August 31, 2009

School Days

Wednesday was Josiah's first day of school. I am now the mom of a first grader.
Left: That's NOT the school child. Right: Nathan and Josiah visit.

Our entire family went to the corner to wait for the school bus. We played and visited while listening for the sound of the bus. Noah tried to walk home with Josiah's lunchbox.
When the bus arrived, Josiah got on like the pro bus rider that he is.
Josiah sat with Isaac, his cousin, on the bus. This is Isaac's first year of full days at school and being able to ride the bus. Riding the bus is definitely Isaac's favorite part of school. When I told Josiah that Isaac had wished that he could go to school every day, Josiah matter-of-factly replied, "He probably said that on a day when they didn't have handwriting or math."

August 22, 2009

Job Well Done

Can you hear that? It's the heavenly chorus singing "Hallelujah!"

The roof is finished! At approximately 5:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time on the 21st day of August the last piece of facia was affixed to the house by hard working, father of three, husband to one, friend to many, and so on... John.

The man didn't even flinch when I asked him what his next project would be! Technically he gave the wrong answer though. He named a brand new project instead of the cleanup. What is he thinking? Hmmm. Does anyone else think it would be great fun to rev up the saw and cut the boards and beams into firewood? If so, please let me know when you would like to come over. Thank you.

Here is that handsome man cutting and bending this custom piece to get it just right.

The final piece ... and..... it's done!

August 21, 2009

Home Sweet Remedies

I washed our dog, Cairo, yesterday. It was my attempt to save money by trying a home remedy to rid her of fleas. There has been way too much scratching recently, early morning scratching. I enthusiastically pulled out my bottle of vegetable oil and covered her in it all the while thinking of the extra sleep I will gain by her not rattling her doggie tags in the morning. Come on! Scratch those fleas downstairs or something!

After I oiled her up, I waited a few minutes hoping those darn fleas would drown in the oil before I washed her again with tearless doggie shampoo. (Do dogs cry?) She was so glad to be done! But then I noticed that the shampoo didn't really do the trick. She was still oily. So I washed her with Dawn dish washing detergent. If it's good enough for the geese, it's good enough for Cairo! Then came the final rinse. At last! She was clean and hopefully, flealess.

Then I got a whiff of her. All this bathing seemed to make her smell worse than before! I had removed the dirt which must have covered that scent. What scent is that? I'm glad you asked.

One night John and I were playing games late, too late to admit to non-gamers. When we were calling it a night, John let Cairo outside to do her business while I was performing the obligatory bedtime rituals of brushing my teeth and washing my face. When I splashed water on my face to rinse the cleanser I smelled something strange. I began to think to myself, "What's that? Is there something on my hands?" *sniff sniff sniff* "I better wash my face again. I better wash my hands again." The smell remained so I exited the bathroom to sniff some more. "Aha! The smell is stronger out here." I began to think that it smells hot to me. "An electrical fire? Is a fan overheating? Are we in danger?" Nothing seemed to be wrong inside our house. It seemed to be coming from outside. I anxiously looked outside hoping that my elderly neighbor behind us was alright but I didn't see any signs of danger. Then I thought that perhaps someone had set off some fire crackers. At last I went to bed. I awoke in the morning and went for a walk, I was downwind of Cairo when it dawned on me.... a skunk! My dog had been skunked! Of course! It all made sense now! If only my nose did not confuse skunk smell with hot tar/pavement/electrical fire I would have gotten more sleep ... and I may have banned Cairo to the basement until she was bathed!

So Cairo is getting familiar with baths and home remedies. The skunk bath was accomplished with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and Dawn. (Do NOT save any remaining amount of the mixture. It can turn volatile when sealed or so I'm told.) It worked fairly well. Even though she still had a hint of skunkiness, it was mostly gone and she certainly was shiny! Yesterday's bath left her glossy. Was it successful? Well, I still woke up to the sound of doggie tags rattling this morning.

Does anyone else know any home remedies?

August 17, 2009

Got a Nodder

It is so warm here today. The boys and I have been trying to keep cool while John is baking in the heat outside on the porch roof. I don't know about you but I get tired when I'm hot.

After lunch was ready and the boys ate I was distracted from lunch cleanup by another cleanup, a Nathan-induced-cleanup. I won't go into the details: he just flooded the mud room which is actually fitting given the name. By the time I checked on Noah again, I noticed he was nodding. Sleep was overtaking him! (Have I mentioned how adorable Noah is?) I removed him from his chair and he immediately laid his head on my shoulder as we said the usual "night night" to everybody and everything around. He was so thankful to be placed in his crib!

