Thursday, October 30, 2008

80s Day

Today was 80s day (part of Red Ribbon/Drug Awareness week, of course). I found these dresses at WalMart and thought they were great - a bit psychedelic for the 80s, perhaps, but fun and really cute with leg warmers! During PE the kindergartners danced to Ghostbusters - very cute. S&A were super-excited about the day.

I also went on a fieldtrip to Aldridge Gardens today with Sarah. By now I could give the tour! The kids were wild - it was chilly so they were revved up, plus they were already excited about the 80s dance. Still, we had fun and it was a beautiful day. Oh - and Mrs. Keeney's scarecrow won "cutest scarecrow," so she gets $100 for her classroom!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pick Your Battles with School, Too

Sometimes I wish I felt called to homeschool the girls. After just two months of public schools, I already have two big gripes with things they're being exposed to, and I know it's only going to get worse. But I'm not a homeschooler. I would hate it. They would hate it. It wouldn't be fun for any of us. So then I think about private school, and I like that idea, but hate the cost, especially since I think our city has such an excellent school system. My gripes have nothing to do with the curriculum, and certainly nothing to do with the teachers. In fact I'm thrilled with what they're learning in class, and I trust their teachers completely. No, my concerns are from some of the "extras".
First...A couple of weeks ago I became frustrated and disappointed about the number of videos they watch at school. For weeks, they only thing they did at the library was watch Franklin or Arthur. What a ridiculous waste of time! The real kicker was the week that Abby watched 3 movies and Sarah watched 4 - including 1 in music and 1 in PE! PE - of all places!! I tried to address it with the administration but really didn't get anywhere, and I finally decided that I had to let it go or risk getting labeled a "difficult parent" very early in our 6-year elementary school stint. I mentioned yesterday, it's drug awareness week. I think 5-year-olds are too young to be taught about drugs. Why in the world do they need to know about this now? But, I don't really have a problem with the school guidance counselor talking about drugs in an age-appropriate manner. I think our guidance counselor is great, and I trust her to keep the content appropriate for their maturity level. Just today, Sarah went to guidance and learned "Don't eat drugs." She told me that medicines are drugs and you should only take medicine if a doctor, nurse, or your mom or dad gives it to you. Never take it from a friend or stranger. Great, I have no problem with that. But she also went to an assembly today. I happened to be up there helping Abby's teacher, so I sat in the back and watched. It was a performance by a group of teenagers from the high school. They introduced themselves and said why they were drug, alcohol and tobacco- freee, and then they did a little skit. In the skit, they held up signs, but since most kindergartners can't read, that wasn't very helpful for them! After the skit, they talked about each sign, but I think most kids only heard the "no no no" part. Then they performed a rap song. This is when I started squirming. One boy talked about LSD and said you could die. This is definitely not age-appropriate material, and I found myself glad I had kindergartners who probably didn't understand any of it, rather than 2nd or 3rd graders who might get just enough to worry me. And it turns out that Abby heard more than I thought; in the bathtub Sarah was singing the little "ditty" they learned ("we are x school, and we are proud, to be drug-free in the community"), and Abby said "yeah, if we do drugs we'll die." I really didn't like that, since Sarah thinks that candy is a drug!!
So here I am once again. Faced with a real conflict between wanting to protect my children and not wanting to be a difficult parent. I know have to pick my battles, I just wish I didn't keep getting thrown new ones so frequently! If any of you more experienced parents have any words of wisdom, I'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dog Heaven / Drug Awareness

Abby checked out "Dog Heaven" by Cynthia Rylant at the library this week. Tonight we sat down to read it, and she got such a big case of the giggles. "This is so confusing!" she kept saying, and I had to agree. In dog heaven, the doggies were running around in fields, playing with children, and being watched and loved by angels and God. Her questions were, "If they're dead, how are they running?" "If the children aren't angels, why are they in heaven?" "Is that little boy God?" "Why is God wearing a hat?" It really was a strange book. I suppose it was written for kids whose dogs died, to help them deal with it, but I found it to be really odd.

