Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A great idea...

Yesterday was errand day. John and I had been hyping the boys up all morning to go to the grocery and the bank. I was tying Isaac's shoes and the conversation goes:
Me: Are you ready to go to the grocery?
Isaac: And the bank?
Me: Yes, and the bank (enters Eli, running around in excitement)
Eli: We are going to the bank! Is that where you get money?? What a great idea!!!!

I assume that you got the memo from the banker (on Eli's train table) that the bank was giving away free money on Tuesday...

Blind leading the blind

I love it when the boys try to explain things to each other. It is like neither one of them has a clue as to what is going on, yet they both have an opinion on things. They are both sitting there, pooping in their pants, shaping each others thoughts. I especially like it when they disagree on things, like one has more intelligent thoughts then the other...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Agony

It is official. We are a pacifier free house. Eli never really used one. Isaac, however, has been a different story. In fact there were times when I would catch him with two in his mouth.

For 2 years the pacifier has been his sleep aid. So much so that he has had a permanent red mark above his lip (observe the Christmas pic below). We were fearing permanent lip and teeth damage, so we decided to end the era. I kind of feel bad that we didn't warn him. We didn't let him relish his last night with the friend. We just put him down for a nap on Sunday and said - you are a big boy now and big boys don't need a pacifier. We were definitely met with some resistance. The first night we put him down he flailed around for about 3 minutes crying - I felt so bad for him. But we persevered through and only thee days later he is pacifier free. He hasn't asked for it since Tuesday at nap and has actually gone to bed happily the last two nights. Kind of crazy that a two year habit can be over in 48 hours, huh?
I hate that my baby days are over, sort of. It is kind of sad to see that era gone, but at the same time... I sure love the matchbox cars, hallway basketball games, and wrestling matches. I think a new, more fun era has begun!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Dear God...

We have started letting Eli and Isaac pray at the dinner table. Eli babbles for a full 2 minutes. Most of it does not sound like English, but today I am positive I heard him thank God for Donald Duck and Huey, Duey, and Louie.

Sharing the Baby Grand

I am available on Wednesday's and Friday's if you would like me to teach your children how to share too.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Vintage Eli & Isaac

Merry Christmas!

Christmas with kids is just fun. Everything about it is fun. The family events, the food, the presents. I think kids are really what make the holidays great. Well, at least that is how I feel about my kids. My family members who saw my kids running in circle for literally 1 hour may not have felt the same way - but that is what stuffing cookies in them will do.
So - of course they did some funny/cute things...
  • On Christmas morning John and I sat out a couple of the boys gifts. We only got them three things each since they have a family that LOVES to spoil them. (Also we got them a train table and we were waiting for the train accessories that they were getting later in the day.) Evidently our "pile" of presents was not impressive. They did not even notice them in the morning. In fact it was about 9:00 PM before we opened them - and John and I were the ones that instigated it. As a side, they LOVED their "Buzz Lightyear" and "Woody" dolls.
  • After the boys woke up in the AM and had some milk we were getting them dressed to go to nana and pops house for breakfast. I was putting Isaac shoes on and he said "Where we going?" I said, "Pops and Nana's for breakfast." Isaac said, "Hum, fun."
  • Every time, and I mean every time, ANYONE opened a present Isaac would hover over them and way "What's it going to be?" although it sound more like "Wha i gona be?"
  • When Eli opened a present he would squeal and say "Thank you berry much - it is AMAZING." Although one gift he opened up and he said "Oh neat" and I said "What is it Eli" and he said, "Hummmm, have no idea..."
  • Eli and Isaac delivered their present to their cousin Gracie - and she took it over to Laura (her mom) to read the tag. Laura said "This one is from Eli and Isaac." Gracie then threw (literally) it back at them, still wrapped. I think she misunderstood that it was FROM Eli and Isaac and not TO Eli and Isaac.
  • This one is kudos to Mamaw. We stopped by mamaw's to drop off her present and wish her a Merry Christmas. While Isaac was unwrapping his gift her scissors fell out. That is right - she wrapped her scissors in the gift. Classic.

It was a great day. I hope to have some video up later. They got a "My First Grand Piano" from their aunt Judy. Playing it became an impressive wrestling match.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


John and I routinely bribe the boys with crayons after they finish eating so we can have family time around the table. Last night - after the meal was done Isaac was working his way through the box of crayons naming the colors. After being 3/3 in naming his colors. I thought I would quiz him a bit. John's entire family was in for Christmas so I obviously needed to display his genius. Holding up a white crayon, I said, "What color is this, Isaac?" Without missing a beat he said - "Milk".

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Have you ever been to the Louisville Zoo? There are several great monkey exhibits. The monkeys play around the exhibit swinging from ropes. So a few things I should tell you before you view this:
1) This was not staged - the boys concocted this on their own.
2) I know this is a choking hazard and should only be done with supervision.
3) I don't believe in evolution, but sometimes I think my kids just might be a little closer to monkeys than humans...

The bananas at the end were just an added bonus that they threw in.

Sunday was Eli's day..

I "teach" one of the two year old Sunday school classes at our church. Actually, calling myself a "teacher" may be a little degrading to actual teachers, so I will call myself the head play person. I chose not to teach Eli's class, because every parent knows you can't teach your own child's class and give everyone else's child a fair shake. However, due to low attendance on Sunday we combined the 2 two-year old classes. So Eli was in my class. About 10:15 we do our Bible story, although I am pretty sure the kids have no clue what I am talking about. Anyway, I had laid the craft out and was starting to tell the story of Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus. Eli, interrupted me and said - "Enough with the story mom, lets get to the crap." Craft, Craft, Craft.

