Yes, it is!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Jackie cut her hair again. And she did a pretty good job, too. I was in the office packing stuff for storage and when I went into the bathroom, the first thing I saw was a bunch of hair about 4 inches long. I froze for a moment in panic before calling Jackie into the bathroom. Thankfully, it was not noticeable where she cut the hair off. I really think she aspires to be a singing hair stylist. She loves to sing and she loves to play with hair. She has the voice of an angel and for her age, she sounds really good and on key most of the time. She is so creative and makes up words to familiar tunes. It is quite funny sometimes because some of her made-up lyrics include events or conversations that recently happened. She really is a special little girl and as difficult as she is at times, I love her fiercely.
Ben is changing on a daily basis. He really is looking so grown up now. He is standing up at times but when he realizes that he is standing on his own, he loses confidence and immediately gets back down on all fours. He is climbing into and onto everything. He climbed the stairs all by himself last Thursday night. I went to make a quick trip sans children to Target and then Petsmart. Ben is still quite the momma's boy. Apparently he missed me right away after I left so he climbed the stairs in search of me. Tim did not realize that Ben had climbed the stairs by himself and when Tim found Ben, Ben was upstairs already and going from room to room in search of his momma. Phew!! When Tim told me about that, my heart sank for a moment from the thought of Ben falling down the stairs and hurting his head. But all is well and hopefully Tim will keep a better eye on Ben next time.
I finally got my Illinois driver license and I registered to vote as an Illinois resident last Friday. Since Jackie went to the babysitter after school, I went to the mall with Ben to return something at JCPenney. Since I was at the mall without a whining toddler, I decided to do some shopping and I found some fantastic buys at Macy's. While I was paying for my items, the salesgirl had a panicked look while looking at Ben. I looked down at Ben and there he was standing in the stroller leaning over the tray. He figured out how to slip out of the straps! So I get him settled back into the stroller and get on my way to do some more mall walking and Ben slipped out of the straps and stood up again. He did the same thing when I walked with my neighbor and her infant son. I think I need to get a 5-point harness stroller but I know that will make Ben angry if he can't move forward in the stroller to look around. We have to be careful to keep things out of reach that he can climb upon. He climbed up on Jackie's step stool in the bathroom and stood up against the counter just like Jackie does when she brushes her teeth. He has no fear until he falls. His new fascination this week is the toilet. The toilet lids here must stay shut lest Ben starts swishing his hand around in the water. I try to keep the doors closed but with a nearly 4-year old girl, it is difficult to stay on top of everything. One day this past week, Jackie was on the potty while I was putting laundry away. Ben was crawling around in my bedroom but while I was putting laundry away, he decided to explore further. After a moment, I heard Jackie whining and sounding frustrated. I went into the bathroom and there was Jackie standing in front of the toilet with her pants at her ankles and Ben was playing in the toilet. I quickly went to pick up Ben and discovered that he was going to need more than a hand washing. He needed a good scrubbing. I don't need to say more. Hehehe. Thankfully he did not do what my fellow December mom's son did which was actually eat a piece of pee toilet paper. Ewww! I caught Ben in time.
Today was spent dismantling and packing stuff for storage. We have not gotten any offers on the house, yet. We will be doing an open house next Wednesday evening. Hopefully, with the lower price, we can sell this house soon. I am anxious to get into a single story house and with a basement. I am so sick of these stairs. I have also found it to be more difficult to keep the house clean and organized than when I had a single level home. And with Ben climbing and almost walking everywhere, I really fear him falling down those dreaded stairs. We will never buy another 2-story home.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What a week this has been. We still have not sold this house so we have lowered the price again. We have a lousy realtor, though. I am checking into how we can get out of the listing contract. I have been waiting for more than a week for her to call me. She likes email better but there are just some things that need to be discussed via phone. And now according to her latest email, she will be grieving for awhile because her brother-in-law died unexpectedly. I wonder what she means by awhile. Tim says to give her another week. I say fire her now!
