Friday, March 26, 2010

Gas Leak

Yesterday I wanted to laugh and cry and scream all at the same time. I was boiling some eggs on the stove and started smelling a rotten egg smell. At first I thought, “That’s strange.” Then ten minutes later the smell was really strong and really bad. That’s when I realized it wasn’t rotten eggs, but a gas leak. The flame had been extinguished for some time, and gas had been pouring into my unventilated house. I started to freak out!

Despite a heavy rainfall outside, I opened all the windows in our house. (Later I mopped up huge puddles of rain water.) I told Meredith to stand in the garage and opened the garage door so she could breathe clean air. Clara and Sophia were napping upstairs and had not been breathing the gas, thankfully. It was time to feed the baby so I took them upstairs to the kids room, which did not smell at all, and opened the window (just in case). I started feeding the baby who was frantic with hunger by this point. Then I called the gas company. I explained what happened and that it wasn’t a big deal and the gas was not leaking anymore.

The man on the phone started screaming at me to get all my kids out of the house as quickly as possible … they would come check my house … wait across the street to let them in … do not make any more cell phone calls because I could cause a spark … and do not light any matches … and do it on the double … and this is serious ma’am, get out of your house immediately.

Did I mention it was windy and cold and pouring rain outside? And I was breastfeeding an extremely hungry baby? And my kids were running around half-naked because I just got out their spring clothes and of course they wanted to wear them that day?

I got my kids dressed while breastfeeding, got the kids in the van and drove across the street to wait. Meredith was very helpful. She told Clara, “Hurry up Clara! This is our first big emergency!” Cute.

Kevin’s mom came to wait with me and help with the kids. Meredith and Clara climbed in the front seat to wait with us. Sophia started crying. So I crawled in Meredith’s carseat (next to hers) to get her out and try to burp her.

Suddenly I burst out laughing. Never do you think things like this are going to happen in your life.

I never thought I would be sitting in a four-year-old’s carseat, trying to calm a baby, parked across from my own house, in the pouring rain. You just can’t make this stuff up.

Finally we were given the all clear. We decided to meet Kevin for dinner at Panda Express. The wait was long so we got dinner on the house! (I didn’t think it was THAT long of a wait, but I wasn’t going to refuse free food.)

We had a lovely and very relaxing dinner as a family. A great end to a hectic day.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Kevin wore a green tie on St. Pat’s. Someone asked him if he had a court hearing that day (i.e., the reason for the tie). He said, “No, I just did it for my wife.” Then he was asked if his wife has Irish heritage. He said “No, she’s just into whatever holiday it happens to be.” Ha! This is so true. I love an excuse to do something out of the ordinary.

So, here’s what our St. Patrick’s Day REALLY looked like.

1. The morning was rushed. It always takes much longer to get out the door than I plan for. I did manage to dye the kids’ milk green, just for fun. Meredith and Clara are so different. I told them the milk came from a green cow. Meredith just stared at the milk, full of skepticism. Clara’s attitude was like, “Cool. I love green cows! Let me try it!!”

2. It’s 9:30 a.m. By no small miracle, all kids are buckled in the car, the corned beef made it into the slow cooker, and we will be able to make library class on time.

3. Car battery is dead. Four different neighbors are called for help. We all have the same problem—the jumper cables are in our husbands’ cars, far away. I make a mental note to buy an extra set of jumper cables.

3. We miss library class.

4. My dear, dear friend (she is the best!) loads her baby in the car and drives from her house in a nearby subdivision to jump start my car.

5. Sophia wakes up and is hungry. I had planned to feed her at library class. So, I sit on the garage steps to breastfeed my child and wait for my friend to arrive. The kids pull out all their bikes and toys.

6. The car is working again! The baby is fed. A diaper is changed. The toys are put back in the garage. The kids are all re-buckled.

7. We head to Destination #2, McDonald’s. We get our food but the Shamrock Shake machine is broken. Meredith is very disappointed. I promise to get her one after the parade.

8. We have a good conversation about how a man plans his way, but God directs his steps. It’s remarkable how little we actually have control over. Scratch that. We control nothing.

9. We arrive downtown. Clara tells me she has to pee. All four of us, including the stroller, squeeze into the downtown Jimmy John’s bathroom. Clara touches everything gross. (We need to buy stock in the hand sanitizer company. I never go anywhere without hand sanitizer.)

10. We meet up with daddy. Yay! Seeing Kevin walk toward me is always the best part of my day.

11. We make the parade. We even manage to find a sunny spot to stand in. That’s when we realize it will be impossible to eat our food standing up in a crowd, while helping our children see the parade.

12. The parade is over. We sit on a curb to eat cold French fries. The girls get a thrill out of feeding numerous birds their French fries.

13. Sophia is hungry again. I feed her a bottle while pushing her stroller through downtown streets, to the parking garage.

14. We conquer the Green Canal. We had to walk far, but it was fun.

15. I make good on my promise to get a Shamrock Shake for the girls. Clara has fallen asleep in the car, however.

16. We manage to play a few rounds of hide-the-Shamrock at home. Meredith also creates an impromptu green centerpiece for the table, made out of a Styrofoam cup and pine needles she found on the side of the canal.

17. Dinner is ready. Kevin got stuck at the office. The girls and I eat without him. He comes home, I pass off the torch, and I head to book club.

