28 December 2007

Family Portrait

This is the best of O's realist stuff.
These = happiness to me

20 December 2007

Travel Stories

The "worldest peach" AKA the big peach is on the way to Indiana, which we'll pass on the way to E3's on Monday. I am looking forward to Santa as all good children are. Santa will be coming to Uncle Ethan's. Last time we where there, Eli peed on the carpeted floor, I scuffed up the garage, our car broke down which set off a chain of events that prevented our hosts from getting a Christmas tree when they wanted, and surley the wonderful dinner that they served us could have better digested without our little heel nippers. None the less, they are having us back, and I only hope that this time we will be better house guests.

14 December 2007

'Cause band-aid's stuck on me....

What is it with kids and band-aids? They hold this magic over kids that is unexplainable. Ollie got a little poke from a stick at school this week that his teacher put a band-aid on. This was the tiniest of scratches and he gingerly carried around his hand for a day not daring to get it wet in the bath tub or wash his hands. When we finally did make him get it wet, he had to have another one though I could have used a magnifying glass to find the scratch. He even asked as we entered the barber shop for a pre-Christmas mop chopping last night if it was a "band-aid-taking-off-shop." He seemed content when I assured him it was not, yet he did tell the stylist all about the band-aid, and he never talks to strangers. I once knew a girl whose parents used band-aids as a reward system, I think for pottying. Her mother laughed about people's public reaction to a youngster with so many injuries. Any parent could have spotted a band-aid junkie. Hey, maybe I should try wearing one the next time I am feeling blue. Maybe they ARE magic.

13 December 2007

I am aghast that it has been so long since I have updated the blog! Oh my! I have lots of excuses, but just a quick note that I am ransacked with Christmas cheer and end of the semester school duties. We all have one week left before we get to just kick back, enjoy one another and breathe. Pictures this weekend.

03 December 2007

It's glorious

In true Rayburn fashion, the boys are pictured here putting the icing on the Christmas tree cake. Evan and Ollie wrestled the thing down with their own bare hands.
3 year old bliss

02 December 2007

Which of these doesn't belong?

Laundry day falls on Sunday, and pictured below is always from the last load. Tedious, slightly different, stripped, shaped, and for different kids. A sock conundrum. Now, I'm no card-carrying red, but there seems to be some sort of logic to having only one sock choice at the store. "Equal socks saves housewives" should be my slogan. Identical socks could perserve time, sanity, and maybe even the environment as less socks would get trashed for lack of a partner. Yes indeed, universal same socks could save the world.

29 November 2007

Our Traditions

I have to admit that I check my own blog every once in while almost expecting that something has changed miraculously, and then realize that I am the only one that changes it!

Per a discussion with some friends, I began to ponder our families tried and true holiday routine. Like Evan's family can't have a Christmas without Angel bubble, cocktail shrimp and piles of no-bake cookies. Before Sunny (my grandmother) passed away several years ago, I guess we were pretty set in our way, as well. When you have kids it seems only natural to start building your own traditions. Evan and I really haven't yet done that. We swap families every other year for Thanksgiving and Christmas. What seems like such a simple concept often gets mired in conflict as we debate whose Christmas it is, and what that means for us schedule wise. When do we "do" Christmas with everyone else? So for a couple of weeks, I racked my brain trying to invent a tradition with the kids, or even conjure some constant. I have concluded that having the same food every year or even being in the same place is an idealistic and for us an unrealistic goal. Our tradition is change, travel, and flexibility. Evan and I have always been like that anyway, and somehow I forgot and started to get all wrapped up in mimicking what I thought was expected. I was actually stressed about Christmas and Thanksgiving because I couldn't please everyone, and that is certainly not the holiday spirit. So, here's to accepting our old traditions of staying flexible and being willing to get in the car and just drive.