I watched a friend's 4 children this past Thursday night for about 4 hours. Whew, thank God I just have my own 2 kids. The kids range in age from 6 years down to 13 months. Julie's husband was just deployed this week and Julie was invited to a concert Thursday night. I watched the kids here at our house but I had to lay down some rules because I did not want them to destroy my home. They have more freedom to make a mess at their house but they were not allowed that freedom here. So I made them stay in the family room where I had gates at each entry point. But everytime Tim went through a gate and left it open, it was like the flood gates were released. Those kids did not miss an opportunity to escape out of the family room. After I fed them dinner, we all went outside to play for awhile while Tim mowed the lawn. It was quite a chore, though, to keep an eye on 6 kids at one time and 2 dogs. For all you daycare providers, God bless you. Tim must really think I am super woman because he let our dog, Lucy, out of the back yard while he mowed back there. I was surprised that I still had my voice the next morning from having to shout at the dog to get back in our yard in addition to tending to all of the kids. Eight o'clock couldn't come soon enough when I was finally able to get all of the kids into bed. Whew!
I finally went yesterday and took the test to get my Illinois driver license. It was so crazy easy. I do not know how people actually fail but apparently there are some who do fail. I also registered to vote in Illinois now that we are Illinois residents. Since Jackie went to the babysitter's after school, after finishing up at the DMV office, I took Ben with me to the mall. It was so nice to be able to walk around the mall without a screaming, complaining three year old. I found some awesome bargains for the kids at Macy's and Gymboree. I really need to update my own wardrobe but everytime I try to shop for myself, I just cannot decide what I really like. Pam, I miss you, my shopping buddy. You need to come up here. Last night after Tim got home from work, Tim decided to take us to St. Louis to the hot air balloon glow. After seeing the traffic backed up for a couple of miles on both sides of the interstate, Tim decided that we weren't going to see the balloons after all and that we'll go to Trader Joe's. So off to Trader Joe's a couple more miles down the road. Then on our way home on our side of the river, we went to Dupo to watch the trains for a little while. Tim enjoys trains and often talks about getting a train set for the kids.
This morning I was able to get a 3 1/2 hour break from both of the kids. Woohoo. That was the first time that Tim has ever kept both kids for that amount of time. It was so nice to finally have time for myself. I had breakfast with my friend, Lisa. Then she and I went to drop off recyclables at the Illinois Center for Autism. Then we went to the new Target where I found some more awesome bargains. When I came home, I could tell that Tim was a little bit stressed. He stated that Ben was a handful and he finally put Ben in the swing. Poor Tim. That was just a minute taste of what I deal with on a daily basis. Bless his heart, Ben was so happy to see me. I asked Tim how Ben was such a handful and it seems that Ben was just too inquisitive and adventurous and Ben got upset everytime Tim re-directed him. And Tim often talks about me going to work and Tim staying home with the kids. Ha! Good thing Tim just jokes about it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This past week has been incredibly busy. Last Sunday, Tim received a phone call from a co-worker who was supposed to go out of town for a conference. Unfortunately, the co-worker was ill and unable to travel so Tim had to take his place. Thus began scramble for transportation and lodging. Tim left for Washington, DC Monday morning and he was supposed to arrive home last night but his flight was delayed in Charlotte and the connecting flight was missed. So, he finally returned home this afternoon.
I was so excited to start tap dance lessons this past Tuesday. I was nervous about it because I have never taken tap dance but I thought this would be a great way to get some good exercise. And my friend, Charlotte, was going to be there. Well, Charlotte called that afternoon and informed me that it was no longer a tap class but now it was a jazz/lyrical dance class. I thought I would give it a try anyway. I had a babysitter lined up and I was dressed for it and I waited for the sitter to arrive at 8:10 that evening. Surely the sitter did not forget about me? Well, I waited a little longer and finally at 8:25, I called her house and there was no answer. Now, I was worried. I left a message saying that I hoped everything was okay. She called back a couple of minutes later and it appears that she completely forgot. I was so disappointed. I could tell the babysitter felt terrible and she even offered to come over right away since she lives just a few streets over. Unfortunately, by the time she would get here and I would get to the dance studio, class would have been half over so I told her no, that I was just going to stay home. Oh well, it was disappointing. I am going to find another place where adult tap lessons are offered.
