Monday, June 27, 2016

Fell deeds awake!... Forth Eorlingas!


Sorry.  Bob has declared war on the vermin in our yard... current tallies for species removed is: rabbit- 12, vole-1.  There's still at least one vole and a chipmunk at large, and I'm pretty sure the rabbit population is never ending.
It's been quiet around here.  This will probably go down as the summer that we spent inside.  I feel guilty, but... it's hot.  And the humidity is killer.  And they wilt in the heat just as fast as I do.  I would let Cecily go out by herself, but she doesn't think she can ever be alone, and I don't trust Emmy out with her without me... so.

Bob did get their pool down and they've splashed in that a few times. 

The toys are mostly picked up and they're reading quietly!  Will wonders never cease! 
We didn't make any plans for Father's day.  I don't think Bob was very sad... we hung out at home and grilled burgers (I didn't burn them! Yay!).  
Other than the grocery store and another crazy long appointment we really didn't go anywhere the rest of the week.  Pathetic, I know. 

They've been getting too much screen time because I'm tired.  'Mountain Men' is a new favorite... that plus Bob's rodent war adds up to girls asking to go out and check the trap line.  hehe. 

Cecily must have been paying attention at bible school... she was playing and didn't want Emmy to touch her stuff- "No Emmy!  Don't yield to temptation!!"  um.... right.

We try and go outside in the evenings if it's not too buggy.  (Apparently hormones are making me exhale more CO2 than normal??  I'm contributing to global warming!  And also a major mosquito magnet.  'Buskito." "Spugito." "Mugito.")

Tonight they were catching 'lighting bugs!'  And Cecily discovered how to make glow jewelry out of them.  Yay.   
We've been picking peas... I replanted the lettuce that the rabbits/voles ate... one good thing about the dry weather is that weeds haven't been growing so the garden doesn't even look that bad.  Plus I strategically planted sunflowers so I can't actually see the weeds from the house. 

Otherwise, all quiet on the western front. 


Friday, June 17, 2016

Lazy, hazy, crazy days of Summer

It's been pretty quiet around here.  We haven't been making many plans and it's been so hot... the girls are getting bored.  Oh well, I am perfectly content to be a lazy bum. 

Her baby needed a "fresh dipey."
Awww... look at them.  So sweet, so well adjusted... big sis reading to little sis... so fleeting and unusual. Ha.   (They are currently fighting over a blanket...)
This is a little more like it.  Stickers, no pants, not sharing well.  
Bible School is this week.  Cecily is loving it.  "I get to see my friends and do a craft and play games!" She's so excited to bring her craft home tonight... woot.   

Their pool is still in the garage attic, and it has been so hot that I am completely unmotivated to go outside even if water is involved.  But I was feeling guilty so we improvised- the sleds are still readily accessible!  The neighbors probably think we're crazy.  (although, they probably already did)
We went to Krenda and William's house this morning just to get out a bit.  They have a real pool, although the girls were more interested in his toys.  The way he's looking at Cecily in this picture just makes me laugh... 
And a random parenting fail (or win, depending on how you look at it...):  I have a shelf of kids books that are off limits; mostly from when I was younger, or they were at my grandma's house, or the girls aren't quite old enough for them and I would like them to stay nice until they will actually enjoy them.  Anyway, Cecily climbed up one day and was looking through them and I said she could pick a few to read before bed... aaaaand she picked out Struwwel Peter.  (Classic German Children's book, unlike any children's book you've read before!)  It's available to read online at Project Gutenberg.  You should read it.  Most of it went completely over her head... until we got to The Story of Little Suck-a-Thumb. She is developing a nail biting habit (gets it honestly from me, unfortunately) and I glanced over while reading about the long legged scissor man coming to cut off his thumbs... her face!  Wide eyed, hands clutched to her chest in horror.  Ooops! Ha!  I wanted to laugh... but... maybe this was a bad idea!  ...But... maybe now she will quit biting her nails! "Jesus didn't make a scissor man.  Jesus wants me to have my thumbs!"  Poor traumatized child. 