This is Drug Awareness week at school. I just don't understand why they feel the need to teach kindergartners "Don't Do Drugs." I can't even explain what drugs are to my kids - it's totally out of their world right now (thank goodness). Sarah came home with a Drug Awareness bracelet, and then asked me what drugs are. I tried to explain that drugs are things that are really bad for your body, but I went around and around in circles, and finally had to let it drop. Later Sarah asked if she could have a piece of candy, and I said she could have just one, and then she said, "Oh no, I forgot I have to say no to drugs." I said "Sarah, candy isn't a drug," and she said "but it's bad for you, and I thought drugs were things that were bad for your body."

And finally, a picture taken at dinner time. Fairy Abby was checking out the cookies. She keeps the magic alive around here...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sick AGAIN!!!

Abby has pinkeye. I picked the girls up at the bus stop to take them to dance, and I didn't notice anything wrong with her, but in the car Sarah said Abby had something yellow on her face near her eye, and then Abby was almost asleep by the time we got to dance class so I knew she didn't feel good. Sure enough her eye was all goopy (is that a word?), and one of the mommies at dance is a nurse so she confirmed my suspicions. She'll have to miss school tomorrow. I just hope Sarah doesn't get it too! I don't understand why they're getting so sick - until this year they had rarely missed a day of school, but now it seems like they're getting all kinds of sicknesses and missing lots of school. I've already decided that they need the flu shot (or flu mist, probably), even though they haven't had one since they were infants. I just don't want to take that chance this year.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Great Neighbors

Today was our neighborhood's Halloween party. The girls didn't want to wear their costumes again, so we dug through the dress-up closet. Abby went as a cheerleader (last year's costume) and Sarah created a flower costume. Actually, Abby wanted to be an Alabama cheerleader, and I lied to her convinced her that USA stood for Alabama. Luckily no one said otherwise at the party! We had a great time and the girls got a ton of candy from Trunk or Treat.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Old Friends, Renewed Spirits

Tonight we had Chinese take-out for dinner. My fortune cookie said "You will have a surprise visit from an old friend." Well, as a matter of fact I did! On Thursday, my friend Susan came to visit me (and brought her adorable dog Lucy). She lives in NYC, but she'd been in Michigan for a couple of weeks, and then had gone down to Florida, and decided to drive through Birmingham before heading home. I haven't seen her in almost 5 years, and I hadn't really talked to her all that much in the past few years, but it felt like we were still in Hermosa Beach, just hanging out. I didn't get to spend much time with her Thursday because we had Open House at the girls' school (big fun), but Friday we had a blast. First I took her to a chicken farm to return the chicks from Sarah's class - boy do I know how to show a city girl a good time! We had a leisurely lunch at CPK and then went shopping. I hate to shop - I won't buy anthing unless it's on sale, and I hate to try things on, and it just feels like a chore to me. But we really had fun, shopping without an agenda and just catching up. That afternoon her friend Fred flew in, and I hadn't seen him in probably 10 years (other than a few hours at my wedding!!). I love him and was so thrilled that he felt comfortable enough to come stay with us. Friday night was awesome, because the girls had "Fall Ball" at school at 5:30 (dressed in their Halloween costumes - a unicorn pegasus and a cheetah), so we dropped them off and went out to eat. A two hour meal, a bottle of wine, great company and fascinating stories from two very well-traveled friends, and I felt renewed. And to top off a perfect evening, we played a few rounds of Speed Scrabble. Now how can you beat that?

Today, we girls took the dogs to a little art show and then to a great train park in the woods, while the boys played golf. When S&F (&L) left this afternoon, I was very sad to see them go, but happy that I'd emerged from my funk. The girls really enjoyed having them visit, and we've all made tentative plans for a trip to NYC next June.