We also went to the Southern Lights display on Sunday evening. After the lights and the toy train exhibit we quickly walked through the horse museum. There was a ceiling display in the museum of a horse drawn carriage. Thinking Eli would like it we made it a point to show it to him. He started laughing hysterically - and said "Oh my gosh mom, look at that horses butt, it is so funny."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Shark Crap

Uncle Joe is going to get the title credit on this one...
So, Uncle Joe has lunch with us on Sundays and does his laundry. He comes after church and changes into shorts when he gets here. The boys have been walking around pulling their pants up to their knees and saying "Look, I'm uncle Joe."
Today - we were in the van and Eli said "Look, I'm Uncle Joe" (pants pulled up into the shorts position). So that sparked a conversation about Uncle Joe and if he was going to be at our house when we got home. I said, "No, Uncle Joe is in school right now" (he is studying at UK to be a Physical Therapist). Thoughtfully Eli said "I bet Joe is making a Shark crap. I bet he is using sparkles and glue." (Crap is craft in Eli speak). Clearly Eli is well challenged at "school" - his preschool is a well known for their college prep curriculum.

Near Disaster

Ok not really. But, we took our Christmas pictures yesterday for our Christmas card. Thirty minutes after we finished Eli gave Isaac a black eye. Thankfully our picture will look nice and sweet and not like two members of a hockey team.
I have included some of the goofball ones below.

Somehow they manage to be cute even when they are sick.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Illness - it is in the air

So in the past week we have spent $100 in co-pays for this nagging illness that Eli and Isaac have been passing back and forth. Eli had Bronchitis, Isaac had bronchitis. Conveniently Isaac came down with his on Saturday - so we got a fun weekend trip to the doctor, which was interrupted by a wet snow, which resulted in a 2 hour drive home. Since he wasn't getting any better John took off yesterday while I was in DC to take Isaac back in. Yesterday Isaac was diagnosed with pneumonia. And, last night Eli did not sleep due to a 102.2 temp - Lexington Clinic is loving us. I on the other hand, would like a break from their fine staff.

In the past 48 hours I have ...
- Flown to and from Washington DC for a meeting
- had 12 hours of fantastically interrupted sleep (10 episodes of screaming/sweating children)
- administered 8 rounds of antibiotics and about 12 of Motrin

I look like I have been hit by a train. Feel like it too, consequently.
And... it is only Tuesday.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Feeling the love...

So I have noticed lately that when I kiss Eli on the cheek he promptly licks his hand and "wipes it off."

The Hard Seat

Eli has this new trick with his booster seat to really tug at the heart strings. When he is tired of eating dinner, or needs a change of atmosphere from his booster seat at the dinner table he will get this real pathetic look on his face and say "Mommy my seat is so hard, it hurts. I need to sit on your lap." I fell for it once and of course as soon as I unbuckled his booster seat he was gone. At the next meal I but a blanket in the seat so he couldn't pull that one. He said "Oh, mom - this is amazing (his adjective for everything)".
So yesterday he sat in his booster seat WILLINGLY for 3 hours. THREE HOURS. While I was cooking dinner he wanted to play with beans. About two weeks ago I emptied three old bags of beans (black, great northern, and black eyed peas) in a plastic container and gave them spoons and other small containers to play with (thanks parenting magazine for the idea)- it has served us for HOURS of fun. So for about an hour he played with beans. We then ate dinner. Then he wanted to color - so he colored for about 20 minutes. Then he asked to play play-doh, which he played with for an hour and a half. If you don't have a toddler this is significant for several reasons:
1) toddlers attention span is usually about 5 seconds
2) Eli was occupied HAPPILY for THREE HOURS!! I made dinner, Isaac played without the threat of an older brother, and John and I watched the Florida and Alabama game.
It was a lovely, lovely evening. I am writting about it to cherish this - because I know the chances of it happening again are slim to none.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


So life has been busy, and blogging has been non-existent. So I will catch you up a bit.
  • The breakfast of choice is: "shiny raisin bran" (translation - Raisin Bran Crunch)
  • The boys favorite past time - playing with dried beans and plastic containers
  • Eli and Isaac both think they can blow the lights off (like a candle) on the Christmas tree.
  • Eli identified one of our family members (who shall remain nameless) as "kind of a bore."
  • Isaac has started saying, "wa ka do do" which means "Whatcha going to do?"
  • We have to tell Isaac to tickle his eyes, nose, neck, cheeks, etc to keep him from playing with his poop when we change his diaper.
  • Eli "can't take a shower because it turns him into a wild man"
  • Eli is getting smarter and intuitive - I think he will be outsmarting us soon :)

never a dull moment.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Eli is turning 3

Just so you know - I survived the grant application and the 2 audit's today. Whew - I am glad they are over. I think I stressed a bit too much, it turned out just great.
I got Atlanta Bread Company for the group. I actually used $100 in complaint money I had received from them. Let me preface this by saying I don't complain to businesses, ever, really. So this was way out of the ordinary for me. But two weeks in a row we ordered soup and sandwiches for our support group and they gave us all knives and no spoons. Kind of embarrassing. So I called to let them know. As a token, they gave me $100 in gift cards for their goods. So I called yesterday I ordered two boxes of coffee - a baker's dozen of muffins and a baker's dozen of bagels. And ironically - they got the order wrong. Best I can figure - I asked for assorted, so the kid wrote down 4 - banana, 4 chocolate chip, 4 cranberry and 5 oatmeal - so that is 17, not 13. So they actually charged me for the extra - 4, because that is what was written on the paper. The poor manager looked a bit frazzled, and I didn't have the heart to complain again... If it is any consolation - it was yummy.

More importantly, Isaac is feeling better. Still wheezing a bit, but much better.

So, on to better, more important things! Tomorrow Eli will turn three! I can't believe. Time has gone so fast. Tonight my mom and I made a Lightening McQueen cake for him.

Don't worry, we aren't going to quit our day jobs, but considering our skill set - I think the cake turned out pretty good. Eli was impressed, and I think he is the only one that matters :)!

Just Kidding - we had just started...

Not so bad, huh? The cake pan has all of these nice contours and lines to help you decorate. Although the first thing they tell you to do is cover the whole thing in white icing, which covers up all of the very nice contours - so we basically had to free hand it. They did provide two pictures to help us - one was 2 x 2 inches (even for 30 year old eyes that is TOO SMALL) and the other was backwards. A man must have prepared it.
The best news is.... It only took 2 hours. Isaac's airplane and Eli's train took us FOUR hours each!!!

