Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ebony and Ivory: A Tale of Two Tails

The dogs around here are crazy, and in my mind I've written several posts about them. To be honest, I'm not sure how much I've actually typed out about these two girls. I'm sure the story of their lives could be compared to Marley & Me, it's at least as humorous!

The sub-title for today is: The Walk
I will refer to them as Ebony and Ivory to protect the innocent, or slightly unintelligent. 

Ivory came to us from a home where she was not walked much. I walked her when she was about a year and a half old and the entire time I was thinking, "If I trip this dog will drag me down the road until she is tired." She pulled like a man pulling a semi-truck on the strongest man competitions! Now that Ivory is four years old, one would think she is starting to calm down. But, you'd be wrong! One of my stipulations for bringing her to out home was that the previous owner, my mom, would send a gentle lead for each girl with us. Now, this device does help, but it is not a solve all.

Ebony used to think walks were for her to explore the world around her. With another owner, they might be. But with me, they are to sweat, drop pounds and wear the dog out. Unfortunately I am tired WAY before she is. The gentle lead has worked beautifully on Ebony. The first time I strapped it on her, she froze and waited for my lead. She keeps the leash loose the whole walk and only rebels when she needs to take a "pit stop." She is a pleasure to walk while on her lead.

Ivory is a better walker on her lead, but still a maniac. I have determined that her enthusiasm is due to a lack of exercise in her younger years and a zeal for a good workout. If she's going for a walk, she wants to get the most out of it. There's no wasting steps for this girl. In fact, she gets a double workout. While walking, she insist on looking to the left ever 3-4 seconds. She starts panting the moment I open the drawer that her leash is in. Once it's strapped on her tongue is hanging out. Remember, this is no small dog and neither is her tongue. It swells and produces more saliva as we walk. So, when she looks to the left, her big fat tongue is hanging out and she slides it across the victim's head and touches the front of my right leg. I have given the victim (or child in the back seat) a hat to protect their head, and this seems to help. But, as I get hotter and stickier, this tongue feels grosser and grosser. (Is that a word?) Anyway, it just grosses me out! Along with slobbering all over me and the victim, Ivory runs to the front of the stroller, then behind me. I keep her on a short leash, so I'm not sure how she does this. I have kicked her in the heel one second, then have her head by my back side the next. In brief, she runs back and forth beside the stroller while we walk for 2 miles. This is an enthusiastic dog! Once we get home she drinks about a gallon of water and passes out for a while. Ebony is not even tired! I have to change shorts and the victim gets their head washed off. Oh yes, we are the circus!

We're turning heads

We are certainly turning heads these days. Not in a "wow, that's a hot mama" sort of way, but more of a "look at that circus" sort of way! We usually get at least one "you've got your hands full" per walk. The other day we got our first ever "HOLY COW!" I laughed out loud at that one! I mean, I know we look crazy, but I have got to get some exercise! So, I'll give you a mental picture. Maybe one day I'll get someone to take a picture of the circus that walks the path around here, until then you'll have to use your imagination. Picture this: I have both boys buckled into the stroller. Olivia is worn in a carrier on my front and the two big dogs are leashed together and on the right side of the stroller. The other day I thought I'd let Olivia sleep in the stroller and carried Boaz on my back in my Mai Tei. This gave me a double work out and caused some curious looks. We passed one couple twice before they noticed the third child. I'm not sure if they were missing Olivia or Boaz, but they said I had my hands full after our first in counter and seemed in a state of confusion or shock after realizing there was another little hiding. Again, I laughed. 

I laugh to keep from crying on some days. One time I was already crying when a bystander through their two cents at me. Most of the time I can just laugh it off, but each comment seems like a tiny pin prick into my heart. Is there something wrong with having your hands full, or more than full of these little blessings? I mean, the dogs through an extra twist in the combo, and we probably are crazy for having two big dogs while we have three little kids, but they are part of the family and aren't going anywhere. It's the comments about the three littles that make my heart sad. I love them so much and I want people (read: all the outspoken people around us) to love them too and see the mightiness of my God through these littles

I'm not going to lie, my hands are more than full. I have two hands and three children. Do the math! But, isn't this work worth it? There's so much more purpose in a house full of littles and a sink full of dirty dishes and a dryer full of clothes than there is in a desk full of papers. I've heard women say they feel like they are not contributing to society by staying at home and feel the need to get back in the workforce, aren't we training the workers of tomorrow? I'm trading one worker now for three (or more) workers in the future. That's a pretty important work. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


You have not heard much from me over the last few weeks because of our visitors and because I've been crafting! Sewing really. A friend mentioned recently that she loved her Mai Tei. Then, another friend mentioned a Mei Tai and I just had to check them out. Looking at the price, I thought I'd try to make one. So, while Mom was here, we went to Hancocks several times and eventually came up with this: 
Then, Mom thought she'd like one to carry Kylar around in when she watches him. (Kylar is my sister's little boy) So, we went back to Hancocks and picked out this material. We also got some material for a Daddy Mei Tai, but you'll have to wait until Albert's birthday to see his. Here is my mom's Mei Tai:

Before making either of the Mei Tais, I tried my hand at a sling. This was easy and tricky at the same time. I found a couple of websites that gave me all of the dimensions and how-to's for wearing, but I can't quite figure out how to put a liner in it and reinforce the seam. So, it's a bit patchy on the inside, but it works great for snuggling Olivia and taking care of every one else.