Friday Flashback (Finally)

I'll try to post about our weekend later - I had an old friend in town and she really did wonders to lift my spirits. But first I wanted to continue the Friday Flashback theme. Here are the cowgirls of Halloween '06, and some bumpy pumpkin carving at James & Sabrina's house.

For some reason, I only have a few pics from 2006 on my computer. I can't figure it out - I have a bunch of 2005, and zillions of 2007, but I'm missing a whole year. I think they're probably somewhere on my hard drive but they must have gotten put in an odd location when I changed computers. Oh well. No slide show tonight.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Abby's Aldridge Gardens Field Trip

First, for my devoted readers (all 5 of you!) who have been wondering why I haven't been posting much, let me apologize. I'm having a cruddy week, and I just haven't felt like posting. Don't ask me what's wrong; it's really a whole bunch of little things that have come together and put me in a funk. But it will pass. And yesterday's field trip with Abby helped a bit.

We went to Aldridge Gardens - Sarah's class goes next week, and I'll get to spend some one-on-one time with Sarah then. But yesterday was all about Abby. I even rode the bus with her. It was a gorgeous day to be outside, and our tour guide was really great. We learned about the trees: deciduous trees and coniferous trees; broad-leaf and needle-leaf; evergreen; and even a "butterfly tree." I really learned a lot, and so did Abby. They even had some fun games for the kids to play throughout the tour. We ended the morning with a really nice picnic under the shade trees. Here's a slide show-

Monday, October 20, 2008


We went home to Mobile this weekend to surprise Emily for her 9th birthday. It was a quick trip, but we had a great time. We got there around 6:15 and went to Mimi's house for dessert...Emily was SHOCKED to see us, and the three girls had such a great time together all weekend. They played and danced and shopped and got manicures and had two slumber parties. Whew - they really packed it into a short amount of time! Here's a cute pic -

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Flashbacks

Staying with the Halloween theme-

Here's Halloween in 2005. Such beautiful fairies. I really loved these costumes, and so did they. In fact, we still have the wings and the skirts! This year there were no tears, because they really understood the concept of going door-to-door and getting candy. As you can see, though, Abby couldn't wait to take the paper off before eating the candy!

I found too many cute pics when I was looking for Halloween pics. So, I had to create a slide show. Here's a little walk down memory lane. I left the captions in because some of them have dates.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Someday she'll do great things...

I think Abby is destined for greatness, because she has more hours in a day to accomplish things than most people do! I woke up at 4:45am to a noise in the house, and Bailey growling. Not good, especially since Perry is out of town, and has been all week...
I decide that either 1) someone has broken in and is in the basement, 2) Ellie is doing something and making noise, or 3) Abby is up. I calm myself down and realize that #1 is unlikely, #2 isn't possible because Ellie is outside, so it must be #3. I very slowly tiptoed upstairs so she wouldn't hear me coming, and I opened Abby's door...she was sitting in her bed, surrounded by about 20 stuffed animals and even more books. No telling how long she'd been up.
I made her lay back down but she didn't go back to sleep. Neither did I - it's been a long day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Sarah's teacher loves science, and today she had a "guest scientist" (the principal) come do the Diet Coke/Mentos experiment for a few classes. It was a good explosion, and when he was done the kids chanted "drink it, drink it, drink it," and he replied "no way, no way, no way."

This was sweet Sarah's prayer tonight:
"Dear God, please help Dr. R to be a wonderful principal, and thank you for letting him come do a science experiment with us today. Amen"

Monday, October 13, 2008

The View (DDM)

This picture was taken by Perry today - it's the view from his hotel room, on the beach in Santa Monica. I'm jealous. Very, very jealous. My only consolation is that we'll all be out there next month.
Perry adding a post here....By the way, I added the subtitle DDM which is an acronym for Dumb Daddy Move. I'm famous, as are most Daddys, for those.

