Monday, May 26, 2008

Uncle Alligator

After being in Drew and Melissa's wedding this weekend, Uncle Alligator got to stop by! He, dad, and mom drove a few extra miles to see us on their way home from Pennsylvania. Big J has only seen Uncle Alligator four times before this. Big J loved having people to show off for, but a small cold kept him a little crankier than usual. They got here in time for supper on Sunday and spent most of the day on Monday. Everyone enjoyed working in my flowerbeds, playing with sidewalk chalk, bubbles, balls, and helping Big J use the swingset. Well, I think they enjoyed it! We also ate too much food and had fun sitting around talking.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Funny Faces

I know I already blogged today, but that was about last weekend. I had to show the new faces Big J is making. The kids showed Big J how to make a goofy face with his fingers in his mouth, and it is so cute. The other face he's started making is this very...interesting...glare. He uses it when he really wants to emphasize what he is saying. In this picture he's saying "co" "it co" referring to his ice cream sandwich. We gave him 1/2 an ice cream sandwich for dessert tonight and he was very excited to get the "tookie". However he was a little shocked that it was cold! He would take a bite, and then announce the temperature, over and over until it was gone. (Didn't deter him from eating it you notice) We also get this look when he says "nooooo" and when he makes this throaty noise that means "yuck" as he throws away his diapers or I change E. I put the other picture in not because he's making a funny face, but I thought it was cute.