We also made some Isaac friendly allergy-free cupcakes.

So, most of our immediate family will be joining us for dinner tonight! Fun times!
Happy Birthday Eli!!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

A good week

So it is Monday and I have already worked about thirty hours and I am TIRED!!!! What a week we have ahead! I had a grant due today, and I have two site visit audits on Wednesday. One is a financial audit. I am not going to lie - I am a bit freaked out about it. On Thursday Eli is turning 3!!!! I can't believe it! So we have a bunch of family coming over. On Friday we are heading to Tennessee for Thanksgiving with some of John's family. It is one of those weeks that really needs to go perfectly for everything to get done.
So what would make this week clearly awesome? For the kids to get sick of course! Eli was a bit under the weather this weekend, but not to be out done Isaac is full fledge sick! Right now he is passed out in his room. He was breathing so hard and fast today it sounded like he had run a marathon. The nurse gave him a breathing treatment (which is litterally 5 minutes of hell), gave him two steroid shots and tested him for RSV. The nurse swore that the RSV test would be the worst thing, I mentioned that the breathing treatments were pretty rough. I think she thought I was an idiot until we were both sweating trying to wrestle this little pig to keep the air mask on his face. He screamed like a girl for 5 minutes straight - yes we were that family in the doctor's office today. Despite the torture I think Isaac is feeling better.
I think I will eat some chocolate tonight! I need/deserve/want it :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Isaac is well on his way to 2. I thought I would share his shenanigans...

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Yes count them - 1, 2, 3, 4. This is the number of hours the boys slept this afternoon for their nap. FOUR HOURS!!! When they woke up they ran up and down the hallway for 30 minutes straight. I asked Isaac if he was trying to burn up stored energy - he said "yeah" as he roadrunnered by.

The boys got their hair cut yesterday. Isaac, our normally quite, shy child was in rare form - and that is an understatement. We had to wait nearly 45 minutes so the boys were entertaining themseles with toys we brought, a motorcycle and an airplane. A poor unsuspecting 20 year old girl was standing up talking to a friend when Isaac ran towards her with the motorcycle and goosed her. That is right - goosed her with a motorcycle. She was a little shocked, we were a little mortified.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Election is Over..

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Romans 13:1

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween

Eli and Isaac enjoyed the craziness of Halloween last night. Although Isaac refused to smile for any pictures - I guess he was a tough guy cowboy. Though the mustache made Eli's costume he was less than excited about it and cried for about 15 minutes wanting us to take it off. Finally we convinced him to leave it on until he saw Nana, Pops, Uncle Kevin, and AJ. At their house he insisted that we take it off. Se we rubbed just enough to convince him it was gone. So all night everyone was commenting on his cool stache to which he replied ALL NIGHT - "no no I don't have a mustache it's all gone. Mom and Dad took it off." Poor kid, parent's that lie...

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I am awake at 12:30 because a telemarketer called to let us know our commonwealth credit card might have been breached. What a nice company. They are unrestrained in making sure a credit card that we do not have is ultra-safe. Good to know someone is watching out for me.

On a better note...
When we were putting Eli to bed - 4 hours ago. John and I were in his room giving him kisses and tucking him in. He sleeply smiled at us and said "Seriously, get out of my room."

Friday, October 24, 2008


The kids have always been pretty good at taking medicine. Although, we are getting smarter. We have started giving medicine to them while they are in the bath so when they inevitably spit it out we are ready to clean them up. Today we attempted to give Eli allergy medicine. He has been particularly crabby tonight, so naturally he spit medicine at both John and I. Lovely. As a small punishment John spanked Eli twice on the bottom, since he was in the bath there was no leg protection (pants/diaper). Eli was quite upset crying, "Daddy, no spanking, I want time out." Ah - the age of accountability has begun.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Another political one....

So I am not sure if it is because I am a few months shy of 30 or if it is because I have little ones this time around, but for some reason I have decided to take this political stuff a bit more seriously this time around. So here is my "quota" - you know, 25 cents worth....

I have taken the time to listen to the debates and speeches, sometimes 2 and 3 times. I have read the articles CNN and Fox News (so I can get both biases). I have tried to be as open minded as possible, given my obviously conservative leanings - but I just can't shake this feeling that our country is on the verge of disaster. Listening to the Obama/Biden ticket talk makes my tail tingle, as Verne in "Over the Hedge" would say.

Obviously this election we are picking between two people with obvious flaws. So, no decision is perfect. Obama is an incredible speaker, I will give him that. A few editorials I have read say he should win because he has been composed and consistent through out the campaign. And I say, he is a white washed tomb.

I will start with the obvious - I just can't vote for someone that is pro-abortion. Obama said at the Saddleback forum that he personally was against it, but that he couldn't possibly dictate a woman's choice that she has been anguishing over within herself and with her family. A safe answer. Psalms 139:13-14 says "For Thou did form my inward parts; thou did weave me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." If you have had a baby, or even held one, you know they are utterly perfect and helpless. They are God's handiwork, yet fully reliant on us to make every decision for them and care for them. In the first four weeks - before you really even know you are pregnant, the baby's sex is determined the nervous system forms and the heart and circulatory system are rapidly forming. Abortion is murder, and I just can't get past this, so no pro-abortion person will ever get my vote, ever.

The war, the war. Everyone thinks McCain years will be a repeat of the Bush years. First I will say - we have had no attacks on US soil since 9/11. There have been 20 foiled attacks, 20, since 9/11. Iraq or no Iraq - we must be doing something right. To date there have been 4185 soldiers killed in Iraq. This is 4185 too many. Abortion kills approximately 3,700 per day in the USA. In two days abortion surpasses the Iraq war. When a soldier becomes a soldier, they know that the ultimate price may have to be paid. I am not trying to minimize it, but these men and women are serving their country and those that die, die with pride. Those that die to abortion made no choice - they didn't have a chance.