You would think that after six years of traveling to nice hotels in beautiful locales for work meetings that I would know better than to send home a picture like this one. I recall one trip in particular when I was in Scottsdale, AZ and the girls were 6 months old, and I phoned home to talk to J. One of my grizzled veteran colleagues heard my end of the conversation which was a reply to J's question asking me what I was doing..."just sitting by the pool, having a burger and a Corona. It's beautiful here." He pulled me aside afterward and and told me I had a lot to learn so he gave me some standard answers: "Food's not too good; it's overcast, I haven't seen the sun in two days; Nothing but boring meetings, training, work, work. " I guess I still haven't learned.

Bloggable Moments

This post will be all over the place, because I just uploaded the pics from my camera and found a lot of great photos that I want to post.

First are a couple of pictures of Abby in a box. She was playing upstairs last week, and she came down and asked for a pair of scissors. I gave her a pair, and a few minutes later she came back and said the scissors weren't sharp enough; she needed a knife. At that point I had to ask what she was doing. She said she was trying to cut holes in a box. She brought the box to me and told me what she was doing and where she needed the holes. I wielded the knife (which is almost as scary as Abby doing it, because I don't have a great track record with sharp objects) and made the cuts for her. This is her creation. Entirely her idea.

Next is a pic of Sarah eating lunch last Thursday. This was the second day she was home sick from school, and the first time she'd eaten since Tuesday night. As you can tell, she was getting quite comfortable and enjoying her time home with mom.

This pic of Abby is probably going to be one of my all-time favorites. It is SOOOO Abby! A flowing pink dance costume, brown Skechers tennis shoes, band-aids and bruises all over, running fast. All girl, but so tough.

This is a pic of Abby at naptime yesterday. I went to wake her up so we could go to Daisies, and found her under a parachute fort with books all around. I'm guessing she didn't get much sleep.

And finally, a pic from our first Daisy meeting. The girls planted a garden and learned about working together. It's an awesome group of little girls and we had a great time.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Hole in Her Head

Perry and I have been laughing all day about my Flashback. Debbie says the fact that I still have that document PROVES that I'm still OCD. She might be right, especially since I've changed computers since then. She also said that the one thing I didn't tell her, the one piece of information that might have been really helpful, was that you weren't supposed to get the girls out of their bath seats until all the water was out of the tub. Abby's hysterical screams evidently confounded them all, until Emily said "You're supposed to leave them in the tub until all the water drains out." Oh.
One of my favorite parts is "Dangers - Not Childproofed", and the first item is the nightlight in their room. Huh? Watch out for those dangerous nightlights!

Anyway, on to my day. I sent Sarah to school. She did have a few coughing fits last night, but she needed to go back. She was clingy, and she was really milking the whole "sick" thing. So it was time. I dropped them off and went off to run all the errands that I hadn't been able to run all week. At 11am my phone rang and I recognized the school number. Drat - Sarah must still be sick. It was the school nurse, but she was calling about Abby, not Sarah. Abby fell on the playground and hit her head. The nurse tried to describe the injury, and I literally started laughing. I just couldn't picture what she was telling me. "She has a hole in her forehead. It's not very big, but it's bleeding, and it's not just a cut, it really is a hole, and I just thought you'd want to know." It cracked me up - she was very calm so I knew it wasn't a crisis, but I knew I needed to see it myself. And she was right - it was a hole. Not a big one, but it's just above her eyebrow so I decided to take her to the doctor. He glued it closed, no problem.
Maybe next week I'll be able to get those errands done.

Friday Flashback

I am loving my blog. Visitor stats? Daily hits? Don't know, don't care. I'm just so excited about the memories I'm preserving. I remember so little from my childhood, and I have very few pictures (despite the fact that my dad was EVP at a local photo business!). Sarah and Abby will probably criticize me for the VOLUME of pictures I've taken in their lives, but I hope they will thank me for recording the events, both big and small. My only regret is that I didn't start sooner. Which is why I'm starting Friday Flashback. I'm going to go back and post about some of the things that happened BB (Before Blog).
These posts will not be in chronological order. I'll just post a memory as I think about it. Starting today, with some Halloween pictures that I adore. They were 16 months old, and Perry and I had gone to Hawaii for a week in September, so I bought these grass skirts and coconut tops. Abby screamed most of the night, and Sarah's belly was quite prominent at that age. Priceless pics. And don't worry - once the costumes came off, they started opening candy and quickly realized that Halloween is a very cool holiday.