“A man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9









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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

St. Patrick's To-Do List

I'm tired of making to-do lists and not being able to accomplish anything. So I just wrote out a St. Patrick's Day to-do list and I plan to ignore my other to-do lists and accomplish EVERYTHING tomorrow.

St. Patty's To-Do

1. Wear green

2. Put corned beef in slow cooker

3. Take kids to library class

4. Go to McDonald's drive-thru and get lunch and Shamrock Shakes

5. Go to St. Patrick's Day Parade downtown, meet up with Kevin and eat lunch while watching parade

6. Take kids to see the green water at the canal downtown

7. Play "hide-the-Shamrock" with the kids

8. Eat a simple Irish dinner with the family


9. Oh yes, and go to book club. I actually signed up last fall to lead the discussion for this time around. We will be discussing The Picture of Dorian Gray and I still have 40 pages to read tonight. Life is always exciting.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fairy Tea and Stuff

Today we went to a Fairy and Leprechaun Tea Party to welcome spring. There were about 100 fairies and exactly three leprechauns (all little brothers, I'm sure). A ballet instructor came to teach the girls (and three boys) a dance. Then they welcomed the Queen Fairy. All the kids had to sit with their hands in their laps until the queen had her first bite/sip, to show good manners. Then at the end, they gave the queen a flower and a curtsy (and the three boys had to bow). It was really cute and we all had fun. I got a real big kick out of it.

Look how cute this leprechaun is. You can tell he's thrilled to be there!

During the dance. They were taught how to do a basic ballet dance. Then they got to "perform" for the Queen Fairy.

THEN we went grocery shopping. Did you know that grocery shopping with three kids is where the REAL fun begins?

We ran into a friend at the store and she said, "You need to get the free Frappe samples at McDonald's today." So we did. They were good, but Starbucks has nothing to worry about.

We thought this was funny because Sophia is holding her hands the same way as the doll.

Rub a dub dub, three girls in a tub. We're going to do this more often because it was the first time Sophie's had a bath without screaming her head off.

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Smiling Sophia

Lots of pics 'cuz we can't get enough of these smiles. The last set were taken today.










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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Reading is a Dangerous Activity

And I had just finished telling you all about the spit wads, too!

We have a DK book called Children Just Like Me, which features children all around the world and what their daily lives are like. I have been reading it to the girls to help expand their understanding of the world and what life is like for children in other countries.

A few days ago we read about Celina, an Indian who lives in a village near the Amazon in Brazil. Meredith was particularly interested in the paint that Celina puts on her body, an ancient tradition in her tribe.


After reading about Celina, I went to put the baby to bed. Sophia had hiccups so I held her for a while before putting her down. Then I went to change out the laundry. Then I came downstairs and saw Meredith and Clara holding hands, so sweetly. I told Meredith how proud I was of them for playing so nicely while I was busy. That’s when I saw that they were headed for the bathroom. Meredith smiled (again, so sweetly) and closed the door. That’s when I realized something was up.

THIS is what I found. I laughed so hard. I didn’t have the heart to be angry. They were just playing Brazilian Indians.




On a side note, Sophia is six weeks old today. Here's are darling baby.

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The latest and greatest ...

Here we are, dressed up and ready to go to the homeschool convention. (Too bad I gave my denim jumper to Goodwill like ten years ago.) I cannot believe I am a homeschool mom. And we even joined HSLDA!! It was so weird to fill out that application!

Today we weighed Sophia because she has a head cold and I took her to the doctor. She is 11 lbs., 9 oz. She has gained 2.5 pounds in the last 2.5 weeks!! Meredith is seriously a big help to me. Here she is burping the baby for me. Clara even helped give Sophia a bottle last week when I was in a pinch and needed to make dinner! I put the baby in the swing and said, "Here Clara, you feed her." And she did GREAT!

Here's daddy and baby:

Facial Expressions

We are starting to get some good smiles from baby. We haven't been able to capture any huge smiles but I love Sophie's grin in the second-to-last picture. And you can see the one where Clara has her hands on Sophie's head--the look on her face is like, "Oh great! What are you going to do to me this time?"






Kids with Free Time

Just in case you were wondering, here is what my preschoolers do during those hours when their mom is tied up with a baby:

1) They make spit wads. Truly! I had read them Miss Nelson is Missing, which came with our Sonlight curriculum this year. On the first page, the book describes the school children acting up and making spit wads. Meredith asked what that was and so I told her. (I am very honest with my children. Maybe this isn’t always the best plan of action.) Yesterday I heard giggles coming from the front room and this is what I found.

2) They spend about an hour a day drawing pictures. Meredith probably spends two hours a day drawing pictures. Meredith is getting really good. (Yes, I am such a biased mom.) Someday soon I’ll post some of her art work. But Clara has really turned a corner recently and is drawing things that actually look something remotely like the object she intends them to look like. Here is one example of a Clara drawing.

3) They play with dolls a lot, and dress up.

4) Meredith does very, very random things. I cannot tell you all the random things I find around the house. She loves to tie stuff. Anything that can be tied, will be tied. She also really loves arts and crafts. And since her mom is really lame (er, I mean tired and busy) and doesn’t do as much with her as she would like, Meredith has to be really creative. Maybe this will work out for her, actually. Because I don’t help her a lot, she is probably going to be this super, ultra-amazing, incredibly gifted arts and crafts person. And she will owe it all to me. Here she is, making a “scarf,” she said.

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