20 November 2007

Green Quest

I am sincerely trying to lesson my impact and make better consumer choices this year. I have been inspired by friends and my recent readings to evaluate my daily life and decisions. In some ways, I cannot completely convert to leading a %100 perfectly eco-friendly life style because we are also economically challenged. I cannot, for example, run out and by a new Hybrid car nor can I afford to throw out working light bulbs to replace them with these. But, I can do small things. As I ponder what changes can be made, I realize that many times things that are good for the Earth happen to be good for our pocket book as well. The simple creed to consume less rings in my head. As I feel led, I will share with you my ideas and findings. For example, all my Christmas presents this year will be wrapped in Ollie and Eli's work that is sent home from pre-school. It is both colorful and delightful, and my word they pile it on. :)

17 November 2007

The Turkey's getting fat

And I am pondering consumerism and my footprint. How WILL my Christmas gifts affect the planet? How do I balance a single income household with environmentalism, caring for my friends and family, and being a responsible earth citizen? Why is plastic crap from China soo cheap? How do I bring joy to my family and friends without feeling guilty about our purchases? Oh my. Target and TJMax were packed today with thrifty shoppers. But who needs the crap you find there?
I come from a family where the motto is the more the better. Definitely quantity is better than quality, and I am starting to rethink those traditions. Ollie, at 3 is talking about getting tons of gifts from Santa, and I ponder our impact and pocket book. How do you balance Santa, the environment, Christ, and the Spirit of giving? I feel stuck in a conundrum of the holidays
PS. I have found kitty footprints on the edge of the toilet. And we let it mellow when yellow. Blech. Don't kiss the cat!

14 November 2007

O's Quote of the day

"Will you still love me if I break something?"
I got very, very serious got right at his eye level and had a discussion about unconditional love.
Parents are the best. No matter what, our children are a part of us. From toddler to teenager to adult, our children become our lives. What an incredible relationship.
Here's thinking of you Lulu.

09 November 2007

Bright Eyes

Was fan-freaking-tastic. We loved it. There was a young, hip crowd drinking soda pops while we guzzled $5 miller lites out of plastic cups. We then wandered back to the hotel and got up at 5:30 to pick up the boys from dads house before him and Kathy had to leave for work. I love these little spontaneous music trips of ours and I couldn't do it with out mom and pop. Thanks guys.

03 November 2007

Missing music

Is something that pains me, yet is an inevitable by product of aging, mothering, working full time, and having one adult member of the family in college. I remember a time when we would go to a show with nickles in our pockets, hope to get tickets when we arrived, and gave little thought to frivolities like food or sleeping arrangements. Once, I pawned our microwave before heading out of town with no intention of buying it back. Oh how times have changed, and I have passed on several things in the past couple of weeks, that I would have liked to see. Like Blues Traveler, Robert Earl Keen, Mothers Acting Up (I know, not music, but money none the less), and the Americana awards.
On a positive note, we ARE going to Birmingham on Wednesday night to see my new favorite, Bright Eyes. Some things are worth the sacrifice.

28 October 2007

A shout out to my mamas

In the beginning, I hated the computer and viewed time spent on it a waste, as much as watching TV. I couldn’t fathom spending time on one, communicating with people. I thought it was, well just nerdy. And then, I got really, really pregnant, and was under doctor’s orders to be on bed rest. I had never in my life experienced such down time, wherein I didn’t feel deathly ill. So, I ventured to try a chat group that the patchouli smelling leader of my child birthing class mentioned in class. That was 4 years ago, and I still check the mama board almost everyday. I saw a couple of the gals yesterday, and I was reminded how much their companionship and advice has meant to me as a mom. I appreciate so much that Angela has hosted this forum gracefully and peacefully with an amazing sense of humor and kindness. I love Sybil and Sara’s quick quips and am in awe of their 3 baby families, Karen’s generosity and time strapping in babies and Kim’s talent amazes me. I stand in awe of Rowena and Chelle’s artistry. I am humbled by Angel’s thoughtfulness, and inspired by Paige and Emily’s leadership and world changing actions. One day, I hope to be as accepting as Wendielu, as perceptive as Wendy, and I have never thought that evil Wendy really is evil, but instead see you as an ocean of wisdom. I am proud to know my favorite Cubana, the lovely and talented Brenda, and honest and sincere Cheeto. Heather has been a tremendous influence in the way I view children, and my role as a teacher, and Ginger’s perseverance and steadfastness have left me with a strong impression. Adrienne always fills my tummy and Diane makes me feel comfortable to curse. All of the mamas’ generosity astounds me. Your insistence on taking care of one another, and of the world as a whole truly restores hope in human decency and kindness. Thank you for your constant encouragement and endless opinions, prayers, and counsel. I am thrilled to see you all whenever I get a chance, and I can’t tell you how much each one have you have meant to me over the past years. You have helped make this adventure of motherhood so much smoother. I love you all. Even if your name wasn’t mentioned above, rest assured, I am eternally grateful for you.

