Sunday, November 30, 2008


So today at church Caleb looks over and starts picking at my pantyhose. "Uh oh, Mom," he said. "I think your skin is falling off."

The lady next to us worked hard to control her laughter. I worked hard to control my embarrassment. Hopefully no one who overheard thinks I'm a leper!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fancy moves

After dinner tonight, Camille (in her fancy pajamas) busts a move.

Caleb shows off with some Ninja action.

Camille counters with a move of her own.

Playing Cinderella

It's been challenging trying to keep the girls busy and out from underfoot while I unpack and organize our new house. Today I put them to work.

Camille worked hard today (for about forty five seconds) getting our back door spotless.

Chloe was hard at work reorganizing the silverware. She did it several times today, trying to get it right. She might be a perfectionist (or just silly enough to think our silverware makes great toys). I just found our cabinet latches and will put them on as soon as I dig out the right tools to install them.

Today at the store I bought myself a pair of rubber gloves to wear when I wash dishes and clean. They're one of those fancy pairs - pink with a fancy cuff on them. Camille thought they were just the fanciest. She wanted to wear them and was disappointed when I told her that only the person washing dishes could wear them. So she decided she wanted to wash the dishes. She washed two bowls for me. Then she told me that she wanted to do all of the work for me. That way I could just "play, play, play." Sounds good to me. In my dreams.

Ready for Snow!

The other day I brought out the tub of old winter clothes to see if any of them still fit the kids. Camille worked really hard (and spent far too long) squeezing herself into these. The snow pants were from two winters ago and the boots were from last year. (Last year's mittens do still fit.) She was very disappointed when I made her take off her ensemble. She was ready for snow.

That's one way to do it...

Chloe tries to see just how much weight she is gaining from licking the last few sugar granules from the bag...If she was fifteen years older and standing on the scale correctly, I might be worried!

Goodbye Old Friends...Hello New Friends

On Caleb's last day in his old school I popped in to take a class picture. Some of the kids were not in the classroom at the time so this is the best we could do.

Caleb is doing so great at his new school. He has come home very positive every day, except today he was disappointed that instead of going to the computer lab they went outside for a third recess. The computer teacher must have been out today. He has six friends so far: Tyler, Ryan, Liam, Evan and two more whose names I can't remember. I'm thrilled that he has friends, but also that he has friends whose names I can pronounce and spell correctly!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lighting Needs

As we've gone through the process of settling in, we have come up with a list of things that we need. Different spaces call for different organizational needs. For instance, in our last house, the toothbrush holders were built into the bathrooms. Here we have no toothbrush holders (not that it necessarily matters for my kids whose toothbrushes are most often found strewn on the counter or fallen on the floor). I have been making lists of things that we need and have been striving to find them at places other than Walmart. We live in a different region of the country now (i.e. not in rural eastern NC where Walmart was always the best option) and have so many more choices. It's very exciting. Last week we made a trip to Ikea, which I have decided I would like a lot more if I was into modern furnishings or stainless steel. It was fun to visit, but not likely to be a place that I will frequent (much to Rob's delight).

Today the girls and I made a run to the nearest Christmas Tree Shops. This is one of my mom's favorite stores. For those of you who are not familiar with this place, it's kind of like a glorified Big Lots. You never know quite what you'll find. On the top of our list were lamps. None of the rooms have overhead lighting except for the dining room and kitchen. Since I have been a person who does not believe in table lamps, this is kind of a problem for me. We have managed to scrounge up enough lamps for most of the rooms (the girls had been technically using a night light but since they don't play up there after dinner it's been okay) but we had a problem on Saturday. Dear, sweet little Chloe decided to play with the lamp in the living room. It was one of those torchiere style lamps. I say was because when she finally knocked it over, the whole top smashed (light bulb and all, which made for a very fun night of cleaning up the remains of one of those mercury laden compact fluorescent bulbs. Very fun.) leaving us once again in the dark. The Christmas Tree Shops did not let us down. We found this great floor lamp for about half of what it would have been at Target. Now that I have it put together, I wish I had picked up two of them. And some light bulbs.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Settling In

We are finally settling in to our new home. A good many of our boxes have been unpacked and our house is starting to look like we live here. The girls are starting to get used to sharing a room, although we've temporarily set up Chloe's pack and play in our bedroom closet because it's the only place dark enough at naptime for her to even consider taking a nap. (That sounds awful - putting my baby in the closet. We do keep the door open!) We're going to have to invest in some blackout shades, I think. The girls and I took my cousin Kelly and made a run to Ikea the other day to find some, and although they were out of the size we needed, we did find some fabulous glass jars for our flour and sugar and whatnot.

