Monday, December 24, 2007

Bus Stop Gossip

The following is based on a true story, but I was not present so I had to make up most of actual dialog... but it is the essence of what happened. In order to imagine it as it happened. You have to think of it as a bunch of ladies standing around gossipping at the bus stop.

Lisa: I think we have all of Christmas shopping done but I have a few more things I have to get.
Amy: I do too, I have to go into Purcellville. I wonder if Purcellville Market Place is open and if they still have some Christmas decorations and stuff.
Dave: It's open, we just went this morning. They had tons of Christmas stuff still. I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for.

Why is this so funny? Probably because of how it was accounted to me. It was my husband, came home from the bus stop and said, in a rather excited tone, "I got to participate in bus stop gossip today!" I said, "oh really, how so?" He said, "The ladies were talking about Christmas shopping and wanted to know if Purcellville Marketplace was open. I told them it was and that we just went there this morning!"

He was so excited, it was just funny to hear a grown man so excited about being able to contribute meaningful information to a "female" conversation. It was like it hit him that women actually talk to share information, not just to hear themselves talk, as he had previously believed. Welcome to our world, Dave!
After my last post I have been asked why we all the way to Dave's parents house instead of to other homes that may have been closer... So, I wanted to give the "Imposition Rule." The rule states that first you bother parents, then siblings, then friends, then neighbors. So should your neighbor be a good friend or relative, then you can go to a closer home in times of need. If parents or siblings are far away, say, in Switzerland or Utah, they are at the very bottom of the list. So, our line was as such Tarbets first, Trent and Jane second (sibling with bigger house in the area), Danielle thrid (sibling with smaller house), and nice friends/neighbors who offered. So, no one needs to feel bad, we were just following the imposition rule.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Storm Refugees from a storm that never actually hit...

Last weekend, we went out and got everything we needed to brave the winter storm that was supposed to come through. It was supposed to start on Saturday night and have a "wintry mix" of precipitation. Well, nothing happened on Saturday, it stayed somewhat warm (high 40s / low 50s??) and we got little to no precipitation. On Sunday afternoon, we headed out to church. Dave couldn't find the regular van key, so he grabbed the spare key and we were off...
During church, the power went off, not only in that area, but for much of Western Loudoun County. Church was let out early and we went home. On our way home, we were trying to figure out what we could eat that didn't require cooking. We were glad that we had food and everything else we needed to survive the night. Overall, we were excited about the possibility of a nice electricity-free evening. As we turned into our neighborhood, I went to push the button to open our garage door. Before I even pushed the button, the following conversation happened in my head, faster than lightening.
"We need electricity to open the garage door."
"We will have to just open the front door."
"We don't have our house key on the spare key chain."

I then turned to my husband and said, "We can't get into the house." We tried pushing the button anyway, lots of times, just waiting for the miracle, that surge of power that would open that garage door. We checked all the doors and windows, all locked tight, as they should be...

We left our cell numbers with the neighbors with instruction to call us if the power came back on and we were off. We called Dave's parents and asked if we could come out to there house for the evening. Of course, we were met with dinner and freshly made caramel corn! Yes, Dave's Mom is amazing! We just waited, not sure if the power would come on that night or if we would spending the night. They were very gracious even though we envaded their home pretty much un announced...

The power came on at 8pm. Some in the area were without power for more than 24 hours. We were grateful to spend the night in our own beds, but even more grateful for family that opened their home to us!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


As much as I enjoy the "city of choice" contest, it is time to post something else... I wanted to post about my experience today, it was a bit rough and I hope to never have to do it again. But... I am sure I will have to at some point. See, I had a tire problem, it was completely flat, down to the rim. Can't drive on it, so who should I call to have come and help me with it? Dave, he's really far away, it would be time for the baby to have another bottle by the time he got here and then to wait for him to change the tire... Option A: Not a great option. Maybe Trent, he may or may not be able to help, but I hate asking for help... Option B: Okay option. Option C: Call my neighbor and see if she could come get the kids and I, and then have Dave take care of it when he gets home... Option C: So far my favorite idea... Okay, now for my cell phone, humm, I wonder if it will work because I am in Round Hill, no coverage... Humm, I wonder how I am supposed to make any calls at all while my cell is nestled nicely at home, plugged into it's charger... Options A-C all require cell phone use... Onto next part, we'll number those options...

New options: Option 4: Walk to someone's house to find a phone, carrying baby and hoping they are home. .. Option 4: okay, but... not great. Option 5: Walk all the way home on a street (no sidewalks), with Baby and Carter. Option 5: again, okay but not great. Option 6: Change tire myself. Option 6: Humm, that's an interesting thought...