Virginia Beach

Last weekend (May 18-21) we got to go to Virginia Beach for #1's softball tournament. We had been looking forward to and saving for it for so long I can't believe it is all over :o(
We had super great weather, and a nice time as a family.
We left the house at 3:30am Friday. I had been up since 11:30pm because Baby J just wasn't letting me sleep, so we were all pretty tired. We flew first to WA DC, and then to Richmond, VA. After getting our car and luggage we started driving to the beach. Our original plan had been to go to an aquarium because it was supposed to be a rainy day. It was pretty yucky as we landed and started to drive, but the closer we got the nicer it got. We saw signs for Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown. We decided to stop at the visitor's center for a bathroom break and see what there was around there. By the time we pulled in and parked the sun was coming out and it was getting a little muggy so we all decided to put on shorts and look around. It turned out to be a really great time! We took the "free" tour of Colonial Williamsburg, which means we didn't pay $37 a person to see in all of the buildings. Instead we walked around the streets, through the gardens, and visited the farm animals. Big J got the biggest kick out of the horse drawn carriages, sticks, and mud puddles. He got to run around (tried to join a few school groups) and get the wiggles out after a long day of travel. When Big J started to get tired, we continued to drive to VA Beach. After a nap for everyone we went to the beach (no pictures of that because they were taken on a camera with FILM, can you imagine?), and then to the welcome party for the softball teams.
Saturday morning we were up early for a 8:30 game. We grabbed some breakfast and headed to the field. Big J watched some of the games, (they played 4) but mostly he had apple slices for snacks and found rocks. I think his favorite thing was hot dog for lunch. By the time we left that day, Big J was filthy but I think he had fun. #1's team lost their first 3 games which were kinda like practice, not counted in the tournament. Their last game of the day they won, which was good because it was the start of the actual tournament, with double elimination. After showers for all, we went to dinner at a seafood buffet.
Sunday morning we didn't have a game until 10:00am, but of course Big J thought we should all be up at 6:30! The sunrise from the beach coming in his window didn't help much. After we packed up we went to a 7-11 and grabbed some donuts and juice for the beach. We have some great pictures of James playing on the beach on flickr. He found some cool seaweed and I found some shells, but in the end, Big J wanted to keep two rocks. That was his highlight of the beach, two rocks. We had absolutly beautiful weather. #1 played really well on Sunday and had some good hits. They played 5 more games and finished 3rd place in the lower tournament. Big J felt pretty comfortable around the fields at that point and proceeded to mooch food (rice krispie treat, strawberries, bottles of water) from other teams and our own team, anyone who had a cooler. I was keeping book, and everyone assured me he was more than welcome. I was a tad embarassed, but he charmed everyone with his grin and stayed where I could see him. The team was driving back that night, and we had to get to Richmond, so we decided to eat together at a local Bennigan's. That was a huge mistake. When we arrived at 4:45 on a Sunday evening, there were no other guests except two men at the bar. After giving our orders, we sat and waited for almost an hour for our appetizers. They had a 3 for $9.99 deal-appetizer, dinner, and dessert, which most of us took advantage of. No one had had a drink refill by the time we got appetizers. I finally took my cup to the bar after waiting to see someone for almost 40 minutes! Our dessert came at 7:00 and it took over 20 minutes from giving the waiter our cash/credit cards to get back change/receipts. Now when I say we went in as a team, there were 16 of us, but that isn't too terrible, is it? When we finally left at almost 7:30 (most people were super mad, and the manager was less than sympathetic) there were two more patrons in the restaurant. Poor people, I hope they got to leave by 10:00pm! (#1 found a bag of marajuana in the bathroom, nice). That was just the beginning of our adventure that night. We got back into Richmond at 9:30 and checked into our hotel. I noticed when we got in the room that it sounded like water was running, but figured someone next door was showering. We decided that #1 would bring in all of our luggage in so we could be all packed up that night for our 7:30am flight and I would get Big J (who was absolutly FILTHY) a quick bath. As I went into the bathroom I noticed the shower had been left on low and was pointed out of the tub, so the floor was flooded. I asked #1 who was on a trip in to ask the front desk for a few extra towels. (He had to track down the font desk girl in the parking lot who was hanging out with her friends who were taking in a nip). I put the shower head back into the tub and ran a shallow amount of warm water for his quick bath. I put him in, and then tried to turn the tub wouldn't shut off. It just turned to cold and continued to run. I sent #1 back out to tell the great desk clerk and tried to quickly bathe James before the water turned icy. By the time the girl came in, Big J was shrieking because I was trying to rinse off the soap in a cold bath. She assured me she could fix the tub as the handle came off in her hand. She did get the water off, and I proceeded to put Big J to bed. It is now past 10:00pm. He finally calmed down and fell asleep. #1 went in to take his shower and it wouldn't turn back on. This time I went to go find answers. The best they could do for us was send in a handyman to "fix" the tub, which he didn't. At 11:00pm we finally gave up and rinsed off in the sink. They said maybe they could find another room for us, but Big J was finally asleep, and it would have been a smoking room-no thanks.
We were up at 5:00am to get to the airport. When we got to the ticket counter the lady informed us there were no flights to either WA DC or Dayton that morning. She looked at our computer print out and showed a rather embarassed #1 that the flight was at 7:30pm. I had to admit I cried right then and there. The thought of over 12 hours in the airport with a rather cranky Big J really kinda was hard to face. After we all collected our thoughts we went back to the rental car place and checked our car out again, went back to the lovely hotel and asked for our room back (thankfully the lady at the front desk didn't even remember we had checked out and simply handed our keys back to us) and slept until 9:30! Everyone felt better then. We got some brochures and decided to visit a local zoo. It turned out to be a great day. The zoo probably wasn't the best for the animals (wide open cages with little to no natural habitat) but it was excellent for Big J. All the animals were up close and he even got to feed some of them. It wasn't a huge zoo, but we had a great time. Big J's favorite part was the ducks...most of which look like the ones we see daily here in Xenia! After the zoo we grabbed some dinner by the airport and headed back once again. Big J was a real trooper and we made it back to Xenia about 12:30am Tuesday. The extra and unexpected day only cost $18 more than we had budgeted including the zoo, gas, and meals! That was a huge blessing. Overall it was a great trip!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I gave Big J his snack at the table today like I usually do. I was folding laundry and waiting for him to inform me he was done. I should have been suspicious when he didn't start yelling "Nenney, done" after about 5 minutes. Pretty soon I decided to go see what he was up to. He had gotten the top off of his sippy cup and dumped the water all over the table (wiped up before photo was taken). I asked him why he did it and he simply said "Duty" which means "dirty". He then showed me how he had wiped the water all over the table with his hands. I guess he's been watching me clean up after meals! I didn't think the table was especially dirty before his clean up job, but I guess we are very ready for dinner now.
I went to the doctor today and Baby J is growing well still. I've gained 10 lbs so far. He is head down and kicks pretty much all night, but not nearly as violently as Big J did. Maybe this will be my quiet introspective kid.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Receiving Stolen Property

