone melts, so be it. But in church, the stakes are higher. I really do not want my family to be a distraction for anyone from the service. So demands need to be dealt with right away, before any meltdowns.

I'm incredibly grateful for my church family. I might have just left in the middle of the service, if people who love us and our children hadn't stepped in to help me.

So thank you.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Life at our House

I was reassembling a table that I wanted to reposition in the foyer, and Caroline was cracking me up, so I grabbed the ol' iPhone to record it for your viewing pleasure.

I'm really sorry about my cold. I think it's annoying to hear other people cough, so, again, sorry.

And, I promise, I try to keep clothes on my kids, but they really prefer to be buck nekkid. I've had her put her clothes back on at least three times so far today. Our children are indecent.

My favorite part is how she switched her delivery technique when I told her to talk like she's 3 1/2.



At about 4:45 Monday morning, Bob woke me up to tell me that he could see a house burning. Sure enough, we looked out the windows on the east side of our house, and we could see flames shooting up into the sky. Fortunately, the fire trucks were there already (four of them, plus various SUV's from the fire department) and a couple police cars. It scares me a little to think that I would not have awakened. Or maybe they turned off their sirens when they got close? I'd like to think that except that the house burning (three doors down from us) is only about a block and a half from the fire department. So you'd think that the sirens were on at SOME point, and that I should have heard them.

This is just part of the activity.

This guy arrived right after the fire trucks left and the police opened up the street again. He's the Servicemaster guy. Honestly, I know there's a need for it, but it grossed me out that he was peddling his services right after the fire.

So it turns out that the entire second floor was engulfed in flames. The fire was started, apparently, by a child playing with a lighter. As Bob pointed out, what's a child doing UP at 4:30, let alone playing with a lighter? Who knows. We know the fireman who led the search and rescue team (he reportedly climbed over another fireman during the fire, because the other guy wasn't moving fast enough for him), and he said that he's not sure if the house is salvageable or not. The first floor has a ton of water damage (go figure!), and there's a dumpster out front where they're throwing all the contents of the house.

It's a big old house, that was cut up into apartments pretty badly. I love old houses, and I'm almost always in favor of saving an old house, but in this case, I feel like it might be better to start over.
I'm really glad no one was hurt. And I am on a smoke detector mission. Smoke detectors, people!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hope for Spring

Today, the weather was so fantastic, we couldn't resist spending a lot of time outside. I have seen evidence that the daffodils (that my dad planted for me last year for my birthday) are starting to come up. It looks like one of our hydrangeas made it through the winter. I'm assuming our crocuses & hyacinths & tulips will appear soon.


it's time to plan our vegetable garden. I'm reading the two reference books my dad gave me -- well, skimming the appropriate parts -- and trying to apply all that information to our specific plot size, climate, etc. I know the general vicinity of where the garden will be, but I really need to nail it down, so to speak, and figure out how big? And choose, once and for all, what we're going to grow this year. And buy the seeds.

I'd really like to stick to heirloom varieties. I'm not a fan of genetically modified FOOD. If the heirloom varieties are less hardy against weather and bugs, so be it. But I really don't see any reason to eat something that could never grow on its own if it hadn't started in a lab somewhere.

In other news, tomorrow I enter the last year of my twenties. It feels a little strange. College feels like a lifetime ago, and yet I still feel young enough that sometimes I'm shocked to find myself the mother of three children. It makes me think of my grandfather, who at 90-ish, told my dad he still felt like he was about 17 inside. Amazing. Perhaps that's why he lived to be 96?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Crunchtime has passed. Now it's catch-up time.

We're back home now, having had a great time in Tennessee with my parents. I know you're dying for the details, so here goes:

The girls helped their Poppy feed the birds. The minute my dad came downstairs that morning, Caroline announced to him that "The birds are hungry, Poppy! We need to feed them!" And my dad obliged. I love that he did.

He also asked if he could take a look at my iPhone. I expected that to last a minute or two, or for him to ask questions about how the thing worked. Nope. He figured it out and had a blast with it. Is my dad going to get an iPhone? Never. But he sure enjoyed playing with mine.

Caroline enjoyed sharing some cereal with her Pokey. And Lucy got to help her Poppy make some biscuits. (I don't have pictures of that.)

And this is from my budding artist, Caroline. Drawn with crayon on the top of the dog food canister. We're working on boundaries, like, you know, drawing on PAPER, and not just any paper (like books), but CAROLINE'S PAPER. If I didn't love this little drawing so much, I would have been really mad.

I brought my knitting, thinking Mom & I could have a good time doing some knitting in front of the fireplace. That would have been great if I'd brought my pattern. Oops.

All good things must come to an end (as I keep telling myself about this miserable cold I've been fighting since Saturday), so now we're back home. And my shrunken laundry heap is about to grow again, once I unpack our clothes. Totally worth it, though. We sure love visiting my parents.