Poverty. Poverty in America is inexcusable. According to almost everything you hear the Democratic party cares for the poor people, but lets personalize it. The only reason that the government has to take care of the poor people is because the church stinks at it. I mean really, really stinks at it. James 1:27 says "This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world". Not pure and undefiled government, but religion. The church and the people of God have got to make this a priority. Personally I am not for this socialist way of thinking - taxing the heck out of the people to redistribute wealth. But poor people HAVE to be taken care of - and the church has to respond - NOW. They have to respond lovingly. Obama brings up poverty a lot. I will mention that Obama is not poor and even in his best year he only gave away 6.1% of his income. His 7 year average 2.18% - pathetic. A biblical tithe is a tenth - a Christian should give above and beyond this. If a person really cared for the poor, I mean really cared and they made 1.6 million... I think it is a shame to not even meet the Biblical giving standard. That is greed and selfishness and, caring words are just that, words, empty words.

So I have been a bit negative. McCain isn't perfect - I will admit that up front. He is pro-life, has military experience (an understatement) and his giving far surpasses Obama. If you want to read a true story of someone who has served their country in deed, not just words. Visit:

If I were Obama, I don't think I could stand on stage with McCain and feel justified to do so.
So McCain will get my vote.
Take my two cents, or leave it.
It is my blog after all, and you choose to read it.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Not sure how barfing suddenly became funny...
Eli & Isaac faking a stomach bug - and they aren't even trying to get out of school or some other unbearable life event.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Puke Free for 24 hours...

So far so good for Isaac.
Eli threatened to puke a couple of times. He would cough and make this pain-filled face, John and I would scurry towards him with towels/buckets, etc. And he would crack up.
I believe he is a product of his parents. We are in for it - aren't we?

By the way...
Thanks Mac for the pinwheels! The boys loved them!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Eli has had a stomach bug today so this morning has been a flurry of activity. The routine is:
Eli coughs, he starts crying - this signals that the puking is coming.
We pick him up and run down the hallway to the tub - the puking/crying continues.
It has been a lovely morning.

I have learned two important life lessons today -
1) Do not give a puking kid a full cup of apple juice - 8 oz. in is about 2 gallons coming out.
2) Do not give a 20 month old kid a cup of chex and put him in a confined space. You may think 1 cup of chex will only make a hundred pieces - but given enough crunching time it can cover an entire crib.

On a side note... Tuesday of this week John and I rearranged Eli's bedroom. We moved out his old hand-me-down dresser and put in his new big boy dresser. He has voiced disdain for it since Tuesday becasue he can not see his airplane lamp on it. About 5 minuts ago the coughing and crying was starting in Eli's room so I ran in there thinking he was throwing up, yet again. He said - "Mom I hate this." I said, "I know sweetie, do we need to go to the bathroom again." He said, "No I feel fine - I hate my new dresser." To my credit his eyes were closed. Although, that is a lot of hate when it is even coming up in his sleep.

Update: It ain't over till it is over...
Eli woke up fairly peacefully from his nap. It had been about 4 hours since he last puked so I thought we were out of the danger zone. So I leaned down like any good mother would to kiss his forehead. And he puked. This time it was projectile - shower 3, outfit 5 for the day.
Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Vacation - Day 3
Lexington Explorium.
Another fun day - very few afternoon meltdowns.

Monday, October 13, 2008

This post is coming to you at midnight on our first day of vacation. Oh –check that it is only 7 pm – feels like midnight. Today should best be presented in Parts – I “The Zoo” and II “The Aftermath”. Part I is full of happiness, laughter, and good memories. Part II is full of screaming, crying, and the gnashing of teeth.

Part I – The Zoo
We had an excellent family trip to the zoo. Below is a series of video clips and pictures from our day of fun. And yes – that is a video of a giraffe spitting water at us. Really – it was a good day.

Part II - The Aftermath
Nap times were obviously disrupted by our trip to the zoo. As a result there were a series of unfortunate incidences at our house.
1 full hour of wrestling - resulting in a bloody lip
3 time outs for Eli
2 time outs for Isaac
On and off crying for most of the evening.
Isaac ate his entire dinner like cookie monster and I caught Eli licking the table during dinner at least twice.
2 sippy cups whizzed across the room, more than once.
I am sure I cleaned up more food on the floor then I think they got in their mouths.

As the perfect night cap - someone pooped in the bath.

Friday, October 10, 2008


The girl to guy ratio at the mall playground today was about 3-1. Our boys were quite the draw, naturally. Eli had an older girl smitten with him about 15 seconds into our excursion. The conversation seemed to flow effortlessly. She kept introducing herself, politely asking Eli his name to which he replied - "I, two and a half." Conversation issues obviously begin early. She replied "I got that, but what is your name." Her marked sarcasm was nice, I thought maybe I should take her name down in case she was still cute in about 12 years. As they went back and forth far too long I finally interceded and said "Eli tell her your name" being an intelligent girl of 4 she said, "So your name is Eli, Chase me." And the nap preparation began. Eli chased the girls for a solid half of an hour. At one point Eli paused on one of the toys to take a breath and they came running up - "CHASE us" to which the ever brilliant Eli replied - "I not Chase, I Eli."
Isaac also found the girl of his dreams - she was about six and he kept running up to her and grabbing her around the waste - she was a real trooper, but definitely not interested.
I believe we are in for it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The poppers

This holiday season if you are considering purchasing a popper for the parents of a toddler please consider this video carefully. If you appreciate that persons sanity pick a stuffed animal instead.


Sometimes pictures capture a day better than words:

ok, that was seriously the largest head of cauliflower - ever!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A new way

This morning Eli woke up and stripped his clothes off (as usual). As of late he has been obsessed with his big boy underwear, which we bought in hopes of using as leverage to potty train. This morning he had all six pairs, around his arm. It looks like we have a long way to go.