And, as long as I'm going to tell you that I left my girls for a week (me, the woman who has trouble leaving them for an hour, much less a week), let me entertain you with the document that I left my poor mom and sisters so that they would be able to take care of my girls. Yes, I am a freak. But this document, this three-page Word document complete with bullet points, well, it's a classic. Welcome to my dark side.

A Day in the Life of Sarah and Abby
Ramblings of an O.C. Mom

Lately, Abby has been waking up around 5am. I don’t know why, and (more importantly) I don’t know what to do about it. I’ve tried going in and laying her back down (she screams louder), rocking her (no way), dancing with her (nope), laying her down in bed with me (ha ha), letting her cry it out (30 minutes is my record so far)…nothing has worked. Usually I let her cry until it’s close to 5:30, then I get her up and bring her back to bed with me or sit with her on the couch, giving her “quiet toys” to keep her relatively calm until it’s close to 6am. Then I change her (which makes her cry and wakes up Sarah, if Sarah wasn’t already awake) and start the day.
6am Milk, Cheerios
Alarm: xxxx Off. Abby usually wakes first. If you’re lucky, she’ll wake up happy and just talk for awhile, which gives you a few minutes to get some things done before you go in there. I try not to get up before 6am, unless one of them is really crying, then I give up. But I can typically put them off until at least 6am. I go in, change one and then the other, leaving one in the crib with some stuffed animals. They might cry, but what can you do?! Then I take one at a time into the kitchen and put them in their high chairs with milk cups and some Cheerios. I go get the papers, then try to read and have a cup of coffee while keeping them occupied with milk and Cheerios. When they get fussy, I make sure all the gates are up in the kitchen and all the locks are on the cabinets, then I get them down and put the cups back in the fridge. Then I have my cereal. About 45 minutes to an hour after they got up, I start making their breakfast:
7am Cereal
I make two bowls, about ¼ cup of oatmeal cereal in each mixed with milk, to about an oatmeal consistency. Then I add about a tablespoon of applesauce and a teaspoon of wheat germ. Lately I’ve also been adding about ½ teaspoon of karo syrup to help with constipation. Cook together for 30 seconds, then mix in 1ml of vitamins in each, and put ½ container of fruit baby food (usu. Prunes w/ apples) in each. I feed S&A together, out of 1 bowl and then out of the other. They like it when I sing – it doesn’t matter what, although they love “The Lord said to Noah, there’s gonna be a floody floody” with the gestures.
Play time
After a quick clean up/wipe down, I move to the play room (I don’t care where you play, obviously, but this is easiest for me). I gate off the bathroom and the hall and shut their bedroom door. They usually play pretty well on their own and I can finish reading the paper, have another cup of coffee, etc., as long as I’m in the room with them. They’ll let me know when they’re tired and ready for a nap, usually around 8:30. You definitely don’t want to put them down before 8. On MDO days, I put them down around 8.
8:30 nap
When I see the signs, I just say “are your ready for night night? Do you want to take a nap?”, and they’ll usually go to their bedroom door. I open that door and let them go in while I go get their pacis. I let them wander and explore their room for a few minutes and then put on their CD and put them in their beds. They usually go right to sleep. If they cry for more than a minute or two, they might be dirty (usually Abby) or crying for a paci (Sarah).
10am Yogurt
They’ll get up between 9:30 and 10. I try to make it till 10 if possible. While they sleep, I shower, get dressed, empty the dishwasher, etc. When they get up, I take them into the kitchen for yogurt. They split 1 container. I offer them juice, then take them back to the playroom to change them and get them dressed. Then we usually have an outing. Target, Hobby Lobby, Home Depot, WalMart, Winn Dixie, the mall (if I’m feeling ambitious), Big Mama’s (Thursdays when Mimi is there in the a.m.). I take their juice with me, and also some crackers or Cheerios. I usually push the stroller and pull a cart, but sometimes I’ll be brave and put them both in a cart.

