Monday, August 30, 2010

Going to The War

Yesterday after church we made a last minute decision to run to the city to watch the Civil War reenactment going on there. We've heard about it for years, but have never gone.

Actually I can remember watching it (in the same place!) when I was a kid and Mom was selling pottery there. I must have been... I dunno, 7, 8, 9 years old? I remember sitting high up on the hill being bored and confused and slightly scared. Why were they dressed up funny and shooting at each other? Why was it so loud? And when would it be over?

Like I say it was a last-minute idea, so by the time we got some things together and got on the road, we were late. But I remembered it going on and on when I kid, so I figured we'd get to see some of it...

But no, by the time we were there, the dead were rising and marching off the battlefield.

But we got to see the cavalry ride around a little...

...and there was a gratuitous bayonet charge and cannon fire.

So we didn't completely miss out. Next year, we'll have to plan our spontaneity a little better.

We walked around the camp and Daddy and his boys got to scope out some heavy artillery.

We listened to the band play...

...and pitied the poor ladies sweating buckets in their pretty dresses and hoop skirts. It was HOT out there!

Evan even got to help inspect the undercarriage of a covered wagon!

We managed to find some shade to sit in to eat a snack, and there was a cold fountain where Jonah and Nathan cooled their feet. We had a good time, but we were thankful for the air conditioning in the van... And all the way home we tried to answer Jonah's bazillion questions about the Civil War.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


I've been trying to get a video of Evan smiling and cooing. But it seems like as soon as I get the camera out, he stops (of course). So for now, this is the best I've gotten. More to come, I'm sure...

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Evan now likes to snuggle up on my or Nathan's shoulder when he gets sleepy. He just clings on there and rides around and hopes (I imagine) that we won't notice and put him in his bed.

Nathan was multi-tasking, too! Snuggling Evan and directing Jonah in working on a floor puzzle. What a Daddy!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Jonah has been pestering me aaaaaalllllll daaaaaaayyyyyy about watching a movie. No, we are not watching movies right after breakfast. No, we're not watching a movie at 10:30. No, we're not... stop asking me already. I just get so tired of answering this question. So I made a new rule. You get to ask once. I'll say yes, no, or wait. (Usually "wait" since this starts first thing in the morning and I don't want to say an outright "no" right away since I never know what the day will bring and I may need him to watch a movie later.) After that, if you ask again, the answer is, most assuredly, no.

So I told him after lunch that "when Evan is sleeping and I am ready to lie down a while, then you can watch a movie. But if you ask again, the answer is no." To which he replied, "Yes, okay, uh-huh, alright, Mommy."

Half an hour later, he comes to me with a sweetly concerned look and says:

"Oh, Mommy, you look soooo tired. You really should take a nap..."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm Busy

I need to load the dishwasher and bake bread and water my dying houseplants
But I can't
Because I'm rocking my baby.

I need to can tomatoes and put away the laundry and sweep the filthy kitchen floor
But I can't
Because I'm nursing my baby.

I need to vacuum the living room and dust my neglected piano and take a shower
But I can't
Because I'm smiling at my baby.

I need to scrub the toilet and weed the garden and pick the beans
But I can't
Because I'm reading to the boy who used to be my baby.

I need to can the peaches and make some pickles and plant some spinach
But I can't
Because I'm snuggling with my babies.

Of Laundry

Folding laundry is such a dreary task.

If there's just a little, you can get through it pretty quickly and move on.

When there's a lot, it helps to start with a good attitude.

But no matter how cheerfully you begin, it really gets boring fast.

You might start to think you would prefer to take a nap.

Eventually, it almost makes you want to just scream.

Laundry really is a dreary task.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sunshine Medicine

No matter how rugged your night was, no matter how little sleep you got, how late you got to bed, how many times you were up, or how early your wake up call, sing this song, and I guarantee you will feel better. I know you don't feel like singing it, I know you're tired and crabby. But do it anyway. It'll help. I promise.

(It also helps if you have the encouragement of a six-week-old's grins and a five-year-old's giggles.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mutiny and General Strangeness

Apparently, the crew threw the king overboard because they didn't like him anymore.

Also, I'm told that these kind of ships can get sucked into black holes in space.

This kid is a laugh-a-minute, I tell you.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


For five weeks old, this kid is STRONG. He doesn't just push his head up and drop it down, he holds it there and looks around for as long as he wants to.

