Wednesday, October 29, 2008


We received the Little Tikes catalog in the mail this afternoon, so Mim got to work making out her Christmas list.

She wants a playhouse for outside. She's even decided where she'd put it. Of course, there's a small detail about the $299.99 that Little Tikes wants someone to pay for this playhouse, but that doesn't seem to dampen her enthusiasm.

I tried to explain that it was unlikely she'd be the proud owner of the aforementioned playhouse, but I don't think I got through.

Meanwhile, Zaya turned the swingset into a boat. A pirate ship, to be more specific. (Thank you, Grandma Lilibeth) I asked him if he was a pirate.

"Oh, no."
"Well, Zaya, what are you?"
"I'm someone who kills pirates."
"Oh dear. Then how did you get onto that pirate ship."
"Well, I killed all the pirates, I guess."

I think we've a little ways to go, yet, in explaining acceptable social behavior. Just because pirates are bad guys doesn't mean it's necessarily OK to slaughter them wholesale. There are all these details about due process and etc.

Maybe they'll cover that in Kindergarten next year.

And...One More Time

I've been flying under the radar again this week, with another sick kiddo. Mim came down with a fever late Sunday night, but we're hoping it's the same thing Zaya had last week, which means she should be done with it by today. (fingers crossed)

Lots of coughing, Kleenex and videos here in the Babystepper household these last two weeks. In the process, we've also moved our bedroom out to the back, and Mim's bedroom into our old room. We've also cut a hole in the Living room wall, so that we can tile it and put in the wood stove soon.

Needless to say I've fallen a little behind in, oh, pretty much everything else.

Here's to facing down the odds!

Oh, and look in the top picture at the kids' beautiful new sweaters! One of my friends and ESL students, Laura, knitted them both. She doesn't use patterns or anything like that. I just picked out the yarn for her, and she made each sweater in a couple of days. Zoom on in and look at the detail. You'll be impressed, I promise.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Open Wide

I finally found that magical combination of motivation, self-discipline and plain old serendipity and scheduled the kids for their first dentist appointment. I've been meaning to do this for a while. (Like, oh, about 2 years) but you know, life just sort of kept happening.

Anyway, it all turned out fine, no thanks to the procrastinating mother. Neither of them have cavities, which was an answer to prayer and a big relief. We've been careful to brush their teeth and all, but they did both have bottles to go to sleep well into their second year of life. (I know, I'm a terrible mother. Please keep your loathing to a minimum.)

We're supposed to start flossing their teeth now. Right. I can't even remember to floss my own teeth, let alone my kids' too. Genetically speaking, though, they're already headed for a rough time in orthodontics-land, so I shouldn't add to their troubles.

After their appointments were successfully completed (and they both behaved very well, thanks be to the God of Miracles) we took a little trip to Braum's. Because there's nothing like a little egg nog and chocolate mint ice cream to really finish off a cleaning and fluoride treatment. Did I mention my sub-par mothering skills?

At least I have the consolation that they both came home saying, "Going to the DENTIST is FUN!!!!!" How many mothers can say that, eh?

Coughing the Night Away

Zaya has now missed three days of school. He's had a mild cold for a while, but he started running a fever on Monday night, and we haven't been able to get rid of it yet for more than a few hours. The doctor gave us all sorts of things for him to take for infection, congestion, asthma etc. and so we've been playing the "Mommy the Nurse" game.

Here's Zaya doing his breathing treatment. At least the asthma is mild. In the past it would take us a good 36 hours (or bad 36 hours) to get over the dangerously hard wheezing and coughing part, but this time it's just a vague whistling sound when you listen to his lungs.

I hate for him to miss so much school, but I suppose they'd hardly flunk him from Pre-K. He's living it up, of course, with games and cartoons and mommy giving him everything he wants.

He's also invented a new character, "Mind the Washable Blue Crayon". So far Mind the Washable Blue Crayon's only superpower is drawing starting points and speed up lines. You'll have to ask Zaya himself for more specifics.

I don't know, maybe it's all the steroids and mind-altering decongestants.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Here are some of the things I learned today from and about my children.

