Broken heaters, flat tires, and mommy must weigh a ton

By Moriah on December 31st, 2008

Our heat is broken. Something to do with the furnace; a repair guy has the needed part on order which is supposed to come today. Makes me glad we don’t live in, I don’t know, Alaska.

So we’ve been bundling up at nighttime and wearing fleece during the day. And since it really hasn’t been that cold, it’s been mostly a fun adventure. (Which is subject to change.)

Yesterday the kids were outside, and I was helping Adelaide up onto the trampoline, and Drew said to me, “don’t jump, mama! It’ll rip!!!”

Thank you, son.

(At least he’s 5 and not 15.)

Last night Andy had off so we decided to take the kids to the bistro-side of his restaurant for dinner. They were really good, all things considering, and a just a touch over-friendly. A few times they ran back over to talk to one of the regular customers Andy had introduced them to before we sat down. Madeline nearly knocked into a server once.

We’re having Drew’s birthday party here this weekend, so Andy had planned on borrowing a friend’s truck to clear some stuff out of the backyard. After we got home from dinner, he left to go switch his car for the truck.

I had barely closed the door from putting Adelaide to bed when he called asking me to come and get him – his friend had forgotten to drive his truck AND Andy’s own tire was flat. The spare was flat, too. Lovely.

PLUS, by the time I got Adelaide out of bed, everyone loaded up, and drove over there, Andy had already been to the gas station and filled up the spare and was in the process of changing the tire. So we basically drove over there for nothing.

But the kids LOVED it. I let Drew and Madeline watch out the passenger’s window and they thought it all very exciting. And dutifully provided Andy with a running commentary. At least he wasn’t alone.

Nothing like free entertainment for the toddler set.

Back to Business as Usual

By Moriah on December 29th, 2008

I have two goals for today: do three loads of laundry and vacuum my whole house. It’s not a huge commitment, but it will make a huge difference. And it’s attainable, which is convenient.

Andy stayed home from church yesterday with a congested Adelaide. I think she sounds worse than she is, but it’s the kind of sound someone passing by the nursery would wonder why on EARTH that child isn’t at home. So we didn’t go there.

But that meant I had sole wrestling duty with the other kids before, through, and after the service. And they have this terrible habit of running wherever they go. (Must deal with that.) You can picture me balancing the two pans of sweet rolls for our Sunday school snack with my purse and coffee mug and running after them, frantically calling names.

Oh, and we had to take three different trips to the potty during the service alone. But each request was so urgent, I didn’t dare risk making them wait. (Yes, our older kids sit with us in church.) Having kids is an ongoing lesson in humility, that’s for certain.

It’s FINALLY nice and sunny out, so hopefully the kids can spend some quality time outside, getting fresh air and expending energy, and I can reach the bottom of our laundry bins.

Busy, busy, busy

By Moriah on December 27th, 2008

As I’m sure you have been, too.

Would you believe it, I got stuck running last-minute errands on Christmas Eve – the ONE thing I didn’t want to do. But I had forgotten a few ingredients so it couldn’t be helped.

And then I left the two dvds I had bought as stocking stuffers for Andy with the cashier at Wal-Mart and had to go back and retrieve them.

Not a bright and shining holiday moment but it was either that or lose out on the $20.

Our Lessons and Carols service was wonderful. Drew spotted Vangie and John a few rows behind us halfway through the service and made a beeline for them. I then spent the rest of the time trying to corral Madeline, who wanted to go sit with them, too. But we weren’t going to play musical chairs in the middle of the service and I had firmly told her no.

My brother and sister-in-law came over afterwards for fondue and snacks. We had a great time, but they didn’t leave ‘till midnight! So I was up very late playing santa and rolling the coffee buns for Christmas breakfast.

Thankfully the kids woke up after 8 on Christmas morning, and it was so sweet to just be our little family and spend the morning quietly at home. We did Skype with Andy’s folks a bit (we got them a webcam this year) and around mid-afternoon I got my second-ever turkey in the oven.

(This time I tried brining it first and I will never look back. Oh, MY.)

I had planned on spending the afternoon cooking. But then, Andy got it in his head to set up the kids’ gift from all the grandparents, even though we’d agreed to wait because of the recent weather and the tree situation. I got roped into helping him and my cooking plans were neatly tossed out the window.

That huge box sitting in my dining room? Was this:

Unfortunately it’s been mostly dreary so the kids have only gotten to play on it maybe an hour so far. But I’m sure they’ll use it to death in the coming years.

I did finally get the holiday meal thrown together before Micah and Erin showed up again (and another friend, too). It was quite a lot of food, but then again I won’t need to cook the rest of the weekend. Possibly the best turkey I’ve ever had. And another great time had by all.

Late yesterday afternoon, the kids and I went to John’s family’s open house. I knew there would be tons of kids there so I didn’t think twice about going alone (Andy had to work) and I’m so glad I went. They had hired a couple of teenagers from the church to help with the kids and I actually got to socialize. (And it was the last time I got to hang out with Vangie since they leave today.)