Also: Thinking of temporarily changing his name to Charlie Brown.
Either that or Mr. Clean.

Float Sleep

Friday, August 13, 2010

As Requested...

In Which I Show You Some Stuff

Baby's napping, sooo-- quick blog post! There are some things I've been wanting to share with you all, so I'll just cram it all into one post right now while I have the chance!

First, these pretty sunflowers I planted in my garden this year are going great guns right now. They're called "Cherry Rose" and are a small, multiheading sunflower and I think they're gorgeous!

And then there's this little surprise:

In a plant order this spring, I had ordered two "Purple d'Oro" reblooming daylillies. I planted them near my garden fence (so they can spread around there and hide the fence, but still be chicken-impervious) and certainly didn't expect blooms this year. And low and behold-- they got buds! But as it turned out... they look nothing like "Purple d'Oro". In fact, the petals aren't even the same shape as the "d'Oro" type daylillies. How... odd. I can only assume they must have accidentally sent the wrong thing, but... I love them! They're gorgeous! I mean... red! I love red. I just hope they're rebloomers, or I'll be a little bummed...

A dear friend made this as a gift for Evan:

Isn't that ADORABLE? I almost (almost!) can't wait for winter so he can wear it. I have no doubt that it will fit him, either, even thought it's big on him now, since he seems to have inherited the melon-of-planetary-proportions from my side of the family (*I* don't have a big head, but you should see my brother, Kris's, dome!).

Here's Nathan doing what we call "The Baby Float":

It's Evan's preferred position. Guaranteed to stop the fussing (oh, the fussing!), every time. Better results are obtained the further out he is held from the body. He likes to levitate.

Now, here's something that could have been awful, but is actually only a curious anomaly.

Notice the little crease just right of center on Evan's upper lip. On the upper edge of his lip, there's a little bit of skin that's different from the rest of his lip. Then there's a little mark going up to his nostril and his nostril is a slightly different shape from the other one.

You can see the mark a little better in this picture:

We think that Evan almost (or at one time during his development) had a cleft lip. It's easier to see in real life than in these photos, but there is definitely a mark from it. Evidently it closed up just in time. And we're so thankful! To me, it's like God is saying, "Look, see that I am taking care of you!"

I also wanted to get a picture of Evan's cute little double hair-swirl on the back of his head, but he's pretty much rubbed all his hair out (making him look even more like a little old man from my Dad's family, complete with the "fringe" around the back) and is quite bald, making the double swirl hard to see. So I'll just have to wait until he grows some more fuzz up there!

And now I'll leave you with a gratuitous photo of couple of cheeseballs:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Compromises, Et Cetera

We're eating store-bought bread around here. (And the cheap stuff, too.) Yes, that's right. I, Mrs. Homemade-artisan-sourdough-all-the-time bought bread at the store.

There comes a time when one must be sensible about what one can reasonably accomplish and sometimes one simply cannot make bread.

And much to my chagrin, while Nathan and I miss our sourdough, Jonah is rejoicing. "Yay! A sandwich on squishy bread!"

I sigh and remember that I'm getting my just desserts. Yes, I used to do this to my mom, too. Sometimes she would buy bread when she didn't have time to make it and we kids would be all excited about store bread. Mom, I'm sorry. I truly am. What ingrates we were. (For the record, at some point Mom had to pretty much quit making bread all together and we were sad and missed our homemade bread. By that point, we had learned what was good.)


Jonah now loves to hold his baby brother.

He also daily asks things like, "Mom, can I carry the baby down the stairs?" or "Can I put his diaper on?" "I'll take him out of the swing!" "Can I carry Evan out to the van?" Etc. I'm trying to be careful not to squash his desire to help, but prevent baby-dropping and such similar accidents.

Ah, balance.


I'm ordering school supplies! Yes, we're doing school for reals this year. Kindergarten here we come!

I was talking to a homeschooling friend about "oh dear, school, hm, I don't know what we're doing..." and she said, "Um, do you have a plan at all? Maybe you need a plan." Yeah. So I started working on that and now I'm excited about it. A little bit intimidated (must stick to a school schedule! No excuses or extended breaks because I'm burnt out. Real school.), but excited. I found some fun books and I'm full of ideas! Wheee! Will share my fun school stuff here soon.