26 October 2007

A real sweet video

Not of the boys, but tugged on my rock and roll heart strings none the less.
http://www.thisisbrighteyes.com/ Click on watch videos, choose First Day of my Life. It'll be fun, and what else have you got to do?

22 October 2007


Sick of Sick

The news report stands:
Eli has been to the doctor's office 4 times in the past month. One pink eye, one ear infection, one vomiting at school episode, and one fever. Ollie has been running a fever since Tuesday, and has been to the doctor once. I have missed school twice, Evan went to school one day last week, and we have been worried sick over children who have had a slight fever for what seems like forever. They are superficially sick. Just a little under the weather keeps everybody out of school. And, I am sick of it. God help us when flu season actually hits.

20 October 2007

The Cheese

A couple of years ago, Caleb, my nephew had a birthday party at ChuckyCheese. Ollie must have been 6 months old or so (or either 18 months, I can't remember, but not old enough to enjoy it). Anyway, we looked around dazed at all the lights and confused by the sounds and visions of little squirts super-charged on sugar and pizza with pockets full of gold coins. It was surreal, and I remember both Evan and I escaping as soon as possible shaking our heads in dismay and vowing to never go back to the Sin City for tots. But with so many things in parenthood, we ate our words, and took Ollie, now 3 1/2 back to that place. He was invited to a birthday party with some friends from his school. The boys had a blast (pictured above), I have to admit that I tossed a of couple skee-balls , and I love seeing O-Ray be social. I hear they have pizza, soda, coin specials, and maybe it isn't SUCH a bad place for a rainy day pick-me-up or for a no-mess-in-my-own-house kinda party. As we left, we did release a collective breathe of fresh air as the cloud of over stimulation lifted.

16 October 2007

Fall Fun

I haven't updated in a while, due to all of our fall activities. For some reason, I am unable to upload pictures, so you'll just have to trust how beautiful the children are. We have been to the Celebration of Cultures, camping at Edgar Evins State Park (which Evan is currently mapping!), to our local organic grower's fall festival, and a much anticipated trip to the pumpkin patch. Eli's first camping trip went smoothly, and he slept through the night outdoors. Ollie is a great fire builder, and even slept in his own tent almost all night. We have, of course, planted mums, and are loving the open-window weather.

07 October 2007

The great clothing switch

So I finally did it. A chore that I put off until the Velcro won't stay closed anymore on the shorts, and finding the belly is as easy as you please. For some reason, changing out the kids clothes seems to be such a chore. Elijah was still wearing 6-12 month clothes due to my reluctance to change out. In the bottom of his drawers were crumpled up pieces of clothes that we couldn't even pretend fit. The whole ordeal took no more than an hour, yet it is the last chore on the to-do list always that involves emptying every drawer, a trip or two to the attic, and a pile that comes out of the laundry. One of the many benefits of having 2 kids of the same gender, is that we already have tons of stuff for the little one to wear. I got to oh and ah in reminiscence at some of Ollie's ole faves. (I'm saving the 6-12 monthers on the chance that E2 has a boy this time (and I'm keeping my fingers crossed on that one)).

