Thinking of having kids? Please complete this 10-step program first!

Its been a long day. Exhausted from the days events, I came home to find this gem in my mail box. So true, I about died laughing because Erin almost took a garden rake to the side of our new vehicle a few days ago.

*Step 1*
1. Go to the grocery store.
2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to the grocery store's head office.
3. Go home.
4. Pick up the paper.
5. Read it for the last time. Ever.

*Step 2*
Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who are parents already and berate them about their:

1. Methods of discipline.
2. Lack of patience.
3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.
4. Allowing their children to run wild.

Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners and overall behavior.

Then enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

* Step 3 *
This lesson is a really good way to discover how the nights might feel once you become a parent.

1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8 to 12 pounds with the radio set to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. Eat cold food with one hand for dinner.
2. At 10 p.m., put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3. Get up at midnight and walk around the living room again with the bag until 1 a.m.
4. Set the alarm for 3 a.m.
5. When you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2 a.m. and make a drink and watch an infomercial.
6. Go to bed at 2:45 a.m.
7. Get up at 3 a.m. when the alarm goes off again.
8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4 a.m.
9. It's finally 6 a.m. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive).

Repeat steps 1-9 each night for 3 to 5 years. Look cheerful and together.

* Step 4 *
Can you stand the mess children make? To find out:

1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
4. Then rub them on the clean walls.
5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. -- the one that you would grab if ever there was a fire, the one that is more precious to you than words can possibly express -- and tear out random, individual pages. Potato stamp the rest.
6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons.
How does that look?

* Step 5 *
Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.

1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.

*Step 6 *
Forget the BMW and buy a minivan. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that.

1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there.
2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
3. Take a family-size package of chocolate cookies and mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle Cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.
4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

* Step 7 *
Here are a few steps to determine whether or not you are ready to feed a 9 month-old baby.

1. Hollow out a cantaloupe or honeydew melon.
2. Make a small hole in the other side.
3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.

*Step 8*
To build up the endurance necessary to take a long trip with a toddler:

1. Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying 'Mommy' repeatedly.
(Important: no more than a four-second delay between each 'Mommy."
Occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is also required).
2. Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years.

*Step 9 *
Are you ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room?

1. Start talking to an adult of your choice.
2. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt sleeve, or elbow while playing the 'Mommy' tape made from Lesson 9 above.
3. Repeat for every single conversation for the next 8 years and 7 months.
4. If you decide to have a PHONE conversation with another adult, make sure to have TWO other people tug on your skirt, shirt, or elbow while simultaneously stripping naked, pouring Draino into your shoes, and attempting to feed GoGurt to the cat.

Do not let on to the person on the other end that there is anything amiss.

* Step 10 *
A final pre-parenting test:

1. Go to the local grocery store.
2. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a preschool-age child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice.)
If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat.
3. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight.
4. Pay for everything the goats eat or destroy.

Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Remember, a sense of humor is one of the most important things you'll need when you become a parent


Tubes it is!

Eliza had her ENT follow up yesterday and there was no change in her hearing over the past six weeks. So we are scheduled for Feb 17th for tube placement. The ENT said its about a 10-20 minute out patient procedure and he was very confident that it would restore her hearing. If its just that simpe I will be thrilled.


The Imagination Box

It amazes how something so simple (and cheap) can entertain kids for HOURS! We finally got around to converting our washer and dryer boxes to the "castle" today and the girls spent all day in it. Makes me wonder why I even bother to buy toys when a monthly run to Lowes back dumpster would suit.


The verdict is in....

Much to our surprise we are having A BOY!

I had my Level II ultrasound and fetal echo yesterday and the little one looks healthy. They got some great shots of his heart and so far everything looks well developed. We go back in 6 weeks for the second echo. There are certain heart defects that are better detected at 17 weeks and others at 24 weeks. But no major worries.

I would post some ultrasound photos, but I just have a stack of his "manhood" shots thanks to Dr. Rowe (if you have been to him you know how hilarious he is about it). So yes its a boy 100% for sure.


chilling days, fun nights

I haven't posted many photos lately. Erin seems to be more vocal these days than photogenic. Most of the photos I have of her she is scowling.

This week our area has had several child abduction attempts which is really scary. Obviously the guy isn't real smart. The first eight year old he went after beat him in the face with a shovel. And he has four other failed attempts, but the point he keeps striking is unsettling to any parent.

So I took the opportunity this morning to sit down with Erin and rehash the what to do if a stranger approaches scenario. I said" Erin, what do you do if a man pulls up and gets out of his truck and asks if you want any candy?" She simply replied, "I'll spray him in the eyes with mace so they will burn!" I about died laughing. I carry mace on my key chain and when I got it we had a lengthy discussion of what it does and that its not a toy. Glad it stuck. So we had to talk about running away and how to protect yourself when no mace is available.