The stairs are Caleb and Camille's number one source of entertainment these days. They like to race down them (or race objects down them), despite their mother's frequent pleading to please be careful. Their little sister has learned well. This morning I caught Chloe racing down the stairs on her belly (feet first, fortunately!) instead of crawling down carefully. I think we need to invest in a soft rug for the bottom of the stairs. It's only a matter of time before someone gets hurt.

Chloe's favorite past time is getting into things in the kitchen. This kitchen is much more accessible to little people. The counters are a little lower and there are no handles on the cabinets so next on the agenda is finding the cabinet locks so I can keep the baby out! She has been dragging her little chair over to the counters and busying herself by "organizing" the contents of the drawers and cabinets. She's very helpful. Watching her today I solved the mystery of why there were more dishes to wash than I had thought should be dirty...she took clean silverware and tossed them into the sink for me. She's very helpful. Now if someone will just explain the laundry mystery to me...

We moved in on Saturday, a week ago. On Tuesday I did several loads of laundry. Today, only four days later, I did another six loads. Where did all of this laundry come from? Each of us only wears one set of clothes a day and pajamas are usually worn at least twice in our house. Yet there were tons of dirty clothes. I'm going to pretend that sometime during the course of the week I unpacked a large box of dirty clothes. As awful as that sounds, it sounds much better than having my family actually dirty six loads of laundry in four days!

Our washer and dryer are downstairs in the basement. That is one of the most glorious features of our new place. It is so nice to have a place to store Christmas stuff, Rob's tools, out of season kids' clothes, etc. somewhere that's not my closet! We put some shelves down there for our kitchen gadgets (our kitchen is sorely lacking in cabinet space) and food storage. Chloe's favorite thing to do in the basement is to play with the food on the shelf. Today she grabbed a can of tomato paste and was all but insisting I open it for her. She loves tomatoes and I guess she thought that's what was inside because of the picture on the can. Somehow I think she would have been less than satisfied with the contents if I had opened it for her.

Caleb is getting settled in his new school. He loves it! The teachers and kids are all really friendly, and he has made some friends already. There are two other red heads in his class (a big deal since there were only a handful of red heads in his old school). I am really excited that he is transitioning well and feeling at home here already.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


So our new house has a set of stairs. A fairly large set of stairs, but they are carpeted which is very comforting since we have a young toddler in our family. So when she (or the other kids) fall down the stairs, at least they'll have a fairly soft (bumpy) way down until they get to the very bottom.

The good news is that tackling the stairs was Chloe's first goal in our new house. She takes every opportunity to sneak up (or down) the stairs. And since they're carpeted sometimes we don't catch it right away. This morning I was alerted to her climbing up the stairs only because there was an unfamiliar bumping noise. She was taking her bucket of plastic food upstairs so she could bring Daddy breakfast in bed (or make him play with choose). I wish I had been closer to my camera. The look she gave me as she paused to see that I was looking was priceless - for just a second or two before she continued on her way.

I'll post some pictures shortly. Perhaps after I get a few more boxes unpacked and it doesn't look like a complete disaster in here.

Speaking of disasters, here's a joke the kids have been telling:

Caleb's version:
"What did one tornado say to the other?" (Let's do the twist!)

Camille's version:
"What did the witch say to the tornado?" (Let's do the twist!)

(I don't get her version either.)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What we won't miss about North Carolina

Fire ants.

I think they get worse every year. This year they have infested our back yard and have traveled from place to place, no matter how much ant killer we put out for them. They move really quickly too, so one day they'll be in one spot and the next day the whole colony will be somewhere else.

Today while I packed up the kitchen I sent the kids outside to play. I kept my eyes on them through the window but was surprised when Camille came in panting, "Chloe got bit by a fire ant!"

I went out to see and the poor thing was covered in bites. Caleb had a friend over for a play date and he told me that Chloe climbed into her little car and then started crying. I looked over there and saw the car was parked on top of a huge patch of fire ants! They must have just moved there because they hadn't built it into a mound yet, plus I know there weren't ants there yesterday when she was playing there.

The girl was barefoot so she has bites all over her feet and ankles and halfway up her leg. Then she has them all over one hand and wrist (presumably the hand she used to swat them away) and even one on her belly. Once I got the last of the ants off her (squishing them with a vengeance for hurting my baby) she stopped crying and was thrilled to get some unexpected time in the bathtub!

Caleb friend's mom is a nurse and looked her over when she picked up her son, and agreed that since she's not acting like they're bothering her I'd be fine to give her some Benadryl and just keep an eye on her. She's totally fine.