Noon lunch
Lunch is usually a sandwich (mayo, a little Dijon, swiss cheese, and sandwich meat cut in bite-size pieces), tomato pieces, fruit from a jar, and milk. For a real treat, they love fast food cheeseburgers (who doesn’t?!).
1:30 nap
After lunch, more play. This is pretty interactive time usually – I play ball with them, or read, or just play with their toys. I try to make it at least 3 ½ hours since they woke up, aiming for 1:30 naptime. Again, I just ask (encourage) a nap, and they usually head for the door.
3:00 juice, snack
Many times they’ll wake up WAYYYY too early after this nap, like 2:30. Bummer! Sometimes I’ll just hang out in their room with them, maybe switch their stereo to radio and dance with them. If we’re not going anywhere, I’ll take them in the kitchen and offer them a snack and juice (Ritz, cheerios, Nutragrain, cookies, whatever). Then we play and pray that Mimi and Pop get there soon! If I know that Mimi is at Big Mama’s, I’ll try to get there around 3:30 and leave around 4:15. Take juice and crackers with you to entertain.
5:00 dinner
They eat whatever. Just cut into small pieces, and give them a small fork. Give them fruit too (from jar). If it’s nice outside, go for a walk or play outside for a little while.
6:45 milk
They won’t drink much usually, but I always offer it.
7:00 bath
Start the bath water. Careful, our water is REALLY hot. I fill the tub pretty high, almost to the ring on their seats. While it’s filling, close that door to keep them out, and go get 3 pacis each and put in their beds. Get their PJs out of the 3rd drawer. I bathe and wash hair every night. …I just kneel on the floor and wash one and then the other. Their toothbrushes are in the tub; if you hand them a brush and tell them “Brusha brusha brusha (to the tune of “Ring around the rosies”), they’ll brush their teeth (yes, I KNOW that I’m a freak!). I give 1 baby to Mimi to dry and dress on the changing table, and I get on the floor with the other. Lotion on both; if Sarah’s ankles look bad, use a little Elidel. (just a tiny bit, smaller than the tip of an eraser). Comb hair.
7:30 bed
We read Goodnight Moon in the dark (memorized!) sitting on the daybed (many times they’ll start crying as soon as we sit down, so we skip the book and just put them to bed), then carry them to their beds, lay them down, put a paci in the mouth (and Sarah will put one in each hand) and a rag over the face, raise the rail (make sure you raise it and pull out on the bottom), and leave. Very very rarely this fails – maybe 1 in 100. If they cry, you can check and reassure, but I wouldn’t get them out of the bed unless you think you have to.
Bedtime! Yea!
I get things cleaned up and run the dishwasher. Run the dishwasher every night or you won’t have enough cups. They might cry during the night, but it’s usually short. I have a five-minute rule, and rarely do they cry more than 2-3. Honestly, if I ignore them, it usually ends quickly, but if I go in there, it can last 2 hours. So I don’t go in unless it seems like something is really wrong (very rare).
Secret Weapons
· Baby Einstein
· Barney (10am), Teletubbies (11am) on channel 2
· Go somewhere. Anywhere.
· Build a tower out of something – they think that’s great.
· There are 2 good toys in the closet in the playroom that I’ve been hiding until they’re needed – the LeapFrog table and the piano. I think they’ll be excited to see those again.
Dangers not child-proofed:
· Nightlight in their room
· Chest of drawers in their room. I’m afraid they’ll pull it over, or pull a drawer all the way out.
· Very hot water
· Corner shelf in foyer
· Silver tray in dining room
· Rails on their cribs. You have to be sure that the bottom pulls out when you pull it up, so it locks.
· Their seats in the van: if for some reason you tilt it forward (maybe to let someone in the back seat), MAKE SURE that the van seat locks back in place. I’m speaking from experience, and it’s very scary: if that seat doesn’t lock into place, it will fly forward the first time you hit the brakes, slamming a baby into the front seat. Yikes.
Misc ramblings
· They’re both still struggling a little with constipation. If either of them has a “slow” day, without a good movement, I give prunes or prunes with apples as the fruit with the morning cereal. I also feed them straight baby food prunes with the afternoon snack if I think they need it. The Karo syrup seems to be doing the trick.
· Sarah’s pacis are white with yellow rings. Abby is everything else. You have to boil them or wash in dishwasher after each use.
· Pacis in the pot. They only get their pacis in bed. Sarah likes to collect them in the morning – often she’ll have 5-6 in her hands. When you carry them to the kitchen, tell them “put your pacis in the pot” while you stand by the pot on the stove. Usually they’ll just drop them in. Sometimes you have to do it for them.
· If you want to set the house alarm, it’s xxxx Stay (or Away if you’re leaving), and then xxxx Off to disarm.
· Dr. Cxxxxx– Children’s Medical Group – 639-xxxx. Our insurance covers all the Mobile hospitals except Providence Hospital (which unfortunately is the closest). Obviously if time is critical, take them to Providence, but if it’s not urgent, go to any of the others.
· They both have colds. They can have PediaCare and/or Tylenol. Abby can have up to 1.6 every 4 hours, and Sarah can have 1.2.
Tuesday and Friday - Mom’s Day Out
This is your call – you can take them or not, whatever you’re comfortable with. If you do take them, don’t leave them too long – plan on no more than 2 hours. MDO starts at 9am, but I just take them whenever they wake up. We usually get there about 10. I put them down for that morning nap a little earlier, say 8 or 8:15, and when they wake up, I take their juice and their clothes into their room and change them in the crib (both in the same crib) while they drink. I take the juice in the car with me, but not into school. Don’t dress them in identical outfits on Tuesdays; their teachers can’t tell them apart! Building A, Room 105
Wednesday – Storytime
I signed them up for Storytime at the library. It’s 10am on Wednesdays, and we haven’t been yet (last week was the first week). If you want to go, it’s in the room off the children’s room on the first floor of the West Mobile Library on Grelot. I think it sounds like fun.

