Big stinkin box

This weekend we went to Bart and Linda's. Unless she was eating Cheetos or Popsicles she was sitting in cousin Julia's cardboard craft office- a big refrigerator box morphed into something crafty by Aunt Linda. Imagine my distress when Uncle Bart offered to get her a box for her own house. He doesn't realize what a slave driver Jo is- there will be no peace until she gets what she wants. Luckily Uncle Bart is a man of his word and a mere 18 hours later I arrive home to a giant box on my front porch....and a four year old who is even more enthused and impatient.

So today after work I got out the razor blade and tape. We worked off Linda's masterpiece for inspiration and Jo carefully compared Linda's work to mine- pointing out my shortcomings at every turn. We got slightly off course when I ripped off a piece of cardboard that hit her in the eye. I am not saying I did it on purpose, but her vision for imperfection was slightly less acute as a result.

And so we worked on, cutting, taping and comparing ourselves to Linda. "But mom- Julia's had a bell and a chimney for mail delivery!" "Julia's window has paper curtains!" "Julia's has boxes clipped to the sides!" Etc. I had to point out that we are stalled until we get more duct tape (where oh where is my duct tape?) after which we can shore up the foundation and framing. Then we can proceed to such details as a mail slot and bell. See? I have learned something by reading my cousin's blog on house building. Duct tape first, bells later.


First vs Third Pregnancy @ The Doctor's Office

First pregnancy: today is the day! I get to go to the doctor!
Third pregnancy: crap! I have to go to the doctor today!

First pregnancy: legs shaved
Third pregnancy: ziploc baggies of marshmallows, teddy grahams and goldfish with stickers to keep the kids occupied during the ultrasound/sonogram/anything involving stirrups

First pregnancy: call every blood relative to provide an update (my blood pressure, baby's size likened to produce, my weight gain in lbs and ounces to date, etc)
Third pregnancy: Only the important stuff to Luke, "Pregnancy test was positive. HIV test was negative. They think I've gained 6 lbs but wouldn't weigh me naked so that's probably inaccurate."

First pregnancy: read meticulously and left on the dining room table for husband to peruse should he be so inclined
Third pregnancy: discretely thrown in waiting room garbage can

First pregnancy: Questions? Why yes. I brought a list.
Third pregnancy: Questions? Why yes. Are other patients mentioning that your scale seems to be off by exactly 6 lbs?

First pregnancy: Carefully planned so that Luke can attend
Third pregnancy: Carefully planned so that Luke is most likely able watch the kids

First pregnancy: I DO have one! In fact I have a bound copy I printed especially for you.  I will be birthing naturally with no medical intervention and I do NOT want to be offered pain medication of any kind.
Third pregnancy: I DO have one! It is: EPIDURAL.

First pregnancy: What is the lightest possible thing I can wear that is still publicly acceptable to best reduce my measured weight gain?
Third pregnancy: What is the lightest possible thing I can wear that is still publicly acceptable to best reduce my measured weight gain?

My new camera

After spilling an entire cup of coffee into my purse, which unfortunately contained my camera, I've been camera-less for several months. I finally just ordered a cheap one & will now resume taking pictures of my children.  Case in point:

This is one of my favorites.  Also a good depiction of our house colors (dark blue, white trim & the porch will be repainted a rust red) and how sloppy we are at painting.


Mean muggin'

This boy spends a good deal of time laughing.  Luke says every time he sees Baylor run out of a room with a devilish laugh and I am chasing after him, that he thinks it must be a replay of my mom chasing jack 25 years ago.  Quite possible.


A Painted House

One of the things we've been looking forward to the most is painting the outside of our house.  It is covered in rather unattractive yellow asbestos shingles.  So far they've taken primer like a champ & even seeing the house covered in primer is quite an improvement! We are just now starting on the final color- a dark navy/gray color with white trim.  Absolutely nothing is finished, it is all in various stages of unfinish....like every other project we do :)


**Excuse the giant mess in the yard.  We drag everything everywhere and don't bother putting it away since we like to be able to work on the fly (my Uncle Bart, according to Libby's blog, will not be impressed by this job site. At all.)

Part one: send your husband up about 25 feet up in the air and ask him to scrape all the scary high parts (lead pant=no good for baby).  Rock the ladder a little here & there to check his reflexes.

Part two: While he is dangling from a ladder, use a roller to prime the front porch in about 30 minutes, then facebook the heck out of it.  Decide going forward to only handle tasks that go quickly and provide instant, visible results for facebook purposes.

Part three: Mitigate ladder threat by buying husband a stabilizer.  Increase risk by leaning the ladder too far from the house (good point Uncle Bart- and duly noted-- he is being much more careful about the lean angle).  Post a picture of him on facebook so you don't look so self serving, only posting pics of your own achievements and all.

Part four: slap up the first coat of blue, and elect to photograph your work instead of cutting in to complete an entire coat.  Rest on your laurels for another two or three weeks until the mood to paint strikes again ;)

A Father's Love

In our house, Monday morning means two things:
a) Mom goes back to work
b) Jo gets hot cocoa and marshmallows

It started with me leaving her a cup of hot cocoa and marshmallows before I left for work, but in my haste I usually forget.  Luke has picked up the slack though, and this is what greets Jo on Monday mornings:

which makes for a happy Jo

Cats Prepare You for Parenting

Years of chasing this:
with a cat carrier in hand 

has prepared me for years of chasing this:
with a diaper in hand


Watch out world.

This morning I put on this sweatshirt. Which, as any Stephens will tell you, means I am gonna get some stuff DONE today!


You Must Be Tall Enough To Ride

Jo, 2010: too short to ride

Jo, 2013: tall enough, finally!

Baylor "BLITZ" Middlebrooks: future espn anchor

The only way I would ever voluntarily watch sports center is if my son were hosting.  Given his clear opinions and unique "voice," as shown on his debut broadcast below, it is entirely possible...so long as his dad is feeding him lines from the wings.