But yeah, I think fire ants totally top the list of things I won't miss. Hopefully I'll have time before we roll out of here tomorrow to take pictures of some of the places and people that we will miss.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Funny Moments

My kids say the funniest things. This morning the kids were watching Reading Rainbow and it was the one where LeVar Burton did the episode on slavery, showing a pair of shackles and telling the kids all about slaves being brought from Africa on giant ships. Caleb was full of questions about it. Why did people have to be slaves? Why were they in handcuffs? Why did they have to be on that ship? This was my favorite, said about 20 minutes into the show:

"Mom, did I ever come from Africa on a ship?" When I answered that he did not, in fact, ever come from Africa on a ship, he questioned, "How do you know?"

Trust me, kid. Mothers know these things!

So then at lunch today, we were deciding between having canned peaches and canned pineapple. (We're moving this weekend and are trying to eat our food stores in the cabinets so we don't have to pack them and move them.) Caleb, having learned all about elections last week, took charge:

"Who wants peaches? Raise your hands." (Camille, Chloe, Caleb and I all raised our hands.)

"Who wants pineapple? Raise your hands." (Chloe raised her hand, but only because she was told to, and since she already voted her vote didn't count!)

"Okay...that's four votes for peaches and zero votes for pineapple. Looks like peaches are the winner! Peaches for President!"

(After that, we had to elect our family president. I got to be family president with Camille as my vice president. Chloe was elected family bodyguard. Caleb declined running for any office, claiming they were just "too hard.")

After that he asked this gem, "Mom, why do we have chins?"

M: Good question. Why do you think we have chins?
C1: I don't know.
C2: I know! I know why we have chins!
M: Okay, Camille. Tell us. Why do we have chins?
C2: To protect our faces from wild animals!

This is how I caught Camille wearing her socks the other day. Note the heel is sticking up on top, not even close to where it should be!

Here is Camille playing Cinderella. That's one of her favorite games to play. She gets to be Cinderella. I get to be the mean stepmother. I figure it's okay because I tell her what jobs to do and she does them. It's kind of a win-win for both of us! Here she is wiping the play gym down after she and Caleb decided to smear mud all over it. We let it dry and the next day Cinderella cleaned up the mess!

This little kid is so crazy! She's super busy all the time and LOVES to get into everything. You can tell here from the expression on her face just how mischievous she can be.

But so sweet too!

Poor Caleb looks worried. Is Chloe up to something or did all of that hard thinking today make him anxious?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bedtime Conversation

I was putting Camille to bed tonight when she asked the following:

C: Why do we have eyebrows?
M: Why do you think we have eyebrows?
C: I don't know.
M: Maybe it's to be decorations on our faces.
C: Why are eyebrows made of hair?
M: What do you want them to be made out of? Boogies?
C: Yeah. And then we could eat them.

Ug. It's times like that I cannot believe she is my child. She must get that from her Dad's side!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I'm Dying! I'm Dying!

I totally wish that I had a video camera out to capture Caleb's last performance. While waiting for his dinner to be ready, he decided to take Chloe's beans off her plate and throw them across the dining room. Then he decided to tackle Camille in her chair. I decided that he didn't need to be in the dining room with us and that he could eat after we were done.

Instead of going to his room as instructed, Caleb decided to sprawl on the floor and scream, "I'm so hungry! I'm starving! I need food! I'm dying! I'm dying! I'm so starving that I'm dying! I just need food! Food! Food! I'm starving! (This went on for about two and a half minutes, but I think you get the drift.)

That poor kid. He was happy and fine and playing five minutes before but all of a sudden he was dying of starvation. I guess being naughty takes a lot out of a kid!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Who Are You Voting For?

So Caleb's first grade class has been talking a little bit about elections. It must be a very little bit because this was our conversation after school yesterday.

C: Mom, who are you voting for?
M: Who am I voting for?
C: Yeah. Are you voting for James Madison or Duke?

Several months ago Caleb and Camille went with Rob's side of the family to watch a football game between Duke and James Madison. Every once in a while Caleb will bring it up out of the blue and talk about it for a while.

I realized at bedtime that his teacher did share quite a bit about elections with the kids because after I tucked him in he called me back to ask if I was voting for McCain or Obama. Thursday's homework is to write down facts they've learned about elections so I guess I'll learn then what Caleb learned!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Doctor or Nurse?

My big kids decided tonight that we should all play doctor. Camille was the doctor, Caleb was the nurse, Chloe was the patient and I was the patient's mom (a real stretch there...) Well, I soon realized that Caleb is horribly biased. He informed his sister that the nurse was in charge at his hospital because nurses are much smarter than doctors.

Camille, not phased by this in the slightest, turned to me and said,

C: Mommy, let's pretend that you're the sick kid and I'm the grown up doctor taking care of you. I am older than you.
M: You are?
C: Yes. You are two and I am sixteen. No. I'm fourteen.

Maybe Caleb was right. If the doctor is getting younger by the minute, maybe the nurse is smarter! :)