Ben is now 9 months old. He had his well baby visit yesterday morning. I was very surprised that he weighed just 16 pounds, 10 ounces. The technician made sure the scale was balanced and weighed Ben again and the figures were unchanged. So that makes him less than 5th percentile for boys his age. His height is in the average range with 28 inches. The doctor was not happy about Ben's weight. I am not worried about it. He eats plenty but he has also become quite active lately. I think most doctors are more concerned about that growth chart than they are about each child's genetic make-up. I explained to the doctor that Ben eats quite a bit throughout the day and his sister was very petite as an infant herself. Jackie did not even weigh 16 pounds at a year old. Now Ben has to go back to the doctor in another month for a weight check.
After we left the doctor's office, the kids and I went to get the dogs some food. I bought a less expensive premium food but the dogs did not appear to like it. If Lucy does not eat something, then it must be pretty bad. So, I went back to their other more expensive food and now they are eating again. I thought cats were the finicky ones.
Later in the afternoon, Jackie had her physical therapy appointment and she did very well at listening to instructions. Last week, she lost her snack reward because she continued to misbehave during therapy. While there, Ben discovered the walking toy and he did so well walking behind it. I think he is going to be taking steps very soon. After therapy, we headed over to Jackie's dance lesson. Jackie looks so cute in her dance tights and leotard. After we left her dance lesson, I received a phone call that a potential buyer wanted to look at our house in 30 minutes. Thirty minutes?!!! Boy, was I stressed. The MLS states that we need a 2-4 hour noticed to give us time to put away toys, baby stuff, and crate up the dogs. So, I rush home to make sure the house is presentable and the dogs are crated. Then the kids and I went across the street to the neighbor's house while the house is being shown. My day yesterday was non-stop from morning until bedtime for the kids. Later I received an email with feedback from the showing earlier in the evening and the feedback said that the potential buyers did not like the floor plan.
We had another showing today but I have yet to receive feedback from it. Hopefully, it will be more positive. I really need this house to sell soon so that we can get into a house that is more baby-friendly. We looked at a single-story ranch this evening. The house was beautiful and the floor plan was terrific. The house was located in one of my favorite subdivisions but the location of this particular house helped us decide that it was not the one for us. The backyard was very tiny and it backed up to a major road. We really want our next house to be toward the back of a neighborhood, preferably in a cul-de-sac.
I took Ben for his 9-month photos today. He is such a ham. The photographer seemed to enjoy working with Ben. Ben is so easy to elicit a smile from. I will try to post some of those photos soon.
Ben had his first real taste of dog food tonight. I was so grossed out. I saw Ben moving his jaw as if he was chewing gum. That is always a sign that Ben has something foreign in his mouth. Rarely a day goes by that I am not digging something out of his mouth. Well, I saw that tell-tale sign of chewing and after digging around, I found a piece of dog food on the roof of Ben's mouth. Ben was quite upset that I took it away. He has been trying for a couple of months to get into the dog's dish and he finally succeeded tonight. And I spoiled that success for him.
I thank God for my beautiful children. They are so precious to me. I just love my family.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Jackie started her dance lessons yesterday. She is taking a combo class in which they do ballet for the first half hour and then tap for the last half hour. I was so nervous that Jackie would not participate. I had taken her to a trial lesson about a month ago and she just sat there and acted too shy to do anything. But she surprised me yesterday. She went right in and sat on her "x" until her class started. She was cute in her little pink tights and leotard. The day before her lessons started, I took her shopping for her ballet slippers and tap shoes and she seemed so excited about it and I had hoped that she would be that excited in the actual class. My prayers were answered. I was so proud of her.
