Saturday, July 28, 2007

John's little trick

My son John is definitely a "chip off the old block". The first words out of his mouth this morning were "Mom, where's my gun?" Before you panic, you must know that it is a toy shotgun--a very special gift from Grandpa Horn. We promptly tracked it down and then I began making my coffee. John, desperate to shoot something, kept pointing the gun at me. We've been trying to teach him that we don't point guns at people. So I suggested he do target practice on Daddy's deer hanging on the wall. He looked so cute taking aim and shooting in his PJs that I decided I had to have a picture of it. I told him to hold still while I grabbed my disposable camera. The thing is soooo cheesy. I was trying to figure out if it was even on. Do disposable cameras even turn off??? I finally decided to just take the shot even if the flash wouldn't work. After I took the picture of my very photogenic son, he looked up at me with eyes full of pity. Then in a very compassionate voice he said "Mom, come here. Let me get you your other camera." "What?" I said. "I was playing a trick on you Mommy and I hid your camera." was John's response. And then he took me by the hand and led me to a small white box that sits in the corner of our kitchen. The box houses my internet modem and the wireless router. He opened the lid and there lay my camera in the box. "Here's your camera, Mommy. Do you want to take another picture?" I must say I was completely speechless. I honestly don't think he had any idea of what he did. He was really just playing hide and seek with his mommy and, in his mind, his mommy was obviously way too dumb to find his hiding spot. And, after all that, I didn't even get a picture on him shooting his deer. Needless to say, we had a long, very long, discussion concerning what he is allowed to touch and hide and what he is not allowed to touch and hide. On the upside, you will get to see pictures of my growing box pile in my garage. Aren't you excited?!

Friday, July 27, 2007

My camera

Just a few weeks ago my mom commented on the fact that I had been able to maintain the same camera for quite sometime and how well it was still working. It was a statement that never should have been made. Yep, I've lost my camera. As I look through my past I realize that I am fairly hard on cameras for some reason. I either lose them (although right now aside from the present one I can't think of another one I've lost) or they break. I'm not sure I've ever gotten a camera just for the fun of getting a new one to replace the one I already have. I have searched this house from top to bottom. And, considering my house is fairly clean from clutter right now, I am amazed that I haven't found it. My only hope is that it shows up in one of the packed boxes that I unpack in a few weeks. However, the timing really couldn't be worse considering I was rather hoping to take pictures of said packed boxes. Out of desperation I went and pick up some disposable cameras. This is an adjustment for all of us--John really wanted to see the picture I took the other day and we had to explain to him the concept of film development. He just stared at us blankly and looked like he thought we had returned to the ice age. I'm just hoping I can remember the context of all the pictures I take. My memory is not what it once was...

Ashley's big step

We had a huge milestone at our house on Wednesday, July 25--Ashley tied her shoes all by herself. She has even learned to double knot them. I finally convinced her that she needed to learn before she started kindergarten. One of the disadvantages to having older siblings is that they carry a lot of information. Sara had informed her that technically she didn't need to know how and that the teachers would help her if she just asked. So I told her that I wouldn't let her go if she didn't learn how. And so Ashley has conquered another step on the ladder to independent adulthood.