4.0 cubic feet of "Pure Cleanliness "...

Out with the old....hello my new friends....

Well at least that is what the outside of the box said. And I was ecstatic (yes I have no life) that they finally came in. Every washer and dryer we have ever owned was a hand-me-down freebie. Great friends, great price, marginal cleaning. My last set was cool enough to have fake wood paneling on the control panels (hello early 1980's). The main drum bearing was worn in the dryer which made this horrid screeching noise. If you have ever wondered why I have a clothes line in my backyard, it was simply to preserve my sanity. And this fall we realized the washer was probably on its last leg.

So when I found out I was pregnant with the third I sent Jared out at 5 am on Black Friday to score a deal. It was a great price and they said it would be in by the second week of December (I could wait two weeks, I've waited five years)....and then Christmas...and then the first of January, and then the tenth of January. Finally I was about ready to bust down the door at Lowes and show the appliance center guy the damage a pissed pregnant woman can do...but I decided to call first. And the sales guy was saved by the Thursday night delivery truck, he said both the washer and dryer were in, I was all sweet! "When is delivery? "Thursday!" "WHAT??? A week for delivery? Do you transport them across town by donkey?" "No Ma'am by a truck"...."ugh, never mind".

Giddy with excitement and horrified by the piles of laundry from a cold dreary week, I didn't have a week. Jared was nice enough (or smart enough) to stop by Lowes on the way home and pick them up. We spent our friday night learning how to hook up a gas line and setting up the units and I spent all of today in laundry bliss, doing load after load, in my silent, humongo washer and dryer. The capacity is almost twice as large as my old ones, should cut my laundry in half.

Erin was just as excited. When we got it set up Erin asked "Dad how about we get some cake and sit and watch it."


Hmmm, how I love Texas this time of year ....

Received this email from my mom this morning from NE Iowa. There are some things I don't miss about Iowa, this would be one.....

Hi, did you hear?

-26 last night, -30 at Garber, that's the ACUTAL temp!
Wind chill was -55 below 0 this morning.
Believe it or not, our car popped right off.
The high today will only get to -11. Tonight is to be colder yet.
Schools are all closed, some businesses are closed too.
I'm sitting here in a turtle neck, sweatshirt, long johns and jeans and I'm not any too warm.
Well, back to work. Love ya.


Boy or girl

We have our level II ultrasound next week. Part of me knows it will be another girl, the other part is still puking, which makes it sure its a boy :) Vote on the side



Not that any one cares except our neighbors who are probably sick of watching us walk around in our skivvies at night.....It's finished! 160 feet beautiful feet of southern yellow pine #2 structure and cedar pickets. Wonder what it takes?

  • 24 - 4*4*8 posts (and 24 2 1/2 foot deep holes, ugh!)
  • 2000 lbs of concrete
  • 24 - 1*6 rot boards
  • 72 - 2*4*8 for rails
  • 300 - premium cedar pickets (at a premium price I might add, second ugh!)
  • 2200 galvanized screws (we found out why to buy a good drill).
  • one marriage made of steel
Cost: we are just in denial and have not added it up, but to have someone install cedar fence starts at $20/ linear foot.

It took longer than anticipated, but we are really happy with how it looks and it's structural integrity. It was a fun project and we learned a lot about wood fence building and cut our costs by a couple thousand dollars. Now on to the next saga.....wood floors....



Talk about a rough month! Right before Christmas I got a really bad sinus infection, over Christmas I had the stomach flu for two days and now Strep. Ugh. Couple that with I am still chucking almost daily from pregnancy and I feel like I want to die!

I went in today and was not running a high fever, but had cold sweats all night. The doc said it was probably viral. I said humor me a pull a rapid strep test. Twenty minutes later he called and confirmed my suspicion. Oh how I love antibiotics. Now lets pray no one else in the family gets it, although Jared is already heading down that road.


GrammaSue and Grandpa Eldon

My Mom and Dad drove down and stayed part of the week and brought half of the local toy store with them :) It was Christmas all over again! We were really excited that they came down together, they run a small mom and pop business so they rarely travel at the same time. Their winter thus far has been brutal so I think that was probably the deciding factor.

We did not go anything exciting, just hung out, worked on our fence and a few house projects and went downtown to the Children's museum. But it was great to see them since we will not be home until Maxie's wedding in September.

They got Erin her "pony", its a tire swing made into a horse and is really cool. As you can see from the photo, Erin was ecstatic