Today James got a haircut in Cedarville. I had just filled out my graduate scholarship form and decided to drop it by the campus and save a stamp. It isn't a warm day today, but it is sunny and James and the girls had a good time running all over the grass and sidewalks. I decided since everyone was in a good mood and we were already there to see what books my course required and if maybe I could check them out of the library and save myself a hundred dollars or so. (Do you see a theme of thriftiness on my part?) The elevator at the library was a big hit, and I was glad the building was mostly empty as the three children I had in tow were not especially conscious of those studying. James had a great time running around the shelves, Erin practiced shelving and reshelving material, and Riley hurried to tell me every misdeed that was happening as I desperatly searched for the books I needed. We finally got out of there and I swear the librarians breathed a sigh of relief. At the public library the kids are usually really good, but this was a whole new place with quite a bit of room to explore. Anyway, back to the stolen property. I had parked right next to the back of the library so that we didn't have any parking lot to cross, even though it gave us a little bit of a walk to the front door. This gave the kids the opportunity to have some freedom and not have to hold hands, be in a stroller, etc. Riley and Erin went straight to the van, but James was lagging way behind us. I decided to keep an eye on his progress but to go ahead and get the girls in, it was getting really close to nap time. (Besides, Cedarville campus is one of the only public places I'm pretty comfortable letting my kids walk without holding hands). I could see James walking kinda funny with his arms crossed over his chest and took it as a sign he was getting tired and wasn't enjoying the trip quite as much as a few minutes earlier. As he got up to the van I could see he was carrying something. He had two large stones hidden in his shirt he was trying to carry. I took a picture of them next to my shoe to show you he didn't just pick up a couple of pebbles. These are nice sized landscaping rocks. Proudly he dumped them on the ground and said "ook! ocks!". I told him firmly that it wasn't nice to steal from the college. I looked around to see where we could return them, but they were from where we had first exited the library and the girls were already strapped in the van. I thought about putting them in the grass, but felt bad for the poor guy mowing, and if you hit them with your car in the parking lot, you'd know it. So I stuck them in the van and silently chastized myself for receiving stolen property. I will take them back in June when I start my class, I promise!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Subluxation of the Radial Head

Well Big J scared us today. We went to the grocery store and when I put him in the cart he started screaming bloody murder. Usually Big J LOVES the grocery store, there are so many people to talk to and things to point at and ask for. He cried and held his wrist through the entire store. We kept trying to look at his wrist to see what was wrong, but he wouldn't let us even touch it. We promised R that if she was a big helper through the store we could eat lunch at McDonald's (that and we had a small list this week, we knew we'd have a couple extra bucks). Big J wouldn't eat with both hands, which is very strange for the kid who normally uses two hands to shovel food in, and didn't want to play in the play area. #1 took the girls and I home for naps and Big J to Children's Hospital. I guess he screamed and cried the entire time the nurses tried to get his temperature/blood pressure/x-rays but as soon as the x-ray was done, he was fine. All smiles and running around like a mad man. #1 was pretty frustrated when I talked to him because it had been this huge ordeal and Big J had made a big scene and then was being Mr. Cute not 20 minutes later, not to mention the bill he was about to receive for the visit to the ER. When the Dr. came in, she explained that the x-rays showed Big J had had a dislocated elbow. When they rotated his arm for different views in the x-ray room, they popped it back in! As soon as it was back in, he felt just fine! #1 felt much better about having taken him to the ER since something really had been wrong. Evidentaly (spelling?) when we were walking across the parking lot to the grocery store, #1 was holding Big J's hand and he didn't want to hold daddy's hand. He tried to get away and threw himself down. Right after that is when he started to scream, so we think he probably did it then. Made #1 feel horrible, but the Dr. said it is really common in kids his age. They are being held, throw a tantrum, and pull their growing joints out of socket. Well, that is just great. Isn't this parenting thing fun?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Gas Price Solution

Today the gas prices went up...again! Well, I have the solution. I noticed as the kids "gassed up" their Little Tyke Coupes that for 12.5 gallons of gas, the price was $14! What a bargain. If we all switch over to small plastic cars we will be doing well! The weight limit in them is 50 lbs so we might also decrease obesity in America. Thank you toy industry for once again showing us the way. Actually, it makes me wonder what year that gas pump was originally bought. I got it for $1 at a garage sale.
I love that Big J likes the little cars. I remember when kids had the original yellow and red car growing up. I wanted one really bad. We got both of ours you see in the picture for free, which is really nice. #1 always wanted a PowerWheels. Those just don't come free from people, and I doubt I"ll find one for a decent price/condition at a garage sale. I think #1 is going to budget it in for Big J's third birthday. It kind of makes me laugh. There are all kinds of new toys out for kids and we like Big J to have the stuff we had, or wanted to have. Soon he'll be able to express his own opinion on what he'd like for birthday/Christmas and #1 and I will have to live new dreams :o).