02 October 2007

Cool as a cucumber

The new tire-swing! My 3 sweet men-folk. Pepino, our newest addition. What fun :)

01 October 2007


Ollie got to go to his first festival this weekend, Mucklewain (turn your speakers on!) We had a great time. We left right after school on Friday, and rushed to Dickson so that we would make it in time to hear Porter Hall, Tennessee . As we were setting up the tent, O-Ray, of course had to poop, which he proceeded to do in this (which is way better than this.)grinning and comfortable as Evan and I put up the tent and EZ-up. Friday night held lots of good music for us. We met some nice folks, danced to great music under the moon, and curled up to sleep in the tent. Ollie slept like a rock never waking once, and I lay awake some of the night listening to 2 drunk guys outside my tent arguing about how lame the campground scene was. Lame for them, means great for families. (They left in their obnoxiously giant truck before the morning came). My favorite from Friday night had to be Those Darlins (seriously good music).
Saturday started with a quick trip to Antioch to refresh, shower, and squeeze Ligey. Among my musical favorites: Stacy Earle and Mark Stewart, Randy Boen (an old friend we were thrilled to see!), and Scott Miller. We were very bummed not to see Todd Snider, who headlined on the bill, but didn't show at the last minute. We left on Saturday night, and curled up in our own beds at a little past midnight.
All in all fun, fun, fun. Ollie is a rocker and a camper and could not make his parents prouder.

23 September 2007

Bobby D!

Every once in a while this toughmama has to go see the master. And, Thursday night we did just that.
Bob has yet to lose his magic, and good fun was had by all. Thanks to all who made it possible (ahem, dad). :)

19 September 2007

If you got a letter from me

And it was a little out dated, let me explain. I took the boys to get Wal-Mart pictures. We'll go on the safe side and say that it was July. Picture sending is not a simple task, and can only be done once the bugs are snug. I have to spread the pics out into several categories, label the backs, hand write a heart-felt note, find the addresses, AND have stamps in order to get them all out. This task is almost as monumental as sending Christmas cards; maybe I should have made the boys don Santa hats. So anyway, by the time the kiddos were snoring and I gathered all of my materials: scissors, pen, stationary, address book, and clips of the boys strained smiles, I was zonked. I would write 2, maybe 3 letters, realize that I was beyond tired, and pack everything away until a more convenient time. I finally finished the first phase of the process, and then proceeded to ride the letters around in the car with me instead of putting them in the mailbox, somehow thinking they would be better off at the post office which is nowhere near our house. So here it is September, and believe it or not, I still have 2 cards to send, without addresses on them. Who know what the notes on the inside say. When I first began the process, Eli couldn't even walk. Now he is practically running, but I hesitate to open the unsent for fear that they will make their way to the bottom of the to-do list pile and never reappear. Tomorrow's post will be about how I used to be better at correspondence and friendships. I promise I did. I blame it on the kids.
Oh, and if you didn't get WalMart pics, and would like some, please let me know. I'll send you copies within a couple of weeks of your request.

12 September 2007

Turning 28 for the 4th year in row

"But, I don't want to be 31." - me
Caressing my cheek, "But you have to, sweetie." -ollie

09 September 2007

No Bath Fridays

Rule!! If you've never tried this, I highly recommend it. It is such a joy at the end of a long week to realize one part of the routine isn't necessary. The boys enjoy it, too. Sometimes we do in fact rinse off, or like this week, we had bath Friday, and no bath Saturday instead because they were disgusting. We usually change sheets on the weekend anyway, so no worries of bed-bugs.
We have been out of town, or had guests the past 3 weekends in a row, and this weekend was joyfully uneventful. We bought bikes and a trailer (not for that much), and had a long bike ride. Evan is going to start biking to school, since we live so close. Anywho, life chugs on in the Boro, I can smell fall coming, and I have no bath Friday to look forward to next week so it will feel like we are off the hamster wheel for even a couple of minutes.