Goki is a girl. (There's been some discussion about that as pronouns are occasionally a foggy concept.) She doesn't ever cry. She doesn't cry in the car, or when her Mama goes to worship team practice, or when she's playing with her brother. She's also never shy, but talks right back to people when they talk to her. (In case you're lost in the subtleties, these are things Mim tends to have trouble with.) That Goki's a real tough nut, apparently.

In other news, I've recently been telling Zaya to pray like he's talking to God, instead of his standard pre-meal, pre-bedtime, "Dear God, Thank you for today and thank you for all our families and all our friends. Amen." This prayer gets rattled off at lightning speed and is all but incoherent. It makes me question the prayer's heartfelt authenticity. So here is what I've gotten the last two nights I've asked him to pray. "Dear God, please help my birthday to come real soon." and the extremely optimistic "Dear God, please give me a wonderful life."

Obviously we need to work a bit on the finer points of the Praise, Thanksgiving, Confession and Intercession that ought to be a part of one's prayer life.

It's Done

Our morning hair-brushing sessions finally reached such proportions that something had to be done.

Introducing, the haircut.

She and I are both much, much happier with the results. Morning time is now just that little bit more pleasant.

P.S. After deleting 21 spam comments in about 15 minutes this morning, I've decided to up the security on my comments now. I put this off as long as I could, but it's just getting too annoying. You should all still be able to comment, you'll just have to do the word verification and I'll do the approval step, too.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Zaya received his first report card this last week. It was yet one more step on his road to adulthood, and felt a little strange.

Of course, there's no A-F at this stage. Just S (satisfactory) or NT (needs time).

He's doing pretty well. The only S- were for "able to work without disturbing others" and "finishes work in a timely manner" or some such thing. The teacher said she only gave those minuses so she would remember what to talk to the parents about. Oh, and he also had an NT on "Cuts well with scissors." She says he flips them over.

Apparently he tends to sing to himself or make noises while he's working, which occasionally distracts the other students. This shouldn't surprise anyone who attended school with me. I still remember one day in class when I was tapping out rhythms with my pencil, my good buddy (MB) turned around to me and said, in a very exasperated voice, "Hey! Band was last hour!" Oh, right. Ummm. Didn't really know I was doing anything. I'm afraid Zaya is going to be the same. Uh Oh.

Anyway, she said he was a good student, had "a lot of energy" (we all know what that means.) and was very well behaved. He really takes it to heart when he gets in trouble, and never has any attitude. Frankly, I care a lot more about that than whether or not he uses his scissors correctly.

I mean, I got a U in coloring in Kindergarten (for not following directions. They were trying to stifle my artistic tendencies.), so I'm hardly in a position to judge the little guy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


We've been hearing, here in our little corner of the world, that we as Christians should not let the abortion issue "trump all the others" in the choosing of a presidential candidate.

I'm having a hard time with hearing that. Of course there are many issues that are important, but if you really believe that abortion is murder, it has to trump the other issues. If it were slaughter of one-year-olds there would be no question at all. None.

For a vivid image of the sheer enormity of this issue, check out Lilibeth's blog. She and her senior Bible class made a visual to try to get the numbers in perspective. This is a must see. It surprised them, and anyone else who has seen it.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Attachment Parenting

I've never been a big fan of the mothering trend of co-sleeping, but only because it just didn't work for us. I cannot sleep when there's a child in the bed. I'm too worried about rolling over, or making a noise and waking them, and then I get heartburn and I really can't sleep. I discovered all this while Zaya was a colicky, sleepless infant. Needless to say, when Mim was a baby she slept in her own crib and we only snuggled when she was awake.

Apparently, though, Mim is going to be more open to the idea when she becomes a mother herself.

Meowling Fun!

Here's how you entertain preschoolers while Mommy and Daddy are busy painting.

The cat wasn't crazy about it, but the kids thought it was great! (Notice the tail and the front left paw.)