I've considered teaching him to say, "Mom, I have finished my meal and would very much like to lay down now if at all possible.", but I haven't gotten around to it yet. I know, I know. Jeez! Get on the ball already!

August 13, 2009

Day Camp

We have a tent set up in our backyard. Yep. It's a fairly big tent too. Our plan is to sleep overnight in the tent when the weather and our schedule cooperates. So far that hasn't happened so that will be another story for another day. Since we set it up we know that the tent is waterproof, roomy, and a great play area for the boys. John and I did have to make the rule that no animals are allowed inside though. Cairo and Milo are out of luck ... or more likely they are thankful that they won't be dragged into the tent at the whim of three young boys.

Josiah has been hoping for rain during the day so that he can play in the tent with the sound of rain all around. One day I was plagued with the question: "When is the rain going to start, Mom?" Darn you, Weatherman, for not being more accurate!

At last, we had a rainy afternoon while Isaac and Eli were here. The boys were so happy to go into the tent and out of the tent and into the tent that I had to give them a towel to use as a doormat for the tent. At one point, Isaac came to me and said, "That tent really freaks me out!" Really? Why is that? "That tent is NOT lightning proof! We could be struck by lightning!" Oh, I see. Well, it's just raining and not storming. Have you heard any thunder? "I think I did hear a couple thunders a while ago..." Don't worry, if it starts lightning, we'll all go inside the house. Then he doubtfully said, "Okay...", and it sounded like he planned to hold me to it.

The point of the story is that sometimes tents are freaky ... at least in the mind of a 6 year old.

What's Missing?

Do you notice anything different about this picture? Perhaps you don't know where to look. It's the rear tires. There are no training wheels!

Isaac came over with his smaller bike on Monday to ride bikes with Josiah. They tried each other's bikes and the difference of a couple inches allowed Josiah to get started easier. It wasn't long before he was riding Isaac's bike with ease and after he was comfortable and confident with that, he was able to transfer his new skill to his own bike. I am so excited that he has learned to ride his bike!

Now it's the first thing he wants to do in the morning.

Good job, Josiah! I'm proud of you.

August 6, 2009

Little Chef

Noah tried out the goatee look. He accomplished this by upturning the cinnamon sugar shaker and dumping it into his mouth.

While he was at it, he attempted his first culinary creation. He calls it "sweet cinnamon banana with a side of cinnamon sugar." It can be very limiting when you're not allowed to use the stove or the refrigerator but he certainly looked dashing while doing it.

Off With the Bandages!

We returned to the Shriner's Hospital yesterday to have Nathan's bandages removed.

We didn't have to wait long.

The nurse started unwrapping the bandages (Oh look! That's what color they were!) but quickly decided that cutting them would be more expedient.

Nathan watched the process intently.

Success! The middle toes are no longer curling under and the ones which were hoarding all the extra space will straighten again since there isn't room for them to "wander" anymore. (I'm still taking suggestions on how to keep John from hogging my side of the bed... )

We now return to our previously scheduled water-filled summertime fun.

Bathing Challenge

Alright, so Nathan had surgery on his toes last Wednesday. He had a bath the night before surgery because, well, he really needed one. (My boys like to play hard and get extremely dirty and sweaty.) After the surgery he had his feet bandaged for one week and was only allowed to be sponge bathed. This child did not act like he had surgery! He was walking, running, jumping, and climbing by the next day! And there was much sweating. The sponge bathing just wasn't cutting it. The day before he was to have the bandages removed, I told John that we must give Nathan a bath! Thankfully, John interpreted my statement as, "You must give Nathan a bath." and I handed him the bags to seal Nathan's feet. John placed Nathan in the empty bath tub and poured water over Nathan's head to wash his hair and then his body. You would have thought that there was torture happening in the bathroom! Nathan certainly did NOT appreciate this new form of a bath. I was able to enjoy a clean boy and tease John about being a "meanie" so it was a good night all around. *grin*

Pretty Zebra

I took some pictures of our "zebra" the other day. Yes, I know it looks like a white tiger to you but Nathan told me persuasively that this is a zebra. Have you ever tried to argue with a three-year-old? Okay then.

Isn't he beautiful? I just love zebras.

August 4, 2009

Clever Inventor

When Josiah finished Kindergarten in June he was given a certificate for being resourceful. It is so fitting! He uses toys, paper, parts, clay, basically whatever he can get his hands on to create something new, usually a "machine."

Yesterday he created a faucet/pump/sprayer machine. It even has an engine.

If I want a picture of these things I have to take it quickly. This particular invention has already been disassembled in order to build a "spy camera" in the backyard to take pictures of the skunk. Skunk? Heh heh heh.... Oh yeah. A skunk.