I went with Option 6. I had to look up in the book where the spare tire was because, I didn't know. Then I had to read again on how to get the jack out, because it was stuck tight in a hole in the wall of my van. Did I mention that it has been rainy and so it is really really wet and muddy outside? Okay, let's get those lug nuts off, ummmmhhhmmmmmmpphhhhhhhhaaaahhhhh. Nothing. Not a budge. I stood on it and it wasn't until I jumped on it that it moved, a little. Me, jumping up and down on a little metal bar in my sandals while Carter jumped up and down in the mud puddle next to me. Very fun. Next after getting all of the lug nuts loose enough to finish by hand, it was time for the jack. Now, that was fun. Again, back to the owner's manual, because my car is really low, nowhere to look under neath to see where to put it. Luckily, they have conveniently placed small bars near each tire for the jack to go on. So, I just had to feel for it and I could position the jack in just the right place. Talk about tedious... impossible to do the jack quickly, none of the tools provided make it easy to turn it... you have to insert, turn half-way, pull it out, insert, turn half-way, pull it out, insert, turn half-way... anyway, you get the idea. This, alone, took 10 minutes... Then, I could get the tire off, but when I tried to get the new tire on, the car wasn't high enough, another 3-4 minutes later and it was time for a new tire. This was hard to do by myself, it was heavy and I had to try to line up the holes with the metal and do it while I was pulling the tire up from the top and try to look to the side. Please note that during this process, I am also trying watch Carter who was ripping branches off of someone's bushes, putting all of the tools in the mud, jumping in the big puddle right behind me, splashing me everytime. It was quite fun. I got the tire on, sat down next to it so that I could push it on directly, and put on all of the lug nuts, hand tightening them in the requisite "star" pattern. Then I knelt next to the tire and used the tire iron to tighten the lug nuts a bit more, again in a star pattern, and making sure that the tire was all the way on strait. I then stood and tightened one more time by using my own might, but NOT by standing on it this time (the owners manual reminds us not to try to tighten them too much, I figured I wasn't strong enough to do it "too much.") Then, I packed up the old tire, the tools and one really muddy boy into the car and we were off. We got home about an hour from the time we had discovered the tire, so I don't think I did that bad of a job, considering that I had to do all of that and watch a 3 year old in that time... Good thing the baby slept through most of it...

PS - When I got home and called my husband and told him I had a flat he said, "Did you drive home on it?"
Me- "No, I told you, it was flat all the way to the rim, that would have really ruined it."
Him- "So, where is your car now?"
Me- "In the garage."
Him- "I thought you said you couldn't drive on it."
Me- "I didn't."
Him- "Then how did you get the car home?"
Me- "I changed the tire."
Him- "Humm, okay, take the other one in somewhere and get it fixed."

See, he didn't even think of me changing the tire by myself as an option. It was OPTION 6. Then, he didn't even say, "Wow! Good job! You're amazing!" He just went to his next thought, well, if you can change a flat, certainly you can take that big, heavy, dirty tire in somewhere to be fixed all by yourself. No, I can't take it in, because it's big, heavy, and dirty. I did the hard part of this, he can take it in to be fixed. :)

PPS- As soon as we got home, I had one more thing to change that was heavy and dirty, that would be the baby's diaper.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Jaclyn's "City of Choice"

Please read Jaclyn's blog entry (link above) and tell me why it would remind me of 3 movies. You have to tell which 3 movies and why for each one...

I had posted on hers the 3 movies but removed my entry, more fun to see if you can guess which 3 movies. :) Good luck...

AMMENDMENT: Jaclyn's comments, here, actually made me look at the photos again and I am reminded of one more movie, so 4 movies, and the new one is NOT mentioned by Jaclyn. I am afraid that this might be a job for Kelly Kloser...

Hint 1: Since we are struggling... 2 of the 4 movies star the same actress, The third is a remake of a movie that starred the same actress as the other 2. The fourth movie, not mentioned above, is DaVinci Code, as named by Jaclyn and the Petersons for the reason Jaclyn mentioned.

Hint 2: Wow! We are really struggling! You have all of the information you need... I said that "the Petersons" got two right, I already said that DaVinci Code was right. Come on Logic Puzzle fans, do I need to walk you through this?? I said Jaclyn got one right, she also said DaVinci Code, so that's the one that's right, meaning her other 2 guesses are wrong... So, therefore, the one that's right for the Petersons is...?? Now, go back to Hint 1... I am not walking you through this any more than that, maybe we will have to wait for Kelly Kloser to answer, she'll know the movies for sure!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Our first snow...

Yesterday was our first snow of the season, which of course, was very fun for the kids. Except, with Spencer in school, he also felt the disappointment of having to wait until school was over to go outside to play in it... So this was my afternoon yesterday:
Carter: I need my gwubs.
Me: I don't know where they are.
Carter: Keep wooking, Mom. Don't give up. You can find dem.
Me: I only can find one, let's go get dressed.
NOTE - dressing to go out in the snow takes about 20 min.
Me: Bye, have fun.
(3 min. pass, literally, then a knock on the door.)
Carter, crying: Mom. I don't like it, it's cold.
Me: yes, it's snow.
Carter: I need my other gwub.
Me: I don't know where it is.
Carter: I need my gwubs! Now!
Me: We don't have it, so stay in or go out without it.
Carter: I am going to stay in.
Note- getting undressed from snow clothes takes about 10 minutes.
(1 min. passes, literally.)
Carter: I need my gwub.
Me: We don't have it.
Carter: I want to go back outside. Can I wear Spencer's gwubs?
Me: You just came in.
Carter: I have to go outside and play with Spencer. I can wear Spence's gwubs.
Note - getting dressed to go outside takes about 20 min.
(5 min. pass, I am sure he will be out for a while because Spencer is now out there. 1 more minute and a knock at the door.)
Carter, crying: It's so cold, I don't like it. I need to come in.