For as long as I can remember, my Grandpa P has had Guayaberas as part of his wardrobe. (And cotton coveralls, but that's another post) This is a style preference he picked up in his years as a missionary in Mexico, as most men do who go down south of the border for any length of time. I'm told they're very comfortable and easy to wear.

Now Zaya has a couple Guayaberas of his own. My friend Maria brings me clothes that her boys have outgrown, and the latest box had two of these shirts. (They're back in style, now. Grandpa knew what he was doing, I guess.)

I was so excited to see them. In fact I wish we'd had them for school picture day. I think it would be great to have a picture of Zaya and a picture of my Grandpa together in their Guayaberas. We'll have to try at Christmas.

Friday, October 10, 2008


We are within sight of having one of the backrooms finished. All we lack is paint, flooring and trim to have our bedroom finished. (There will still be some work to do in the laundry area and the closet, shelving and such, but the main part will be done!)

Now we have to choose paint colors. This scares me because I am not very confident about colors. I can see colors very well, but I can't really tell what will look good together. When I was a senior in high school, I had to have the younger girls in the dorm tell me if the clothes I was wearing matched or not. I'm not kidding. Anyway, I've let Art have a lot of say-so in the colors we choose because a) He's paying for it. b) He's pickier. c) He's doing most all the work and d) It won't be my fault if it looks bad.

What a wife, eh?

Anyway, here's what "we" have chosen for the wall base color. It's hard to see in the picture, but it's a slightly brownish/orangeish off-white. The trim will be pine wood, and the flooring slightly darker wood. The doors and maybe the laundry area will be either dark green or dark blue. I'm leaving Art in charge of that decision for the above mentioned reasons.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Great Pumpkin(s)

If an effort to be June Cleaver, I took my children to the pumpkin patch last week. It's a local farm that makes most of its money in the fall with pumpkins, gourds and general autumnal paraphernalia. I could've just bought the pumpkins for our jr. high party at the grocery store, but no. I wanted to create a memory. I created some pictures anyway. Beyond that there's no guarantee.

Of course there were quite a few Halloween decorations up, which I dislike intensely, but so far the kids don't really have any special interest in the whole process. They were intrigued by the mechanics more than anything. This snow-globe ghost had little black "bats" flying around inside a haunted house.

Luckily they were much more interested in the backyard. I loved this trampoline. The owners dug a hole and set the trampoline down where the jumping surface is at ground level. This way the kids can jump on and off with relative impunity. If we ever own a trampoline, this is how I'd want to do it, I think. You can see Mim there checking underneath. (She's looking for a cat, I think)

This will probably be our last pumpkin patch trip. As Mim and Zaya become more aware of the world around them, they'll start asking why we're going somewhere with big monster decorations and what a witch is and on and on. We face enough of that just walking through Wal-mart. Besides, I can buy the same pumpkins for half the price at the grocery store. Oh well. So much for nostalgia.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Book Meme

I've been tagged for a book meme by Lisa at Our Seven Qtpies.

Here are the instructions -

Grab the nearest book.
Open the book to page 56.
Find the fifth sentence.
Post the text of the next two to five sentences in your journal/blog along with these instructions.
Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.
Tag five other people to do the same.

I have a couple hundred paperback mysteries in the bookshelf right next to my computer desk, so I grabbed the most accessible, which turned out to be Death of a Dude by Rex Stout.

"As I reported, he's one of the few people who thinks Harvey is clean."

"The Hall of Culture. You told me three years ago that he tried to get you to read Bacon's essays."

"I see you brought your memory along. It may come in handy." I slowed the car to ease down the bank of a gully and climbed back up. "He will expect you to shake hands. Everybody you meet out here will, and you've got enough built-in points against you without adding another one."

"I resent any formality requiring bodily contact."

I tag:

Lilibeth at Keeping Up
Johanna at The Journey
Aftergrace at Still Waters Run Deep
Sara at Geeks, Freaks and Weirdos
and Heather at not a DIY Life.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Update Blog Link

I just wanted to let everyone know about a blog where all of us are following the progress of Mrs. S.

Her daughter set this up, and I think it'll be a real help to us here in the community.

Patty Schimmer Condition Update