The Followers

The more time I spend with Eli and Isaac - watching their shenanigans - the more I realize we are in big trouble once they can fully communicate. A week or so ago I bought them miniture pumpkins at the grocery for being good. Not sure what I thought they would do with them, but they were cute. The first question asked was "What is inside of the pumpkin," - "Seeds" I replied. From that minute forward the overarching goal has been to break them open - they threw them out of the car once we got home, have bounced them all throughout the house and spent 20 minutes kicking them up and down the hallway yesterday. Luckily they ae pretty sturdy so I am letting the fun continue until they become mush melons - at which time they will disappear to the happy hunting ground where all toys-that-become-weapons find their way.

Yesterday we received the following note from Eli's teacher:
Parents, please talk to your children about keeping their shoes and socks on at school. As you can imagine it is very time consuming to put 10 children's shoes/socks on sometimes more than once a day. Next week we will put their shoes and socks by their bags if they keep taking them off. Thank you
I find this letter hilarious - not from the teacher's standpoint because that would be a royal pain, and I do plan on talking to Eli next Tuesday before school. However, from a kids standpoint - I can totally see them gathering around the slide, plotting and scheming. "I start with shoes, then you, and you, and you.... and then we take off socks. Same order." Seriously, what will they think of next? The teacher will be getting crafts ready one minute and turn around to 10 butt-naked kids.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Congrats from the Boys

Eli & Isaac prepared a video for Kevin and Andrea.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Big Night

I guess it is official, my brother is growing up. I wouldn't call him an adult because he bought an airbrushed baseball cap on vacation this year, but he is making progress. Last night Kevin popped the question to his girlfriend Andrea. I have always felt that this was such a personal, intimate thing, but being involved sure was fun. We captured the proposal below.

The funny thing is about a week ago Kevin asked Andrea what she wanted to do for her birthday and she said a nice dinner and hanging out with friends. Then she actually called all her friends to tell them that to set aside Friday night, that Kevin was going to call them, but that he probably wouldn't until Thursday. Four weeks of great planning and about 50 guests the party (some from quite a distance) was just perfect. She was surprised - it was just great.

Congrats and Welcome to the family! I hope you know what you are getting into.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

If I told you once....

Eli has a pair of old school PJs. You know the type. They were your favorites as a kid. That warm, soft fuzzy material, zips up the front and has feet in it. It is the classical-kid-in-front-of-the-Christmas-tree outfit. So last night Eli decided the debut the jams. I tried to talk him out of them for about two hours (what can I say, I am persistent) knowing that he would be smoking hot - it isn't THAT cold yet. To no avail, he wanted to sleep in the "wondaful jamas" as he calls it.
So this morning he is in bed, naked. Yep naked. And the first thing he says when I walk in the room? Mommy - those jamas were SO HOT.
The first of a million told you sos......

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Picture Day

The boys are getting all handsomed up today for their "school pictures". I was trying to talk it up to Eli so that he would be extra well behaved.
The Conversation:
Mom: You are going to get your picture taken today.
Eli: Why?
Mom: Because Mommy thinks you and Isaac are handsome little boys so she wants to have a picture to hang on the wall.
Eli: No mommy - I don't want to hang on the wall, I will fall off and then bonk my head and I will cry.

A literal interpretation.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Terror Trail

Today has been a fun filled day. We have been in the company of many of our favorite under-four-feet, people. This morning our friends Baelyn and Kaeley came over. It is amazing how differently girls and boys play. Boy play can usually fall into four areas:
1) Building Stuff
2) Throwing Stuff
3) Decimating Stuff
4) Hitting Stuff
But today I got to be a queen with two servant girls and order them around - at least that was the storyline I was given.
Then this afternoon we met Mac for a picnic at Waveland. We had a great time. While trecking our way through the trail Mac, Eli, and Isaac performed a scene from a two year old horror flick...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The kids are asleep, nothing funny is happening, so this is a political one, sorry...

I thought I would warn you in case you wanted to skip this one. I think this presidential race is facinating. I have been glued to, and disecting, speechs from both sides. So yesterday John (not McCain, Collins) and I were going through the web looking at tax return information for the three candidates that have been released. I thought it was worth sharing. I am sharing information all from the same source on three of the candidates so that they are all biased in the same direction, whatever that means.

Barack Obama

Joe Biden

John McCain

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Beautiful Song

This is Eli's debut piano concerto. The piece begins with a stirring rendition of We Will Rock You, followed by a "beautiful song" in various keys.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Sickie

Isaac is sick - has been since yesterday. He has the croup, which I mistakenly thought had been eradicated in 1890. I actually laughed when the doctor diagnosed that. Anyway in normal people terms in means that he has a lot of stuff in his chest and throat. He has so much phlegm that he is choking on it and I am just waiting for him to gag and puke on me. I really think everyone should be puked on at least once a month because it really puts things into perspective. I think a person would think - "Man I hate going to work, but it is better than being puked on" or "Sitting in traffic sucks - but so does being puked on it." See how much happier everyone would be. I have answers.

So you know - we are an ultra safe house. Please bring your kids over.

We have also revamped our time out practices:

So far so good.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Our Kidless Counterparts

Last night we attended a joint birthday party for two of John's co-workers. Bravely they invited our kids over as well. Have you ever seen the SNL skit when Dan Akryod is trying to sell various children's toys such as bag o' glass and Johnny switchblade because he feels like a Nerf ball is a choking hazard. Sometimes that is what going to a childless perons's house is like. While the gesture is incredible, that a person would allow two people under three feet tall to completely ransack their tidy house. However, for a parent this evening out is most exhausting. Below are the top ten reasons childless/single folks should not let children come to their homes.

10. 80 pound dogs that aren't used to kids & kids that are not used to 80 pound dogs.
9. The line between dog toys and kid toys is very blurry.
8. Low level TV's without the power button protector. You will miss every good play.
7. 75 2x3 pictures don't look like a precious display of the family, but instead they look like blocks that make a nifty people pyramids. They are most tempting.
6. Coke Cans - they will get shaken and dropped no less than 10 times, each.
5. Outside seems safer, except dog poop looks a little like playdoh (at least the kind of church that is a mixture every color squished together).
4. Corn Hole is not for playing - it is a stage for singing and jumping.
3. Glass hutches full of knicknacks. They can tip over, my kid will prove that to you.
2. Fire place pokers and brooms have far more than the advertised uses.
1. White carpet.