Thursday, June 09, 2016


Well, it's officially after Memorial Day so we can all wear our white shoes to church!  Or in my case flip-flops, because: elephant feet.  (Sorry Grandma)   
The girls and I went to the park for the Memorial Day service.  They were pretty good.  I did sort of bribe them with the promise of playing at the park afterward.  Emmy was not at all afraid of the guns, which was great; Cecily and I jumped all three times.  They had a great time "I sliding" until I got too hot and it was time to go home for lunch. 
After lunch we picked up Grandma Beutel and went to Restmor to set up Grandpa's new laptop.  The girls did good for a while. Ha.  I have learned to bring things to keep them occupied so they don't completely make themselves unwelcome. 
The rest of the week I felt very discombobulated.  I am a creature of habit and I do all my housework on certain days... we have laundry day, grocery day, errand day, cleaning day, etc.  So the holiday had me all mixed up. Add in a doctor appointment and I was way behind my normal schedule.  Woe is me.  
Emmy was finally mostly bruise-free (Oh, that sounds awful! She's just clumsy, especially when she's tired! I promise!) so we got 2 year pictures, finally. It was super hot, but they still wanted to play on the tractors.  Silly girls.   
 Bob took the girls shopping that weekend and came home with a bike helmet for Emmy.  She thinks she needs one when she rides "my red bike" and it may not be a bad idea, considering her track record.  She needed to take a nap with it too.  Oh, this girl-she's under there somewhere.  She usually has at least 1 doll, 2 stuffed animals, 3 blankies, a calculator ("my phone"), and whatever else strikes her fancy in her bed with her.  She really doesn't even need sheets.
 All ready for a bike ride!

The girls got to go the farm while I went to the doctor yesterday afternoon.  My 20 minute appointment stretched into an hour... ugh.  I am so over the doctors office. 
I got the infant car seat out... we are going to have to watch her like a hawk.  She is twice as motherly as I've ever been.  Cecily was pretty uninterested in Emmy when she was born, this could be a whole different story. 
Cecily is obsessed with the alphabet and sounds and words...  which is great.  Except "What does ____ start with, Mom?," "_____ starts with T Mom!," over and over all day long gets really old.  *sigh*  But I was very proud when she was sounding out (with some help) and writing what her chalk drawings were on the driveway.  You can see "ANT" behind Emmy.    Bob took Cecily to the T-Fest carnival tonight and Emmy got to go on a short walk with me.  Then she proceeded to use her "green shovel" to pull a bunch of mulch out of the landscaping. "I dirting, Mama." 
Given the forecast, I plan to spend the weekend inside on my couch in the air conditioning.  And maybe hit the Turkey express for T-Fest food.  Midwife's orders.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Saga of the Bunnies

The calendar this week was empty... but there was much going on. 
The sink got fixed on Wednesday.  I'm kind of glad the girls are a little bit nosy when there are people working at our house because it gives me a reason to watch too.  Ha.  They probably all think I'm weird, but I grew up watching Grandpa and Dad fix things on the farm and not only is it fascinating, if it breaks again I want to know how to attempt to fix it! Surprisingly enough (considering all the sewer issues we had on the farm) I know very little about plumbing.  Next time the sink drain line is plugged I will know to run a hose up to the roof and try and move the clog with water down the vent pipe.  Haha.  We were outside watching Tim up on the roof- "Is he going to fall down? Why is he up there?"..."guy, fall down??"  He did not fall off our roof, thankfully, and the drain is clear again. 
Grandpa Beutel recently moved to Restmor and Bob was in charge of finding him a laptop and getting it set up so he can keep up with us all online.  The girls were very interested in "Gampa Bye-tel comp- ooter!"  
So I usually do the mulching because I'm home and I don't have allergies.  This year, however, I'm really not physically up for it... my back hurts and I can't do much manual labor for any length of time.  And I don't keep track of what average pollen counts are, but poor Bob is going through a lot of Claritin and Dayquil...  So we had Slager's do the mulching for us.  They even weeded for me!

The girls were still sleeping when they arrived, and they were halfway through breakfast when they discovered a nest of baby bunnies outside in my flower bed!  Cecily dressed herself (the bike shorts are supposed to be for UNDER her skirts..), Emmy is still in pajamas and neither of their hair is combed.  But bunnies!  Rustin caught four in a bucket, and he saw a fifth that escaped.
Cecily was brave enough to pick them up. 
 Emmy was a little more hesitant at first.
"Bunny Wabbit!" 
O the poor bunnies.  This video makes me laugh so much. I watch it over and over.  Note Emmy pretty much throwing the poor bunny at the end.    

