Friday, August 29, 2008

naked sundays

warning: my husband may not approve this post, but he is not currently here to consult, so i will take my chances

we have entered a new era in the rutherford household:
there are no secrets when you have kids

case in point: i had a doctor's appointment early this morning so john took burrito to school. noodle went with me and fortunately, all went well. so we ran some errands, got back home, i check my email and what is in my inbox? an email from burrito's teacher who has sent me well wishes because burrito has gone to school and told her that noodle and i were sick and going to the doctor. now, he didn't get the whole story correct (which leads to more worries, making public things that were meant to be private and embellishing the details). noodle was not sick, he was just forced to go along with me.

now, truth be told, nothing too private has been revealed. thank goodness. burrito did not know or hear the real reason for my doctor's appointment or that would have been made public as well. not that it is of much consequence, just not something i need his teacher to know.

it gets better...

since the boys were babies (and being only 18 months apart, i did have 2 babies at once) we have celebrated naked sundays. now before too many images pop into your head, let me clarify. naked sundays are really not naked. we just instituted this tradition when they were young, that after coming home from church on sundays, we would take off their clothes and they could eat, sleep and play in their diapers. we really created this tradition as a sneaky way of getting their church clothes off before eating, so that pizza sauce (pizza is our sunday lunch staple) would not ruin their clothes. well, now that they are older, it is more of an undies sort of day, which i totally love! there's just something about little boys running around in undies that i just can't get enough of!

now let me make sure i emphasize that john and i do not take part in this tradition, so don't get any ideas.

anyways, all that to say, we had to have a serious talk with burrito this past sunday, that naked sundays were not to be mentioned to Mrs. B because she would not fully understand the meaning behind those words, and who wants to have that conversation with their child's preK teacher???

so, who knows....Mrs. B may already know about naked sundays and we don't know it. i haven't received that email yet! and hopefully won't!

which begs the following conversation....well, in a sort of chasing rabbits sort of way....what traditions do you love?

this time of year, with the hint of fall and cooler weather and college football and harvest festivals and pumpkins, it just makes me relish and treasure traditions. i am sort of a sentimentalist. and the fall is my most favorite time of year, perhaps because it is the season for holidays and family. we have these 2 scarecrows we display on our front porch every year. our first scarecrow was purchased just prior to noodle's birth, and we named it sammy, sort of a neutral kind of name, though i think she should be a she, seeing how i am totally outnumbered in this house. last year, we purchased a friend for sammy, sebastian, to sort of celebrate/commemorate our first fall in our current home. this may sound silly to you, but doing these sorts of traditional things with kids is all the more fun.

i can't wait for september 1 because that is when our fall wreath will go on the front door, regardless of the temperature outside. and october 1, sammy and sebastian will grace our front porch for another year.

i love the fall.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hide and Secret

We were at dinner tonight trying to decipher what in the world Noodle was talking about. He was saying something like...

"I want to do that fing (thing) you know, I want to do that fing (thing) again, the secret, the hide and secret!"

We finally figured out he meant "hide and seek." Thank goodness for context!

Monday, August 25, 2008

i HATE wallpaper!

and i don't usually say the word "hate" but i am pretty sure it applies in this case. i spent the better part of yesterday removing wallpaper, or should i say 2 layers of painted over wallpaper, from our dining room walls and kitchen soffits. i was fortunate that in most places, the wallpaper pulled down freely. other places, not the case. to make matters worse, they applied the first layer of wallpaper on unprimed drywall, so when you rip the wallpaper down, in some parts, the first layer of drywall would come off too.

but have no fear! thanks to this wonderful thing called the internet, i have a plethora of information to draw from in regards to repair. i feel like i am becoming more and more knowledgeable in home repair thanks to this old house.

so if you are needing to conquer some unsightly wallpaper and you don't know where to begin, let me suggest you come to me! i have done all of the research work for you! or maybe you should wait until i am completely finished, so that you can learn from my mistakes! :)

so i am on the completely unreasonable time table to finish this diy portion of our remodel. john's family is coming next thursday and my goal is to have this project completed so that we can enjoy our kitchen and dining room again. i won't bore you with the details but basically it goes like this: make repairs to drywall, one coat of Zinsser Gardz, texture, prime and then paint. I also need to touch up the paint on the baseboards and windowsills but this might have to come later.

oh, and did i forget to say that i pulled a major muscle in my back yesterday after removing the wallpaper, so i am not sure of my ability to get much done tonight. and yes, i said tonight, because that is the only time i can get anything done around here, after Burrito and Noodle go to bed!

can i get an amen!?!?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Little Funk...

Well, I've not been motivated to blog the last few days. I've been in a funk. It started Thursday and will not go away. I think I am tired. I fell asleep on the couch last night at 8p and did not wake up this morning until Burrito started rubbing on my arm to wake me up around 7a. I need the Lord. That's all it boils down to. I am glad tomorrow is Sunday.