The delicate balance

I mowed the grass yesterday afternoon and it was really, really hot. The whole time I was mowing I was imagining what I would be doing when I got done. The image involved ice water, possibly ice cream, a slightly warm shower, clean clothes and some relaxation including laying on the couch with the kids before I headed out for my evening activities. I cleaned up the outside and came inside to accomplish my first goal--the ice water. As I was drinking the water I checked the answering machine (I really need to teach my kids to answer the phone!). It was after 4pm. There was a message from a very harried sounding woman from our realty company telling us that there was a person(s) who wanted to see our house at 5:30. If it wasn't going to work I needed to call her IMMEDIATELY! Well, of course it is going to work--I want my house to sell. What obviously wasn't going to work was my fantasy of my after mowing experience. The first thing I did was call Joe to inform him that I needed a fellow bumblebee to fly around the house with. Then I went upstairs. Now when you have babies in the house, you expect to have certain odors created occasionally. There is just baby smell--both good (baby bath soap, baby lotion, etc) and bad (don't think a description is needed here). When you are showing a house you need to have a delicate balance of baby smell--pretty much no smell at all is the perfect balance. While Nathan was taking his nap he had upset the delicate balance--this became very evident as I walked up the stairs. And so Joe and I attempted to create the perfect balance again by opening windows and spraying fabreeze (which I realized the other day that my girls think fabreeze is perfume). Despite other claims, as Joe and I have looked at other houses, we have realized that you truly can spray too much fabreeze. So we were trying to decide how much was too much. Joe kept saying "they will know we have a baby, right? I mean there is a crib in the room" We thought we had found the balance right up to the point that Sara (who has a nose of a beagle) walked upstairs and said "EWWWW can you spray some in my room" And so we can always hope and pray that the family that looked at it either has babies themselves or possibly some kind of cold or some sort of nose disorder (not that I would wish that on anyone). For good measure Joe put out chocolate cookies in the dining room for their eating enjoyment--maybe the chocolate will create a lapse of memory of the upstairs smell...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Our new house

This is our new house--or at least it will be on August 21. It isn't the greatest picture in the world, but I didn't take this one. It is bigger than it looks and it sits on a basement. The backyard is really large. The kitchen has blue ceramic tile and the dining room and living room have cream ceramic tile. There is a full basement with a family room and two bedrooms. (Okay, so now I feel like I'm typing up the listing for the house) The bedrooms in the basement will be the girls as soon as we put egress windows in. The upstairs has 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths including a master bath which Joe & I have never had before. So charming and perfect for a family of 6. The living room has a stone wood fireplace and a perfect spot next to it for our piano. I have no idea how our piano is going to get there, but we have a spot for it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

You know it's been a bad day when...

you lose one of your children in your very own house. That just happened to me. All my kids were down for naps--well, they were at least each in a secluded location and I was deciding to be under the illusion that they were asleep. I was on the phone trying to figure out schooling for the girls after we move. BTW, completely off topic, we have a move date--August 21--and yes, that means we have a house!! Anyway, back to losing John. I got off the phone and heard movement upstairs. Our children are really at a disadvantage to being sneaky during naptime. It is pretty much impossible to walk around upstairs and not have at least one board creak. So I decided to go check it out. I was actually relieved to find the bathroom door closed when I arrived upstairs. Ahh, I thought, I won't have to discipline because he only got out of bed to go to the bathroom. It was a relief. I tapped on the door and then opened it. There was no John to be seen. Oh, I thought, maybe he is back in his bed. I went to his bedroom. Again, there was no John. It was at this moment that I realized that I was going to have to discipline him. However, in order to discipline him I would have to find him. Maybe he got lonely and decided to keep his siblings company. I checked out the girls' room, Nathan's room, Nathan's closet, the girls' closet, John's closet and John wasn't anywhere. I checked our bedroom--again no John. Now I was getting a little nervous. I called out his name "John, where are you?!" in a very loud whisper. "I don't know" was the response. Not being very amused, I called out in another very loud whisper "Where are you?!" "I don't know" came the response again. I traced the response to the bathroom, but did not see him anywhere. He wasn't hiding behind the tub, he wasn't in the shower and there really aren't any other hiding spots in that room. Again, feeling like I was playing a not very fun game of Marco Polo, I asked in a voice that probably could not be considered a whisper "WHERE ARE YOU, JOHN DAVID?!" "I don't know" was all I heard. It was obvious that he would now know that he needed to show himself immediately and so when he didn't I got really worried. Maybe he didn't really know where he was. And, honestly, it sounded like he was in the heating duct (we have very large ones in our old house). So just as I was almost in a complete panic as I looked down the heating vent in the bathroom, I hear a creak behind me and see fingers sticking out of the bathroom cabinet door. Yep, he was under the sink in the cabinet. Needless to say, there was some disciplining that took place, but, on the plus side, now I know where to look when we are really playing hide and seek in the house.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Pride before the BIG fall

