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Monday, December 31, 2007
VeggieTales Books
Grandma B gave us some VT books several years ago which came with CDs: one for each of the "God is Bigger Than the Bogey Man", "Where is My Hairbrush?", "My Day", and "I Can Be Your Friend" songs. There was a time when Isaac would carry one with him and be content for the better part of an hour- giddy, almost, at times- turning the pages and looking at the photos of children and illustrations of vegetables. His favorite is "GiBTtBM", and he will bring it to me when he finds it, say "bigges' book", push it into my hands, and wait for the show to begin. Lately he has been trying to help out with the reading, especially on Junior's parts, just like Jay used to do. It is (of course) adorable. And I will almost certainly never manage to record it.

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Isaac the Red-Nosed Toddler
A certain young boy did what I had been fearing ever since I hung the stockings: Isaac pulled the stocking hook down onto himself =[ I was too far away to intervene physically, and my verbal warning went utterly unheeded. Tonight, the right side of his nose is red, but last night he was wailing and bleeding. I sent Jay to get a popsicle out of the freezer (the plastic-encased kind), but we were waiting and waiting, and when I instructed him to enlist his father's aid, he returned to the living room with two OPEN pops. While this didn't do much to alleviate Isaac's swelling or bleeding, it DID stop his crying, and after I let Paul know that what he sent was not what I had in mind, he sent Jay back with a bag of vegetables the size of Isaac's face.

Though I was able to conjure up disastrous and tragic repercussions during the night, we all survived, if with not much sleep (sore noses do impede a boy's ability to get a good night's sleep)

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When Children Are Quiet...
Check the dryer

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Sunday, December 30, 2007
My Budding Artists

Jay's watercolor and wax masterpiece

Isaac's artwork: Notice all the colors on the Christmas tree, the precision coloring of the green snowman, and the recurring motif of the red snowballs. I was actually quite impressed with how well he was doing at coloring objects.

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Friday, December 28, 2007
Been Talking to His Grandfolks
On Christmas morning, Paul told Jay it was Christmas, and Jay told him that it was not, because it wasn't snowing. Where could he have come up with that idea? (Probably VeggieTales, actually ;) )

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Out of Character
I, Ms. Perpetuate-Gender-Stereotypes, bought my 21-month-old son a baby doll. It doesn't seem like a big deal; everybody's doing it, and when the new sibling comes along, I think it will be a big help for Isaac to have an infant (of sorts) of his own to cuddle. He likes the baby fairly well, though he hasn't exactly sought him out: he likes to point out "beh-by eye", "beh-by noce", etc, and he breaks into a big smile when I hold the baby out to him. "Nice beh-by."

Jay, meantime, has adopted and adapted a bit of VeggieTalk. There's a line in Jonah where Larry says, "Perhaps I can be of assistance". Jay has taken to saying, "Perhaps I can help." Not that being helpful is very atypical of Jay*, but high-falutin' adverbs are not really par for the course with a rambunctious 3-year-old!

* In fact, he caused quite a disturbance the other night because he insisted on "helping" Isaac to eat a peppermint patty. I assured him that Isaac was equal to the task, but I had to be very firm. The patties were frozen, and Jay was sure that Isaac was not making good enough progress.

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Thursday, December 27, 2007
Catching Up

Toni's three with my boys

Toni, Ginny, and me (plus two!)

All the Lenfest progeny minus Sarah's guy

My puppies at home

My clean aquatic "aminals"

Jay outside R.E. Lee Episcopal Church, Lexington

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Sunday, December 23, 2007
Merry Christmas!!

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Sunday, December 16, 2007
Oh, No Not Agee-yan!
A certain boy has forgotten how to put number twos in the potty when his Mama is present. Now Daddy gets poop-free days, but Mama only gets them when she's at work. And let me tell you, she is not happy. Jay actually woke up with a dry diaper this morning, and kept it that way until sometime in the afternoon. I instructed the miscreant to ask his daddy to change him, since I'd been changing poopy diapers all week. Yeah- that's the other thing. Now he only wants to wear underwear on Daddy days. I guess I should just be thankful that he's putting it into a diaper rather than underwear, but it's so frustrating, knowing full well that he CAN do it, and it usually comes right after he's done a number one, or right after I've asked him if he needs to go. All those potty books say not to punish, but I think in this case it is warranted. What do you veterans say?

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Thursday, December 13, 2007
Just Get Us Padlocks, Please
Really all we need for Christmas is locked storage all over the house. Yesterday Jay did some painting with toothpaste and dumped an entire roll of toilet paper into the toilet (minus the cardboard tube). Today, he dumped out pHisoderm baby soap on our brand-new bathroom scale while I was changing Isaac's diaper. In the past, he's spread deodorant all over the nightstand, wall, and telephone in our bedroom and squirted Paul's travel shampoo all over the dresser.

Maybe he has a future in toiletries. In the meantime, he's getting into lots and lots of trouble. *Sigh*

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Among Other Disappointments,
Swiffer-type things don't work too well on old painted wood floors. You need a pretty smooth and a pretty level surface to make it work. In the office, I'm not sure I removed the dirt so much as moved it, but oh well. A hard day's work is not without its rewards. Maybe I'll get a good night's sleep!