Then they decided to get their shovels and help.
"I dirting, mama." 
"Emmy workin hard!" 
Fresh mulch always looks so nice. 
 Too bad it doesn't last... I'm afraid the rain is going to sprout a whole bunch of maple seeds.  Woot.
 Anyway, baby bunnies 1-4 went away with the Slager crew.  I found bunnies 5 and 6 later that afternoon in the same plant and the girls were just as enthralled.  Cecily was pretty sure we needed to keep one for a pet for her. Bob and I both said No Way.  Poor kid.  I hear 5 and 6 were adopted by Grace and Eden... 
 Mama bunny overdosed on copper bb's later that evening... 

I got a package!  The girls got a "say-boat."
Saturday was a lovely day.  Ooo... look at my new toy!  It came in the box.  If it lasts as long as the one at the farm it will be well worth the money... 
 The girls played in their boat for quite a while.
And rode their bikes. 
 "I have fun.  Riding bikes, mama!"
 I was lazy and watched them from a chair... until she stole it.
 And then Daddy cut holes in the boat so it could be a house.
While the girls were inside for naps I decided to be crazy and overdo it and trim the honeysuckle vines.  I think they are probably supposed to be cut back earlier in the year, but it just didn't happen.  I'm not sure how to figure out the line between staying active and doing too much...  but I was pretty wiped out, not to mention hot and sweaty.  Ick.  And then we saw baby bunny #7 but it escaped to the neighbors yard because the girls were watching wide eyed out the window.

Sunday afternoon we saw bunny #7 again and he was the unfortunate victim of blunt force trauma.  They are cute, but.  They've been eating my plants.  Specifically some of the new perennials that I splurged on a few weeks ago.  Quite often I go for the cheaper, smaller pots in hopes that they will grow and thrive and fill right in.  However, I am a very laissez faire gardener and that never seems to happen so I thought I'd try a bigger pot so it would have a better chance.  Yeah.... they nibbled it down so small...

Then Cecily saw bunny #8 hopping across the yard, but he also escaped through the fence.  Stay tuned. 

Nathan and Bob wanted to get together to work on their latest board game (it was a grown up play date- ha!).  He and Shelly came for supper tonight.  Good times.  I think I managed to shock Shells though... hehe.... Cecily told her there is a baby in my uterus....  never too early to use the correct terms, right? Plus food goes in the "tummy" and that term just annoys me. 

Poor girls... when your mom is a chemist and your dad is an electrical engineer, there really isn't much hope for being normal.  Cecily has heard all about how digestion works (her take away: food turns into poop and drinks turn into pee.  sigh), how the earth and the sun are situated in space and how night and day works on opposite sides of the globe (we are in day, and matt is in night!), and electricity (Bob told her that besides being in wires, we have a little bit of electricity in our muscles to help us move)... of course it all gets a little bit garbled and lost in translation since she is only 4.  Ha.  The other day she was talking about something random and the conversation turned to people getting sick and dying... her mind is all over the place.  Anyway, I laughed so hard and wrote it down when she said, "She couldn't move her arms?  Her electricity was gone?"   

Anyway.  Blessings.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

What a bunch of lunch

We made it through serving church lunch!  I ordered too much food because, well, I am Lydiann's granddaughter and I can't have skimpy trays, and I am my mother's daughter because I can't not over plan... ha.  Whatever, I like having more than plenty and the leftovers were manageable. The girls thought it was great to have BOTH grandmas and grandpas at their church. 
It was a long day.  We got to rest for a little bit at home before we headed to Kayla's graduation party that evening.  All the girls took naps.  I'm getting to be such an old lady...  woe is me.  I was feeling very drained and unsociable at Kayla's (my apologies). 
They're fans of leftover doughnuts for breakfast.
 "Choc-at no-nut."  "Ow-ul bib."
 Every bathroom needs a large bug print...
And some flowers... (Bob gave them to me for Christmas and they've been waiting to go on a wall...) 
 Welcome to my mornings, welcome to my days...   ad nauseum. 

"Wa-doe sun!"  (aka, yellow) 
 Hop! Hop!  The chalk drawings are getting fairly elaborate... all of these things and creatures are in a circle and Jesus (not in the picture, but he's a stick man with a beard) is talking and they are appearing and he is standing on the sidewalk next to God (also a stick man) and Jesus doesn't like naughty guys and, and, and.  I'm pretty sure I'm failing in the theology instruction department because my usual response is, 'uh-huh,' 'oh!,' 'uh-huh,' 'yeah, sure, something like that'....  she'll figure it all out eventually, right?  I mean, she is just a 4-kid.  Emmy is more interested in "Wobins!"
Friday I discovered that the kitchen sink wasn't draining.  Woot.  So since we were going to potluck that evening, I dropped the girls off at the farm and picked up some draino.  It didn't help at all. 