I went through something similar with Spencer but he was able to get mostly dressed by himself, the boots were a bit tricky and he didn't care about gloves, also, it was a lot less frequent. Spence would be out fro about an hour at a time, but would come in and strip completely down. Stay in for 15 minutes and head back out again. Snow is tiring, at least for me.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

If you don't...

Carter and Spencer both are really into threatening... (I suppose they learn from their parents) Spencer threatens me when he is in trouble, which doesn't help his case much. Carter threatens me when he doesn't get his way. At times the things they choose to threaten with are quite funny and it is hard not to laugh. Carter gets especially creative, just a few minutes ago I was in the family room and he told me to do something. I said that I would but that he would have to wait a minute for me to finish something else. He looked around and saw the kitchen table, climbed up on it and promptly said, "If you don't do it right now, I'm not getting down from the table. Humpf." This was okay, but my favorite happened back on Sunday morning.
I had trouble sleeping during the night, so my husband was kind enough to take the kids downstairs in the morning and let me sleep in. Since we are trying to potty train Carter (very slow going, by the way) he gets a small treat for going potty in the toilet, usually a couple of chocolate chips (or white chocolate ones). Anyway, I am trying to sleep when Carter comes into the room and informs me that he went potty in the toilet so I need to come down the stairs and get him a treat. I told him to go tell Daddy. He then asked if he could play the video game, I told him no. He got upset, so next came the threat...

"Well, if you don't let me play the video game, then I'm not going to let you get me chocolate chips."

Hummm... okay.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hckguha! huuuaaahhh

That's what I heard from the other room. That's what a cough and trying to catch your breath sounds like. Baby was in her swing, had just finished a bottle and Carter was jumping around near the couch, a few feet from her. He had just asked me for some chocolate milk. Baby often gags herself with her fingers, so I was not surprised by the sound, however, I still check to make sure she is safe. After I looked across the room and saw that she was fine and smiling at me, I opened the fridge to get out some milk for Carter and I said out loud, "Why are you choking, Baby? That's not good." Carter heard, "Why are you choking Baby? That's not good." You see, it's impossible to hear a comma in a sentence, but it can mean a world of difference. I assumed Baby had choked/gagged herself, but I soon found out differently. Carter looked at me very seriously and said, in a gruff voice, "But I have to choke her if you don't get me chocolate milk." I said, "You were choking the baby?" "Yes, because you didn't get me chocolate milk yet." So let's review what I saw, Baby in swing, Carter jumping around on floor, nope, Carter running away from the baby, when he heard me coming down the hall. He let go, she started to cough, I came into the room, and well, you know the rest of the story. And just so you know, we had a long talk about NOT choking people and about how he wasn't getting chocolate milk. Good things I wasnt' gone long...

Just as an afternote... should anyone visit my house sometime and wonder why I am not a very good house keeper, just note that I spend most of my day making sure that all 3 children are alive by the end of the day. Anything else that gets done is just a bonus!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Da, da, da, da... the Christmas song miracle

Today, I was in the kitchen and I heard a nice song...
Spencer said, "Da, da, da, da, daaa..." It was repeated several different ways, resembling several different Christmas songs. Nothing too spectacular for a 5 year old, but it's what I heard next that amazed me...
"Da, da, da, da, daaa..." It wasn't exact, but sounded very similar. What's so amazing, you might ask? It was my not quite 8 month old baby who said that. She was copying her brother, almost exactly. I was so excited that I ran in and picked her up. I started saying, "Say da-da-da." Followed by "da-da-da." She is quite vocal, has been forever, but this was the first time she copied deliberately. She's been saying that all day. Now we just need her to recognize the connection between saying "da-da" and actually referencing her favorite person. That will take a little while, but for now, I'm so excited!!

Tempers, strong opinions, impatience... sounds like fun!

For those who don't yet know what I'm describing, here are some more hints: Cheering, Dads, kids, racing, weigh-in, cars, wheels, graphite, weights, sanding, painting.

Still don't have it yet? Cubscout Pinewood Derby

It is always amazing how many very strong opinions/feels come out during the pinewood derby. The kids don't care, but the parents sure take it seriously. This was my 3rd pinewood derby and was by far the most tense. The mood was lightened, for me at least, by watching my small baby clap every time everyone else clapped. Still, I'm glad we only do that once a year... scary.