Oh boy. Will you believe me if I tell you that I'm no longer OCD? I promise, I'm really not.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Health update

Just a quickie, in case you're wondering about our sicknesses. Sarah hasn't had a fever all day. She ate a good lunch and took a very long nap, but her cough came back this afternoon and she's just sort of puny. I left for 20 minutes to take dinner to Debbie's family (they're remodeling their kitchen - how exciting!), and when I got back she was crying for me. She's definitely not herself yet. I'm still not sure if she'll go to school tomorrow. Her teacher told me that once of the kindergarten classes was missing 1/2 of its students today due to the stomach virus!
Perry feels puny too but so far his symptoms aren't too bad. Which is good, because I haven't been very nurturing today!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Poor Sarah is sick again this week. Fever and sore throat. I took her in for a swab, because there have been 4 cases of strep on our street in the past week, plus one case of pneumonia. Once again, it's viral. This afternoon she developed a barking cough, so I asked the doctor to call in some cough medicine to help me her sleep. Having a sick child home from school is exhausting, and I'm sure she'll be home again tomorrow. To top it off, Perry just told me that he has chills and thinks his throat is sore. Great. Just great.
Ooh - I just read that and realized how bitter and unsympathetic I sound! I don't mean to sound that way, really I don't. I'm sorry. I'll work on it!

Q: Why was Ginger's face pink?