We had a good time. Eli had his first Mello Yellow. Isaac I am sure touched dog poop at least three times. Eli's church pants look like he rolled around in the grass for 2 hours (which he did). And - we were exhausted.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Library

This morning our excursion began with a trip to the doctor - a five minute trip turned one hour. The boys were excellent so I rewarded them with a trip to the library - lame, I know. It was story time and Eli made it very clear from the gitgo that he, and I quote, "didn't want to learn today" so we skipped story time and went straight to the train table and toys. So yes, we were the family that was making all the noise during story time distracting all of the kiddos. We got a good 45 minutes in and so I gave the boys a three minute warning (I used to do 5, but Eli always said, "No, 3 mom" - so three it is). By then they were running around the story circle (now abondanded by the story time crowd). I knew this exit was not going to be graceful. So I finally announced it was time to go grocery shopping and the drama began. Eli starts running faster, singing "We Will Rock You," I am getting librarian stares. So I gently grab is little hand and start heading towards the door - his response "No mommy, not time to go, I want to stay and learn. No No NOT TIME TO GO I WANT TO LEARN." Yep - so I am the mommy jerk that wants her kid to start reading in the 8th grade. Where's my "Mother of the Year" crown?

Buried Alive

The other afternoon Eli woke up uncharacteristically early from his nap and was talking away in his Toddlerese (thanks Jen). And then silence - which is always scary. I let the silence continue on for about 30 minutes and then stuck my head in his room to check on him. He had been so busy rearranging his room he passed out in his bed. Somehow during is five minutes of wakefullness he had translpanted everything in his room that was not bolted down into his bed. Resulting in....

Zoomed out....

Thursday, September 18, 2008

In a year and a half....

When Eli was 6 months old we found out we were pregnant with Isaac. It was quite a shock. Our "spacious" Honda Accord and first home seemed at once like a matchbox. We were surprised of course, but also a little sad that neither child would get the one on one attention that any good parent would like to bestow on their children. But last night as they wrestled on the floor giggling and speaking this foreign language that only they understand I realized what a blessing having two so close will be. They honestly don't enjoy being awake without the other one and they will literally stand outside the other's door pecking on it until the sleeping brother wakes up. God knew.

On a more painful note - my feet have been bothering me for months. I would exercise for 45 minutes one day and be unable to walk for the next three. I always figured it was my feet's way of telling me that I need to loose weight and that they can't stand the extra pressure, but evidently I have something called plantar fasciitis - which according to Wilkipedia (the source of everything trustworthy) is caused by: weight gain, jobs that require a lot of walking on hard surfaces, shoes with little or no arch support, and inactivity. So I was right. The doc said I should stretch out my feet 6 times a day and that it should go away in about a month. To which John replied, "You did tell the doctor that you are so unlimber that you can't touch your toes, so it is going to take a year and a half for you to be able to touch your toes and then another month to be able to walk again." Funnily, I left that part out....

I am going to exercise, tomorrow.....

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Where's the Dragon?

Today was my cousin Jackie's wedding. Consequently, it was the first one we braved with the boys. The wedding was held in a historic church downtown - it was really, really beautiful inside. As a distraction I was talking to Eli about all of the old lights and designs on the walls - and then pointed out the huge, beautiful stained glass windows. Eli asked, "Oh, so when is the dragon coming."
For all of the good parents who don't let their children watch TV, Eli was referring to the scene in Shrek when Fiona is getting married and the dragon crashes the party. So, it is a little embarrassing to admit that Eli has seen the movie enough to put the wedding and dragon together, but we all got a good laugh out of it.
No dragon today.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Entourage

Isaac and Eli have a few friends that get through the night. Isaac’s “lovie” of choice is a night-time Tigger holding a Roo stuffed animal. Very sweet and cute. For over a year now Eli has quite a group that he sleeps with. He has Sadie (a rather large dog), monkey, turtle (creative names, I know), a soccer ball pillow, and a baseball glove pillow. Sometimes I wonder how he fits in the bed with all of the company. Turtle is the most beloved and went missing Wednesday night. While not teary eyed, Eli was concerned about his bedmate and asked John and I to look for it. We did to no avail, but Eli seemed to make it through the night. On Thursday morning when I went in to get Eli dressed he was sitting up – immediately asking if Turtle had been found, no luck. I asked him if he Turtle had told him of any trips he was interested in taking or had any friends he wanted to see. Nope. Where could he be? Well, he was in the hamper, not sure how he got there but I told Eli that Turtle was playing hide and seek and was giggling because we hadn’t found him. The reunion was lovely Eli introduced Turtle back to Sadie and monkey and told them how much they missed him. Last night when I went to check on him before we went to bed he was asleep – on top of Turtle hugging is little neck so tight. It is amazing the little world children create.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A sensitive side

Our friend Kristin came over for dinner tonight. Eli sat in her lap while we were watching a movie and said, "You are so cold - let me turn the fan off." He proceeded over to the light switch a turned off the light a fan, saying "now you'll feel better." Not bad for a three year old who thinks asking nicely means to include the word "NOW" in the request.

On an Isaac note, he gassed us really loud at dinner tonight and John said, "What do you say Isaac". Isaac said, "Gwooss."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My Crap!

When we were leaving Eli & Isaac's school today Eli was carrying his craft - a construction paper watermelon with sunflower seeds for seeds.
The wind was blowing and Eli said, "Hey you, Wind, stop it, you are blowing my crap."
I just had to laugh, and reiterate - craft, craft, craft...

Boy Time

I started attending a Bible study this Sunday - so the weekly boy time from 4:45 - 6:30 on Sunday's has begun. When I came home this week they were all propped up on pillows eating popcorn and watching a movie. I keep trying to convince John there is room for at least two more on that couch. He disagrees.