My favorite gift? My folks got Andy and I a flip video, and so I will leave you with a taste of the hilarity that’s ensued:

Also entitled “He cracks himself up”:

(I used the quick upload, so the quality isn’t as good as it can be… I need to play around with it more.)

***Edited to add his lyrics: “1,2,3,4,5, I picked a fish. 6,7,8,9,10, I threw it back again.”

“Why did you let it go?”

“‘Cause it bit me!!”

Merry Christmas, Every One

By Moriah on December 25th, 2008

Christmas Trees and Hatching Spiders

By Moriah on December 23rd, 2008

Our very first married Christmas, Andy had this big idea to go chop down a tree himself somewhere near our house. He had a buddy that lived relatively nearby, in a tiny attic apartment in the middle of several acres of wooded land. They decided they’d easily find a suitable tree around there and set out together one day, saw in hand.

The tree Andy brought home looked like a scrawny, if tall, Charlie Brown tree. Apparently it was the best they could find. Ugly, but it smelled wonderfully fresh. Whatever; it was real, and that was the main thing I cared about.

Fast forward several weeks, around New Year’s. We had invited some good friends over for food and fellowship. We were still pretty ‘footloose and fancy free’ in our little circle of friends (i.e. no one had any kids yet), and planned on enjoying an evening together with no time constraints.

And in honor of having guests over, we had turned up the heat.

Big, big mistake.

Remember, our tree came from the woods, organically. It hadn’t been treated like all the other Christmas tree farm trees or the ones at Lowe’s.

All of the sudden, all the creatures hibernating in our tree warmed up and thought winter was over. I think I even heard a little “poof!”

Teeny, teeny spiders coming out, en masse. They moved like a blanket, slowly crawling outwards from the tree, covering everything. We sat frozen for a minute and stared, horrified. I’d never seen anything like it.

The next thing I knew, Andy and Nick had thrown open the front door and yanked the tree out to the porch — ornaments, lights, and all. I grabbed the vacuum and Stef helped me move all the furniture. I continued vacuuming until I thought surely I had gotten them all. (And then vacuumed a little more, for good measure.)

A little bit of a mood-killer, wouldn’t you say?

And yes, every year since then we’ve gotten our tree from Lowe’s. End of story.

T-minus 3 days

By Moriah on December 22nd, 2008

My family is one of those big rambling ones that get all interconnected with other big families and then everything just gets a little confusing.

My cousin Vangie married into another such rambling family (and incidentally, her sister married her husband’s cousin…figure that one out) and so, coincidentally, she and her hubby John are in town for Christmas, visiting his family.

Score one for us.

We saw them at church and then spent the afternoon with everyone at his parents’ house. I can’t even tell you how many kids there were. No wait, 13. And not everyone is there yet. (Steve & Nicky also dropped by, making it 16 for about 20 minutes.)

Sort of eases the pain of not being able to travel anywhere ourselves, you know?

Anyway, they’re coming over later this morning so I’ve got to get my act together and pretend my house is spotless and I have fresh-baked muffins in the oven.

A girl can dream, can’t she?


By Moriah on December 20th, 2008

The other day I spent the entire morning re-hanging all the dresses Madeline had pulled out of her closet, and putting all the girls’ laundry away that had sat folded (and played with and re-folded) in my room for a week.

Let’s just say that if changing outfits were an Olympic event, Madeline would win gold.

(She’s even famous for it. The last time we talked about going down to visit Dolly, the first thing Ruthie asked was, “is Madeline going to take all the clothes out of my closet again?”)

So I knew it was only a matter of seconds before all my hard work would go to pot.

But I finally wised up and installed a hook-and-eye lock on the top of her closet door:

(Our house is old and has settled so the closet doors don’t actually shut. This is the best I could do.)

When she saw it, “Thank you, Mommy! Now Adelaide won’t mess up my closet!”

(Yes, I’m SURE Adelaide’s tall enough to reach all those dresses.)

And while I was at it, I put a lock on the desk drawer in the kitchen, which up until now I haven’t been able to use, for obvious reasons:

I think she knows how to open the drawer, but I don’t think her little fingers are strong enough to do battle with the spring-lock.

Oh happy day.

Something was bound to happen

By Moriah on December 19th, 2008

Actually two somethings.

It’s been raining a lot here lately, which means the ground is saturated and soft. Tuesday morning we woke up to our neighbor coming over to tell us about this:

Andy and I were shocked we didn’t hear a thing.

That would be her tree crashed through our fence.

(Thankfully our house was safe by a few inches.)

And then Wednesday morning Adelaide had a little crash of her own, right into the handle on the side of the living room chest.

Aunt Collyn was scheduled to come over for tea later that morning, and I was so thankful since she’s a nurse. And then her nephew-in-law, a paramedic, also came over and the three of us agreed I should try the butterfly band-aids first and forego the stitches. It seems to be working quite nicely.

And if she ends up with a small visible scar in the middle of her forehead when she’s sixteen, well, as my sister said, that’s what make-up is for!

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