A: Because Sarah opened the fingernail polish while holding Ginger, and the brush got on Gingey. Crisis? Definitely. Crisis averted? Of course! A little polish remover, a few well-hidden scissor snips, and a bit of soap to mask the smell, and Ginger was (almost) as good as new. For those of you who don't know, Ginger is Sarah's one and only stuffed animal friend. Her bed partner, her comfort on a bad day, her security blanket when something is scary. So fingernail polish on Ginger was bad...very, very bad. I didn't even have the heart to scold Sarah for opening the polish without me, because I knew it was a lesson she had learned the hard way. I wish I'd taken a picture, but I immediately went into emergency management mode when I saw the problem, and didn't think of the camera until much later. Trust me though...she was pink.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Scarecrows in the Garden

Perry had a conference today, so the girls and I took a picnic to Aldridge Gardens to see the Scarecrows in the Gardens. A funny story about the duck statue - Sarah asked me what the ducks' names were in the duck book. I said "Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Oack, Pack, and Quack." She said, "I'm going to give them my own names: Buck, Cuck, Duck, F-" Well, you get the idea. Funny.
It was a gorgeous day - we walked around and found their teachers' scarecrows. Sarah's class did Head Over Heels for Kindergarten - so cute with the upside-down scarecrow and all the little scarecrow kids. Abby's class did Pinocchio - adorable! Then we found a nice shady spot for our picnic. After we ate, we finished looking at the scarecrows then the girls decided we should take a little hike around the lake. Abby found a side trail up into the woods, and we all enjoyed the exercise. We topped it all off with a trip to Ben & Jerry's.

Forgive me for yet another slideshow. It was just a great photo-op day.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Cultural Pursuits

Art, music, and theatre, oh my! Perry and I took the girls to the Bluff Park Art Festival this morning. We walked around and looked at the art, some of which was really awesome (if I still had my Vegas condo, I definitely would have bought something today). Then we listened to some great jazz performed by my smart and talented nephews, Logan and Justin (and the rest of the kids in their bands, too!). They both play saxophones, just like their Aunt Janet. Logan plays the tenor, and Justin plays bari sax in the jazz band but alto in symphonic and marching (he actually plays MY sax, which makes me so proud). They sounded great and it made me wish I hadn't quit playing.

This afternoon, Carrie and I took our 3 girls to the Birmingham Children's Theatre (downtown) to see Rapunzel. It was a good show - not spectacular, but a good performance. There were only 6 actors, and I think it's a complicated story (there was a lot of dialogue about why she was locked in the tower, and why she's named Rapunzel, etc., all of which went way over the girls' heads), but the actor playing Igor stole the show. He was hilarious. After the show the actors were available for autographs and pictures, but only Abby would get near them, and she would only see Rapunzel.

A Gazillion Great Pics

Like I said, I took a lot of pics at the farm. Over 200, I think. But here are some of the highlights (less than 50!)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Old Baker Farm

Today we went on a field trip to Old Baker Farm in Harpersville. It was fun, hot, dirty, and exhausting! The farm has been in the Baker family for over 200 years, and they grow cotton, pumpkins, and Christmas trees, plus they have lots of animals. I have a gazillion great pics, so I'll have to do a slide show, but for now I'll just post this one really great pic. This is Mr. Baker, one of 14 siblings, the grandfather of the farm now, who will be 100 in January. He's a little hard of hearing, and he's using a walker right now because he hurt his knee in the fields last week, but other than that he's still going strong. The kids loved him, and I think he loves the kids.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

When your bottom touches...

Today I helped at school. I was in Abby's classroom waiting for time to go to the computer lab (somehow I've been labeled the computer expert, which really cracks me up, but so far I've been able to handle the technological needs of the kindergarten teachers!), and all the kids were on the rug. Some of them were talking, and Mrs. S said "When your bottom touches, your mouth hushes." It took everything I had to stifle my laugh - she is such a hoot! Her other favorite saying is "Lips and hips, y'all, lips and hips," which means a finger on your mouth and your other hand on your hip to walk through the halls quietly. But you have to have the right Southern drawl when you say it.