Parents night quenched (somewhat) my fears of making the right choice for Burrito this year. His teacher started off the meeting by saying she really felt she has been called to teach preK and her utmost concern for them is that they would come to know and trust the Lord. Aaaahhh....that sounds so right. That's what I truly want for my boys, more than a great education, a saving knowledge of Christ. So maybe preK will be good! :) I signed up to be the room mother for his class. My mom was always the room mother and it seemed the thing to do but I am a little nervous about it now. Everyone has made such a big deal about it that I am wondering what I've signed up for!

Noodle had his first music class yesterday. It is a 2 year old class and he is about 2 months shy of his 3rd birthday. I think he was defintely the oldest and maybe the only one potty trained there. I was really proud of him. He was the first to participate and seemed to have a really good time. This has not always been the case with this momma's boy! I thought the class was a little lame but he seemed to like it and that's all that matters. Plus, it is 45 minutes of me time that is a rare commodity these days.

We also went up to have lunch with Burrito yesterday at school. It was fun to step into his world and Noodle loved it because I packed him a lunch and he ate at the table with all of the big kids. I don't think Burrito really cared that we were there, that little independent thing!

No wonder I fell asleep on the couch at 8 last night! :) It was a busy day!

Happy Sunday tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Questions about God

Lately Burrito has been obsessed with whether people or things are taller than him. It's been interesting to see this relational learning.

Today in the car we were reviewing the story of Jonah that we read last night. I was reminding the boys that we cannot hide from God, that he sees us all the time. Well, of course, this led into 101 questions about can God see us here and can God see us there?

Burrito said, "God can see us right now in the car?"

"Yes, remember we cannot see God, but He always sees us."

"Is God taller than me?" The question of the week.

"Yes, Burrito, God is taller than you. He is bigger than everyone." This seemed like a good answer without getting too complicated.

"Can God drink margaritas?"

Oh my. How do you answer that one?!? John and I have told our boys that margaritas are for adults, so I think Burrito was really asking if God was an adult, this was just the way he knew to ask that question.

Parents night is tonight for T's school. I will post more tomorrow.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Been thinking....

Rain makes me a little melancholy and contemplative. I love it. This is my true nature but many times life gets in the way of just slowing down and thinking.

I like reading other blogs because I like to hear about what other moms are doing and thinking. I read one today that really made me think and evaluate my parenting, my philosophy of parenting and other random things that I could not relay fast enough to my husband at dinner tonight. He thinks I am a little crazy I think, reading other people's blogs, but it can be so addicting and so helpful even!

Anyways, this mom was fielding questions from her blog readers and someone inquired about her plans for educating her children. She has 2 boys, 1 girl and pregnant with a boy (and the oldest is 3.5 years!) She qualified her answer first with her experience in education: attended a private Christian elementary and middle school, public high school, a Bible college, majored in education and taught in the public school for 6 years. She admitted to not having made her mind up completely as to what she will do but she did mention taking this training course while she was a teacher that addressed different learning styles (meaning boy vs. girl). Have you noticed how most elementary school teachers are female and typically teach with that bent towards girls and how they learn? It is only natural to teach how you would want to be taught. I think about this as I parent 2 boys. I don't like wrestling or bugs or dirt but they do and I think I need to be okay with that.

And then John and a good friend were talking several nights ago about how boys are being neutered (for lack of a better term) in the classroom because their teachers can't appreciate how boys think and operate. There are positive ways to channel their need to compete, race, exert physical energy, etc.

And this blogging mom also made a point that traditional schools are just, by nature, very inefficient. The learning that takes place at school for 7 hours a day can take place in half that time at home. That is just the nature of traditional schooling, so many kids to one teacher, passing periods, disruptions, etc.

So all of that had me thinking and evaluating what I think is best for our boys. I have not made any decisions today, though I tend to overreact and make everything an immediate crisis! :)

Then to top it off, Burrito gets a note sent home today that he was wrestling with another boy at school during circle time and continued to do so after the teacher gave a warning. He lost his candy privilege for the day. When I picked him up from school, his teacher said that he was a little sad today and that she sent a note home for me. I was thinking that he was missing me and didn't want to be at school. Ha, silly me, I should have known better! The note said he was "very remorseful," which I think is a nice way of putting that he had a meltdown when told he was not to receive a candy treat at the end of the day.

This school thing just feels so new to me, which has probably attributed to my overreactions about education in general. It doesn't help things that John is a teacher. Makes it a little complicated.

Tell me to relax. Tell me this is just the beginning.

