Sunday, August 25, 2013

New Neighbors

I mentioned it a while ago, but Kari & Jonathan bought the house across the street! We just couldn't get enough of each, it was an arduous 4-minute drive, so we took it to the next level, and now their home is a stone's throw away - literally; I could definitely break some windows from my front porch.

Me at my mailbox, Kari by hers. Hi, Kari!
 As it is, my baby monitor reaches across the street so I'm able to lay Ethan down for a nap, cross the street to hang out, and then throw rocks at him when I hear him wake up! The new house is an awesome situation for them for a number of reasons - slightly more square footage, nice big & updated kitchen, 4 bedrooms, more open layout for entertaining & keeping track of kids, excellent price translating to lower mortgage, and COOL NEIGHBORS. Truth be told, though, the neighbors (those darn Jacobs!) were one of the biggest drawbacks - just how sick of each other will we become? It's only been 10 days, but so far the answer is "not at all!" I love love LOVE being able to waltz across the street to borrow, or return, something (I've already lost count of how many time's I've done this. It's in the hundreds); my kids love love LOVE being able to waltz over to play, even if it's only for a few minutes; Amelia love love LOVES to waltz over here for a popsicle and then head back home (I'm being used!); and we've already used each other a few times in a pinch to watch kids for an errand or emergency where we would have previously just toughed it out. We're also trying out a new "less-cooking, less-chaos" arrangement where twice a week, one night each, we double our dinner and cook for both families while the other person watches the kids! I'm very excited about it, it's nice to not have to cook dinner but equally nice to cook a nice dinner without kids around. Our second plan to put into place is door signs we can hang up when we want to be unavailable, because there are certainly those times, and then the kids can see before they even head out the door that their cousins are unavailable due to naps, cranky days, quiet time, etc. So that's our new life, our new neighbors, and a whole new level of awesomeness.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Caroline has been cracking me up lately!

Ethan had about 7-10 days of AWFUL diapers, just runny and messy and he'd poop about 5 times a day and EVERY poop was a blow-out.... it got old. REAL old. Joe was particularly frustrated one morning after a 16 hours of work and one very messy blow-out the minute he got home, so he put Ethan in the bath to clean it up. Not a big deal, except Ethan takes baths on his own terms - you do NOT get him wet, he'll scream. You do NOT make him sit down, he'll scream. You do NOT try to scrub him down, he'll scream. Joe, of course, was doing all three trying to get the poop off so Ethan was screaming bloody murder, which added to the frustration and mayhem.  Caroline kept trying to get up in the action but was ordered out of the bathroom, in tears. Finally, bath time over, I took Ethan to get dried and dressed and Caroline came over and crouched low to look Ethan in the face. She sincerely proclaimed, "Ethan! I was so worried about you!"  She was so sincere, she said it twice! I laughed because I was unaware that 2-year-olds actually worried about things, especially not their younger brothers. Very funny!

Caroline calls poop "stink," because it's a term we use about poopy diapers, as in, "did you put a stink in your diaper?" She translated it to a verb so instead of "going poop" she "goes stink," and "pooping" is "stinking." When she is "going stink" she's very particular about her privacy, so I'm not allowed in the room until she needs a wipe. One afternoon she'd told me she she needed to stink, so I just sat down in the hall outside the bathroom and waited. In the end it was a false alarm so she came out of the bathroom and found me seated in the hall. She warmly exclaimed, "you found me!" and then gave me a big hug and said, "you're my whole life!" Awwww! I told her she's my whole life, too. It was the only decent thing to say.

She still loves to sing her bedtime songs, the typical trio being "twinkle, twinkle," "I am a child of God," and "All through the night." She's been mixing it up lately, though, and one night she sang "twinkle, twinkle" to the tune of "all through the night" and had me sing the real words of "all through the night" at the same time - it was a pretty cool mash-up! And I can't believe my 2-year-old is making mash-ups!  When she sings "Child of God" she mixes the words up a bit, but they still work - "I am a child of God, and peace attend me here..." (instead of "and He has sent me here").

She loves to play baby dolls with her cousins, but sometimes we're short on "babies." Like sippy cups partly full of milk, baby dolls seem to disappear for inordinate amounts of time under couches and in other sundry hiding places. The girls make do with stuffed animals, but Caroline's go-to animal is this big crocodile that Patrick and Eli got a few Christmases ago - it's green, rubbery, and about 20 inches long, but she's convinced it is HER crocodile and she swaddles it up and lays it down for a nap like a good baby. It's name is Crocadilla (another Wild Kratts episode). I guess being in the middle of a brother sandwich leaves deep impressions.

Caroline can get shy around other people, but when I'm around she deals with it by demanding my attention. Not in a loud, acting out way - she wants me to pick her up, then she takes my face in her hands and says, "look at me." She holds me so we're nose-to-nose and eye-to-eye so I can't give my attention to any of those weird strangers, and if I even slightly turn my head she reminds me, "look at me." It's so strange, it cracks me up every time! While I'm there, though, I get a good look at her face and I think she's a very pretty girl, she has very lovely eyes. Since most of the time I'm shooing her off, it's a nice (and funny) change of be quiet and close together.

And that's Caroline.