28 August 2007

Rubber duckies mold and other random observations

I had no idea that rubber duckies, though loveable and iconic, are also disposable at our house. We love them, but as soon as I can see black through the yellow, in the trash they go.
I love silly putty and play with it as if an addict. I won't let the kids touch it. They aren't responsible enough for it, plus it might be chalked full of chemicals and weird stuff. But, me, oh, my, sweet, sweet, putty.
ELI IS WALKING!! There, I have been meaning to post that for 2 weeks or so, and haven't had time.
Everybody is back at school. Ollie LOVES his, and I am happy with his teacher and program. Though, not Montessori, as I would have liked, the program does help prepare him for Kindergarten. Eli is eating, sleeping, and not crying in his class, and I suppose that means he likes it just fine. Neither of the boys have ever done "day care" and this is a huge step for us. I am mostly uncomfortable with the idea, but tend to rationalize and look on the bright side as all work-out-of-the-home moms must do. Evan seems to be digging his classes. He's almost done!!
The entire clan of in-laws is coming for labor day, so I am sure to have stories to tell after Monday, so stay tuned!
I know I owe all my adoring fans a few pictures, and will get to that soon.

21 August 2007

What should 2 southern women be doing at the end of summer?

Canning you say? Ding, ding, ding! What else in 100+ weather! Mom finally helped motivate me to do something with the store house of veggies that have accumulated in the last couple of weeks. We spent all Saturday filling the freezers. We poured cocktails and made salsa, froze green beans, crowder peas, butter beans, squash casserole, and okra ready for frying.We pickled okra (a first for me) and shucked a bushel of corn. I ducked out after that, but mom cored it all, and froze it. Hungry for veggies this winter we shall not be. So, come eat, y'all!

16 August 2007

162 New Children

That's how many students I have at the beginning of this new school year. Due to the under the weather stuff, and the back to school rush, I have neglected my blog.
Ollie is going to Bubba's by himself for the weekend, and I know that they will have a blast.
Evan and I went to a spur of the moment house party/ concert to see Adam Carroll last night. One more reason why I love this town. It was intimate and quiet. Great tunes and good brew.

10 August 2007

Don't kiss your friends

When your nose is runny
You may think its funny,
But itsnot
Snot, snot, snot, everywhere there's snot!
Enough said, I guess. Other than having to watch out for snot trails from baby noses on my work shirts, and not having a voice for my first day of school, and the whole not sleeping thing because the baby can't breathe, not to mention the 100 degree weather. Okay, I'm done.

05 August 2007

Evan's 15 minutes...

Of fame! Look whose pictures showed up on the home page for Nashville State where Evan completed his first 2 years of school. He has been at MTSU for the past year, and will finish with a bachelor's degree in Geo science next May. As we stumble away from summer, and roll up our sleeves for fall we both dread and anticipate the cycle of the school year.

31 July 2007

30 July 2007

Potty talk

What's a mom blog, without some mention of BM's?
Have you ever been traveling and been appalled at gas station bathrooms? As frequent road warriors, it is something we often face. A few observations: Why do preschoolers always HAVE to poop when the only thing within miles is a rank and dusty truck stop? Ollie likes to take his time in these places. Despite my constant nagging, he puts his hands everywhere on the potty and seems to successfully contaminate his entire body. If your booty is small, you have to use your hands to balance, you see. I, myself, prefer the hover, but I cannot hold a three-year-old up for eternity. We have used a potty seat, but that just means that a common house hold tool also has been in the pit, so to speak. He also comments on everything in the bathroom from the writing on the wall to inquiries about every sound coming from the adjacent stall. I have had to sing in a public restroom before to help him along. On our last trip, we stopped for the 14th time at a gas station that fits the previous description, and after about 10 straight minutes of discussing the grey, wet tiles, I lifted his cheek to find a clean bowl. He was stalling or pretending to have to go the entire time! Maybe he really did have to go, but froze up faced with such ambiance. At any rate, I was faced with the reality that we would probably have to stop again at another equally glamorous venue within the next hour so that he could take care of business. Ugh!! Not to be too graphic, but whenever I go, it seems my face is directly in a trash can, fake plant that is being used as an ash tray (um, gross to those of you who are so relaxed as to have a cig while on that gas station potty), or if it happens to be a port-a-potty, in a urinal. So as you can imagine, I prefer to hold number 2 until we reach a more suitable location, but I am suspicious that the younger member of our family actually is intrigued by the novelty of it all.

29 July 2007

S is for Super and the U is for Unique.....