Now. You must brace yourself for this next picture. It's a bit shocking.


Are you sure?


Oh my poor baby.

We're dealing with thrush. That's all I'll say about that.


Jonah was helping his Daddy change a transmission today. Jonah was actually quite necessary to the process (jacking up the engine lift? Or something like that?), so he was partly excited by getting to work like a man, and partly bummed out by having to work like a man.

But then he came in and told me that he wants to talk with his Grandpa about being a car mechanic someday.


I'm finally getting started at getting caught up around here. (Caught up? HAhahahaha!) I've frozen broccoli and beans, started some lacto bean pickles and today I'm doing the same with my giant kohlrabi. And I made a peach crisp! Yay! It's been a while since we've had anything special and yummy around here. I also pulled a gazillion weeds.

Housecleaning will have to wait. I'm busy.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Back in the Land of the Living

It has been a challenging week here at Casa de la Funny Farm. I have been sick with a miserable affliction which I'd certainly never had before and I hope never to have to revisit. And when Mama's sick, the whole household suffers.

That it is hard to care for a 4 week old infant while sick goes without saying. I'm thankful that I have a thoughtful and kind husband who stayed home and put off his own work to help me. He took as much baby-duty as he could, and scrounged up food for us to eat, and kept the dishwasher full and running as well. Sometimes I just hate that I don't have family around to call on when I need them. I am quite thankful for a few very good friends who help, however.

Today I'm feeling quite a lot better (though still resting) and things are looking up.

A couple nights ago, in the midst of feverish insomnia, I had a whole blog post written in my head, and which I obviously should have gotten up and just typed out as I wasn't sleeping anyway, and it's gone from my head now. But perhaps it's just as well because things with seem perfectly reasonable during a feverish night usually turn out... not to be quite so reasonable.

I know it had to do with frustration at never being able to patiently bear my afflictions. I know it had to do with lack of trust in God-- while I may cognitively know that He uses all things for my good, I don't handle the difficult things very well. How many (many!) times has the Lord proven faithful to work out even the most distressing events perfectly, even to the point of making me thankful for them down the road (sometimes years later), and yet I still whine and complain and fall to pieces when things are difficult. And really, I don't suffer that much. In fact, really not at all. I am quite blessed and I have it really good and I can hardly expect to have no difficulties in this life, right? But I'm spoiled. So I complain and balk at the hard things. I should know that these things pass. Cognitively, I do. But I often don't feel it. So I guess I have to keep stumbling over this lesson for a while yet (probably a looong while cuz I'm kinda stubborn that way). I wish I could say I handled these things gracefully and patiently, but I don't. The truth is that I don't have it all together sometimes, and I fall apart in a hurry.

But I ramble.

On a different note, our little Evan Timothy is one month old today! One month! Now the months will just start piling up on him and will turn into years and... But let's not get all maudlin around here. He's a month old! At 3:00 this morning I had to change his diaper and he was grinning and making eyes at me like he was so happy to see me and life is just a great big middle-of-the-night party! I tried to get some pictures of his early-morning smiling when we were getting up for the day today, but at one month old the smiles are brief and fleeting. (And besides, the light in my bedroom was too dim for photos. ) But what a reward those little smiles are! This newborn time is hard. It's intense and exhausting. This time around I have some perspective and I know it won't last forever (or even very long), so I'm not struggling with it as much as I did when Jonah was a baby. But it is hard. And then come those smiles... and it's all wiped away in an instant. (Only, of course, to reappear an hour later when nap time rolls around again...)

After Evan gets his breakfast-in-bed in the morning and we sit up and get ready to start our day, I always sing the "Good Morning" song from Singin' in the Rain, just like I sang every morning to Jonah and my Mom always sang to us. Now Evan seems to expect it and he gets really still and looks at me, waiting for me to sing. When I start to sing, he starts to grin. It's... great. And now Jonah joins us on the bed for that ritual and sings with me and we giggle at the baby grins.

It's the little things.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Things to Come

Yesterday, a neighboring farmer offered Jonah a ride on his tractor as he cut hay in the field across the road from us. That made this little boy's day, of course! (Especially since Daddy went, too!)

Today, I caught Jonah telling his little brother aaaaall about it, and he made sure to mention how much fun it will be when Evan can go, too.

"But make sure you hold on tight so you don't fall off!" he said.