Monday, May 5, 2008


Congratulations to our friends C. and C. on the birth of their little girl, C.. She was born in the middle of April, and I got to see her last week. When I went to see her, they gave me a bag of clothes from their son that they won't be using. Most of it was newborn stuff, but there was this bathrobe and Big J has claimed it as his...even though I think it is a bit small. Saturday Big J got to wear it after his bath..and then he wore it and wore it. No shirt, please! I've been sewing quite a bit lately for new babies being born, and Big J loves my button box. Daddy showed him that he can fit small buttons into his belly button. I wanted to post that picture on here, but I can't figure out how to flip the picture so it isn't on its side. Anyway, Big J calls his belly button his "bubby" and now he calls buttons "bubbies". It is pretty funny.

#1 starts 12 hour shifts tonight. We usually like that schedule as it gives him every other weekend off.

Friday, May 2, 2008


Sorry, no picture today. I took my "get the pictures developed" part of April's budget and used it to get Baby J's baby album instead. CM isn't going to sell it anymore and it was the one I my camera cards are full and waiting to be developed. I"ll probably break down and delete pictures here soon so I can take more.
I wish so much that Big J would start calling me "momma" again. Day in and day out he calls me "Nenney". I know it is because that's what the Draycare kids call me, but it would be nice. When he does slip and call me "momma" I get super excited and then he looks at me like "whoa lady, get a grip". Nenney also is a whine word. If something isn't going his way, he says it over and over insistantly. It has several meanings in his vocabulary I think.
Speaking of his vocabulary, we are working on a new word. Big J says about 30 words, and even occasionally belts out a sentence, but you can't teach him a new word. If you say "say ball" or whatever he just looks at you. He will sign on command, but never speak on command. So, the new word is "drink". About 20 times a day James stands at the fridge and pulls the handle. If you don't notice right away, he starts whining "nenney? nenney?". Then the whine turns into a cry and eventually if you don't open the fridge there are tears, tantrums, and a time-out. I used to let him get by with signing "please" when he wanted in the fridge, but I wanted him to start telling me what he wanted (a drink, or just to gaze into the contents and then perhaps to stick a toy in when I'm not watching). Getting a drink is the only reason he needs to be in the fridge anyway, right? So I say "say drink". He stares at me, then the fridge. I say "say drink" and he pulls the handle "nenney?". I say "If you want a drink, I"ll open the fridge, but you have to say 'drink'." He stares at me blankly and then starts to furiously sign "please" and then if he is super motivated he signs "thank-you" also. Finally I gave up on him saying anything and taught him the sign for drink. Now I just have to get through to him that when we sign drink it means we are going to grab the cup of water pronto, and shut the door before all the cold air takes the chance to escape. I think he thinks he is the official fridge inspector. I've also learned, and don't call children's services please, that if he it taking a little too long, you can give the fridge door a little push and it closes not as nicely and is a bit he is getting better about how much time he is standing there. When left to its own devices, the door closes kinda gentle like and he doesn't seem to notice it has almost closed him in.
Softball season officially starts tomorrow morning at 8:00am. #1 has his first tournament somewhere on the other side of Columbus. Of course it is supposed to rain, so it will be a great day! Monday nights he will play Men's League, Thursday nights he will play Church League, and then 1-2 weekends a month we will travel and do tournaments with Police League. There have been rumors he is moving from first base to second. Not sure he cares one way or another, but that's the most interesting tidbit I have to share. Another significant other (not sure what to call some of the women that support the players...some are wives, but some aren't) and I are the book girls, so I'm not sure yet what I will be doing with Big J. I know sitting in the stroller won't go over too well, so I think we'll pack snacks and toys and hope he doesn't try to help the guys play. He seems to think he is part of the team at practice...he loves to watch, cheer, and pick up bats. I've already decided tomorrow's snack will be cucumber. I'm trying to get him to like those since I do, and they are very healthy. There isn't much he doesn't like, but whenever cucumber hits his plate he puts up a bit of a stink. Perhaps if they are the "treat" at softball and there aren't other options he'll quit turning his nose up at them.
That's all the news from us.