This is a picture of Ollie last October. Since then he has grown about 12 feet, yet he still LOVES this costume. He will wear it everywhere and all day. This costume seems to make strangers so very happy. He gets the biggest grins when he wears it to the grocery store or the community center. Never yet has he seen a Superman cartoon, but he knows a lot about this superhero. Once, I looked into his big eyes of wonder and had a similar conversation: “I want to fly.” “Me, too, buddy, but people can’t fly.” “But Superman can fly.” “Yes, but he is a superhero, and superheroes are pretend.” “NO THEY AREN’T! THEY ARE REAL!!” (Imagine this said emphatically, knowingly, and with the paten O-Ray scowl.) He wore it, sadly for the last time this week. I had to put my foot down. The legs now only cover his knees and his, um, how shall I put this, his super parts were being cramped in the costume. He wore it one last day, everywhere we went, and then bid farewell to it as if it were a friend promising it to Eli when the time comes.

24 July 2007

Sports Mania

I have been meaning to post these pics of the little man playing some sort of sport. It's the latest craze. Croquet mallet, basketball, baseball glove wearing, knee pad & arm pad, skating, and calling it hockey kind of game. I love imagination, and for the record, skates work best on carpet if you are not an expert.

22 July 2007

Pictures from La Playa (see complete story below)

Our spot
The Beach
Our home
Some strange kid with just a head
Punk- rock dude

La Playa

We've just returned home from a near perfect vacation to South Carolina. Normally, we vacation at the Gulf Coast, specifically Destin. But we decided to try something new and at the last minute settled on Surfside Beach because it was the only available condo we could find. It turned out wonderfully. Mom went with us so Evan and I got to spend some time together one-on-one. We did all the usual beach stuff: buried O-Ray up to his neck in the sand, ate boiled shrimp, boogie boarded, played paddle ball while drinking cervezas before noon, and came home with suntans and sand in every crevasse of everything we own. Eli had a great time as well. We slathered him in sunscreen and no less than 5 minutes after hitting the beach he would roll his face in the sand. Usually his nose ran, too due to the salty air. So though no one really wanted to touch him until he had his bath, he hung in! By far the best beach purchase ever for us fair skinned white folks was the easy-up shown above. It really made all the difference between sun burn and sun tan!

12 July 2007


Ollie thought the above was a hysterical joke, and I have to admit, I do too! Again one of his crazy quotes. Señor for those of you who don't know, is our dog. He is so named not in relation to my Spanish interests as he has been around for longer than my college days. His name was chosen from this song. He is in doggy retirement in the country at my dad's house, where he now lives. So in a sense, we did drop him off in the country. He is extremely happy there. I know because my father makes me talk to him on the phone when I call. To the dog. On the phone. Now that is a little sillier than talking to a two year old on the phone, but I digress.
More sleep discussion: Ollie apparently had been playing with the alarm clock in Eli's room, so around mid-night last night, I heard a loud buzzing noise coming from Eli's room. I thought that I had diffused the situation without waking the baby and re-snuggled myself into bed. About 5 minutes later, I heard the same obnoxious tone, and realized that I had just pushed the snooze button. I had to go back into the lion's den, turn the damn thing off, and then resume sleep. Add that disturbance to the other wakings and I fear my end is not yet in sight! These children are so very perfect, that I fear I'll have nothing to complain about when they start sleeping.

05 July 2007

"I like watermelon pie" and tales of the reluctant co-sleeper

Ollie says lots of interesting things throughout his day, and the above was stated just as randomly as the title itself seems. He may be the author of all of titles from here on out. Just so you are warned.
When Eli turned 8 months, I was really excited. Ollie began to sleep through the night unassisted when HE turned 8 months, and so I ASSumed that Eli would follow suit. I kept expecting it to be right around the corner. Eli is now 13 months old, and has yet to pass that landmark. He still wakes consistently 4 - 5 times a night, sometimes takes as much as an hour or so to pacify. When we are on vacation, I become the reluctant co-sleeper as our family often sleeps in the same bedroom. I actually like sleeping with him. Eli is one of those snugly babies that craves physical contact (aren't they all? Well, some more than others...) I really think he wakes and decides he needs a hug before falling asleep some nights. There are many theories and suggestions about encouraging a good sleeper, all of which I am happy to entertain. We are not cry-it-out people, as this really doesn't help anyone in the house sleep, nor am I comfortable putting him to bed before us in a big-bed with the intention of all snuggling up together later on in the night. Standing over his crib and whispering only infuriates the illogical creature and results in me being yelled at by an infant half the night. Oh shall I go on for the things we've tried. Mainly, we just rub our foreheads in desperation as we enter into the bedroom of doom and half way feel that we have some how failed something as parents that we have not trained a good sleeper. Once, I read a book where you could hire a lady to come stay with you for the weekend, and she would train your baby to sleep. Now that is a niche that needs filled. I told myself that I would train him to sleep through the night before school began again in August, and still we have made no progress. I think in the end, the best strategy will be for patience and vigilance to know that in the end, he'll sleep when he's ready.

02 July 2007

Summer Cuisine

Let's talk food for a moment, shall we? Tonight's dinner included: fried green tomatoes, stuffed zucchini (stuffed with garlic, tomato, capers, goat cheese, and onion), white bean/ mozzarella/ basil salad thingy, cucumber salad,french bread (of course), and stuffed jalapenos (stuffed with cream cheese, garlic, and a bit of Parmesan). I tried to have strawberries for desert, but Ollie overruled that decision, and we opted for chocolate pudding instead. All veggies organic and local :) I still have a fridge full of squash and zucchini thanks to Bubba. Off to make some zucchini bread!

01 July 2007

Weekend parties!

The R family celebrated several monumental occasions last weekend in one fail swoop. Father's Day, anniversaries and birthdays all loped into one park-playing, chicken-eating fiesta. Thanks to the illustrious and famous Emo for making it possible.

The pool above is a picture of my dad's place. He threw a rocking 4th of July party this weekend, and we had a blast.

28 June 2007

Eli Talks!

He has a sweet little voice and says ba (ball), mama, daaaa (dad), ba (bath), tikitikitiki (tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle), and Bubba (bubba). We've been trying sign language a little and though he shows recognition when I use it, he doesn't quite get his fingers moving. Ahhh, communication is so fascinating.
This is our new house! I haven't yet posted any pictures of it. We are still working on it every day. Maybe I'll get around to the inside pictures soon.

26 June 2007

This weekend our family returned a huge favor by helping Uncle Ethie move to his new pad. (Though, I am not sure how much help a family with 2 kids under 4 are in moving situations, we sure enjoyed family time.) Ethan and Danielle still live in Evan’s hometown, Terre Haute, IN which is where I also graduated from high school. To me it is a very flat, corn-filled, railroad laden, grey town in the middle of the north. But to my in-laws it is a quaint, quiet perfect hometown. It’s all about perspective, no? So anyway, I was particularly struck by the oddity of Indiana when Sunday arrived. We had plans to settle in and play a little 90’s Trivial Pursuit, when the unanimous decision was made to purchase some frosty brew- which you can’t do on Sunday in Indiana. The boys made a B, double E, double R, U, N to Illinois to save the day. An hour or so later, upon return, Evan chuckled that though Hosiers are protected from the sin of private alcohol consumption on the Sabbath, they can in fact still purchase girly mags and adult toys from the 24 hour porn shops littered across the country side. Go figure.

On a side note, I was shocked at how much I don’t remember the 90’s. I graduated from high school in ’94, and seemingly this would have been one Trivial pursuit game that I could kick butt in, but alas, no. Too many Grateful Dead shows, I guess. When in doubt, if you ever play, the answer is probably one of the following: Madonna, RuPaul, or Compaq computers. (AND, the shoes I couldn’t remember are Tretorns!)

More on what the kids were up to tomorrow. Oh and no disrespect to any of my beloved Indianans or Hautions, as I am sure you could come up with some corkers about the South as well.

19 June 2007

The toys have taken over

It's official. Every once in a while, as I glance around la casa I realize that I am no longer in charge. I desperately, well, theoretically subscribe to Montessori principles that propose that children and adults should finish one task before starting another. In the Montessori teachings, the full circle of things is emphasized and children as well as adults are to pick-up one thing, as well as put it away before another task is started. So, ideally the train set gets put away before the indoor croquet set is taken out of the bag and strewn around the house. Some days, we are good at doing just that. Others, like today, bed-time becomes a struggle as we try to develop order out of chaos. I hate to be anal about it, but the children trip on their way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I even step on little poky things of plastic and curse in a sleepy haze. Maybe I should just clear a path, part the sea of plastic, and let everyone wallow in the toys.

17 June 2007

El dia del Padre!

Evan is a wonderful man and father, and I cannot tell you how much he does for his children. Today after a breakfast of pecan pancakes and OJ, we headed to Cedars of Lebanon state park. We hiked in the woods, played on the playground. Had a snack of apples, carrots, cheese, and went swimming. The day ended with a cook-out. Thanks for all the good times Evarooskie, you're the greatest....

My own dad IS possibly one of the greatest men on earth, and I have so much respect and admiration for him that I am at a loss for words. He is everything that a father should be, and I don't know what I would do without him. Love you pops.

16 June 2007


So Evan and I finally celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary yesterday. We drove to Indy to see Wilco play at the Murat theater. I think the best part of the trip was sleeping through the night in a hotel! Of course, we missed the rug rats. I even woke up about 6:30 ready to come back home. Dad and Kathy toughed it out with them back at the ranch, and everything was still standing when we got home. Thanks guys. :)
P.S. Hannah, our niece was born the day after Eli, and she is adorable. And, she is WALKING. I was very impressed. Hopefully Eli will be running after her before too long.

12 June 2007

Garage Sales!

The all-time perfect way to spend a hard earned allowance. Ollie now has 3 chores.

1-Get undressed and dressed with minimal coaxing and assistance.

2-Pick up toys, again with little coaxing and assistance.

And 3-Set the table.

He gets a quarter at the end of the week for keeping up with these chores for the most part throughout the week. This week, I finally remembered to give him his allowance as we left for yard sales. He let those quarters jingle around in his pocket almost all morning. He finally picked out a watch that was marked $1. The man gave him a bargain at 50 cents. He loves that watch. At dinner, when he spilled his milk, he looked down and said calmly, "It's okay." Evan and I agreed that it was okay, and Ollie said, "It's okay because it didn't get on my watch!" (I saw the watch, now not working, on his dresser tonight.) His second purchase was at the very end of the day and a large, dirty well loved digger. He is obsessed with digging in a bed of black mulch that I haven't planted flowers in yet. Him and Eli both come into the house looking like chimney sweeps, or as Ollie calls them, trolls. His last purchase that he used the last 2 quarters to make, he bought at a restaurant we went to before calling it a day was a super bouncy ball. It was the first time he has ever gotten to buy something out of those machines they put at kid level with crap in. Bouncy balls seem to me the superior of the knee-high crap, and I was pleased with that purchase as well.

I found each of the things that he bought to surprise and delight me, and I was pleased with his careful scrutiny of the items he chose. I was impressed that the items he bought didn't seem to be frivolous or spontaneous. He was serious, and sincerely loved every purchase he made. I think it says something about his personality, and I am proud of him. (Only a mother could be proud of such silly purchases!)

I made sure to remind him that his allowance was tied to his actions, and I have heard him say that this week. "That's one of my chores."

06 June 2007

Ahhhh, childhood

Play dates are a MUST in the summer for kids and adults. Ollie loves to have kids over, and I enjoy talking to other moms. Here are some action shots. Thanks for coming over girls.

05 June 2007

Eli roll!!

Birthday Pics of the beautiful boy! Yummy!! He had a bath in the bathtub in the background before going in for the night. The 3 boys!A new swing!Yes, I decorated the cake my self. It was a Rayburn special. Yellow cake with chocolate icing. The adult version includes walnuts, but Eli's did not. New Blocks!