And There Was Much Rejoicing
Jay wore green doggie underpants all day yesterday without a single mishap!! We celebrated with an ice cream dessert, as promised. I probably shot myself in the foot on the nighttime dryness front a few nights ago, when I answered a wee hour summons to find Jay asking to go to the toilet. As loyal readers will know, this toilet is quite a hike from either of the bedrooms, as it is at the rear of the house on the first floor, and the bedrooms are upstairs, and the bottom of the stairs is in the front of the house, more or less facing the front door. No way was I going down there with him at that time of the night (tired, lazy). Unfortunately, he did not want to use his toddler potty which was in his bedroom, so I told him he could use his diaper. "No! I don't use a diaper na'ymore!" But I think the discussion had outlasted his bladder control, and he quieted down and went back to sleep pretty much immediately.

I've got to check on that Sears home improvement contest... I have ALL KINDS of ideas for improving our house, I just lack a budget.

Meantime, I need to get back to the day's occupation: home improvement through dirt elimination. I took the day off from work and shipped out the menfolk so I could spend some time getting the house ready for a Christmas tree and the small crowd we're expecting for festivities surrounding the annual Christmas parade on Friday. I even bought one of those vinyl tablecloths I so despise. It may be tacky, but it certainly is practical.

Next on the list is to get the dining room vacuumed. If I could move the piano, china cabinet, and dining room table out, the easiest thing to do would be to pull up the carpet and haul it to the curb. Then I could have the floor re-finished (see paragraph 2 above). That not being an option, I may have to get the upstairs vacuum cleaner with the dried-bread-crusts-pasta-and-grapes attachment down here. Wish me luck!

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Monday, December 03, 2007
One Last Thing
I saw a wanted ad on the employee bulletin board at work which left me incredulous and highly amused. A woman wanted hunting accessories for her newborn's camouflage nursery. Something about "Daddy's little hunting buddy" arriving any day. She specifically mentioned wanting a deer lamp.

You might be a redneck if you decorate your baby's nursery with rifles and deer heads.

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No, Pontification Is
*Sigh* I saw this link on the news page at work, and followed it, hoping for an interesting article. I have only read it once, but upon one reading, the article seems to be a circular casting of aspersions on the drug companies, Congress, president, insurance companies, and (lest we leave anyone out) the medical profession. Apparently all of these parties are conspiring to make us pay as much as possible for prescription drugs because they somehow stand to gain from the pharmaceuticals' mammon (there was at least some mechanism given for the others, but no rationale for how the health insurers clean up on this deal...)

Advertising for drugs costs consumers money. Advertising is profitable. OK, which is it? Or are you saying, Mr. (probably Dr.) Davis, that consumers will happily agree to a higher sticker price on drugs if they're told they need to cover the cost of TV and magazine advertisements? The reason drug companies advertise is to sell more of the medications, which spreads out their R&D cost, making the drugs CHEAPER. Sure, if they could sell the same volume without the ads, it would be even better for all of us, including the drug companies.

It is not, of course, surprising to read this shallowly reasoned tirade in the Chapel Hill News, though I'm sure they have a high opinion of their journalistic standards. After all, if they can't complain about Pfizer, BCBSNC, W, and those overpaid MDs, what's the point of it all? It is NEVER the consumer's fault, I mean, aren't we all entitled to the absolute best quality of life we can have? We certainly shouldn't have to pay for medications! After all, doesn't Joe Schmoe deserve medications to lower his cholesterol so he doesn't have to stop eating pork rinds and get some exercise?

I've posted a little about this before, but the truth is that we take for granted that we should have a very high standard of medical care, while in villages all over Africa people are dying for lack of $10 worth of antibiotics. Don't Chapel Hill liberals care about that? Isn't that the sort of thing they love to play the "insensitive, uncompassionate" card on conservatives for?

Obviously, in the U.S., we have a high standard of living, and our medical care and medical expenditures reflect that. That's not necessarily wrong. What's wrong is trying to cast blame on everyone involved in the equation for trying to deny consumers what we are due. We aren't entitled to spend other people's money to ease the consequences of our bad decisions, or even our bad luck. We have been trying to make this a right for everyone, and enough people are taking the system up on it, that (surprise, surprise) it's getting awfully expensive.

We're not good at the hard answers to the realities of life. Sorry, folks, but there's NOT enough to go around. I think people getting expensive heartburn medications ought to be paying for them out-of-pocket, and let insurance cover a higher proportion of expenses for conditions which are more serious, but that would take a lot of work, and probably wouldn't be very popular. The truth is, it's a complicated situation, and casting blame on parties who are all in the business of helping people to better health is neither helpful, nor good.

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Wish I Were a Poet
Driving in to work this morning, I saw a low wall of clouds that looked remarkably like a long blue mountain ridge. It reminded me of the time we spent recently in the Blue Ridge valley, which made me sad I don't get there more, but happy that I could pretend to be there, driving towards the mountains. *Sigh* If I were a poet, I'm sure I could concoct some beautiful stanzas on that subject, but I don't even attempt country lyrics anymore. So if there is a bard out there, looking for inspiration, feel free to contact me for details ;)

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Sunday, December 02, 2007
Good Stuff
Well, there's some reason for rejoicing around here. I've actually been able to maintain my earlier hours at work, which makes my life somewhat more pleasant. More importantly, though, Jay has really bought into the potty training, at least the past several days. He's consistently wanted to wear "underwear" (the word "underpants" has mysteriously fallen WAY out of favor) in the mornings, and the poor boy was really rather upset that we wouldn't let him wear underwear to bed last night (talk about a recipe for disaster!) Today was the second day we went out with underwear on, and the second day he stayed dry (at least for as long as we were out- there was one accident yesterday, but so far, so good today!)

Time to stop Pull-ups purchases*!! Hooray!!

* We've got a full bag, which I really don't think we'll need, at least not until we start with Isaac.

[Edited 20 minutes later to add: there's the accident. Oh well!]

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