Also - Eli taught us some Bible this weekend...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I guess we will have less gas...

Isaac has a crazy amount of allergies. His ever growing list includes: peanuts, soy, fish, eggs, oats, garlic, cinnamon, chocolate, grass, mold, and ragweed. We have learned to deal pretty well. I have learned to bake without eggs, shop to avoid soy (which is in everything), and even to bake bread - there is only one type of one brand that Isaac can eat. The peanut allergy is the big one, although it is kind of the easiest to avoid. In case you didn't know, peanuts are a legume, not a nut, so he is also allergic to beans. BEANS! It is our winter staple food. Chili, black bean dip, baked beans, antijito minis, soup, hummus, white bean dip, the list goes on and on. So I guess the good side, less gas and a better smelling home.

On a sunnier note the boys got hair cuts today. Eli, in his usual sense of humor said to the barber/stylist, "Hey you, stop that, you are making my hair fall out."

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Eli: Mom, don't talk to Monkey - he is in time out.
Me: What did he do?
Eli: He pushed down turtle.
Of course...

We have an evening ritual of tickling the boys feet after bath time - everyone gets the giggles. I was acting like I was biting Eli's feet...

Eli: Mom, don't bite my feet, I not corn.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Inside Voices

Pops and I took the boys to the library today. They were thrilled literally running between the puzzles, books, and "quiet area."
The quiet area was indoctrinated today by my kids in the following ways:
  • Both were singing "We Will Rock You" while running from one side to the other - this has been the household theme song for over one month now
  • Eli was jumping off the side benches saying Steppin' Time (from Mary Poppins)

Pops and I politely asked Eli to be quite, as the conversation goes:

Mom: Shh, Eli we need to be quite

Eli: But I want to talk

Mom: It is OK to talk, just quietly

Eli: But I want to talk loud

We didn't stay too long.....

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mr. Manners

Eli is two in ever sense of the word. Active, highly emotional, and wanting to control everything. Our days have been filled with him laughing and jumping around one minute to crying like a banshee 15 seconds later. Tuesday was is first day of "school" in a big boy classroom. When I went to pick him up his teacher came over to me and said.....
"Your son has very good manners"
Evidently kids save their worst for the people who love them most. I laughed, thinking maybe she was joking, and realzing how I may be creating a self fullfilling prophecy I nodded and said - yes he is a great kid. Which he is - just every bit 2.
Case in point. Nothing about yesterday went as planned. I had a meeting at 2:00 PM - so I needed to be at the grocery at 9 - home by 10:30 - 11, lunch by noon, and down for a nap by one - so when pops arrived all was peacful and calm.
Instead Isaac woke up at 10:00 - first time ever, of course. And that was only because Eli was tired of playing by himself and said "I am going in" referring to Isaac's room. And the fun began. We made it home from the grocery at noon. Eli took Isaac's fruit snacks out of his hand, shoving all 8 of both of theirs in his mouth (16 total) - was then in time out, screaming the entire time. I always make Eli hug Isaac and say he is sorry - this day he added "I didn't mean too." Ahh - the blaming begins!
I leave for DC on Sunday - I am excited, but I kind of feel bad for John.... What a week it will be!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Say What?

So we have been a little busy the past couple of weeks. Took some time off went to G-burg. Then this week we discovered a wall-o-mold in our dining room. Super. But it is now time to capture a bit of the preciousness that is our boys. Below is a collection of our favorite kid sayings:

Hey mom - come over here and play with the snakes.
Where's me going?
Whatcha you got going on?
Don't worry mom it isn't poo poo it is chocolate
I peeped in my bed
Cut my finger tails
I think I'm in time out - I ready to be nice now (5 seconds later)

Unke Jo (Uncle Joe)
Poo Poo - Dirty - Diaper - Change - Fresh - Shew Stinky (this is his hint for a diaper change)
Momma Yeah, Momma Yeah, Momma Yeah (for some reason adding the yeah shows distress emphasis)
Paci yeah, paci yeah, paci yeah
Boo Boo - Kiss it
Pingles (Bugels)
Tick (Cheese Stick) - usually involves stomping, dancing, and spinning

Don't you just want to eat them up?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Roofer

6:00 AM
Eli: Mom, I have to go to work
Me: You do - what kind of work are you doing today?
Eli: I am working on the roof
Me: Wow, that sounds like really hard work
Eli: Actually, it is.

Monday, July 28, 2008

You Win Some, You Lose Some....

The past two weeks have been a little nuts. Two months ago John joined the CNBC stock challenge. They give you a fake 1,000,000 to invest and then have great prizes for weekly winners and overall finishers. So at about week 3 John was bragging about being in 1200th place. Joe (my brother-in-law) and I got a great laugh out of his "bragging rights." Then in week 4-5 he was in ~400th place - I wish we had been more supportive, but we were still laughing at him. If you get 400th place in a 5K or marathon you probably walked most of the way - I guess we are hard to impress. At that point he declared that if he won anything (the top price was a cool $500,000) he wasn't giving us anything. When he got to 63rd place we thought we should probably stop making fun of him. Then came 18th place, 11th place, 10th place, 6th place. You see where this is going - the Wednesday before the end of the game - 1st freakin place. NBC contacts him and asks him to fill out a mound of paperwork - could it really be?!
The story unravels from here - John made a statistically great decision with the money - the market had other plans. The winner made 700 trades in the last four days of the game. He is a professional musician - which obviously translates into "time on your hands." So, no cash prizes for the Collins household - but John finished up in 13th place out of 750,000 - so that was pretty amazing. He made a crazy 163% on his money! Oh well - you win some, you lose some. We are proud none-the-less.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

One signature away...

  • 7 years
  • 10 classes
  • 2 kids
  • $4 million+ in grants
  • 2 journal articles
  • 10 conference presentations
  • 2 thesis proposals
  • 500+ hours of research and writting
  • 80 some odd pages later

I am finally going to finish my Master's degree!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Are we there yet?