Okay, on a lighter note. I thought I would include this picture of Noodle eating pizza the other night. I think he enjoyed it, don't you. And last night, while eating spaghetti and meatballs, my darling hubby thought it would be funny to smear spaghetti sauce and noodles all over his face to match our two sons. The boys were rolling in laughter. Man, I wish I had a picture of that one!
Two other funny stories:
Remember how I told you that Burrito calls bras "overalls?" Well, we were at Walmart last night and we somehow ended up in the bra section. So both boys run over, start smashing on the padded cups and yelling "Overalls!" There was a lady not too far down the aisle from us and I'm pretty sure John wanted to disappear!
The other story is about Noodle. John was on the computer the other day and I was fussing at him about it because he was reading the Olympic news before viewing it later that night. I don't want to know what has happened so that it is exciting when we are watching. And I don't want him to know either. So I said, quite chidingly, "John get off the computer!" Not realizing that Noodle was even paying attention to our conversation he suddenly yelled out, "Dad, get off the puter!" We both just died laughing. So remember Noodle when you are working on your puter! :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

We had a baby girl!!!

Guess that caught your attention huh?
Read on to get the real story :)
Today is Friday, which means a school day for Burrito. We were up early trying to get everything ready. John was about to leave when we heard someone banging on our front door.
Quite unusual at our house in the 7:00 hour.
It was our neighbor a few houses down. Great, sweet Christian family who we have spoken with on several occasions but have not had the opportunity to get to know very well. His wife had been up sick (quite violently) since 4 am and he needed to take her to the ER. They have a son who is 2 and a daughter who is 6 months. He needed me to watch the kids while they went to the ER.
He couldn't fork over that baby girl quick enough for me. Noodle played with the son and I had the delight of feeding the baby girl a bottle! We had a great time and the kids were great. Noodle was glad to have some play friends on a day when Burrito was in school.
It felt so good to help this family out. Pray for the mom, that this stomach bug would flee quickly and her strength would be restored. I suspect a good friendship is brewing! :)

So it made for a peculiar day, as Noodle and I had planned on going grocery shopping while Burrito was in school. Instead, we went after we picked up him from school and wasn't that an adventure! Burrito was in rare form, as all of his exuberant energy had been pent up all day at school, and Noodle was working on zero nap for the day. But we survived.

Burrito picked up a new phrase today at school. I suspect, with much chagrin, that this is only the beginning. "Don't even think about it." That was the phrase I heard numerous times throughout the evening. "I need you to use nice words Burrito" was spoken so often that at one point in the car Noodle quite matter of factly said, "We need to pray for you!" John and I couldn't help but laugh at the truth spoken in those words. Out of the mouth of a 2 year old!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Our kitchen remodel...

Several of you have been following my updates on Facebook about the kitchen remodel and so I thought I would post some pics here for posterity. Nothing too major was done but we did have our cabinets painted with new hinges, granite countertops, new backsplash, new sink and new faucet.

Here are the specs:

Cabinet paint : Alabaster, Sherwin Williams pro classic enamel paint and primer
Granite: Tropic Brown polished granite with straight edge
Sink: Blanco Anthracite (that's just a fancy word for black!) Silgranit 1 3/4 bowl, 10 inches deep! This was my favorite! Silgranit is 80% granite, 20% composite which translates into an almost indestructible sink!
Faucet: Price Pfister Avalon in Stainless Steel
Backsplash: Casa Antica Tumbled Travertine Subway Tile and Glass Mosaic 1" tile for accent, bone grout

I think I will save all of my rants about the kitchen remodel for another post but here are some before and after pics.


Note the beat up oak cabinets (though you can't really see that in the pics), gold hinges, white (or at least at one time!) laminate countertops and backsplash with the sawed off edges by the oven, the beat up stainless steel sink and sad faucet.


Quite an improvement don't you think! :)
We still have some more work to do. We have to remove painted over wallpaper, prime, texture and paint the walls. We also have plans for a new light fixture and window treatments in the dining room. But after not having a kitchen for a week and a half, LOTS of stress and school starting, it will probably be a bit before we finish it all up. And, when our cash flow isn't quite so depleted, John and I would like to extend our wood floors into the dining and kitchen. This would be a DIY project, so it would be wise for us to go to marriage counseling BEFORE we set out to do this. Nothing like a little home improvement with two firstborns to cause some major marital discord! And of course, one day, maybe we will be able to afford matching stainless appliances!

The first day of school...

Doesn't he look just like John David?!??!

Well, we all survived the first day of school. Burrito woke up that morning and said "I don't want to go to school but I have to." A little later I heard him say, "I love Mrs. B. She is so beautiful!"
I guess I have been replaced!

John met us there to walk Burrito into class. He ran right up to Mrs. B and gave her a big hug and never looked back.

Couldn't he have been just a little clingy???

Truthfully, I am glad he did so well with no drama. I am sure that will happen with Noodle.