She is out like a light within moments of being dropped in!
A couple of months ago a friend mentioned a height chart that her MOPs group did. I made a chart a while ago, but it was pretty plain. Since we know we are moving soon and will move again at some pointe, I want to be able to take the markings with us. So, this is what the Granny's and I came up with.

This says "Grow" but the ribbon is covering the "w". I went ahead and put all of the stickers on the board so that it is ready for however many kids we have. The stickers are scrapbooking boarders. Granny Duck discovered that one!

This is Olivia's quilt. I'm not sure if I've posted it before. The colors from the stickers on the height chart match it perfectly. I think we will paint her room either a light light pink or neutral like the rest of the house (in my mind at least).
Here's the last thing I've tried out. I have never french braided my hair until last week. I've done it a couple of times now and this "hair style" seems to work great for me! It keeps my hair out of my eyes and I don't have to fix it or mess with it throughout the day. My shoulders feel like they are on fire by the time I get to the second braid, but it works out. It's not perfect, but it feels like an accomplishment!

The past few weeks

For those of you who stop by just for the pictures, today is your lucky day! I finally found the camera cord and uploaded a small glimpse of the craziness around here. Enjoy!

Boaz's big brother bike finally arrived. So, the boys helped me put it together and each tried it out. None of the pieces have fallen off yet, so I think we did a pretty good job. Boaz still needs a little practice, but he's enjoying it!

Canon has been doing an awesome job on his bike as well. He can run and pick up his feet for a moment and only falls when distracted by something else. We have managed to go to the park a couple of times without any distractions and a smooth ride!
^ I just had to share this picture. Isn't he a cutie?? I love summer and it looks like the littles do too!

^I think we are in monsoon season around here. We have had rain or clouds everyday for the last two weeks. So, while my mom was here, and it wasn't lightening, I suited the boys and myself up and headed outside to splash in the puddles. This is obviously something we need to do more often because the boys were not really sure what to do in the rain! It was a bit of a chore to get everyone, including the four legged creatures, cleaned up, but we had a really fun time!

I believe this is Olivia's 5 week picture. This is another outfit that was mine when I was a baby. Isn't she a sweety??

^We had such a special time with all of the Granny's in town. Left to Right: Albert's mom, Becky, Albert's Aunt and honorary Granny, Karla, and my mom, Cindy. I am still retraining the damage they did. :)

^Boaz was trying to eat the ladybug container and was enjoying them crawl around in the cup.

^Canon was not so thrilled to hold the cup, but looked pretty handsome!

^Sorry that Olivia is standing on her head. She was snuggled into the back of the stroller and slept through the whole thing! She did look cute though!

^We had a fun time seeing our friends and fell apart shortly after this was taken! 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ladybug Release

So much has been going on around here that I hardly know where to begin at filling you in. Here's a quick run-down. Albert left on a deployment about 2 weeks ago. My mom flew in the same day to meet Olivia and hang out with the boys. A week later my mom-in-law and her sister-in-law flew in to meet Olivia and hang out with the boys. A couple of days later, mom left. Then the in-laws left, and now we are lonely. We had an awesome time with all of the visitors. I did a couple of sewing projects and we all laughed a ton. These three ladies are my best helpers aside from Albert. They do everything they can to help our house run more smoothly. 

Right now we are trying to figure out how to operate on our own again. I have been battling some behavior issues and presently feel like a complete failure. With Albert being home for two months and having visitors at our house for about two weeks, it has been a while since I was the only adult around. I'd rather have two adults around! This job is hard!!! 

Today I took the kiddos to the Myriad Gardens for the ladybug release. It was pretty fun. It was a little crowded for my liking, but the plants were beautiful. Each child was given a small container with 10-20 ladybugs in it, then we were to release them onto the plants. Canon was a little creaped out by the bugs, so he gave me his container. Boaz thought he'd try to eat them. I released all of the ladybugs and was a little creaped out myself by them crawling on me. It makes my skin crawl a bit just thinking about it! We had a good time though and were able to see some friends that we hardly ever see. One thing that made me laugh was that everyone was wearing something with bugs on it. Ok, I partook in this as well. Olivia had a cute ladybug skirt and shirt on and Boaz wore a romper with bugs on it. Canon didn't have any bugs for show today. One lady had a lady bug purse and nearly every little girl had ladybugs on her outfit somewhere. It just made me laugh that all of the moms thought a like!

After the ladybug adventures, we headed to McDonald's for lunch before taking Boaz to the doctor. I'm not sure if the boys have ever had MD's before, so this was somewhat of a treat....... a totally bad for you treat. It was more a matter of convenience. We drove through and ate in the parking garage of the doctor's office. Boaz is still fighting an ear infection. He had one when Olivia was born and I'm not sure if it's ever cleared up completely. I took him in last week to discover the right ear is infected, it seems to be in the same situation today. Hopefully his little ears will clear up soon.

This afternoon we were able to play outside again. I'm not sure how I'll handle the humidity of Pensacola. It has rained pretty much every day for the last week or so, except yesterday and today. So, we just had to get outside. Yesterday morning was very muggy, but the afternoon was just warm. Today was muggy and damp the whole day. The air just feels damp. I'm not sure how well I'll handle that 24/7 but I'm sure I'll manage it better than the Oklahoma wind!

I think that's about all the rambling I have for now. Quick update on Olivia, she slept from 9:00-3:45 last night, woke up once and slept until 7:00 this morning! Maybe we aren't far from sleeping all night!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Still here

We are still here! We have had family in town the last week and a half and have hardly had a spare moment. I will share our adventures later. Just want to let you know that we are still here and still crazy!