Thursday, December 13, 2007

Random Things

Yesterday, my friend Tonna and the girls gave Zacky his very first bottle! He took it like a champ. The only issue was that I'd only pumped 2 oz, because I wasn't sure he'd take it, and he would have liked more. What a good boy! Abbie would never take a bottle, so I just haven't been pumping for Isaac - I must have had to pitch 2 gallons of milk when Abbie was a baby. I'm excited by this because it means my mom and I can go shopping without the baby when she's here next week.

Here is Abbie giving Isaac part of the bottle:

And here he is with Emma:

They do love to take care of their baby brother. It's very sweet - except when they fight over him. Then it's just annoying.

Today, I found a picture of Abbie as a baby that looks exactly like Isaac. I had Abbie come over to look at it, and when I asked her who it was, she told me it was Zacky! LOL! Emma brought Zacky over so she could see, too, and Zacky was smiling and laughing at that cute baby on my computer screen.

We raked a big pile of leaves for jumping this morning - away from the part of the yard that the dog visits. Heh. Check out the fun we had!

The first big leap:


Let's make the baby play in the leaves too (and, of course, NOT post the very next picture in which he rebelled and cried a lot):

I found some great cross-stitch sites this morning. I learned of a new designer (also a homeschooler!), My Mark Designs, when reading my new issue of Just Cross Stitch. When I looked at her blog, I found links to lots of stitching blogs! I am so excited! I don't get to stitch much right now, but I have lots of projects that I should be working on, and am looking forward to getting back to it someday soon. I would like to participate in the Fair and Square project. I shall have to ponder whether I can really make this happen.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Mammalian Marauders at the Bird Feeders

I love to feed the birds. When we lived in Michigan, we lived near some state land that was home to all kinds of beautiful birds, who would grace my bird feeders, bringing with them much joy for me and entertainment for my cats. Since moving to North Carolina, I've had to accept that my visiting bird population is different; we live in a wooded area here, as opposed to fields. That means we have a lot of insect-eating birds who don't visit the feeders as much. However, I have managed to attract a pretty fair variety and every now and then get some pretty cool birds.

As any home bird watcher knows, once you put out bird feeders, you get some other visitors that you may not have counted on. We have several squirrels who visit daily. I don't mind them so much; the cats love watching them and they're not so bad. We also have the occasional opossum. The critters I do mind, however, are the raccoons.

I have seen raccoons in the past, but was lulled into thinking they'd gone elsewhere for their nighttime snacking since I hadn't seen any in a while. However, I have recently discovered at least one fairly large one making nightly visits to my feeders. The dog won't even go out if there is a raccoon on the deck (he is quite lily-livered, since he weighs 70 lbs and the raccoons, while fat, don't come close).

The main problem is that my feeders are on my deck. Our back yard is quite a bit below our kitchen window, where we like to sit and watch birds. If the feeders were in the yard, we wouldn't be able to see them. We have the shepherd's crook poles installed and the feeders hang there. The thing is, the deck railing makes a great place for squirrels and raccoons to kick back and have a snack. I have the squirrels partially foiled with a Yankee Flipper feeder - I have seen squirrels get flipped off this thing and it's hysterically funny. There is no really good way to set things up with baffles or any other preventatives, though, because the raccoons just grab the feeder, swing the pole around and dig in.

I went searching on the internet a bit to see if there is anything to be done, and found some information on Dealing With Raccoons at the Bird Watcher's Digest site. While fun to read, it made me realize that I'm going to have to break down and bring my feeders in at night if I want to keep the coons away. Oh, well. It will be worth it if the dog will agree to go outside before bed.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Good Parent Today!

I feel like I've accomplished something today as a mom. For a few months now, Emma has been writing on a wall in our living room. I don't know why. When I asked her, she looked at me and said, "Well, we used to do it when we were little."

What?!?!? Not with impunity, they didn't!

So, today, after a few weeks of telling her she would be cleaning up her mess, I got out the Magic Erasers and set her to work.

She didn't like it at all. She whined. She said it was too hard. She complained that it was such hard work.

I suggested that perhaps she think twice next time she thinks it would be fun to write on the walls. BWA HA HAHAHAHA!! (evil mom laughter)(

In baby news, Isaac, aka Snort, aka Schmooey, voted not to nap today much. Finally I put him in his crib and after about a 30 to 45 minutes of complaining that really, naps are not at all necessary, he fell asleep. This is a good thing. I am quite wimpy about doing what I know needs to be done with this sweet boy to get him on a schedule, and I need to get a grip. Step one accomplished. :-)

Bicycle Fun For Two

It's finally happened - the day Emma said would never come! She has learned to ride a bike without training wheels! Abbie has too, of course, but in Abbie's mind, it was just a matter of time. Emma vowed that she would never, never ride a bike without training wheels. Thanks to our new friend Tonna, though, she looks like she's been riding on her own all her life.

I took them to the park on Thursday and Friday, and they had a ball. I cracked up when I heard Abbie say, "Look, Emma, I can turn left!" Apparently turning left had caused a few accidents on previous bike-riding expeditions.

Emma looks so comfortable on her bike, you'd never know she was afraid to take off the training wheels. Abbie, my little daredevil, careens around and runs into things pretty often. It's common to hear a crash, see a tangle of arms, legs, and bike, and find her little face peeking out saying "I'm okay!" when you're sure there should be something broken. In fact, I called Todd while he was up there with them yesterday, and heard her crash and say "I'm okay!" But when Todd asked her if she was sure, she said, "I think so," and started to cry. Poor sweetie. Her knees have taken quite a beating, and apparently she did a face plant yesterday too because her poor wee nose is scraped.

Todd took pictures of them yesterday with his fancy-dancy new camera lens. Enjoy!

Abbie, gleeful as always:

The near miss:

Look! Synchronized biking!

I love this picture of Emma, riding Abbie's bike with her tongue sticking out: