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!

03 June 2007

Eli's ONE!

Oh my, where has the year gone?!! Last year I had one week off for summer vacation before I popped. And, as is my tradition, the following is his birth story.

Friday, June 2, 2006 was Evan’s first night at work at his summer job, cooking at TGIFridays (and no, no flair required). He worked 12 hours, and stumbled in stinking and wet at 11:30. He cracked open a beer, just as I had a very uncomfortable feeling in my tummy. I couldn’t get to sleep; I had all of this energy pulsating through me. Finally, I decided that the ache would probably subside if I got in the shower. As I did so, I called to him, to not get to comfortable, that this might be it. I called my mom, my hypnobirthing instructor, and asked sort of frantically if she could please come over and spend the night, as I was not feeling well. I opted for a bath instead of the shower, and wished that we had a huge tub so that my enormous belly would fit in it. Evan came rolling around to check on me, and when I wouldn’t let him talk to me during the pain, he decided to get the bag ready to go. At this point, my surges were coming pretty close together, and I was getting very anxious. I couldn’t dress myself when I got out of the bath. I called the mid-wives and simply said, I coming. Deborah Wage called back, and said given your history, you are probably right, come on down. When my mom finally arrived she came in perky, and I just said, “We are leaving right now for the hospital.” As I labored out to the car, she helped Evan, as he and Ollie where to follow us to the hospital separately. The bumpy roads drove me insane, and the car ride was probably the hardest part. All in all, though, I accepted that this was labor, and that it was supposed to feel like that. I’ll admit spending the entire night in that much agony seemed daunting. When I got to Vanderbilt, the receptionist wanted to talk, and I just couldn’t handle it. My mom was parking the car, and I was trying to go to the bathroom. During contractions, I would ask those dummies to just be quiet for a minute, and they just kept talking to me. They wouldn’t let me use the bathroom, something about “Do you know how many babies have been born on toilets?” I needed to focus and concentrate, couldn’t they see that??? When I finally made it up to the room, my nurse insisted on checking me. I had gotten in the shower, and she stuck her hand in, and pronounced, 5cm. I almost cried. Instead, I asked for an epidural. I spent some time on the toilet, in the bed, and back in the shower. When Deborah came in, she very diplomatically said, what was your birth plan, we will support you in any way, are you sure, yadda, yadda, and let me check you one more time before we give an epidural. When she checked she said, you are at 10, it’s time to push. Oh halleluiah. She said, you’ve got to listen to me, and push when I tell you, so that we have a more successful birth time than last. I did what she said, pushed about 4 times, and Elijah Robert Rayburn was born at 2:54 am, June 3. All in all, it was a peaceful birth with no screaming. Evan and Ollie came in immediately. They had only been at the hospital a little over an hour. I had a first degree tear that Deborah stitched up. Ollie kept saying, “What’s the doctor doing? And what’s mommy doing??” It really was magical and so different than the onslaught of people that were in the room with Ollie. The lights were dim, voices quiet and only 3 people besides my family in the room. Several times I would have thrown the clock that was staring me in the face across the room, but other than that I was able to remain calm. I never listened to my music, used my aromatherapy, or sat on my birthing ball (I think Deborah caught the baby on it). Recovery has been much smoother and positive, than with Ollie, too, and if I can just get the hang of this breastfeeding business, life will be peachy. So in short, perfect hypnobirth, 4 pushes, and about 3 hours of labor.

01 June 2007

O-Ray's first concert!

We think it's monumental! Evan and I have been wanting to take him to hear live music for the longest time, and last night was finally the perfect opportunity. We left Eli with Shug, and headed to downtown Nashville, sat under a full moon and jammed to Donna the Buffalo. There were several other families, lots of dancing, a glistening river, and one happy little boy. He stayed out on the town til 10PM!! He said several things that cracked me up. When the band struck up the first song, he exclaimed almost immediately, "we have this song at home!" He also looked around with amazement and decided, "this is like a festival!" And, last, but not least as we sat cozily as a family, he said, "look, my feet are dancing!"
I think the theme for the summer will be "packing it in" as I revel in the perk of being a teacher. Yesterday we also went to the local art museum, the Frist. Today was a pool party with some fellow teachers, tomorrow an ice cream festival, picking up my yummy veggies, and Cirque de soliel! House work and unpacking be damned!