The students in Jackie's class at school each have notebooks in which the teacher writes notes for each day about the student and the parents are encouraged to also write notes. Today she came home and after lunch, I read her teacher's note and Mrs. Wafer wrote that Jackie told her that she flew a kite at home. Yes, it's true that she and Daddy flew her Dora kite but that was back in May. It's incredible what she remembers and the time she remembers such events. She still talks about the time we took Lucy to the base pool a year ago. She is so precious and she is growing up so quickly.
She had gymnastics today. Now she has taken gymnastics for nearly a year and every week, she just sits there and watches all the other students do their warm-up exercises. She just wanted to do the other activities. Well, today for the first time, she actually participated in the warm-up time. I was surprised and so proud of her. She did great on all the activities throughout the entire hour. I just love how gymnastics is helping to not only build up her strength but also her confidence.
Ben is growing up so very fast. He is such a fast crawler. And very curious. This morning after Jackie left for school, I was upstairs getting changed and Ben was crawling around exploring his world. I realized that I had not seen him for a few moments so I went looking for him and found him in the hall bathroom where he was busy making a mess of all my stuff that I keep under the sink. He had my make-up sponge in his mouth and he was surrounded by various other "girlie" objects. Everytime I took the sponge away, he would grab it back from me and proceed to put it back in his mouth. It either tasted good or it felt good in his mouth. I'm glad that he did not figure out how to open my lipstick. He tried, though. I already went through that with Jackie. Last night, he discovered Jackie's play vacuum cleaner and that is now one of his favorite toys. I think he likes how it sounds like it is really vacuuming. He saw it again today and was so excited about it. Maybe that's a sign that he will be my helper boy around here.
I just love my children so very much and I thank God every day for them. He is good!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hello! I hope everyone had a nice Labor Day weekend. It turned out to be a hot day here. I can't wait for the weather to start to cool down to the 70s.
Jackie is getting so good at riding her bike. Her daddy bought her a Thomas & Friends bike a few months ago but Jackie had difficulty learning to ride it without the constant braking. She is finally able to keep the forward movement going. Last Thursday she rode her bike a couple of blocks with just a little assistance. Then Daddy took her out over the weekend and she rode her bike for very long distance for such a little girl. Her left leg still gets fatigued but her strength is improving greatly.
Today when she came home from school, she told me all about her school day. I am amazed at how far she has come with her speech. Today she told me that she loves Ms. Coombs (her SLP) and that Ms. Coombs worked with her today. I asked her if she also loves her teacher, Mrs. Wafer and her assistant, Ms. Lisa and Jackie said that she loves Mrs. Wafer & Ms. Lisa. She also said that Ms. Peggy (her school PT) said Hi to her. It was such a nice day with Jackie and she was so conversational. Until, that is, we hung out in my bedroom while Ben took a nap. I let Jackie write with a pencil on a piece of paper. She was warned not to write anywhere else but on the paper. A short time later, I discovered that she took it upon herself to leave a design in pencil on my nightstand. So she was reprimanded for that. Other than that, we had good behavior today. It made for an easier day. Daddy came home and after we finished an early dinner, he headed out to his class in Granite City. Since Jackie was on her best behavior today, I decided to venture out with her and go shopping for her dance shoes. We got her ballet slippers and tap shoes at Payless Shoes where they had a buy one, get one for half price sale going on. Jackie was so excited to try on those tap shoes. I certainly hope she cooperates tomorrow when she starts her first dance lesson. She does get somewhat shy around new people and will refuse to participate.
Ben is growing so quickly. He has been so good about sleeping throught the night these past couple of weeks. Tonight after he finished his dinner, I placed a handful of cheerios on his tray so he could snack while I got the kitchen cleaned up. After awhile, I realized he was so quiet and when I looked at him, he had fallen asleep. He had taken only a couple of micro-naps today so he was a tired boy.