Parenting magazine says that you should take your kids through new situations so that they know what to expect and will adjust quicker. So today we were prepping our kids for our soon to come family vacation. Their response: "Great let's put our shoes on and get in the car." Gingerly, we tried to explain that we weren't leaving today - tears ensued.

The author of this article should have included an addendum:
"If your kids are easily excitable and experience strong emotional let downs you should keep them in the dark about all plans - they'll be fine."

In the meantime - this is going to be a very long week.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Purse & Make-up??

On Tuesday we had three cute little girls over. That is a little more estrogen then we are used to in our home. So I am wondering if that is why Eli has been carrying a "purse" (A Fisher Price airplane) around the house and his "make-up" (6 match box cars). For now I am going to call it a "phase" if it continues on for more than a week we will add girls to the list of items banned from our house.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Nap Time

It is nap time - the house is quite. I just spent about 45 minutes picking up all of the toys in the living room. I put all of the blocks, animals, and cars in their little bins. I stacked up all of the books in their shelves. I lined up all of the big trucks. I repositioned the little people village consisting of a barn, an ark, and a dinosaur den. Everything looks great. In about thirty minutes Eli and Isaac will wake up, wonder what alternate universe they have stepped into and destroy the clean room in 2 minutes flat.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Aunt Mary

Today was the funeral for my great-aunt Mary's funeral. She was 96. I took the boys to the funeral, always a gamble. But I love the stories shared at the funerals of my older relatives - it turns out they were all quite a trip during their prime. The boys were excellent. Eli fell asleep about 20 minutes in. Isaac burped once (really loud), asked for "Pops" (my dad) 6 times in 40 seconds, said "Amen" 7 times (three time during the prayer, four after) and said "YEAH" after every organ song.
The "White" side of my family (last name, not race) are all characters, in fact I think their life stories would make an interesting book. My aunt Dorty used to say she would rather walk out of the house naked then without earings - those must have been some damn impressive earings. The story goes that Uncle Clyde (my grandmother's brother) bought a Valentine and hadn't decided who to give it to. My Aunt Dorty (Clyde and my grandmother's sister) said you should give it to Mary (Dorty's best friend). It turned out OK - they were married for 70 plus years.
It is nice going to the funeral of someone who lived a long excellent life and died in peace to go to heaven. Leaves a smile on your face. Here's to Aunt Mary.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Doo woop dee doo

In our next home the kids bedrooms will not face the east. Eli has become our resident rooster. Sunday morning began with a toddler arrangement of "Trashin the Camp" from Tarzan and "I wanna be like you" from Junglebook. He only knows about five words from each song, but at least he is happy in the morning. Well, to think of it Isaac is happy too he is just really quite. Somehow he has figured out how to suck on two paci's at one time - must be a genius...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Potty Training

From the beginning, potty training Eli has not gone well. In fact Isaac is more inclined to give you the two minute warning then Eli is. The first day we brought the “little” potty home Eli ran down the hallway squealing, with the squishy toilet seat on his head. I think he is a natural. This weekend Eli was standing in the kitchen, obviously pooping. So the conversation goes:
Mom: Are you pooping? (because two year olds are always honest)
Eli: No (quite agitated - I think he is starting to recognize how gross pooping in your pants really is)
John: Do you want to go use the big boy potty?
Eli: No, I don’t want to go to the potty, I want to stand here and look at you.
30 seconds later –
Eli: Ok dad, you can change my diaper now.

I think he is getting the hang of it.......

Saturday, July 12, 2008

So, my shoulder still hurts

It happened Wednesday. It started by turning in what I hoped to be my last copy of my Master’s Thesis. I have been working on this degree for 6-7 years – so this was an accomplishment, a new day. So, I thought I would clean my office.

For about six years now my office (I have had three of them) has looked like Office Max, Bissell, and 3M have had a drunken three-way resulting in an explosion of paper, post-its and dust bunnies. This cleaning was long over-due. But I was thinking major over-haul, not just cleaning. I was on maternity leave when they relocated to the new office and I have never loved the arrangement. I wanted to move my office furniture around – moving some filing cabinets, make it homey.

So I started this excursion by picking up a two file filing cabinet – with the paper still in it (of course – you will find that nothing in this story is intelligent) and lifting it four feet over my desk – hence the bruises on my legs and arms. When I got it to its new space I was one inch too short. No big deal, I will move my massive wood, particle board desk with a tall wood shelving unit an inch or two by leveraging myself on the wall. The desk moved 2 inches, the shelving unit did not. Instead it crashed on the floor. I was trying to play it cool as my office mates came running saying “Its cool – I’m fine. I know it sounds like the building was being demolished – I am just moving things around.” It looked like my co-workers were looking at a Christmas tree full of presents. One said “Grab all her stuff and pull it out of her office, we will vacuum and dust.” It turns out, they were just dying to clean my office. So we moved everything out into 9-10 3-foot piles, I only wish that was an exaggeration.

It is so neat now my key-board echo’s when I type. I think my co-workers have a pool going as to how long it will last – I am thinking three weeks tops…..

The toy stick

We keep a long stick in the coat closet that we use to dig toys out from under the couch. It is a much desired toy of Eli’s, mainly because we are not stupid enough to let a two year old have a stick. It is the mystery that keeps it interesting. It had been in a temporary home above the refrigerator and I was moving it back to the closet. Unfortunately Eli saw me do it – and so drama ensued. After five minutes of camping in front of the door so Eli couldn't open the door, and Eli screaming and crying, the phone rang. So is the dilemma – do I go get the phone, thus abandoning the door and leaving Eli free to get the stick? Or do I let the machine pick up and continue the lesson. Eli perked right up knowing my decision – “Mom, mom the phone is ringing you have to get it, answer the phone, go get it” By the time I answered the phone he was happily in the floor with his stick, Eli - 1; Mom - 0

The Beginning

So when you have two boys life is always an adventure. ALWAYS! I think if I had five boys (God bless the Coopers) I would be in a crazy house. Eli & Isaac are doing to many funny things for us to keep to ourselves - so our blog is born. Hope you enjoy!