These are a few things I heard Burrito say about school:

"Mom, everybody had the same shorts on!" I guess he hasn't figured out uniforms yet!
"We got to play on the playground two times and eat lunch in the gym."
"Mrs. B said we had to be quiet during rest time but we didn't have to close our eyes."
"We went to chapel today. It is called going to God's house." I love that!

Noodle and I had an interesting day too. We came home and played outside. Things were so quiet without Burrito around! Then we went to storytime at the library. Noodle cooperated so much better, I think without big brother around. Then it was home for lunch and naptime. Well, at least that's what I thought. I tried putting him down about 30 minutes earlier so that he could get about 1 1/2 hours of rest in before we had to go pick Burrito up at school. Well, 1 1/2 hours later Noodle was still awake and making all kinds of noise. This was the first time ever that he chose not to nap. He is such a good sleeper but maybe not as tired since he hadn't been chasing Burrito around all day.

By the end of the day I was exhausted. We went to meet some friends for dinner and the boys were so sweet with Baby Lincoln. I just had to take this picture...

Which leads up nicely to the conversation the boys and I had in the car today. I've been asking Noodle where is my baby because he is so proud that he is a big boy now that he is potty trained (thank you LORD!). Noodle's answer is always "in your belly!" Then I explain to him that there is not a baby in my belly. (Though I sure wouldn't mind one, sorry John!)

Well today, the question that all parents fear, came out of my precocious 4 year old. "Mom, how do babies get in your belly?"

I've been ready for the answer to this question because inevitably I knew it would come.

"God puts a baby in your belly when he thinks you need a baby." I felt pretty proud of my prepared response.

Burrito then asked, "Why doesn't God think you need a baby right now?"

Ummmm...I was NOT ready for this one.

So I said, "Well, only God knows when you need a baby and so He must not think we need one right now. God is good and knows what is best for us."

It's so easy to say that, why not so easy to believe that???

Burrito's response was "Well, I think God is mean then!"

I then spent the next 5 minutes trying to convince him that God is not mean, that He is good all the time. I am not sure he was convinced, more so because he just wanted to continue to argue, not that he really believed God is mean.

I am thankful to have these conversations about God with my 4 and 2 year old, even if they are exasperating! It is amazing to see how much, even at this tender age, they understand. Thank you Lord for this gift!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Here We Go....

I've put this off long enough.

I typically push back against all things trendy. I like being different. I like being granola. I like anonymity. But, like I said, I've put this off long enough.

It's time to blog.

The only reason (mainly) to start this addictive behavior (no doubt) is to document all the amazing things my two sons do on a daily basis. They are quite amusing. And my memory is pathetic.

So here we go....

Tomorrow is a big day in the Rutherford house. Burrito, my oldest, starts preK. YIKES! I can't believe we have already and so quickly reached this milestone. He is quite the social butterfly and too smart for his own good (and mine!) but he told me today that he is not going to school tomorrow or ever. Fine with me. If only he meant it. Burrito is just like me. Never fond of new situations. We just don't like non-routine. He will totally LOVE school, of course, but maybe not this first week. I remember even in college feeling this way...just knowing once I survived the first week of new schedules, then I would be fine and okay with everything. It's just 3 days a week and his teacher, Mrs. B, is really great. A nurturer and clean freak! The Lord knew just what I needed! Anways, say lots of prayers for us this week.

I am sure Noodle, my youngest, will also have to adjust to the new schedule of not having big brother around. He is such a momma's boy, though, that I don't think it will take him long to adjust.

Some funny things I wanted to document for memory sake:

Burrito calls bras "overalls." We were driving the other morning and we were stopped at a red light and this teenage girl was jogging with just shorts and a sports bra. I could see him watching her and I knew he would comment.

Burrito said, "Mom, do you see that girl?"
"Yes, I see her."
"I can see her belly button!" with some giggling from the backseat.
"Yes, I see it too."
"Mom, she has overalls on!"

It took all that was within me not too bust out laughing. I just can't correct him. Overalls sounds way cuter than bra!

This summer has been really encouraging in that the boys have really started to understand more and more about God and spiritual things. We have been doing a kids devotional with them at breakfast or dinner and one night we were talking about Adam and Eve in the garden and sin and how God can see everything. Burrito looked at John and you could see the gears in his head moving.

Burrito said, "Dad, God can see me right now?"

John said "Yes, he can see you right now."

Burrito then real slowly looked up at the ceiling, as if expecting to see God step down right then from the heavens. It was classic and quite hilarious!

And Noodle, the blonde thing that he is, always keeps us in stitches because he never quite catches on to things, even after being corrected numerous times. While eating dinner he exclaims, "Dad! I have some food stuck in my teeth. I need some lip gloss!" Meaning dental floss of course!

What a great joy it is to be a mom and wife. God is good.

More to come...