Potluck was good. Meg made some amazing pizzas.  We laughed a lot. But we had to leave a little bit early since the girls didn't want to spend the night at the farm.  (Someone has suddenly developed separation anxiety... yay....great timing, since she's definitely not coming to the hospital with us...) 

Saturday Bob checked the sink trap which is clear and tried to figure out where the blockage is... such a good man.  And, notice the nitrile gloves.  No good chemist is ever without them.  Safety first!  Especially after pouring a bunch of draino down your sink...  We had no luck unclogging it.  Boo.  So I'm doing dishes the old fashioned way in a dish tub.  woot woot.  At least we have running water.  And that new clean vinyl under the sink that I'm sure the plumber will appreciate!  hehe. 
The girls "helped" me plant the rest of the garden.  I'm hoping that my green beans won't be ready until late summer since I'm planting them a little late, and we put out a few tomato plants.  Bob mowed and Emmy is terrified of the mower.  She was clinging to me in the garden, "Emmy scare.  Mower scare.  I safe.  Mower scare."  We had to go back inside. 

My dad turned 60 last week so we went to the farm for supper that evening since they're done planting and have time to celebrate.  Mom got Trails End Smokehouse ribs and brisket... it was really good.  The girls wore themselves out running around outside being crazy.  Emmy loves Jakey, which is great, but so funny.  "Jakey.  Friend Kitty.  Under car."  "Jakey. Nice. Up high.  Emmy." 

O man, so apparently I should be super excited to be pregnant at the same time as my sister? which, whatever, I'm glad for her.  But I'm not sure Shells really appreciates my random guess-what-delightful-symptom-I-have-that-you-get-to-look-forward-to-texts... bwahahaha.  And that's probably not the kind of sisterly bonding people are picturing. Ha.  Mostly we're just afraid we're going to steal each others names.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Architectural Rant

Because I am so OVER scraping my knuckles on the walls of the hallway while carrying a laundry basket....

Disclaimer:  I know very little about actual architecture, I just have an opinion about everything.  Also, I really do like our house.... no desire or intention to move anytime soon... I'm just very aware of its idiosyncrasies.

Anyway, I have no love for the 1960's... fashion, hair, décor, food, furniture... blech.  Also houses.  I know mid century modern is back "in" but, ick.  I will freely admit my bias and personal affinity for a more early century, Arts and Crafts aesthetic. 

That said, who are these people who signed off on these house plans?????   Did they not have families?  Wives who did actual house work?  Didn't they ever have company??? 

Pretty much all the houses on our street were built at the same time by the same construction company and the plans are all very similar... three bedrooms, one bath, an adequate sized kitchen, and a living room.  Our house was added on to at some point so we have a second bathroom and a family room.  Average family size in 1960 was 3.33 persons... I'm going to guess given the demographic in our area that it was higher in T-town.  So figure at least four people in our house pre-addition.... 

Why would you make the only bathroom in the house 8 x 5??? It's not like indoor plumbing was new or novel in 1960!  There's hardly room to help little kids bathe or go to the bathroom, and there's really not room for two adults to get ready at the same time!  I can't imagine getting 3.33 people ready for church/school/anything all at the same time in our bathroom.  

Why would you make the hallway so narrow???  Did these people never carry a laundry basket?  My poor knuckles.  Or a sleeping toddler?  I mean, it's delicate work as it is without having to walk sideways so you don't bump their head on the wall!

Small garages.... wasn't everyone driving boats in 1960?  How did you get those doors open in such a small space?  I am very thankful for sliding van doors...    

Closets that jut out into bedrooms.... this bugs me.  It makes walking into the room feel really constricting or something.  Plus it effectively cuts the room size down by 2.5 feet.... at our house the actual floor space for beds and furniture is cut down to 10x10.  Try fitting anything bigger than a twin bed and a dresser in there without it feeling tight and crowded.... 

Oh, and sliding closet doors.  Seriously, who thought that was a good idea?  Apparently they've never shared a closet and tried to get dressed at the same time as someone else... every Sunday morning we have closet door wars. 

Garage doors that open directly onto the basement stairway landing..... did theses people never have small children???  The girls try so hard to open that door... their momentum could easily carry them down the stairs when it does pop open.  And if you are coming in from the garage and there's a kid behind the door you can't see, how easy would it be to accidently push them down the stairs!  I live in fear.  (Not really)  It's also just really awkward.  Is it a landing?  Is it an entryway?  Where do you put your muddy boots?  What were they thinking???  (I'm all in favor of the resurrection of the mud room!)

Why didn't they run their plans past their wives/mothers before they signed off on them?  To quote Emmy, "why-eee??"


It brings back memories of a friend who was considering studying Architecture while we were at ICC.  He would come up with these fabulous home plans with indoor gyms, and courtyards, and 6 car garages.... and I would be like, "you're really going to schlep your groceries all the way across the house to the kitchen?"  Ha.  I'm such a killjoy. 


Monday, May 09, 2016

May Day! May Day!

Sorry.  It still makes me laugh.
I got the painting done!  It took a few late nights, but the trim is up, the new baseboard is on, and it's all been painted.... why I seem to think it's a good idea to do trim work in the 3rd trimester (especially in a small bathroom) is beyond me... but it's done and it doesn't look too bad, if you don't look closely.  I'm waiting on a frame for a very odd sized print I got for Christmas to hang over the hooks.  I really never put anything on the walls in here so it will be the first time it's been 'decorated' since we've moved in. 
We spent May day in Washington because we haven't been there on a regular Sunday in a very long time.  Cecily went right to Sunday school with Aunt Shelly without a backward glance.  She was excited to go in 'Summer's class.'  Emmy did great all morning, and we apparently psyched some people out because Mom and Lena and I were all sitting in a row and then Shelly only had a few students so her co-teacher taught and she joined us... Jake wasn't even there that Sunday.  hehe.

Little Emmy loves birds... so I made her a bird cage cake.  I found instructions online, but I was not paying attention to size and amounts because we ended up with a ridiculous amount of cake.  I used three whole cake mixes.  Eeesh.  We have so much cake.  And then I barely had enough fondant and frosting to cover it.  Fondant is not my friend anyway; I couldn't figure out how to get it to cover the whole thing nicely so it sagged and there are holes that are strategically covered by birds and piping.  At least it looked cute from a distance!   
O well, I won't be quitting my day job to open a bakery.  Emmy loved it, so that's all that matters!  "Cake!  Birdy! Happy To-day Emmy!"   My literal Cecily was very concerned that there were no cross bars to keep the birds in, ha!
 She was excited.  And somehow she's 2 years old!  We had chicken nuggets and "mac-ee-cheese" for supper, and of course cake.
 Then she got to open "pez-ants."  With a backpack on.  Because she's two.
 "NO Sheshadee!  Mine! Pez-ants!" 
 She got a bird book. 
 And a bike!  "Red Bike!  Emmy's Bike!"
 The next day she had a doctor appointment, refused to take a nap, "morning!," and we watched Dale and Meg's three girls for the evening.  So we had five little girls for supper... we made them eat cake.  They played outside for a long time, which was good for my ears... lots of girls can be so loud and shrill.  Ha. 
Saturday evening we went to the farm for Emmy's birthday party.  In her pig tails.  She likes to skip down the hallway. 
I forgot to get a picture, but grandma made her a bunny cake.  "Bunny wabbit!"  There was some difficulty in cutting it... "I"m butchering this rabbit!"  "Well, you started on the wrong end..." 
Then a few more "pez-ants."  Binoculars. 
 "Elsha! Chap-ick!"  Her very own frozen chapstick... woohoo...
 "Mine. Purse.  Shopping."
We spent Mother's Day evening with the Beutels.  The kids played at the grade school after supper.  Cecily was off playing kick ball, Emmy was sliding.   
And then the bigger kids were all marching off in a line to go back to Roger and JoAnn's and Emmy took off after them, tripped on a storm drain, and hit her forehead.  *sigh*  It puffed out immediately, thankfully.  Poor little girl.  I was going to take her to get pictures this week...  
Decorating the cake did a number on my wrists... I get mild carpal tunnel when I'm pregnant, probably because of all the pipetting I used to do... I had a couple of really rough nights- waking up several times with both arms sounds asleep, tingling, and aching.  So I got a wrist brace!  And my hands didn't go numb all night!  Instead I woke up with leg cramps!  Woot!  Ugh.  So yeah, besides the carpal tunnel, leg cramps, horrifying nightmares (yay Crime and Punishment!), random back pain on one side that is probably not a kidney infection, I'm feeling great.  Bleah.  And that is how I feel about that.