It was a long afternoon at the Horn house. We were all recovering from our busy weekend and Nathan is teething--at least we think that is why he is such a grouch. After supper Joe and I decided to try a divide and conquer strategy. I took the boys to Walmart because we had no bread, milk, butter, etc. The trip to the store was pretty much a necessity unless we wanted to have hamburgers and hot dogs for breakfast. Joe got to hang with the girls. You have to know that I usually go to Walmart very, very first thing in the morning. My kids are fresh and prepared to handle the shopping experience. For some reason I wasn't really worried about taking the boys at 6 in the evening. Everything about the afternoon should've made me concerned, but they usually do really well in the store. It was crowded--of course. About halfway through my trip I heard a kid absolutely shrieking--I think she was about 4 or 5 aisles away from me. Then about 2 minutes later I heard another girl screaming in the same aisle that I was in. She claimed her older sister had hit her. By the slight grin on her sister's face I suspected that the younger was telling the truth, but no one really asked me to play judge in the situation. I actually smiled--I know it isn't nice to take joy in someones pain, but I was feeling really good about my parenting. I knew what my kids had been like all afternoon and yet I was able to take them to the store and put on the appearance of the perfect family. And so, with a slight spring in my step, I made my way to the checkout. I walked up to an empty one and started unloading my cart. And then in a blur of a moment my perfect parenting came completely apart. I've spent quite a bit of the evening trying to figure out exactly what happened and still haven't been able to figure it out. My perfectly obedient boys were suddenly screaming--well, actually only one of them was screaming. Not really sure what I would have done if it was both of them. I wasn't sure what to do with it being just one of them. The cashier just started at me. As I kept apologizing over the screaming and the kicking she didn't say anything--absolutely nothing, not "oh, it's fine. it happens all the time". She just stared. I think she was rather amazed at his stamina. I tried not to think about how many other people were staring as I attempted to walk out of the store with dignity while the boys were screaming (yes, the other one started in when I finished checking out). And so I definitely will not smile the next time I see sibling rivalry in the pizza aisle. Trying to buckle a boy acting like a rabid raccoon into a car seat in the Walmart parking lot has definitely cured me of that!!

The nuttiness and a funk

I know it has been awhile since I've posted--at least for me. But we had a nutty weekend and I've been in a bit of a funk. I'll address the nutty weekend first. We think we had 13 different families come through our house since Friday. So we basically lived in our car and at other people's houses when we weren't sleeping here. This is how it typically went with our kids before we would get home from someone's house: "When we get home, go upstairs, put on your PJs, brush your teeth without getting any toothpaste on the sink (tricky, I know), get in bed and above all--DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING!" I must say considering the circumstances, our kids did great and I think our house managed to stay somewhat clean. I've relaxed a bit today--they actually got to play with the toys in the basement this morning.

Onto the funk that I've been in--moving stinks! Especially when you actually enjoy the place that you currently live. I try to keep this blog pretty upbeat and fun, so I haven't posted because I've not been very upbeat or very fun in the last two days. But, my goal is to keep memories, and these are certainly memories so I decided I need to record them. And as I thought about what I would write it actually made me feel a little less funky. We had our farewell staff party last night. Great fun even though I definitely think that Matt rigged his and Gloria's scores and Jon & I should have won the team competition. Here are some of the staff memories that we will remember:

  • Joe's rope burn on his neck from his dog training (or as Joe says "if you've still got it, you might as well flaunt it")
  • The burger video
  • Birthday pies--especially sour cream and raisin (I'm sorry--I still think that is gross)
  • All of Steve's former secretaries
  • The "dog bucket" issues
  • Joe's trivial pursuit game that he "cheated" on
  • Steve and Sarah holding hands
  • The Amanas, Galena, Chicago, Madison
  • Annual Christmas dinner with the elders
  • Apples to Apples
  • Food, food, food and more food
  • Remembering to write down every place we ate when we went on vacation so we could report back to Steve when we returned

I'm sure there are many, many more and Joe suggested I do a part two later. (It is suppertime here and the natives are getting restless.) Needless to say, those of you on staff at FBC we love you and will dearly miss each one of you!